For all the advances that have been made to mobile devices, it is still too difficult to transfer music from a PC to the mobile device. The process usually involves running software on a PC and physically connecting the device to the PC using a USB cable. You have to select what music you want to transfer to the device, and of course remember to connect the device to a PC in order to get the newest music.
While it doesn’t fix all of the problems with getting music on mobile devices, Winamp does remove the need to physically connect an Android phone to a PC in order to transfer music to the phone. Version 1 of the Winamp Android app is now available in the Android Market, and I recently installed it on my Nexus S to try out the wireless transfer process.
When you run Winamp on an Android phone for the first time, the app guides you through the process of setting up WiFi synch. First, you need to go into the settings in the app to Enable Wireless sync. If your phone is not connected to your home WiFi network, Winamp opens the Android WiFi settings so that you can configure the connection. The Android app them provides the ability to send a link to an email address to install the Winamp Windows on a PC, which you need in order to transfer music to the phone.
After I installed the Windows version of Winamp Standard, which is free, on my PC, the app did not discover my phone as Winamp’s instructions said it would. I checked the Winamp user forums and found that this seems to be a common problem. One suggestion was to connect your Phone to the PC with an USB cable to first create a relationship between the Winamp Windows app and the Android app.
I tried the recommendation to connect using USB, and while that did enable the Winamp Windows app to recognize the phone and I could transfer music, the WiFi sync still did not work. The next thing that I did was reboot my PC, start Winamp on the PC, and then start Winamp on the phone. This time, the Winamp app on my PC discovered the phone and listed it as an available device. I clicked the phone, and selected to attach it to the PC, after which I got a prompt on the phone asking if I wanted it attached to the PC.
With the phone attached to my PC and appearing as an attached device, I selected one of the playlists that I created in Winamp and dragged and dropped it on to the phone, which began the process of transferring the music to my phone. You can see the transfer process on the PC, but there is no indication of the transfer taking place on the phone. In fact, during the transfer process my phone turned off and the transfer continued uninterrupted.
Both Winamp Standard for Windows and Winamp for Android are free apps. In addition to the wireless transfer capability, the Winamp Android app provides access to SHOUTcast Radio, and overall appears to be a better music player than the Music app that comes with Android. If you are attached to the Music app, I did find that all of the music that I transfer to the phone using Winamp was recognized by the Music app.