Playing music on the iPad was a low priority when I put together my music streaming system. I bought an iPad primarily as a remote for the Cambridge Audio StreamMagic 6 streamer. Soon I wanted to sample tracks stored on the NAS drive without converting them to another format or invovling iTunes and so the search was on for a player.
The answer came in the shape of the mconnect player from ConversDigital. After trying the free player is was clear that the HD version especially designed for the wide iPad view was a bargain at £2.99. Initially the player wouldn’t find my UPnP AV music server (MinimSever – more of which some other time) without it first being ‘seen’ by another app – namely the CA Connect app for the StreamMagic but with the next version upgrade mconnect finds the server with alacrity. I’m currently running ver 1.3.9. mconnect also handles music from cloud services from One Drive and Dropbox and apparently services like Deezer (though I’ve not discovered how).
There is a ‘Play To’ mode which streams to other devices – I can send music from my iPad to my Roberts Internet radio with a single touch. This would be useful for users with an iPad stored library but as all my music is on my NAS drive the Roberts radio can happily find its own way to the source. ‘Play To’ will be a good and useful feature for some users.
In browser mode you can swipe through the album list, pick from an alphabet ‘scroll bar’ or use the very fast search box, which gives instantly updated results as you type. You can create and retrieve playlists in browser mode; mconnect picking up playlists from the iTunes library (which it disturbingly called the iPod library – I don’t have one!) The blue, grey, black and red interface colours are classy with only grey track subtitles being hard to read against the blue ‘this track playing’ bar. Cover art display is first class and can be put in full screen, full screen plus main player controls or artwork, browser/queue and player view.
The main player controls at the bottom of the screen are joined by an info box to the left, which displays file type, sampling frequency and bitrate. There’s the expected volume control, pause, play/stop and track skip functions while the popup arrow to the right reveals a very useful interactive track time display, shuffle and repeat functions.
Can’t say much about sound quality as I’ve nothing for comparison and I’m really looking for functionality and convenience for iPad replay – on which fronts mconnect player scores highly.