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What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
What is the most user-friendly audio player?
What is the most user-friendly audio player?
Amarok [ 7 ] ** [2.01%]
foobar2000 [ 138 ] ** [39.54%]
Helium Music Manager [ 1 ] ** [0.29%]
iTunes [ 75 ] ** [21.49%]
MediaMonkey [ 20 ] ** [5.73%]
MusicBee [ 12 ] ** [3.44%]
MusikCube [ 2 ] ** [0.57%]
Songbird [ 5 ] ** [1.43%]
Winamp [ 61 ] ** [17.48%]
Windows Media Player [ 28 ] ** [8.02%]
Which players do you consider to be user-friendly?
Amarok [ 44 ] ** [5.50%]
foobar2000 [ 189 ] ** [23.63%]
Helium Music Manager [ 8 ] ** [1.00%]
iTunes [ 134 ] ** [16.75%]
MediaMonkey [ 63 ] ** [7.88%]
MusicBee [ 25 ] ** [3.13%]
MusikCube [ 18 ] ** [2.25%]
Songbird [ 61 ] ** [7.63%]
Winamp [ 169 ] ** [21.13%]
Windows Media Player [ 89 ] ** [11.13%]
Total Votes: 631
  
Captain panda
post Feb 18 2010, 06:47
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I guess I am in the minority here, but I think VLC Media Player is the most user friendly media player I have seen. Very basic, clean interface. It doesn't have much in the way of features, but that's different from user friendliness.
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Porcus
post Feb 22 2010, 13:05
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If fb2k were just removed from the poll, then the home ground bias would be shifted to "what kind of users are using fb2k?" Hell, I was just about to nominate mplay32.exe (assuming you don't need a library) until I realized that the average user won't even find it cool.gif

Features and ease of use cannot really be separated here. Some players cannot get their libraries working with my number of files (> 50 000), but would be user friendly if you slash a zero. And if you want bit-perfect output (i.e., if your requirements for "playing music files" is that it does actually output your music files), then everything on Windows XP is ruled out, I think. (Don't know about Windows 7.)


I'd like to mention VLC and BSPlayer though.


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B7k
post Mar 4 2010, 15:58
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Was a winamp user for along time but have been using foobar2000 since version 0.9.4.2 and has became my main audio player / Encoding tool smile.gif
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RickH
post Jul 28 2010, 21:55
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I voted for iTunes, WMP & Winamp...not familiar with the rest. For my Sansa Fuze, I like J. River's Media Jukebox.
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falconsoars
post Aug 18 2010, 06:59
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My favorite audio player(s):

There are a lot of missing players here, including the ones I consider to be the most user friendly. So I voted for my favorite player among those listed - Media Monkey. I like its balance between geek and newbie - more ways to tweak it than I could ever use, but still easy to use in its vanilla "right out of the box" form. I listen to internet radio quite a bit and I consider MM to have one of the best radio tuners out there. The one exception is trying to figure out how to save a station as a favorite. The only way to do it on MM is a stupid work-around for what should be a simple, standard feature. One of the most important reasons I favor MM among the listed players is its ability to manage very large libraries. Mine is about 100K tracks and continuously growing. So I guess I could sum up my preference for MM as: it's an "all-rounder" (like a versatile British cricket player) -- pretty good at everything I want it to do for me (even if not the best at each one).

Beyond this limited list of players:
I like variety and experimentation but I also like intuitive apps, where I don't have to spend more time reading and learning the app than using it. So this has led me on a quest to try every player I have been able to find on the web -- dozens! And new ones keep popping up on a regular basis.

For example, Spoons - creator of dBPoweramp, has finished the beta test version of a complete rewrite of "dBpoweramp Renaissance: New ultra low resource audio player, UPnP enabled". I haven't gotten around to setting up a UPnP audio network around my house yet, so I'm waiting to try it until I have the kind of set-up it's targeting. But if you have such a set-up, you might want to go to the dBpa site, download the Renaissance player, and give it a spin. Since I don't have a UPnP network set up, I'm not very knowledgable about them. From my limited knowledge of UPnP and my experiences with just about every free or low cost audio or media player, I think it's probably the first player to specialize in UPnP applications. Of course, it works in more traditional set-ups too, but from what I've seen and read, it's the UPnP specialization that really sets it apart from other players.
[fyi: Here's my definition of low cost -- I don't consider $50 for j River Media Center to be low cost, but I do consider $20 for MM Gold to be at the upper end of "low cost" - the most I'm willing to pay for the extra functionality of the premium version of a web app]

I'm still on my quest and haven't settled on a single player for all uses. So I use multiple players - each for a specific function. Current configuration:
- iTunes - organize and play mp3 and aac+/m4u tracks + interface with my partner's iPod
- Foobar2000 - organize and play lossless and high bitrate lossy tracks: FLAC, ape, wave, and wavpack
- Media Monkey - organize and play wma & ogg vorbis tracks + interface with my Sansa portable, where I mainly play ogg (better quality at low bitrates than mp3 and aac+/m4u so I can carry more music with me without sacrificing quality)
- For a player where I combine all of these different codecs into mixed format playlists, I have been experimenting with different players and have moved from fb2k to Winamp to MM to Jet Audio and now to AIMP2. In each one I have encountered major lacks of important functionality for me, or bugs that regularly crash the player. So I have continued to explore and experiment in my quest for the best player (for me).

