It’s been a while since I shifted to using MPD – the Music Player Daemon – for most of my music needs. And it does what it does wonderfully. You can set up whole house audio easily with it (and stream it either natively or via Icecast), it sits in the background, and does its thing. And it easily works with lots of front ends, either desktop ones or web interfaces.
The one place it’s been short for me is on Android. One app looks good, but doesn’t handle turning streaming on and off very well. Another one has that control, but to get album art and the like, you’ve got to do extra work.
There is one Android app, however, that handles everything, handles it elegantly, and also looks great as well. It’s called MAFA.
Let me get the bad news out of the way first. It is not a free app. It’s US$5.99, which is a bit high when there are free options out there. Let me put it to you this way, though: It’s bloody well worth it. Plus that whole “support developers” thing. But yeah, it’s worth it.
The default player looks, well, like a player. It’s the other screens where this program shines
You have a customizable main screen, where you can determine which elements are visible, giving you quick access to… well, just about everything. And without having to use a hamburger menu, which is super convenient, and yet it’s also elegant and well laid out.
The player options screen is where I realized I made the right choice in plonking down my cash. After all, I’ve followed my own guide. MAFA lets me toggle outputs easily and with no fuss, and its ability to play MPD’s native HTTP streaming is better and smoother than any of the other apps I’ve tried.
MAFA will also fetch (and cache) album art from the MPD stream, or from a webserver if you have that set up, OR from internet sources. And it has nice placeholder images for when none of those are available.
On nearly every screen there’s customization of how to sort and display information, so you can tweak this thing until it’s just the way you want it.
I’ve been using it for over six months, and haven’t looked back. Not only did I uninstall the other MPD players the next day, I can tell you that MAFA has made it so much easier and smoother to interact with MPD that I often end up grabbing my phone and using MAFA – even when I’m at my computer.
MAFA is highly recommended, and is available at the Google Play store at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=software.indi.android.mpd