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Zimmer
Un Moderador
+1,688|5100|Scotland

It seems weird that throughout the internet, this topic has been covered very ignorantly. Either the reviewer doesn't include all the available options, or only includes the ones he sees fit. I have yet to find a proper guide to what is the best player ( usually, it will come down to opinion, but we will try and narrow down what is opinion and what is fact ) and I think it would be very useful for the future.

Listening to music on the computer now is a very normal thing, but you want to listen to it with style. Scrobble your music, organise your petabytes of it and have a snazzy player. Lets look at some of the options ( will be adding more, don't worry ):


https://i39.tinypic.com/2d1a9o5.pnghttps://i43.tinypic.com/2j47rk2.jpg

Windows Media Player. Lets face it, you've all tried it at least once and you can take it for granted that it is the most widely used media player. But not necessarily the best, as we know from MS products.


https://i44.tinypic.com/250ktbk.pnghttps://i43.tinypic.com/30rppib.png

iTunes. Same as above, really. Of course, iTunes is used a lot because of iPods and because people are scared of moving away from it incase they brick their beloved player, Apple is allowed to control a substantial part of the market. Is it fair? We shall see.


https://i42.tinypic.com/263zs7l.pnghttps://i42.tinypic.com/2irorcm.png

Winamp. Sometimes described as the "Ultimate player". 3rd in the most popular music players. Does it deserve to be there?


https://i44.tinypic.com/28vcbph.pnghttps://i39.tinypic.com/rhv1tv.png

Songbird. The new music player courtesy of Mozilla. Open source and snazzy, but with flaws.


https://i41.tinypic.com/166lt7r.pnghttps://i44.tinypic.com/fd9co6.png

Media Monkey. Promising player with the key features and some nice extras. Still, does it have the graphical "umpf"?


Less commonly known players


https://i40.tinypic.com/2qi5obd.pnghttps://i42.tinypic.com/20aw761.png

Foobar. Small yet powerful, is it good enough to be with the top applications?


https://i44.tinypic.com/2wnqkk3.pnghttps://i42.tinypic.com/2uhwqch.png

aTunes. A GPL media player based on the linux versions. Powerful and customisable, but missing some features.


https://i39.tinypic.com/2nrjwjq.pnghttps://i40.tinypic.com/jl1nxt.png

AIMP. Free and powerfull little player developed by the Ruskies. Seems like it could be good.


https://i43.tinypic.com/2rntpg8.png

JetAudio. Cowons own media player. It's meant to be quite the beast of a player, it should be, seeing as they make some interesting gadgets. I will go in depth in this one once I have tested it.


https://i39.tinypic.com/mt2drc.png

TeenSpirit. Quite a new media player, seem promising as well.



Currently Updating with more, give me time


Pros and Cons of Each player

Windows Media Player

+ Comes bundled with Windows.
+ Can be easily set up
+ Lovely graphical interface
+ Very easy to use.
+ Easily the most manageable of all players. In terms of music.
+ Integrates seamlessly into Windows taskbar


- Lacks majorly in codec support. Ranging from FLAC to m4a
- Core features lacking - will go indepth later
- Some DRM issues
- Sometimes "too" simple
- Can rape your memory usage


iTunes
By kylef

+ iTunes Store (podcasts, TV shows, movies, applications)
+ Easy organization and browsing
+ Read, write and convert between AAC, Apple Lossless, MP3, MP4, AIFF and WAV
+ Genius (finds similar music automatically throughout your entire library)

- Lack of lossless playback (and AVI) with the exception of Apple's own lossless format
- Stability and lag issues on Windows in comparison with other applications
- No resyncing if out of sync (video:sound, video:subtitles etc)
- Customization, both visually and in terms of audio playback are limited
- Major DRM failure


Songbird

+ Easy setup
+ Clean interface
+ A huge number of incredibly useful plugins, from album art to last.fm scrobbling
+ Supports most file formats - more than iTunes and WMP
+ Is a true breath of fresh air when updating. Does it automatically.

- HUGE memory leaks. Terrible if you are doing other things at the same time. Especially if you are playing FLACs and the sort
- Very buggy. As it is still only version 1, there are many flaws out there. From loading certain MP3s to playing certain flacs
- No decent mini player or taskbar player.
- Browser is pretty shit and utterly useless.
- Song classification and the sort still isn't as good as WMP or iTunes
- Doesn't remember what you were playing when closed down.

