Music makes the world go ‘round. BlackBerry brings the world closer to you. Why not bring the two together? The folks at Electric Pocket did, and they did it with style. FlipSide Music player will forever change the way you access your music on your BlackBerry.
Up until recently, I never looked at my BB as an MP3 player. True, I spent my fair share of time watching videos and downloading various odd ringtones. The BlackBerry’s media centre was easy to use, but wasn’t smooth enough in my mind to use while waiting for the ferry, during my daily commute to work.
FlipSide opened my eyes, as I recently downloaded the newest version available. It plays music in Mp3, M4A, AAC and WMA formats, with the smoothest controls I’ve seen. It reminded me of the Cover Flow feel brought to you by Apple. Hands down, I believe that this is an amazing piece of software. Just for fun, let’s get into it shall we?
I said hey, what’s going on?
FlipSide has obviously been designed for what some people call “media friendly” BlackBerrys. Meaning that anyone who is currently running anything other that the 81XX, 83XX or 88XX series is unfortunately out of luck, as it plays music right from your media card.
You can’t help but love the layout of this software. Your music is easily filed and found, depending on how you transfer the files. For this review, I quickly added four albums to my BlackBerry. I’m probably one of the few remaining people who actually buy CDs. If I like an artist or band, I will support them. You may recognize a great Canadian band in the pictures. Ladies and Gentlemen, give it up for the Barenaked Ladies!!
Scroll through album covers, not just music
After transferring your music to your BlackBerry, open up FlipSide. The albums are listed with the respective album covers. What? No album cover? That’s no problem for FlipSide. Open the menu and select the option to find cover art. FlipSide will search for and download the proper album cover! The sideways scroll is very smooth and quick, this is especially good when you have a few dozen albums or individual songs listed. And like all great BlackBerry apps, there is integration with BlackBerry shortcuts. You can hit a letter on the keyboard to skip to artists beginning with that letter. Sweet!
If you want to know more about who you are listening to FlipSide has included a unique option. Open the menu and select FlipSide Extras. Bam! Instant bio on the band!!
When you want to more, FlipSide finds what you need
I wanna rock and roll all night…
Once you have the album you want to listen to right in front of you, click on the trackball and open up a vertical list of the tracks or press the space bar to play right from the beginning. Press the spacebar again to pause the song or press and hold it to skip to the next song. To fast forward or rewind within a song, hold down the Alt key and scroll either left/right on your trackball. FlipSide also offers a shuffle all option to mix it up a bit for you.
While you are listening to a track, you can still navigate through the other albums and select another song if you wish or even add it or other songs to your playlist.
You be the DJ. Create your own playlist.
I would have loved to see the option of being able to create multiple playlists. Also, further integration with the BlackBerry would be great - right now the volume up/down controls only work while FlipSide is open (not in the background). When another update comes about, these minor issues will be addressed.
Speaking of updates... The latest has added an interesting new feature; FlipSide offers Last.fm auto-scrobbling support. In a nutshell, the name of the song you are listening to is sent to Last.fm where it’s added to your listeners profile. Now imagine enabling this feature and being able to share your recently played music with your family and friends through various websites (MySpace), blogs or in your forum signature (like say on CrackBerry.com).
An untested question... I read in one comment that the owner was unable to use his Stereo Bluetooth headset controls (like the ones found on the Motorola S9s) with FlipSide. As in the play/pause/skip/volume controls on the headset didn't interface with FlipSide as they would with the default BlackBerry Music Player. I'm waiting on confirmation on this from Electric Pocket (if you know the definite answer please comment below), but let this be on your radar if you're looking to buy. Again, if this is the case I'm sure it will be addressed in a future update. And like most software purchased from the ShopCrackBerry.com store, updates come for free once purchased.
[ Editor Update: The Above has been confirmed - Stereo Bluetooth Headset controls will not work with the FlipSide Music Player just yet. It will likely come in a future update. If you purchase now from the store, you should be able to get future version 1.x updates for free ]
Famous Last Words
FlipSide is a must have for any BlackBerry user (media Berrys that is). You won’t look at your music the same way again. True some of the options mentioned are already utilized by some Windows Mobile MP3 players, but this software brings BlackBerry up to the head boppin’, foot tappin’ front line.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an Air Guitar to play…