What software do you use to play and manage music on your computer? Include a link if you can, so others may discover great software!

Please, one application per answer. That will allow the votes to bubble the most popular answer/application!

19 Answers 19


I use foobar2000.

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  • 1
    fast, lightweight, gapless playback, fast library. Commented Jul 25, 2009 at 7:58
  • 1
    @MercerTraieste it's not just fast! ... it's master-ninja-on-fire-fast! I don't think any media player can tout itself as fast if it is not faster than foobar
    – chakrit
    Commented Jul 25, 2009 at 8:25
  • 1
    @chakrit it's not just master-ninja-on-fire-fast, it's so configurable and extensible that a non-fb2k user will not be able to tell two instances for the same player. I miss it so much on linux.
    – user4358
    Commented Aug 13, 2009 at 19:34
  • @nagul some people have it working on linux with wine: superuser.com/questions/18443/foobar2000-on-linux
    – pgs
    Commented Aug 14, 2009 at 1:59
  • 1
    foobar is great for customizing . Get it if you want to customize ;) It's the only reason I use this one , and honestly I don't find any sound-different compared to other players . maybe it's because of my bad sound devices Commented Feb 12, 2010 at 4:19

I use iTunes on Mac OS X because I like the integration with everything else, it's default, and I don't have any third-party hardware I need to use with it.

  • I use iTunes on the PC because I find it intuitive (much more so than Media Player), and updating podcasts and synching my iPod all happen automatically. Commented Jul 25, 2009 at 16:07
  • this is mostly mac only since itunes for windows sucks so much more. :o
    – cregox
    Commented Dec 20, 2010 at 6:16

Winamp, because Window Shade mode is the best.

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  • 17
    I hate winamp. so complicated for nothing, I have absolutely no clue why do people like it.
    – hasen
    Commented Jul 25, 2009 at 4:17
  • 3
    try "classic skin"
    – bobobobo
    Commented Jul 25, 2009 at 4:30
  • 5
    I like Winamp because it makes it so easy to make a playlist or play a bunch of songs from various directories. Other media players make it mighty inconvenient to build up a library before one can even try to mix and match a custom playlist.
    – icelava
    Commented Jul 25, 2009 at 4:49
  • winamp handles my ripping quite fine as well
    – Roy Rico
    Commented Aug 5, 2009 at 21:53
  • I use AjaxAMP with my winamp on a home server, so the browser controls it... iz wonderful ^^ Commented Aug 13, 2009 at 19:37

Windows Media Player.

With Windows 7 and Windows Media Player 12, the media sharing options are remarkable, and it syncs perfectly with my old Sansa m250 MP3 player.

  • +1 for Win7 media player. Love the new UI and library :-)
    – chakrit
    Commented Jul 25, 2009 at 8:23

Songbird. I especially like the Concerts addon which tells you if any artists in your library are playing gigs where you live.

  • I've been using Songbird for the "managed mode", that renames and moves mp3 files around. Media manager are fine, but I like being able to view my files in windows explorer, in a way that makes sense to someone who doesn't have the same tool I have.
    – Manu
    Commented Oct 30, 2009 at 13:37
  • I believe iTunes can do this too, but Songbird gives you more control over the folder structure.
    – sblair
    Commented Oct 30, 2009 at 16:47

I mostly use Spotify, and for music not in Spotify's library I use Amarok.
More information here: Spotify.com & Amarok website


I use Rythmbox music player, mostly because it came with Linux Mint. I tried it and it seemed to do what I needed: play music. I don't think it has any fancy features, but I don't use those anyway.

  • So simple, but really does what it is made to do: organize the music and play it when asked to.
    – Wesley
    Commented Feb 12, 2010 at 3:54

I run Music Player Daemon on an old Apple Cube with a couple of big harddisks in software RAID1 with all my cd's in flac format.

To control the daemon I have hooked up mpc-commands to various F-keys in XEmacs on my desktop machine. Occationally I start the gmpc.

I've written a very rudimentary iPod touch friendly web-frontend that uses mpc to get information and send commands.

Oh, and a simple commandline utility that transfers a music file to the jukebox and queues it for immediate play (i.e. for ad-hoc downloaded podcasts etc.)

So far I miss two things:

  • Random play of albums instead of tracks
  • When putting a cd in, check if it already exists on the harddisk, if so, queue the album for immediate play and eject the cd. If not, transfer the cd to the harddisk and play it. (Basically combined "play by inserting cd"/"rip inserted cd's".

Haven't gotten around to solving those two yet.


Banshee on GNU/Linux machines. Fast, simple management of recorded material and podcasts in one place. Banshee is written in C# on the Mono platform using GNOME technologies (Gtk#, GStreamer, etc). It is free software, released under the MIT/X11 license.


