Your smartphone is so much more than a means of communication. Camera, calendar, link to the Internet’s vast information — it’s most likely also your day-to-day, portable music player.
But if you’re using Windows Media Player on your desktop and an Android phone, synching music between the two devices can be a real hassle.
For listening to your MP3 music library at your desk, Windows Media Player (WMP) is the logical (though not necessarily the best) choice. It’s the only music player that comes with Windows — unless you have Windows 8 or 8.1, in which case it’s the better of the two bundled players. Relatively simple to use, WMP lets you organize and play audio and video files on the desktop. It also syncs relatively well with portable MP3 players.
That task is relatively simple: connect the portable player to the PC with a USB cable, change a few settings in WMP, select the playlists you want copied, and start the synching process. When it’s done, your selected music is easily accessed on your mobile device, grouped by artist, album, and genre.
But if that device is an Android phone, you can’t select by playlist! Although WMP uses the playlists to help you select which songs are transferred, it doesn’t reliably transfer them. On occasion, it’ll transfer one or two playlists — but not put the right songs into them.
There are, not surprisingly, third-party apps that handle Windows/Android audio synching better than WMP. Two of the best are doubleTwist and the venerable Winamp. Neither is perfect, but either will be a big improvement. (The Android version for another popular player — VLC media player [site] is still in beta.)
Windows Media Player playlists: Regular and auto
Before I discuss those two apps, here’s what you should know about WMP playlists.