I’ve began using my local library to listen to music, moving away from streaming services such as Spotify. However, I’ve never really been a fan of the Apple Music interface, and that’s where Marvis comes in. Marvis offers a better interface for Music.app. With support for Apple Music or your library, Marvis lets you have a greatly customisable interface and other powerful features.
The Music app on iOS isn’t great. It’s a pretty clunky interface that offers no customisation at all. Whilst the UI has improved, it’s still confusing at times and organising and sorting music can be a pain.
Marvis integrates with the Music.app on your phone, basically becoming a skin for it with a lot other features. It can therefore display your existing library, including local and Apple Music songs. They work with playlists too. However, there are shortcomings. When you tap on the playing song, it takes you to the Music app, making the shortcut pretty useless, and music management needs to be done in the Music app itself. However, these are pretty minor.
The design for Marvis is really nicely done. Opening the app takes you to the Home view, which shows you recently played songs, recently added, and a host of other customisable panels that you can choose to add to the app.
Tapping on the sidebar at the top left of the app opens up a menu that lets you access your playlists, songs, genres, artists and albums. This can be customised, allowing you to re-arrange various areas of the menu and hide or show options. You can also access the sidebar by swiping, and move around the various options by swiping up and down.
When you tap on an item, such as songs, you have multiple options available. You can browse through all the songs on your device, and Marvis offers multiple ways of sorting, even a ‘Beats per Minute’ option. You can also tap at the top to get various playing options.
The playing interface is nice and clean. It allows you to scrub through your song, or to skip and pause the song. Volume is given with a small bar at the bottom of the song, and tapping on the menu in the bottom left allows you to view more details about the song, jump to the artist or album, as well as rate it or open it in the Music app.
You can also tap on the bottom right to choose which device you want to play to. The now playing interface is really nicely done. It’s easy to use, and nice and minimalistic. However, I do wish that you could swipe on the art to change song.
My favourite feature of Marvis is the dragging and dropping. You can select multiple songs, and drop them into the bottom bar that appears. This lets you shuffle the selected songs, play them, or put them at the top or bottom of the queue. This is a great feature that lets you easily manage what you are listening too.
One of the major pulls of Marvis is the customisation it offers. Firstly, you can use a dark mode in the app (manually, on shake, and brightness based), and change the icon with dozens of options. Marvis has last.fm integration, which is pretty useful for discovering music and keeping track of your listening statistics if you use a player like MusicBee on desktop. This works with both local music, and music from your Apple Music library. You can customise the look of the player, show or hide various pictures, songs, how they are displayed, and so much more. I won’t go too in-depth here, but Marvis offers many customisation features.
If you want a better interface for the Music app, Marvis is the way to go. It’s interface is simple yet customisable, and it’s a lot easier to find the music you want. Whilst it does rely on the Music.app, I think this is a small tradeoff for the customisation and features that Marvis offers.