Winamp

+ Supports nearly every file format you throw at it.
+ Native sort for last.fm
+ Good use of memory. Not too heavy.
+ Taskbar player

- Very very ugly interface. Can take a while to get used to.
- Song organisation is hard, even harder so than Songbird
- No decent themes to replace the Bento theme. Nothing clean.
- Still unstable with large libraries of music.
- Album art is an absolute pain

aTunes

+ Open source music player - will play anything
+ Tab system is a great and intuitive new addition to music players. Brilliant way of managing playlists
+ The setup is fairly easy
+ First theme you get is acceptably nice. Not bad at all
+ Artist information and recommendations on the side
+ Brilliant integration of a taskbar.

- Sluggish
- Is still not perfect. Flaws here and there
- Creates a new playlist for every "Now Playing" attempt. A bit stupid.
- No updates to media library. Need to reload it again to get the new songs you dumped in MUSIC
- Can be a bit of a pain to get used to. Many features that aren't instantly required but are there anyway
- Again, album art is still fussy

Media Monkey

+ Incredibly fast
+ Setup is easy and painless
+ HUGE number of customisation options for listening to your music. For advanced playlists to a flat EQ and advanced equaliser
+ Graphical interface is not too bad and is customisable
+ Barely any memory footprint
+ Actively updates your library like WMP and remember exactly what you were playing when it was closed down
+ Switching from song to song is flawless ( some players will lag ) and it will fade out at the end ( you can switch that off )

+/-  Music organisation is incredibly advanced

- Not much support for outer plugins, although it's scripting system is advanced, it doesn't have enough dedicated users to create nice things
- Graphical interface could be better. It's acceptable, but it's the same kind of layout as Songbird. Should really be like WMP
- Too many icons, creates confusion as to what is what. The hovers over the icons for more information are buggy.


foobar2000
By Mr.Hundi

+ plays 99% of all audio formats, m4b seems to be the only thing it doesn't know
+ very customizable, you can make it look like you want it to
+ needs very few resources, working with huge music libraries (60GB +) doesn't lower the performance
+ a lot of plugins available
+ tagging your music is very easy, also has freedb support

- rather complicated to set up, knowledge in coding is needed to make it look nice
- "stock"-version doesn't look too good
- does not play video files

foobar2000 can do everything you want it to do, but only if you have the time and the knowledge to set it up properly. For low-end computers it's probably the best choice because you will not notice any influence on the computer's speed while running this program.


Currently updating with the rest of the information. Will be a while

Before I go any further, of course, your input would be appreciated. I am trying to create the most unbiased report on media players. I don't have a preference, therefore I believe I can sum up most media players fairly, but if you think I have missed something out or said something wrong, then tell me and I will fix it.

Note that the number of PROS v CONS does not mean its a better or worse player.
FatherTed
xD
+3,936|4844|so randum
the intros to the players sound like they're off the weakest link
Small hourglass island
Always raining and foggy
Use an umbrella
Miggle
FUCK UBISOFT
+1,407|5086|FUCK UBISOFT

Winamp has FLAC support.

End of story.
https://i.imgur.com/86fodNE.png
Mr.Dooomed
Find your center.
+752|4672

Songbird seems interesting, will give it a go, I love winamp though, FLAC support?
Nature is a powerful force. Those who seek to subdue nature, never do so permanently.
Zimmer
Un Moderador
+1,688|5100|Scotland

Miggle wrote:

Winamp has FLAC support.

End of story.
No. See, this is where everything just gets stupid.

I will go into detail as to why Winamp is not the best and will never be.

All other music players stated, except the first two support FLAC and much more than WINAMP ever will.

Lets not start being fanboys now.
Freezer7Pro
I don't come here a lot anymore.
+1,446|4542|Winland

WHERE THE FUCK IS AIMP2?!

Last edited by Freezer7Pro (2009-01-31 12:47:12)

The idea of any hi-fi system is to reproduce the source material as faithfully as possible, and to deliberately add distortion to everything you hear (due to amplifier deficiencies) because it sounds 'nice' is simply not high fidelity. If that is what you want to hear then there is no problem with that, but by adding so much additional material (by way of harmonics and intermodulation) you have a tailored sound system, not a hi-fi. - Rod Elliot, ESP
rammunition
Fully Loaded
+143|4206
what about an flv player?
Poseidon
Fudgepack DeQueef
+3,253|4882|Long Island, New York
I'm stuck with iTunes.
Miggle
FUCK UBISOFT
+1,407|5086|FUCK UBISOFT

Zimmer wrote:

Miggle wrote:

Winamp has FLAC support.

