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printed July 30, 2014
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Review: Motorola maxx Ve

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Accessing your music library is as simple as hitting the media key on the left side of the Ve, you don't even have to open the phone. Hit it once to unlock the phone and then hit it again to launch the first song in your library or playlist. The Verizon music player application shows up in the external display and the three media keys below the screen light up a nice blue color. With the music playing, the volume can be adjusted with the toggle on the left side of the phone. The default mode is for the music to play through the speaker, but if stereo Bluetooth headphones are attached to the Ve, the music will play through them instead.

Once the song gets going, the screen and media keys go dark to save battery power. Hitting any of the keys of the phone, including the darkened media keys, will bring the screen back to life and let you stop the music or skip through tracks.

Sound quality through the external speaker is decent for casual listening in quiet environments. The quality is good and free of distortion, and surprisingly warm. As mentioned before, it isn't so great at overcoming lots of ambient noise. Sound quality in a pair of stereo Bluetooth headphones was good.

If you want to browse through your library or set up play lists, you can flip open the Ve and the music will continue playing as it brings up the player interface. A list of the upcoming songs shows up, as well as the control buttons, which are accessed with the D-pad. The left function key is a mute/unmute button and the right function key brings up some player options. Unfortunately, hitting the options key pauses the music, so no adjusting playlists on the fly. The player also lets you access Verizon's V CAST music service, where you can buy music. One thing of note, when playing a Pearl Jam song from my library, I hit the options button. Even though I side-loaded the song from my own music collection, one of the options was "Buy More Pearl Jam Music". Selecting that option brought me to a Pearl Jam store within the V CAST store, where I could select from 68 different Pearl Jam songs.

The main menu of the player lets you select songs by artist, album, and so on. Although it does not need to be organized in any particular way, music stored on external cards needs to be in a very specific folder (my_music) for the Ve to recognize that it is there. This issue exists across all Verizon phones, though, and is not specific to the Ve. If you simply load songs onto a microSD card, the Ve will not be able to see them. Also, the Ve does not play AAC files, which is the default format for iTunes. The Ve will sync to Windows machines via included software for sideloading music.

One disappointing aspect of the Ve's music player is that you cannot use or access any other features of the phone at the same time. The Ve can only concentrate on one task at a time, so no browsing the Web or composing messages while listening to tunes. Incoming calls pause the music player, which resumes once the call is complete.

 

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