My Android is skipping, stuttering, pausing when I play music.

Some Android users have reported consistent skipping and stuttering after a short period of normal playback. There are 2 main actions you can take to attempt to correct this problem.

This issue is not specific to the Power Music NOW app. It is reported across the internet as a problem that exists primarily with Samsung devices. It's even been reported to happen when playing popular music apps like Spotify. It really is a case by case, device by device issue. Only a small number of Power Music subscribers have reported this problem. We've optimized our player to be as effective as possible. We understand that it may have worked on our old app or works with other music apps. This is purely coincidence.

As reported on the web, some users have never been able to resolve their stuttering issues. But many have. Below are are the steps that seem to help. While we've only seen the problem on Samsung devices so far, these are useful recommendations for Android user who experiences a stuttering issue.

A. Whitelist the media app as an "Unmonitored App" for battery management.

This is useful for all users, not just Samsung.

1. Open the Android Settings app.

2. Go to "Device Management" or "Device Maintenance"

3. Go to "Battery"

4. Go to "Unmonitored Apps"

5. Tap "Add App..." and select the Power Music App.

6. Restart the Device

YouTube video showing how to do this

B. Disable Ultra High Quality Sound processing 

This only applies for users who play the music using a corded headphone or AUX cable. This only applies to Samsung devices. Some newer devices no longer provide an option to disable UHQ upscaling.

1. Plug in the corded headphones or AUX cable

2. Open the Android Settings app.

3. Go to "Sounds and Vibrations"

4. Go to "Sound Quality and Effects"

5. Disable "UHQ Upscaler"

C. General Suggestions to Improve Performance

These are general tips to help improve performance and minimize stutters.

1. Restart the device.

2. Close/kill any apps other than Power Music NOW.

3. Plug the device into a charger.

4. Turn off unused features like Wifi, Bluetooth, NFC/Proximity, etc

5. Finally try to uninstall and re-install the app from the app store.

We’re always working to improve playback quality, but we’ve found these steps that helped people who are still having trouble.


Background. Only included here if you care to read deeper about the reason your device might be having this problem

In digital audio apps, stutters occur when music samples can't be delivered to the output channel (speakers, headphones, Bluetooth, etc) on time. For apps that only play downloaded music, the usual causes are files that can't be read fast enough, in-memory "buffers" that are too small, or insufficient CPU resources for decoding and playback. 

We dramatically optimized the Android app so that it would minimize the app's consumption of CPU resources. We also increased the buffer sizes significantly. We don't have any concerns about file read speed at this time.

Nonetheless, we studied the users who who were experiencing stutters and discovered that all of these users were using Samsung devices. Following this lead, we learned that Samsung users regularly report stuttering issues with music apps including Spotify, Samsung's first-party Samsung Music app, Google Play Music, Apple Music, and more. Many users never see these issues, but enough do that dozens of community discussions are easy to find online.

The consensus seems to be that Samsung introduces two major factors that can contribute to stuttering.

1. Aggressive Battery Management. In an effort to improve the battery life on their devices, Samsung applies an aggressive battery management policy. Hardware resources like its CPU take a lot of power, and the more power being used, the more quickly the battery gets depleted. To help with this, Samsung (and other Android manufacturers) can opt to throttle (slow down) long-running apps so that they use less power. This means that the apps work fine and at full speed when the user is actively interacting with them, but that after a while, they _might_ be forcefully slowed down. When this happens to a music app, it can result in stuttering.

2. Software Audio Enhancement (UHQ). In an effort to improve the apparent sound quality of media played on their devices, Samsung applies an optional audio signal processor that they call "Ultra High Quality Sound". While Samsung treats this as a feature that surely pleases many users, this software step becomes an extra load being applied to to the CPU when audio is playing. The extra demand on the CPU can starve the source music app and can result in stuttering.

Again, if you are on a Samsung device and aren't experiencing playback problems with other apps or if you didn't have problems with our old app, it's just coincidence and there are a lot of factors involved. Maybe you have new apps on your phone that are competing for resources, maybe your battery is getting old and is getting more fiercely protected, maybe you got an OS update, maybe the other music apps you use are already on the Unmonitored list and you forgot your put them there, etc

Example of reports of playback on Spotify