DoubleTwist is quickly becoming the iTunes solution for the masses and I’m glad I adopted it back in October of last year to manage my mobile media. With it, I’m buying music on a regular basis from Amazon’s MP3 store and can synchronizing media to nearly any device. Today, I took an early look at the latest beta version of DoubleTwist for Mac — v 1.0b16 — and the new features show it moving far beyond a simple and effective music synchronization application. It’s more useful as a media player and as a way to find software in the Android Market. Yes, DoubleTwist for Mac has integrated with the software store for Android devices.
You can’t actually install or download Market apps in DoubleTwist, but you can scour the store for software by searching for it. The activity is enjoyable on a larger display and I foresee myself using DoubleTwist to find apps whenever I’m armed with my MacBook. When I’m not, I’ll revert to the native Android Market on my Nexus One. DoubleTwist pulls much of the information found in the Market: screenshots, reviews, number of downloads and more. Each app shows a QR code, so it’s a snap to scan it with an Android device’s camera and install the software. The same information is available in a web interface too: just hit up http://apps.doubletwist.com from a browser if you don’t want to install DoubleTwist. That’s just a killer win for Android users. Jon Lech Johansen — aka: DVD Jon and a co-founder of DoubleTwist — tells me that the Windows version of DoubleTwist will see the same Market integration with the next major release.
Podcast search and playback is another new addition to the Mac client; The Windows version gained podcast support earlier this month. For now, DoubleTwist won’t synchronize podcast media to your mobile device, but clearly, that’s the next logical step. Until then, you can search for podcasts and play them back on demand directly through the media player feature of DoubleTwist. The player is revamped in this version as well. Instead of a small corner section of the app for media controls, a new full-width audio player appears at the bottom of the software. One tap hides it while another returns it to view. And video podcasts play within the full size of the application or can be viewed in full screen.
The DoubleTwist product is definitely making inroads towards a mass market. What started out as a media transcode and sync platform continues to mature with new features that rival iTunes. And T-Mobile’s pre-installation of DoubleTwist on new MyTouch3G handsets shows that carriers are interested. I’m not waiting for the carriers though — I’m using DoubleTwist on a regular basis and will probably use it daily thanks to the new Market integration.
Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):
Forget Syncing: Let’s Put Music In the Cloud!