SlingPlayer, Rhapsody ready to jump onto Android platform

Spm_rhap My mobile usage habits are probably like a foreign language when compared to someone who depends on mobile tech for their job, since I tend to focus on what I'm going to watch or listen to instead of working on a last minute proposal as I peruse my contact list and fire off emails to various departments. For me, having an available 3G or WiFi connection is a must because that's how all of my media is delivered.

With the news that SlingPlayer Mobile and Rhapsody will be making the jump to Android by the time families are packing up the kids and minivan for summer vacation, fans of both products will soon be able to avoid iPhone-envy, plus watch some TV and listen to some tunes as a bonus. For those of you actually doing legitimate work on your Android smartphone, well now you'll have an excuse to take a break every now and then.

SlingPlayer Mobile for Android is a natural progression considering it's been available for just about every other platform. When I asked Sling Media employees at CES about their plans for an Android version, they noted that it was in the works and would soon be ready. That makes today's video demo from AndroidandMe a treat, considering one of the reasons I just purchased an unlocked AT&T Nexus One was because of the promise of SlingPlayer eventually coming out. Already in use on my iPhone 3GS, the new Android app will have a very similar, if not identical, look and the price should also be in the $30 range. Money well spent on one of my favorite tech products ever, the SlingBox.

For those who prefer to use their ears only, Rhapsody for Android is already available as a beta download, with the final version nearing completion. Users who have this service quickly understand how great it is, while others struggle to see the merit in "renting" music instead of purchasing it or just using Pandora. The ability to download tracks onto an Android device and play them back offline is a new feature that will be added to the release version and was previously only possible on the now-gone ibiza Rhapsody DAP from Haier, one of the most underrated devices of the past few years.

These two new apps alone would be enough to complete my Android library, so I look forward to grabbing them as soon as possible. Surely I can't be alone, as there must be others that have these apps in their regular rotation. As for the Archos 5 Android users out there, I'd like to hear if there are any issues with the landscape-centric layout and the Rhapsody beta.

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Chris King

Chris King is a former contributing editor at Pocketables.

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