When I'm not using Spotify (and on a Windows machine) I always use MediaMonkey to manage my music collection. It sports an impressive list of features (in my opinion of course). I really like the interface for looking up album art and the way you can specify alternative filename schemes when you sync with something.

It has so many awesome features and is also able to use Winamp plugins.

Features from the MediaMonkey website:


  • Organize music and edit tags in your audio library with a powerful, intuitive interface.
  • Automatically lookup and tag Album Art and other metadata.
  • Manage 50,000+ files in your music collection without bogging down.
  • Manage all genres of audio: Rock, Classical, Audiobooks, Comedy, Podcasts, etc.
  • Play MP3s and other audio formats, and never again worry about varying volume.
  • Record CDs and convert MP3s, M4A, OGG, FLAC and WMA files etc. into other formats.
  • Create playlists and let Auto-DJ & Party Mode take care of your party.
  • Sync iPhones, iPods, & MP3 players, converting & leveling tracks on-the-fly.
  • +1 I tried several music players over the years, and ever since I ran into MediaMonkey, I haven't looked back. Very fast and flexible. I bought a lifetime license (which is rather cheap too...) Commented Sep 8, 2010 at 12:19

I use the Zune Software, not because it's really better than anything else, but because it's got a nice interface and it annoys me less than anything else I've tried on Windows.

  • +1, but I don't like the UI; it's slow transitioning between locations (Collection, Marketplace, search results, etc...), and it has a lot of annoying quirks. I do like the device though, and the Zune Pass is awesome.
    – Jimmy
    Commented Jul 25, 2009 at 1:15
  • @Jimmy, there's an option to turn that off. Settings->Display->Screen graphics. Select Basic, and you won't see those animations on the transition between screens.
    – p.campbell
    Commented Jul 25, 2009 at 5:14

I finally switched to iTunes on windows when I got an iPhone a year or so ago. I don't know what took me so long: once you get it set up and running, it beats the pants off either Windows Media Player or Winamp. Better searching, playlist creation, cover art, you name it.

And iTunes with the iPhone remote app is just killer.


I'm using Audacious.

  • Nice and simple, but on a 30" screen the minimized view is excruciatingly small and "Double Size" keeps making it crash.
    – NVRAM
    Commented Apr 28, 2010 at 20:03

I use 1by1.

Free, simple and light weight. It's not feature rich like most popular music players but I don't use anything else besides to play music.

1by1 is a small, fast and handy audio player which is not only small: it provides a smart and versatile environment to handle your file collection and listen to your tracks - with no need for playlists or databases.

  • Not bad, but its slow.
    – bobobobo
    Commented Jul 25, 2009 at 4:34
  • Thanks so much! Finally a player that doesn't drive me mad. Commented Feb 11, 2010 at 13:25

Windows: I use Windows/Vista Media Center most of the time, but Media Player to do CD ripping.

OSX: I use iTunes.

Linux: Rhythmbox.

Whatever is default is fine. Other than installing iTunes for Windows so I can sync my iPhone on my HTPC, which also holds the media/music library, I don't install 3rd party software for music playback.

I also use Last.fm instead of Pandora, because it just works better for me.


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.


I used to be a 'use whatever the default player is' type, but I have just 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.

It's GTK+ based and coded in Python, which means it can (possibly) run just about anywhere. This is the best cross-platform solution I have found yet. Finally! I have a player I enjoy on both linux & windows.


I use J. River Media Center. It's commercial, but it has everything you could ever think of. Perfect for extremely picky people like me. :)

My second choice would be Windows Media Player 12 on Windows 7, but whenever I use it I still miss some of Media Center's features.

  • I've been using this for many years, but I'm looking for something else. They have really butchered the UI. It's just really awkward to use now. I don't know if they undid any of the damage in version 13 (I'm still on version 12), but I refuse to pay for another upgrade. They have lost a customer.
    – raven
    Commented Jul 25, 2009 at 14:44
  • Really? I'd have to agree with you that doing some things is awkward, but I think it's better than any other player I've tried. Windows Media Player 12 is almost as good, but doesn't give enough fine-grained control for my tastes, and its support for things like album art and volume leveling is terrible. But I'd personally rather have good features than a good UI. :) Commented Jul 25, 2009 at 19:24

I have a Logitech Squeezebox Boom hardware music player, so most of my music is kept and organised with the free Squeezecenter server software and played through the Squeezebox. It's controlled via the Boom's remote, the web page, or the SqueezeControl app on my Android phone.

For ad-hoc on PC playing I use Vista/Win7 Windows Media Player attached to the same music share.

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