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How to Stop Poweramp Taking Over My Phone?

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I tried to solve this some years ago when I last used Poweramp & hoped it might have been sorted by now.

What is the mechanism that makes Poweramp think that the only reason I have a phone is to run Poweramp? Every one of the dozens of other apps installed stop when the app is closed. Not Poweramp. Close all apps & Poweramp continues to play. Even if there's no sign of it running anywhere.

Also, pair a bluetooth device & immediately up pops Poweramp & commences playing. It would be quite nice if I could decide when I want to use it.

What is the reason behind this bizarre behaviour & short of resorting to another player, how do I stop it?

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Poweramp (like many other decent music players) is designed so you can hear your music while you are doing other things. This is done via a small background service, so there is no need for the Poweramp interface to always be loaded on your phone screen in order for you to hear your music.

When you want it to stop playing, either press the Play/Pause button on the Player Screen before you exit, or use the system media control panel which pulls down from the Android status-bar whenever media is playing. This is exactly the same as for lots of other music players - Samsung's default Music app, Rocket Player, etc.

There is rarely any need to ever use 'Close All Apps' by the way, unless you have a specific problem with something; Android controls whether non-current apps need system resources, and recent apps are basically just listed there for quicker access. 

You can customise whether you want audio playback to resume when you plug in a wired headset, or when you connect a Bluetooth device. The controls are in PA Settings=>Headset/Bluetooth.

As an extra note: some Bluetooth devices issue their own specific KEYCODE_MEDIA_PLAY or KEYCODE_MEDIA_PLAY_PAUSE commands shortly after they become connected - it's quite common with car head-units for example. By default, Poweramp will obey such commands if it is sent one (see PA Settings=>Headset/Bluetooth=>Last Processed Commands to check to see if that has happened in your case). While clearly you don't want to ignore normal button presses from your BT device, you may want to delay acting upon them so such unwanted commands are ignored. In recent Poweramp builds, you can define your own ignore period in PA Settings=>Headset/Bluetooth=>Ignore Bluetooth Commands.   


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@andrewilley Thanks for the detailed explanation.

It is VW head units that are sending a play command. But that's only really an issue due to Poweramp effectively being always active & somehow taking priority over other music apps.

I've just checked my profile & it's all but three years since I last raised this. I just checked again & the original issue still persists. Even if I have Spofity active & playing, as soon as bluetooth connects Poweramp starts playing. So somehow Poweramp is announcing itself to Android that it is THE music player.

Even if a bluetooth device is sending a play command, that should be presented to the currently active app. If no app is active then nothing should happen, but Poweramp is behaving as permanently active even when shut down.


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1 hour ago, rbz5416 said:

Even if a bluetooth device is sending a play command, that should be presented to the currently active app.

I agree, but that's up to Android and your device's ROM. Poweramp only responds to commands that are sent to it by Android (you'll see anything like that listed in PA's Last Processed Commands log).

Also possibly Spotify does not set itself to be the currently playing media app? (I noticed that the Spotify app will stop playing when you do a Close All for example, which is not how I would expect an audio player to react). Max the developer would know more anyway; sometimes I think that how Android decides to route audio and BT commands is more like black magic than science.

[Edit] I've just done some tests, on a Samsung device (Galaxy A54, Android 14 ROM) with a pair of Bluetooth headphones. When Spotify is playing via BT, any BT headphone button-press commands (play/pause, next track, etc) are correctly routed to Spotify, Poweramp never gets to see them so it never does anything about them. To get Poweramp to take over button-press reception, I not only have to open the PA interface but also manually commence playback using the Play button on the screen interface. Once that is done, PA will respond to the BT headphone buttons as expected and Spotify playback stops and is shut out. To get Spotify to react again, I have to open its interface and manually commence playback there.

Oh, and as far as your VW headunit is concerned, although PA can be told to ignore commands for a while after connection, there may be something in the headunit's settings to stop it sending a resume command in the first place. Worth checking anyway.


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The issue isn't when Spotify is actively playing but when stopped. So if I'm listening to Spotify at home, stop it (not close it) & jump in the car, the bluetooth connection will start playback of Poweramp.

But whatever the cause, it's plainly still not fit for purpose in my use case so will have to uninstall - again.

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