It’s been quite a while since RockPlayer2 was made available to iOS users, and now it’s time for Android fans to enjoy the revamped version of one of the most feature-rich cross-platform media playing and streaming apps for smartphones and tablets. RockPlayer2 has just been released to the Play Store with a completely redesigned UI and a whole bunch of powerful features including universal media format support, wireless media sharing across devices via RockShare, the reinvented seek bar (aka FreeSeek), native UPnP client, improved media file management, subtitles support, HDMI mirroring, fully customizable control bar, and various gesture to control media playback on your device with minimal effort. All in all, it’s a massive update considering the significant changes in terms of the revamped UI as well as the new features.
You now get a sleek UI supporting sideways swipe gestures to help you quickly navigate to the app’s various features. Speaking of the features, here’s what RockPlayer2 packs:
- TV: Allows you to play content from online streaming sources. Supported protocols include HTTP, HLS & RTSP, etc.
- Forum: Lets you interact with the online RockPlayer community for opinions, updates, questions and answers, problems and their solutions. etc.
- Media Library: The app’s main media browser and playlist management interface split into three segments – Video, Music & TV – each with thumbnail view support.
- File Manager: Built-in file browser to help you easily import your media files from specific locations on your SD card.
- Playlist: Home to all your self-curated RockPlayer playlists.
- Network: Lists all the UPnP devices available on your home network to allow remote content transfer across devices.
To remotely share files with other nearby RockPlayer2 users, you’ll first have to hit the pencil button at the top-left to enter the selection mode. Next, choose the required files, tap the Wi-Fi tab, select the intended recipient(s) and you’re good to go. From the same selection screen, you can also create new playlists, refresh the app’s content, delete selected files, and hide personal content from prying eyes. Once you’ve selected the required files, you can shake your device to hide them from the list.
Dragging the media library screen downwards, you’ll be able to see the app’s native search bar that not only helps you search for required files, but also lets you enter the hidden file mode in the geekiest of ways possible – by keying-in the legendary Konami code! Even if you know the Konami code, it may take many a while to figure how to enter it, so we’re gonna reveal it to you (see the screenshot below). Once in hidden mode, you can use the same shaking method to unhide files that you had used for hiding them.
While watching videos or listening to music, you have the following gestures at your disposal to control playback and other settings:
- Two-finger tap to play, pause or resume playback.
- Swipe left or right to rewind or fast forward respectively.
- Single tap to show or hide the seek bar.
- Swipe upwards to show or hide media controls.
- Tap the left edge of the screen to reveal the brightness level slider.
- Tap the right edge of the screen to reveal the volume level slider.
To personalize the control bar, long press any button on the bar. You have a maximum of five different bar buttons to play around with, and each can be assigned a different controller from various available options such as eject, backward, forward, play/pause, guide, brightness, subtitle, audio track selection, control lock, window resize, play mode, take a picture, share, HW/SW codec selection, and current time. As evident from its title, the app’s Take a Shot feature can be used to grab snapshots of the currently visible video frame on the go. Images captured through this feature can be found in the ‘Pictures/rockshot’ folder on your SD card. In case you find the presence of the eject button confusing, it actually exits the full-screen mode.
Overall, the app impressed us with its long list of features, though we did see some room for improvement such as support for background playback of audio files, and smoother playback of 1080p videos, though the latter bit isn’t a big deal for most users at the moment. Even with these minor shortcomings, RockPlayer2 is one of the best media players currently available, and is capable of catering to your media playing, streaming and sharing needs quite aptly.