Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I find the UI and general usability of the prepackaged windows Media Player to be cludgy and at times incomprehensible. I used to use programs like WinAmp and Sonique, many years ago. What are some current alternatives to the windows Media Player? I don't have iTunes - I'm pretty happy with ripping my own audio files from my album collection.

I'm specifically looking for the follow qualities/abilities:

Easy sorting and manipulation of the media library
Easy tagging of media - marking favorites and ratings, etc.
Preferably lightweight.

Something like a Picasa for audio media.

share|improve this question

closed as off topic by techie007, 8088, Hennes, soandos, Journeyman Geek Nov 1 '12 at 3:37

Questions on Super User are expected to relate to computer software or computer hardware within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

add comment

14 Answers

up vote 18 down vote accepted

Both MediaMonkey and Songbird have features that you seem interested in.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 for songbird, I can't live without its plugins :D –  Decio Lira Jul 17 '09 at 19:24
1  
+1 more for Songbird, although I still think it needs a lot of work. –  Sasha Chedygov Jul 17 '09 at 21:49
    
Tried them out and songbird was perfect! Thanks! –  patjbs Jul 21 '09 at 20:16
3  
Songbird is not that cool, he miss a lot of features and some of MediaMonkey are not free. –  Revolter Sep 9 '09 at 15:19
add comment

Foobar2000 is easy, lightweight, portable and fully customizable.

When I found it, a couple of years ago, I stop asking myself this question.

edit If you want to take foobar to a next level check these amazing skins+config made by br3tt

share|improve this answer
1  
Agreed. Lightweight. Customizable. Expandability ("components"). Plus it is constantly being improved. –  GavinR Jul 30 '09 at 20:11
    
Just realized how to setup folder monitoring, but now opening a single media file stopped working. File deletion while playing isn't working. –  Jader Dias Aug 22 '09 at 15:46
    
An old thread, but I may inform you that this player is FAST. Really. I have 100gb of mp3, and you wouldn't believe how fast it is to load my playlists. –  GmonC Nov 14 '09 at 1:53
add comment

I currently use the Zune media player (version 3.0). It doesn't have all the features of iTunes but it provides a lot of information about songs like album reviews and concert dates.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Amarok! It is awesome: http://amarok.kde.org/wiki/Download Works with most Linux versions, MAC, and Windows!

share|improve this answer
add comment

I've used Quintessential for several years now. A new version was released a few months ago that adds a media library, among other things. I'm still using the previous version and today compared its memory usage. Media player was using 61 MB and Quintessential 10 MB.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Still prefer old faithful Winamp. Songbird is a good addition.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Media Player Classic - http://mpc-hc.sourceforge.net/

Its open source so its free.

Its listed as a video player but is also an audio player.

Clean, uncomplicated and open source.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I have recently discovered Quod Libet and I really like it. It's main mission in life is to make tag-oriented orgainzation of your music library a breeze. What it lacks in flashy UI, it makes up for in speed and search. It will expose tags in you music files you never knew you had, and let you perform regular expression searches on them.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 for having regular expression functionality in a music player... who would've thought?! –  Highly Irregular Dec 19 '11 at 4:05
add comment

Even though you don't use the itunes music store. i've found that the iTunes player is still a great bet. I've tried Songbird, and I like iTunes a lot better (Maybe only because I'm so familiar with it).

It's also great for podcasts and has all the features you asked for

-easy to search for songs
-5 star rating system
- easy tagging
- easy playlist creation/shuffling of a set of songs

Songbird does have some great plugins though.

share|improve this answer
8  
-1 iTunes is a tremendous piece of bloatware. Minimum 80MB updates, likes to have about 3 different processes running for features you might use, probably not. –  Alex S Jul 31 '09 at 9:04
1  
Agree. I like iTunes more then Songbird and Foobar2000. –  Konstantin Tenzin Sep 26 '09 at 16:28
1  
I agree itunes is stable and reliable. While still retaining alot of functionality. –  thegreyspot Nov 5 '09 at 21:56
2  
Wow, vote war. Personally I hate iTune but I don't know that this deserves downvotes. Commented disagreement and no upvote ought to work just fine considering it's a pretty valid answer even if it sucks. –  Nathaniel Feb 12 '10 at 2:53
add comment

helium is the best looking . aimp is awesome for low usage, and media monkey is great for lots of music.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Windows Media Player is indeed the most complicated-to-use application in existance, with a totally incomprehensible and unpredictable interface (and I'm using computers and developing complex software since 20 years). And this is probably "supposed" to be THE ONE easiest application in world history.. it's ironic...

share|improve this answer
add comment

My newest favorite is XMPlay.

It is a music player, not a media center. I replaced winamp with foobar2000 and after that came xmplay.

It is portable (as it has no installer), very small, very fast, sounds good, skinable, has media library(, but it has tagging feature).

It can play tracker music too, and with plugins you can listen to flac, ogg etc.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Spider Player, VERY low footprint (less than 5 MB RAM, less than 8 MB disk space), extraordinary sound quality (internal 32bit sound processing), crossfading, custom hotkeys, radio directory.

supported Audio formats: MP1, MP2, MP3, MP4, M4A, AAC, AAC+, AC3, MPC, MP+, MPP, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, Ogg FLAC, TTA, APE, WavPack, Speex, WAV, CDDA, WMA, MID, RMI, KAR, S3M, XM, MOD, IT, MO3, MTM, UMX.

alt text

(Windows all, x86 & x64)

Spider Player is freeware and a portable version is available.

my personal opinion? despite being tiny in size Spider Player sure IS the big daddy amongst Windows Audio Players, the ONLY beef i have: no support for multiple playlists/tabs. but then: that makes it only bigger, can't have your cake and eat it, can ya? :)

share|improve this answer
    
Of course you can eat it. Just switch to something else. ;) –  Nathaniel Feb 12 '10 at 2:51
add comment

Clementine based on Amarok has everything you need with a pretty UI.

  • Search and play your local music library.
  • Listen to internet radio from Spotify, Grooveshark, Last.fm, SomaFM, Magnatune, Jamendo, SKY.fm and Digitally Imported, and Icecast.
  • Create smart playlists and dynamic playlists.
  • Tabbed playlists, import and export M3U, XSPF, PLS and ASX. CUE sheet support.
  • Play audio CDs. Visualisations from projectM.
  • Lyrics and artist biographies and photos.
  • Transcode music into MP3, Ogg Vorbis, Ogg Speex, FLAC or AAC. Edit tags on MP3 and OGG files, organise your music.
  • Fetch missing tags from MusicBrainz.
  • Download missing album cover art from Last.fm and Amazon.
  • Cross-platform - works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Native desktop notifications on Linux (libnotify) and Mac OS X (Growl).
  • Remote control using a Wii Remote, MPRIS or the command-line. Copy music to your iPod, iPhone, MTP or mass-storage USB player. Queue manager.
share|improve this answer
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.