While streaming services such as Spotify and Hulu are popular, many people prefer to purchase their own media content. Sonca allows you to play local videos, songs, and other files and can stream files from cloud storage providers including OneDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive.
The app has a gorgeous design, filled with Fluent Design elements that work with touch or mouse and keyboard.
It's available for Windows 10, Xbox One, HoloLens, and the Surface Hub. The standard price is $7.99, but it's on sale at the time of this review for $4.99. The app is made by Finebits, who also published Torrex and some other popular apps for Windows 10. The developer sells the Finebits AppPack which bundles together multiple apps. If you've purchased that pack in the past, you can pick up Sonca for free.
Sonca is bursting with features
As a media player, Sonca is versatile and impressive. You can add folders to the player to play local files back or you can connect it to Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive and other cloud storage providers to stream content. It works with video and audio and remembers where you stopped playing a file.
When I played local files through Sonca they were clear and smooth. Unfortunately, streaming files through OneDrive wasn't perfect. I can't say for sure if the persistent buffering is the fault of OneDrive or Sonca. OneDrive doesn't have the smoothest streaming of videos, even within its own apps, but playing videos through Sonca was especially laggy. Streaming videos from Google Drive was smooth so I'm tempted to think the issue is related to OneDrive.
I also ran into some access denied errors when trying to replay certain files.
Being able to add videos from several places in one library makes enjoying content a fluid experience. If your family movies are on Dropbox and your team's videos are on OneDrive, you don't have to jump around different apps to watch all of your content.
On the Windows 10 side of things the developers through in just about everything. Sonca is touch and mouse friendly. It has a picture-in-picture mode, TimeLine support and Continuum Support. It's clear that the developers love Windows 10 and gave Sonca every tool it needs to take advantage of it.
In addition to being crammed with Windows 10 features, Sonca also meets the design esthetic of Windows 10 well. From its iconography to it's intelligent use of Fluent Design, Sonca feels right at home on PCs. For example, when you hover your mouse on the bottom of the screen and play controls show up, they're transparent.
I wish more apps followed Microsoft's design guidelines this well. If more developers built apps in this style the Windows 10 experience would feel more connected.
Overall thoughts on Sonca
Sonca is a beautiful media player for Windows 10. It works with local files and a number of cloud storage providers. The feature list is long and it all of the options stack up into a strong Windows 10 application.
There are some issues such as persistent buffering when streaming OneDrive files and some intermittent error messages. It's always worth pointing out that errors and issues can vary depending on a number of factors including hardware and internet speeds.
Despite the couple of issues I ran into, I'm impressed with Sonca overall and happy that Finebits has added another app to its library. If you're looking for a new media player, I'd recommend giving Sonca a try.
- Gorgeous design.
- Works with many cloud storage providers.
- Support numerous Windows 10 features.
- Heavy buffering when streaming from OneDrive.
- Intermittent access denied errors.
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