When searching for a good video or audio player for your Android phone, look no further than Meridian Player. This free application is available in the Android Market and can be found by searching for “Meridian Player.” Meridian Player will playback virtually all the media on your Android device, and look good doing it! Meridian has quickly become my app of choice for video/audio my Android phone and is one of my top five “must-have” applications for my T-Mobile G1.
I first started using using Meridian Player when it was “Meridian Video Player” and could only handle video. I enjoyed the app then because of its unique gesture support (more on that later), so I was really pleased to find that the developer had added a full-on audio management application to the core video playing functionality.
The first thing you see when you start Meridian Player is a slick tabbed interface with 3 sections: Browser, Video, and Audio. The browser tab allows you to browse for audio or video on the file system of your device. Something I really like about this file browser mode is that it really goes beyond the basics. When displaying the names of video files on your device, it provides extended information about the file, such as the codec used, resolution, file size, play time, bit rate, and even whether or not the video file is playable on your Android device (only certain file formats are supported). Likewise, when viewing audio files, you’re presented with album and artist information, run time, file-type, and even the song’s rating. This makes Meridian Player’s built-in file browser much more useful than the simple file-picker you find in many other Android applications.
The Video tab in Meridian Player is similar to Browser tab, except that it aggregates all of the video files on your Android device into one list, and displays options for creating and managing video playlists. To start watching video, simply tap the name of the clip you’d like to view. While watching video, Meridian Player makes use of a really neat “gesture” interface. Instead of tapping onscreen buttons with your finger, you simply move your finger directly on video as it is playing. For instance, in order to pause the video, all you have to do is tap the screen while the movie is playing. To fast forward, just move your finger from left to right on the screen; rewind is the opposite. This way of doing things keeps you having to click the Menu button to bring up controls, and conserves screen real estate. Of course, if you’re not a fan of the gesture method for controlling video in Meridian Player, traditional button controls are just a Menu tap away. While it takes a bit of getting used too, I wound up really, really liking this way of working with my video on my Android device.
The Music tab is equally innovative. The default view in the Music tab is the Library view, where the music collection is sortable by Artist or Album, as well as by Composer(!). Anyone who listens to Classical music knows what a valuable and useful feature this is for a music player. Not very many hardware or software players fully support the “Composer” tag for audio files, so this is a welcome addition to the Meridian feature set, and gives Meridian Player a serious advantage for serious music listeners using Android phones. There’s also full playlist support that allows for on-the-fly playlist creation and editing, as well as a handy button for returning the last played song.
When playing music in Meridian Player, you’re presented with another elegant-looking view that displays album art, song information, and standard playback controls. Shuffle and repeat modes are available. One-button lyric look-up is an incredibly handy feature that allows you find the words for the song you’re listening to on the go. There’s also a quick menu entry for finding alternate versions of the lyrics via Google. You can also rate your songs as you play them.
Did I mention that Meridian Player auto-rotates the screen in all modes? How’s that for useful?
Meridian Player represents the best of the best when it comes to multimedia players for the Google Android platform. With features like gesture control for videos, full playlist management, and support for the Composer tag on audio files, Meridian Player is hands-down the best choice for playing your audio and video on your T-Moble G1 or other Android device.