Audials One 2019 is a kind of one-stop-shop for all your streaming media, and it enables you to search and have playlists across multiple services. For example, if you like a particular band you can search for that band and get results across YouTube, Vimeo, Spotify and SoundCloud.
That’s particularly handy for more niche artists whose output may be distributed variously as SoundCloud streams, proper videos, via online radio stations, and as home-made or fan-made lyric videos. Better known artists tend to have everything available on everything so there’s less need to hunt.
In addition to playing music and video content, you can download and convert it. For example, you can automatically record video from Netflix or pull the audio from a YouTube video. The app can convert between formats, so with video you can output to WMV, MP4, MOV and so on. Audio recording can automatically find specific songs and skip advertisements, although we found that feature was patchy. For video, you can also automatically schedule multiple downloads to get every episode of a particular show.
The free version only records up to 10 minutes of video; to unlock Audials One's full capabilities, you'll need to open your wallet. A one-off license for Audials One 2019 costs £39.90/$49.90 (about AU$70), and gives you the software plus updates until the end of 2020
There's also Audials Gold - a rolling subscription costing £24.90/$39.90 (about AU$55) annually, or £3.49/$3.49 (about AU$5) monthly, which gives you all updates as they're released, plus automatic updates to the next version of the software and access to its premium mobile apps.
There are some good tools here, especially when it comes to converting video for specific devices and performing simple audio editing, but it’s all wrapped in a user interface that’s genuinely unpleasant. It’s horribly cluttered, often messy and relies heavily on pop-up windows.
The mind map-style artist view could be a useful way to discover new artists, but it hasn’t been particularly well designed and doesn’t know its artist links as well as, say, Apple Music or Spotify.
There’s also the legal and ethical stuff to consider. If you don’t have the express permission of the copyright holder(s) to record audio or video, and archiving for personal use it's legal where you live, you shouldn’t use any app to download copyrighted content. That means sticking to public domain and Creative Commons -licensed content - nothing you'd normally be expected to pay for.