S2 Music Player is a new Android app that not only presents a simple, clean user interface for listening to music and managing songs stored on your phone, but also for streaming music from a home server using Jellyfin, Emby, or Plex (although Plex support isn’t available yet).
Developed by the maker of the popular Shuttle music player (one of the first Android apps I ever paid for), the new version brings a number of new features and improvements. But the main reason I’m writing about it? The developer has come up with a clever, unusual, and kind of funny way to get users to pay to keep using the app after their 2-week free trial expires.
After the two week trial ends, you’ll probably want to pay to keep using it – you can unlock the full version for $7.49 or if you’d rather pay a subscription rate you can pay $4.49 per year or $0.99 per month. Those are the US prices, but things may vary a bit for folks in other countries.
And if you don’t pay? According to the developer:
The app will continue to work, but the playback speed will increase by a small amount each day, until you lose your mind.
In addition to supporting local and streamed music libraries, S2 has a number of useful features including EQ and preamp settings, customizable themes, support for Android Auto, support for displaying lyrics (when QuickLyric is installed).
It also includes its own media scanner that does a better job of reading tags than the default Android MediaScanner, lets you choose the folders you want to scan, and offers native support for codecs including FLAC and Opus.
You can also use S2 to listen to audiobooks or other long-form content, since it can remember track positions.
There are a few features that aren’t available yet, but which are on the roadmap. Those include Plex support, the ability to sync playlists to the android MediaStore (so you can use them with other apps), artwork editing, and importing and exporting .m3u playlists.
Thanks for the shout out Brad. Much appreciated. It’s always an honour to hear from an OG Shuttle user.
That’s… kind of an awful thing to do to an app. Not only is it a subscription service instead of a one-time purchase, but the expired app deliberately fscks up your music playback?! I’d honestly rather use a free, ad-supported app than this thing.
However much they paid you to write this article, it wasn’t enough.
It’s just a fun incentive. There is a once off purchase option, as well as the subscription option. The aim is just to let people try the app for free, and then slowly prompt them to upgrade if they like it.
Thats hilarious, maybe I’ll try the app just to see how fast it gets.
I used to use Shuttle years ago as well, it was a great app. I think it was also one of my first paid apps (along with ES File Explorer, and MX Player, both of which I’ve stopped using due to privacy concerns).
I recall the developer of this app posting on Reddit a while ago that SMB server support wasn’t going to be possible with S2, which is unfortunate. I’ll have to read into Emby and Jellyfin more to see if I’d be willing to try them.
If I hadn’t already paid for a Plex lifetime subscription that mostly meets my needs, I’d be all over Jellyfin.
I’ve been wanting to give Jellyfin a try. At a glance it seems like their privacy policies and data collection practices might be more attractive than Plex. I like that it appears to be usable in an isolated LAN with no outside services required.
I don’t care if I’m wrong about Plex being a honey-pot operation for media companies, or mutant lizard people trying to establish new world order. I still loathe the idea of services that unnecessarily integrate mandatory online accounts to collect meta data, and don’t allow for private offline use.
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