What is default music player in Android?

Default music player apps refer to the pre-installed music and audio players that come standard on Android devices. Most Android smartphones and tablets include a basic music player app out of the box to allow users to play audio files and music tracks stored locally on their device or SD card. While the default music players differ across various Android manufacturers and versions, they generally provide basic playback features and music management capabilities.

Default Music Player History

The default music player on Android devices has evolved over time. In the early days of Android, devices often came preloaded with manufacturer-specific music apps. For example, Sony’s Xperia devices included the “Walkman” app, which later became known as just “Music”. However, there was no consistent default across devices.

In 2011, Google launched Google Play Music as their music player and subscription streaming service. For many years, Play Music served as the default player experience and came preloaded on many Android devices like the Google Pixel. According to APK4Fun, the “Default Music Player” app also emerged during this time and was installed as a standalone music app on devices without Play Music.

In 2020, Google Play Music began its sunset process and was replaced by YouTube Music. Today, YouTube Music is commonly the default player, providing both an audio player as well as access to streaming content. However, some Android skins like Samsung OneUI still utilize their own custom players by default.

Manufacturer Specific Apps

Android device manufacturers often include their own music apps tailored to their devices:

  • Samsung includes the Samsung Music app on their Galaxy phones and tablets. It provides access to music stored on the device, cloud locker integration, customizable playlists, and streaming music capabilities (https://www.larkplayer.com/resource/music-player/best-music-app-for-samsung.html). It has received praise for its clean interface and thoughtful organization.
  • LG devices feature the LG Music Flow app to play local files and connect to streaming services. It has a widget home screen feature and integration with Chromecast devices (https://www.pcmag.com/picks/best-android-music-apps).
  • Sony has the Music app pre-loaded on their Xperia smartphones and tablets. While basic, it provides access to your music library and Sony’s streaming platform to discover new music.

However, device-specific music apps may lack important features found in popular third party options. So while convenient, many users install standalone apps like Spotify, YouTube Music, or Amazon Music for fuller music management capabilities.

Google Play Music

Google Play Music was the default music player application included on Android devices for many years until 2019. Some features of Google Play Music included:

– Access to a music streaming service with over 45 million songs, pre-bundled on Android devices.

– Personal music libraries could be uploaded to the cloud with up to 50,000 songs stored for free.

– Recommendations and playlists based on listening behavior and preferences.

– Functionality to browse curated stations and mood playlists.

– Casting music to speakers and accessing across devices like phone, tablet, and computer.

Google Play Music was well-regarded for its clean interface, music uploading and storage, and simply being pre-installed for Android users. However, it was criticized for lacking some bells and whistles of competing services and providing little statistical insights on listening behavior [1].

YouTube Music Introduction

YouTube Music was first introduced in 2015 as a music streaming service, allowing users to watch music videos and listen to official songs, albums, playlists, and artist radio stations.

In 2018, YouTube announced that YouTube Music would eventually replace Google Play Music as the default music player in Android. According to a blog post from YouTube, this transition officially began in August 2020 and completed in December 2020 when Google Play Music was shut down.

The rollout of YouTube Music aimed to provide a consolidated place for music listening that combined the catalog and recommendations of Google Play Music with the vast library of remixes, covers, and music videos already available on YouTube.

YouTube Music Features

YouTube Music includes a variety of features that allow listeners to discover, stream, and manage music from different sources. Some of the key features include:

  • Access to over 70 million official songs, albums, thousands of playlists and artist radio stations from YouTube’s catalog
  • High quality 256kbps AAC audio streaming
  • Smart search that finds official songs and remixes to help you discover the exact song you want
  • Ability to upload and access up to 100,000 personal tracks for streaming
  • Offline mixtape feature that automatically downloads songs it thinks you’ll like for listening offline
  • Ad-free, background, and offline playback with a YouTube Music Premium subscription
  • Personalized recommendations based on listening history, location and activity using advanced machine learning
  • Desktop app allows access to music library and playlists on PCs

Overall, YouTube Music aims to provide a comprehensive music streaming experience that leverages YouTube’s large catalog as well as personalized recommendations tailored to each user. With both free, ad-supported and premium offerings, it caters to casual listeners and music enthusiasts alike.

User Feedback

YouTube Music has received generally positive feedback from users, many praising the huge music catalog and integration with YouTube. According to a Reddit thread, users like the access to official music videos in the app and find the library has more variety than competitors. The interface and playlists are seen as similar to Spotify. However, some users feel the audio quality, especially for free users, is not as high as dedicated streaming services. There’s also feedback that recommendations and radio stations are not as accurate as Spotify or Pandora.

In reviews, the sheer amount of content on YouTube Music is highlighted as a major benefit. This gives it an edge for finding rare or obscure tracks. The app and streaming quality are seen as solid, but the focus remains more on music videos than pure audio. Some users switching from Spotify or Apple Music can find the interface confusing at first too. Overall satisfaction seems high, but the service trails behind leaders in some key aspects.

Customization Options

Changing the default music player on Android is possible through a few different methods. Most newer Android devices include options to set a default music player in the settings menu.

According to this AndroidCentral forum thread, you can change defaults by going into App Settings and choosing the “Clear Defaults” option next to the music player you want to set. This will reset the default and allow you to pick a new one.

Another method suggested in the Google Assistant support site is to long press the home button and tap the Settings button to manually select a new default music player.

Overall, Android provides flexibility in choosing and customizing your preferred music app. While the default music player may vary across devices and versions, options exist to set your favorite as the go-to player.


While Google’s default music apps work well for many users, there are also many quality third-party music player apps available on Android. Here are some of the most popular alternative Android music players:

Spotify (www.spotify.com) – Spotify is one of the most widely used music streaming services. Its Android app allows access to over 70 million songs and podcasts. Key features include customizable playlists, sharing music with friends, and syncing music for offline listening.

Poweramp (https://powerampapp.com/) – Poweramp is a feature-rich local music player that is popular for its excellent sound quality and support for many formats, including FLAC. It offers a customizable 10-band equalizer and has themes and widgets.

BlackPlayer (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kodarkooperativet.blackplayerfree) – BlackPlayer is ad-free, fast, and lightweight while still providing powerful features for local playback. It can play hi-res audio, has an equalizer, supports Android Auto, and can be customized with skins.


In conclusion, the default music player on Android devices has evolved over time. Originally Google Play Music was the default, providing access to your online library and music store. This was eventually replaced by YouTube Music, which leveraged Google’s strengths in online video and music streaming. While not always the most fully featured option, the default Android music player offers convenient access for most users.

Looking to the future, it’s likely Google will continue enhancing YouTube Music with more capabilities and tight integration with Android. However, many alternative music players on the Play Store provide capabilities like advanced audio formats, theming, and offline playlists. With Android’s open ecosystem, there will likely always be a wide selection of music apps. But Google’s default option will aim to strike a balance of usability and functionality for the majority of users.

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