End of story.
No. See, this is where everything just gets stupid.

I will go into detail as to why Winamp is not the best and will never be.

All other music players stated, except the first two support FLAC and much more than WINAMP ever will.

Lets not start being fanboys now.
Winamp isn't perfect, the video player is terribad, but it plays any music I throw at it, it has a kickass visualizer system, shitloads of plugins, and I love the way it's organized, not to mention the ability to dock it.
https://i.imgur.com/86fodNE.png
Zimmer
Un Moderador
+1,688|5100|Scotland

Freezer7Pro wrote:

WHERE THE FUCK IS AIMP2?!
Check. I was updating and didn't see your post.

FLV Player would be for videos mainly. I am looking at music players.

If you want an FLV player, go for SMPlayer.
ghettoperson
Member
+1,943|4994

I hate WinAmp. I'd love to switch away from iTunes, but I keep coming back to it. With a bit of work, Foobar is good, but I can't get the GUI as good as iTunes. So I always go back to that.
Zimmer
Un Moderador
+1,688|5100|Scotland

Miggle wrote:

Zimmer wrote:

Miggle wrote:

Winamp has FLAC support.

End of story.
No. See, this is where everything just gets stupid.

I will go into detail as to why Winamp is not the best and will never be.

All other music players stated, except the first two support FLAC and much more than WINAMP ever will.

Lets not start being fanboys now.
Winamp isn't perfect, the video player is terribad, but it plays any music I throw at it, it has a kickass visualizer system, shitloads of plugins, and I love the way it's organized, not to mention the ability to dock it.
I don't care. I want to separate opinions from facts.

You just told me your opinion. The docking ability is nice, but the rest is down to opinion. Which right now is irrelevant.

And Winamp will not play any music I throw at it. My 300+GB music library is too big for winamp to cope. It crashes every time I try and update the library. GG.
Gooners
Wiki Contributor
+2,700|4977

Perfect timing, I've been testing different music players
ghettoperson
Member
+1,943|4994

Zimmer wrote:

Miggle wrote:

Zimmer wrote:


No. See, this is where everything just gets stupid.

I will go into detail as to why Winamp is not the best and will never be.

All other music players stated, except the first two support FLAC and much more than WINAMP ever will.

Lets not start being fanboys now.
Winamp isn't perfect, the video player is terribad, but it plays any music I throw at it, it has a kickass visualizer system, shitloads of plugins, and I love the way it's organized, not to mention the ability to dock it.
I don't care. I want to separate opinions from facts.

You just told me your opinion. The docking ability is nice, but the rest is down to opinion. Which right now is irrelevant.

And Winamp will not play any music I throw at it. My 300+GB music library is too big for winamp to cope. It crashes every time I try and update the library. GG.
Which programs can handle that ok? I assume all slow to a grind when you open it?
Zimmer
Un Moderador
+1,688|5100|Scotland

Actually. Media Monkey was a pure beast at it. Took it all of 5 minutes and loaded everything. No slowdowns and could start playing music instantly. Even deleted all my duplicates ( I have FLACs and MP3s in the same folder for my Samsung YP-P2 )

Let me update the post over this weekend and you will get a better idea of all the programs.
Gooners
Wiki Contributor
+2,700|4977

.Sup wrote:

"So you left out the best sounding audio player eh? Apollo, made by a Finn, which doesn't look pretty (looks at gay iTunes users) but sounds great. Flat, no bass boost and excellent highs/mids. http://koti.welho.com/hylinen/apollo/
Download, listen (don't look at it) and be amazed on the sound it produces. Though probably most of you won't notice any difference compared to other players as you don't have hi-end quality cards ot DAC and no golden ears "
Zimmer
Un Moderador
+1,688|5100|Scotland

Gooners wrote:

.Sup wrote:

"So you left out the best sounding audio player eh? Apollo, made by a Finn, which doesn't look pretty (looks at gay iTunes users) but sounds great. Flat, no bass boost and excellent highs/mids. http://koti.welho.com/hylinen/apollo/
Download, listen (don't look at it) and be amazed on the sound it produces. Though probably most of you won't notice any difference compared to other players as you don't have hi-end quality cards ot DAC and no golden ears "
lol.

No, I missed it out for a reason. It's discontinued and now there are better alternatives.

Gooners, you actually listen to that?

Sup wrote:

Flat, no bass boost and excellent highs/mids.
LOL. That's called the speakers doing their work. Media Monkey, for example, can be customised to your listening needs.

