SongBox Player iPhone app, by developer Ilya Neporent, attempts to remedy one of the few remaining holes in the DropBox mobile experience. The end result is a server-side wonder of simplicity and speed that you owe it to yourself to try.
Within the freelance and design circles in which I run, DropBox—a cloud-based provider of file storage and syncing across multiple devices—has long been the pride and joy of many a developer. With its incredibly easy drag-and-drop interface, its massive amounts of free space, and its compatibility on every operating system known to man, the experience it offers just can’t be beat. If you don’t already have a DropBox account, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by signing up. However, one of the few catches about the service is its lack of an intuitive mobile music player. Considering so many DropBox-heads use the software to store music in the cloud, this has been a real drag: A drag brought to a firm close by SongBox Player.
SongBox Player has no pretenses—the app is just as simple as billed, and every bit as fast. When first booted, users link their DropBox email with the app and away things go. Almost immediately, SongBox Player found all of the music within my many folders and added them to a single, unified list. When clicked, songs played smoothly and loaded fast—quicker even than the original DropBox for iPhone.
The usual music controls are here, including pause, skip, volume, and shuffle. There’s no way to fast forward or rewind a song, though, which isn’t a deal-breaker,
but is certainly missed nonetheless. Another catch is that songs are not initially sorted by artist and album when pulled from DropBox, meaning you’ll have to play individual tracks before SongBox Player retrieves any sorting information. If you have loads of songs, this might be a serious problem, though a search box is included to help ease the process. These are minor gripes, however, and ones that will hopefully be fixed in future updates, as SongBox Player is literally just out of App Store boot camp.
SongBox Player earns a solid five here, but in the minimalistic way deserving of any good, non-obtrusive app. This is a no frills venture, featuring standard menus, iTunes-esque controls, and a single track list. But when the end goal is easy, on-the-go listening, what more could you want?
SongBox Player [ iTunes Link ] requires iOS 4.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
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