Though Windows Media Player is a serviceable app, it may not be the best choice for your PC-based music listening needs. Whether you’re an audiophile or a casual listener, if looking for a Wind0ws-based music player that caters to your needs regardless of what they are, you’ve come to the right place.
MusicBee is an excellent pick for those who have huge collections of tunes that need to be organized. MusicBee can import your existing iTunes and Windows Media Player libraries, and lets you tag each file as you see fit. The program’s Auto DJ feature lets you sync with Last.fm, and will play similar artists/genres based on what you play. You can also set MusicBee up to organize your favorite podcasts, audiobooks, and radio stations as well.
With its 10-band equalizer, cross-fade function, and gap-less playback options, audio quality options are plentiful with MusicBee. MusicBee also packs some visual flair in the form of a five-band Spectrum Visualizer that matches up with the tracks you’re playing. Plug-ins are available for added customization as well.
Foobar2000 is a player that, despite its ease of use, has an extensive set of features aimed at more experienced listeners. Compatible with most audio formats, Foobar2000 can rip audio CDs, transcode supported audio formats, and sports a customizable interface.
Media Monkey is similar to MusicBee, and boasts many of the same features. Though it lacks Last.fm synchronization, Media Monkey is compatible with podcasts, audiobooks, and can be set up to download your favorite podcasts for you.
Media Monkey supports a whopping 100,000 file and playlist types, while making it easy to tag and organize your files. Media Monkey offers an auto organizer and auto tagger that does most of the dirty work for you, and you could choose to set the player so that it displays an array of file information, including composer, original year, lyrics, and more.
Winamp, a child of the 90s, supports most audio formats, as well as CD playback and CD importing. During installation, Winamp scans your computer for media files and sorts out video and audio, separating them from each other.
AIMP 3 touts a simple design while offering a deep roster of settings. For starters, AIMP 3 supports multi-format playback, and boasts 32-bit audio processing for top-tier sound quality. AIMP 3 also features an 18-band equalizer with built-in sound effects. You can increase the tempo, add an echo, pump up the bass and more.
AIMP 3 also packs a Voice Remover function, which allows you to lend your vocal talents to your favorite songs without the original singer’s assistance.
Tomahawk (Mac, Windows, Linux)
Tomahawk is available for OS X, as well as Windows, Linux and Ubuntu, but that’s not what makes it stand out. Once installed, Tomahawk scans for and imports the music already on your computer, making it easy to start listening right away. You can also upload any new music through scheduled scans, or by dragging and dropping them into the Tomahawk library.
Tomahawk allows you to sync other music services with it, including Last.fm, Grooveshark, Spotify, and Rdio by installing “revolvers” (plugins, basically) in Tomahawk. When you search for music, Tomahawk sifts through your local music library, as well as the services you sync with it, and when a song plays, the app will tell you what the source of the song is. Artist-specific searches will produce info pages, lists of popular songs from that artist, and suggestions of bands similar to the one you’re listening to at the time. These features help Tomahawk stand apart from the bunch.
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