You know why Apollo wont even be considered? Because it doesn't support FLAC. Therefore automatically nailing it to the wall as a "fail player" as FLAC is the best sound quality a compressed file can offer.

Gooners, you actually listened to that spewl. Do you have several thousand gigabytes of WAV files? lulz.
Defiance
Member
+438|5015

Zimmer wrote:

can be customised to your listening needs.
That sounds like a beat around way of saying 'equalizer' or 'this is a sales pitch.' Care to clarify?
Zimmer
Un Moderador
+1,688|5100|Scotland

Defiance wrote:

Zimmer wrote:

can be customised to your listening needs.
That sounds like a beat around way of saying 'equalizer' or 'this is a sales pitch.' Care to clarify?
Check it out for yourself. It has a flat EQ ( the same as Apollo ) and has a fully customisable one.

Let me clarify it all with overviews on them all.
Freezer7Pro
I don't come here a lot anymore.
+1,446|4542|Winland

Gooners wrote:

.Sup wrote:

"So you left out the best sounding audio player eh? Apollo, made by a Finn, which doesn't look pretty (looks at gay iTunes users) but sounds great. Flat, no bass boost and excellent highs/mids. http://koti.welho.com/hylinen/apollo/
Download, listen (don't look at it) and be amazed on the sound it produces. Though probably most of you won't notice any difference compared to other players as you don't have hi-end quality cards ot DAC and no golden ears "
Apollo isn't/wasn't really made for home users, it's designed to deliver raw sound data with minimal distortion. That doesn't make for good listening, unless all you do is run RMAA.

An EQ is never bad to have, unless you have a sound chip capable of delivering 100% perfect sound, and speakers that do the same.
The idea of any hi-fi system is to reproduce the source material as faithfully as possible, and to deliberately add distortion to everything you hear (due to amplifier deficiencies) because it sounds 'nice' is simply not high fidelity. If that is what you want to hear then there is no problem with that, but by adding so much additional material (by way of harmonics and intermodulation) you have a tailored sound system, not a hi-fi. - Rod Elliot, ESP
JoshP
Banned
+176|4033|Notts, UK
fyi wmp12 is gonna have leet codec support (compared to previously)

Last edited by JoshP (2009-01-30 17:56:57)

Freezer7Pro
I don't come here a lot anymore.
+1,446|4542|Winland

JoshP wrote:

fyi wmp12 is gonna have leet codec support (compared to previously)
Wow, so it's finally almost at the same level as all the others? Cool.
The idea of any hi-fi system is to reproduce the source material as faithfully as possible, and to deliberately add distortion to everything you hear (due to amplifier deficiencies) because it sounds 'nice' is simply not high fidelity. If that is what you want to hear then there is no problem with that, but by adding so much additional material (by way of harmonics and intermodulation) you have a tailored sound system, not a hi-fi. - Rod Elliot, ESP
FatherTed
xD
+3,936|4844|so randum

Freezer7Pro wrote:

JoshP wrote:

fyi wmp12 is gonna have leet codec support (compared to previously)
Wow, so it's finally almost at the same level as all the others? Cool.
It's been way ahead of the game for the average user for ages.

Avg user either has WMP or Itunes.

WMP will handle basic shit very well, and is ultra ultra easy to use.

itunes is well, itunes (i cant stand it) but everyone else seems to prefer it.
Small hourglass island
Always raining and foggy
Use an umbrella
Poseidon
Fudgepack DeQueef
+3,253|4882|Long Island, New York

FatherTed wrote:

Freezer7Pro wrote:

JoshP wrote:

fyi wmp12 is gonna have leet codec support (compared to previously)
Wow, so it's finally almost at the same level as all the others? Cool.
It's been way ahead of the game for the average user for ages.

Avg user either has WMP or Itunes.

WMP will handle basic shit very well, and is ultra ultra easy to use.

itunes is well, itunes (i cant stand it) but everyone else seems to prefer it.
With music, I'm looking for something that'll make my music selection easy to go through and has the best interface... I've only tried Winamp and WMP besides iTunes, but I prefer iTunes so far. I'm not really an audiophile, I'm just looking for ease of access. I'm no Mac fanboy by a long shot, but iTunes just works for me.

Anyone who's so vehemently anti-iTunes that they have to actually bash the users of it must have had something crawl up their ass and die.

Last edited by Poseidon (2009-01-30 18:36:33)

aimless
Member
+166|4469|Texas
KM Player?

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