Android & Media... help pls
So I'm getting ready to relegate my iPhones (5S, 5) to reserve/disposal again, and shuffle my handsets around - getting an Xperia Z Compact very soon which barring any major dealbreakers will replace the 5S as the main handset, the One will be moved up to the second-hander, and the Xperia Z coming back from semi-retirement as third-hander - 5S likely replacing the 5 as my previous 'check out iOS apps' reserve. So an all-Jelly Bean lineup so far, with Kitkat as updates come through on each handset.
Although I've had the 5 since launch, until I actually added the 5S, transferred everything over to iTunes and did the full-time iOS thing for a while I hadn't really spent any genuine quality time with iOS in two years. And using iOS 7 as my primary mobile OS for a while has taught me some interesting things.
a) Touch response / accuracy (at least for my stubby mitts) is now inferior compared to Windows Phone and Android. That was a giant surprise.
b) The UI - where it's changed - is kind of messed up with iOS7. It's trying to be Android but with Barbie glitter on top, and for me at least it just created complexity where you're not prepared for it / where it's not appropriate.
c) How stable Android is now in general, post-ICS, and how much more stable the cellular radio stack is in particular compared to iOS - at least on the flagship HTC/Sony handset.
d) How crappy the antennas on the iPhones *still* are. It's been an issue from launch (i.e. the original iPhone) and whatever's going on, they still haven't fixed it despite umpteen changes to the design.
e) How much I missed NFC and Tasker.
... and last but not least, the main meat of the question here:
f) How much better the all-round media experience is on iOS. Match, iTunes (+Wifi sync) and even the initially maligned Podcast app work in a joined-up way which I haven't been able to replicate on any other mobile platform (Windows Phone 7 got kinda close minus the cloud, then they threw that in the trashcan).
And f) is what I'd like to have a serious go at addressing in Android now that I'm switching back. What's the best way / apps to accomplish this on a PC/Mac to Android? (and don't just reply Google Music - read on for specifics)
What I want:
- Cloud + Local music storage, and automatic transfer of newly locally added music and either/both Play/iTunes music purchases to cloud.
- Playcount syncing of my music across all Android devices and at least one host PC/Mac, and the ability to define smart playlists (based on the synced playcounts) on the PC/Mac and transfer those playlists to Android.
- Wi-fi media/playlist sync of songs to Android from PC, with playcount sync again.
- Playcount syncing of podcasts (i.e. individual track states for music and video podcasts) across devices - PC/Mac and mobile.
I don't mind if this all is accomplished by using a subscription cloud service - i.e. it supplants local music entirely to achieve this, as long as I do have my entire current local library content available to me on a PC/Mac that is syincing with the Android handsets and that I can see it in multiple easy to see views like iTunes on a PC/Mac without any cloud-service-induced delays. I also don't mind if as in iOS the podcast and the music is largely separate, as long as the playcounts are synced across all devices (a host PC/Mac included).
Clearly some components of this are obvious. But the reason I'm asking the question is how to get it all.
Spotify doesn't have anywhere near enough features to do the above, though it can do some of it. Google Play only really addresses the cloud part. Stand-alone player apps on the Store generally don't have PCmobile playcount integration, let alone with other mobile devices. Podcast apps generally aren't able to sync playcounts to a PC, though they may be able to sync between Android handsets.
'Workflow' suggestions please.