We’re continuing our series on moving from an OS 7 device to BlackBerry 10 and are looking specifically at the music capabilities. I don't know about you guys, but I use my phone for music just about all day long. In fact, it's probably safe to say it gets more use as a music machine than as something that makes phone calls. Once I made the switch to BB10, it was really important that everything transferred over smoothly, and getting around the native music app only took a little bit of mental rewiring.
On OS 7 devices, users could hold down volume up and volume down keys in order to skip tracks, and though that’s available on BB10 as well, the option is turned off by default. From the home screen, swipe down from the top, tap Options, tap Main Volume, and flip the toggle for Music Shortcuts.
Transferring music onto your BlackBerry is just about the same process.You’ll be using BlackBerry Link instead of BlackBerry Desktop Software to set it up, including media server options and wireless sync.
Universal search still works as before, which bugs me a bit. I’d really like to see separate search results based on playlist, artist and album, in addition to the existing track searches. At the very least the search baked into the music separates these result types logically. The same Album, Artist, and Genre views are available on BB10 as before, but there’s a useful “recently added” category so you can quickly get to your newest tracks. You’ll also find a new dynamically-generated Collections section under playlists. This helps you find recently added songs and songs by year.
DLNA support in BB10 means you can play your tunes directly from your BlackBerry to a Wi-Fi-enabled system in your home. It takes a bit of set-up, Just tap the overflow menu key in the bottom-right, and tap Play On. If nothing is set up yet to select, just tap the gear at the bottom, and make sure the DLNA system is on and the proper sharing options are toggled.
One downside compared to BlackBerry 7 is that you can’t access the Now Playing screen thanks to a system-wide menu option; in BlackBerry 10, you’ll have to manually switch over to the app. You also can’t set songs as ringtones directly from Music, so you’ll have to dig into the system’s notification settings to do that. Though you can still get AudioBoost for an extra shot of volume in those settings, there’s no more headset equalizer.
Those are the major differences between the music player apps in BlackBerry 7 and BlackBerry 10. If you’d like the full tour of how music is handled in BB10, check out one of our earlier pieces over here, complete with video. Z10, Q10, and Q5 owners - how are you finding the music experience on BlackBerry 10? Did you have a hard time porting over your collection? Are all the features you need there?