Users of Navi-X on XBMC or Boxee will be pleased to learn that a Navi-X app is now available on Android. All Media Online (Amo) has just released the first app exclusively devoted to browsing, playing, and downloading multimedia content on Android smartphones and tablets via Navi-X, an extensive, open source, community supported, media indexing web-service.
Navi-X is a community supported media access project. It’s described on its website as a web-based “media browser” or “content aggregator.” Built with open-source software and run by volunteers, the Navi-X project implements a web-service that points users to a broad range of online multimedia content, such as TV shows, movies, music, podcasts, pictures, RSS /XML feeds, webpages, live streams, text, and more.
The Navi-X project doesn’t actually host the multimedia content. Rather, it implements a complex array of linked playlists and site-scrapers, which access content hosted on the web by various sources, including commercial TV networks, video streaming and hosting services, and individual users’ websites. This mesh of playlists for browsing and selecting media has been collectively constructed — and is continuously updated — by the Navi-X community. Users can also add personal playlists, and can optionally share them publicly.
Amo’s Android Navi-X app functions as a multimedia browser on the tablet or smartphone, rendering a nested set of screens derived from the online Navi-X database. As such, it doesn’t integrate a built-in media rendering client, instead utilizing an “external” media rendering client app resident on the device.
The Navi-X app offers two methods of accessing content on your device:
- Streaming mode — when you tap the content item’s thumbnail image, the app attempts to stream the media to your device.
- Download mode — when you tap item’s description instead its thumbnail image, the app tries to download the content to the /sdcard/amoNaviX/ directory on your device (and can download multiple files simultaneously); to support this mode, the Amo Navi-X app provides a convenient function for selecting and playing the content with a device-resident media player.
In either case, Amo’s Navi-X app depends on an “external” media rendering client app. In DeviceGuru’s testing, the free Android Rockplayer Lite and MoboPlayer media player apps worked best, although neither were able to handle all the content we attempted to stream. Other media player apps might provide greater success; for example, Amo also recommends VPlayer, which is available for $5 from the Android Market.
Here are some screenshots showing Amo Navi-X running on DeviceGuru’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet:
Navi-X running on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet
(click each thumbnail to enlarge)
And, here are some screenshots showing the app running on DeviceGuru’s Galaxy S smartphone:
Navi-X running on the Samsung Galaxy S smartphone
(click each thumbnail to enlarge)
The Navi-X project was originally created for the purpose of bringing a wide array of multimedia content to systems and devices running the XBMC media-streaming platform. More recently the project introduced a Boxee Box client app.
Further information regarding the structure and functions of the Navi-X web service and client apps are provided in this detailed article at BoxeeBoxTips.com (our sister site), which was written by Navi-X project coordinator Bill Daly (aka iRoNBiLL). Also, visit the Navi-Xtreme Media Portal, where you will find support, resources, and chat forum areas.
Downloading the app
The Amo Navi-X is currently available from the Android Market, here, priced at about $3.