Okay, I switched over from Build 709 to try this out.
In terms of UI, it's night and day. I understand we need to push forward and try to improve, hence why we have these betas!
Build 709 was sexy. I liked how the album art was sectioned off from the meta and controls on the bottom, with the audio/visual controls all packed neatly in one place. In terms of Viz, I liked the option to keep it in within the album art boundaries and leave my music controls well-defined. 790 forces you to either have full-screen viz, or full screen viz with faded controls and meta. I really liked 709's defined looks a lot better.
Song title over album art? No thanks. Seems most people prefer there to be an option to change this as evidenced in the Poll
Next, what's with all these controls all over the place? Why have a Google-ish search bar just for Viz? Seems a bit excessive.
Google Viz bar?
Player Control / Seek
I was flustered at first with this redesigned control switch, but after a few hours, I got used to it. I like the seeking method much more over v2; this is way more precise. If I could change something, I would prefer the waveforms to have much more detail, giving the user more insight into what part of a song they're scrolling to.
The like/dislike seems good, although perhaps maybe a bit ambiguous in my opinion. I personally preferred the star rating system a little more for precision's sake, but I don't really care all that much about this change.
I see how the grid can help speed it up. Many people will appreciate this because they can go by covers. However, a quick toggle button to switch it to list view would be appreciated. I learned while typing this that you can pinch-zoom to change views, but here's the thing: pinch-zoom isn't something you really expect from a music player. By all means keep it in there, but adding a toggle switch seems a little more natural. I don't know. That's just my take on it.
I can see that the goal behind this redesign is to keep everything at 1 or 2 levels max so that we don't have to dig deep to find the options we want. However, in this version, navigation can be a bit tricky. I like to use the back button a lot to return to a 'main screen'. More often than not, I hit the back button by reflex only to be taken out of the app directly from a screen. To me it feels the most intuitive to have the player screen as the 'home', after which you would exit the app if you hit 'back' one more time.
Tempo - Also posted in Feature Requests
I really, truly appreciate the speed control setting; Excellent for workout and running music. I was forced to use VLC for this feature during my workouts. No more!
Although the speed shift is excellent already as it is, I do suggest taking a look at VLC player's implementation of it. There are two details that would be great to add in Poweramp's tempo setting.
1 - Time stretching audio.
As you adjust speed, you make sacrifices the higher or lower you go.But with the time stretching audio option in VLC, users can opt for the pitch to change with speed to avoid the 'slicing' that happens when you change speed, which can be a drag if you want to enjoy a workout and the music's beat gets cut off.
2 - Save song speed setting.
I wish this would be a thing even during my time with VLC. If I wanted to listen to multiple tracks in VLC during a workout, each one would have to be manually adjusted for speed. If I want to maintain roughly a 175 BPM, one song would have to be sped up, another slowed down. If I wanted to get the BPM the way I want for each song, I have to stop and make the adjustment. This is a no-go during a run or workout. Saving speeds to songs would make the experience more enjoyable. I could sit down, assemble a 'workout mix' add my songs, adjust the tempo for each one and save the settings before hitting the gym.
Here's a mockup I made of how this might look.
I'm not going to get into the bugs. The core functionality is here, and nothing critical is broken so I'll wait until the next build to give feedback on that end.