Style Jukebox is a popular cross-platform media player for Windows, web and Android that allows real-time syncing of your personal media (music and video) files, playlists and settings across multiple devices via its dedicated cloud service. It requires just a valid Style Jukebox account and, of course, internet connectivity to get yourself connect you to your cloud storage, and automatically have all your preferred content synced across various connected devices. The desktop app of Style Jukebox has been around for quite some time now, and as our review indicates, it was initially available as a gorgeous-looking media player only. However, the official Android app of Style Jukebox has just been released to the Play Store, bringing with it the option to access and manage your personal cloud content on-the-go (Update: Now available for iOS as well). In addition, the app happens to be one slick music player that lets users listen to local music tracks, create custom playlists, manage cloud syncing & storage preferences, sift through their music library in multiple ways, and enjoy hours of seamless local and online music playback on their Android.
Although logging in to the app is not mandatory, in order to access your personal cloud content, you must be signed in via your Style Jukebox account, and then link your device with the service. The option to register for a new account from mobile is currently not available. Hence, you’ll have to rely on the desktop variant of Style Jukebox to get yourself an account (registration is free). Once you’ve created an account and logged in, you can specify music folders on your computer that you wish to be synced to the Style Jukebox cloud. It must be mentioned that, per account, the service allows storing a maximum of 1000 tracks for free.
The mobile app’s home screen is designed in a way to let you filter music by Songs, Artists or Albums. The tab in the bottom-right can be used to switch between playlist view in multiple ways. Tracks stored on cloud are represented, appropriately, on the playlist by a cloud icon, with an additional golden cloud icon representing an ongoing sync task. Looking at the bar at the top, we see the search option, the play button, as well as the option to head over to the app’s main menu from where you can access your Style Jukebox playlists and main settings.
Tapping Settings on this screen lets you check your device’s overall storage capacity, as well as consumed cloud storage space. Moreover, it is from this screen that you can toggle the option to sync content over cellular data, specify the sync/content update check frequency, and enable the option to display non-downloaded cloud content on list when in offline mode. There is another tab dedicated to social aspect of Style Jukebox, but that’s currently unavailable. Lastly, you have the option to specify sync direction (uploads or downloads) from this particular screen.
The app sports a rather simply designed music player interface, supplemented with a handful of conventional media playback controls, track info and album art. Swiping sideways, you can switch between other tracks on the playlist. Interestingly, the app also supports exploring music files by folders, but for that, you’ll have to double tap the album art of the currently played track. Another good thing about the app is that, even if a track is partially uploaded to the cloud, it lets you stream them in real time.
No doubt, Style Jukebox does considerably well enough to allow Android users create and access their own personal music cloud, especially for those users who currently do not have access to Google Play Music. However, there are few glitches that we noticed in the desktop, as well as the mobile variant of Style Jukebox which can prove to be somewhat annoying.
For one, the desktop app requires logging in afresh each time upon launch. The mobile app, on the other hand, may support background playback, but lack of notification alerts keep users from knowing what track is currently being played, or, worse yet, whether the app itself is running or not. Moreover, it doesn’t always detect album art for tracks, and when it does, the player shows an all-stretched image in the album art preview window. Also, we’re unsure if the batch select feature actually allows picking selective tracks, or if it’s just a select-all-or-nothing affair. The lack of homescreen widget is going to be considered by many as a big miss, too.
Sweeping all said issues aside, we see tremendous potential in Style Jukebox. Going by the progress that the desktop app has made since when we reviewed it back in July 2010, we have no doubt that the Android variant and the cloud service of Style Jukebox will only get better with time. Good news for Mac, Windows Phone 7 and iOS users is that, Style Jukebox is going to come your way very soon – so keep checking!
Update: The app is now available for the iPhone. We’ve added a link to its App Store page below.