I think the biggest challenge has been the size of my library. So I’m now tending towards organizing my library on a different player than the one I predominantly use for playing tracks. For example, I build, manipulate, and play playlists on AIMP2 by adding audio files directly to the playlists and sometimes delete the playlists when I get tired of them. But I don’t plan to import all of my audio tracks into the AIMP2 library. In fact, I don’t plan to keep a library on AIMP2 at all – just playlists.

I should mention one more very good player, especially since it's open source - VideoLan's VLC player. I really like it for audio playing but because I consider it to be the best video player available and I have many other audio player alternatives to use, I reserve my use of it exclusively for video. That way I can keep the player "clean" and fine tuned for video - no library to manage, no audio add-ons to complicate the situation, + all the settings, including surround sound and speaker parameters, are targeted specifically at providing a superior home theatre viewing and listening experience from a limited cluster of locations in the room.

The Moral of the Story: For me, there is no perfect player or one best player for all uses. So I will continue to explore new possibilities and put together a suite of players that best meet my needs of the moment. I get greater overall satisfaction from an audio player suite plus I love the exploration and discovery of new player “gems.”

This post has been edited by falconsoars: Aug 18 2010, 07:03
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LeoL
post Aug 22 2010, 17:46
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I've used most of the players around and now find MusicBee by far the best. Foobar2000 is great if you put the effort into customizing it, but it is a lot of effort. iTunes is unbelievable slow and doesn't play FLAC. I used to quite like MediaMonkey but it kept crashing and I found the interface was not really what I wanted. It was ages before there was a stable MediaMonkey release that fixed the crashes.

But MusicBee has a very simple interface that just does what I want with no hassle. And the support you get from the MusicBee forum is first-rate with the author contributing on a very regular basis. Now I just can't imagine using anything else at all. The author even responds to requests from users.

My only real question is why everything else is so poor compared with MusicBee. I don't mean that as an insult to anyone, but I find it amazing that a company the size of Apple can produce something so inferior. It is possible to get iTunes to do stuff that you want but it just seems like hard work. The controls are spread all over the place and if you don't know to press the very small arrows you would never find some stuff. Double-clicking or right-clicking does not do what it should and is not consistent. For ages I tried to get iTunes to download all versions of podcasts but couldn't find the right option. It has improved over time but it is still so slow and I have a very fast machine.

My warning to anyone using Foobar2000 is to make sure you back-up the configuration changes you do. I didn't and Windows 7 decided to trash my machine. A large amount of hard work lost in the blink of an eye. My music is on a raid set but I just didn't think about backing up the Foobar2000 changes. Big mistake. But with MusicBee I don't think there is anything at all that I would change.
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googlebot
post Aug 22 2010, 21:54
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I had a look at MusicBee recently, and it is really an excellent product.
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Hansen
post Sep 26 2010, 09:27
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I've tried about every music player that's available for Mac OS, and honestly, I haven't found anything that matches iTunes.

There might be things iTunes can't do, or that other players might do better — but nothing that matters for me, and not without a considerable cost in fiddling time.

To me it's all about ease of use. What I want is to listen to music. I don't want to waste time organizing the music or control obscure settings, and I want both ripping old CDs and buying new music to be as easy as possible.

Lack of FLAC support is the only flaw I can find in iTunes. But using another couple of minutes converting the FLACs to ALAC is no big deal, as buying music from Linn etc is pretty awkward already. The ease of buying pop and rock music from the iTunes Store makes up for the awkwardness of other, less frequently visited, music stores.

During the ripping of my CD collection, it's happened only once that iTunes could not handle a disc. Rather than fiddling around to find out if other software could solve the problem, I bought the album anew from the iTunes Store...
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EazyB-FRAC
post Oct 2 2010, 22:24
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Oddly enough, "Media Player Classic" isn't mentioned. Not only can it play DVD's but can also any audio file or group of files dragged and dropped on top of it. The FLAC support won me over. And it's open-source and free.

It's what I recommend to new listeners for its very basic interface resembles the classic "Micro$quish Media Player" of old. It's a very spartan interface up front but, dig within its menus, and you'll find that it's a serious multimedia player in its own right.

Open-source players: I love 'em! :-)

Form more advanced needs I can't recommend MediaMonkey enough. It's decent as a player but could be overkill for those who just want to play...their audio. And yet the power to rip and organize is all right there just in case the urge hits them to do more with their tracks.

--EazyB

EDIT: Noted that MediaMonkey only plays audio files.


This post has been edited by EazyB-FRAC: Oct 2 2010, 22:32
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Baiko
post Oct 15 2010, 14:37
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QUOTE (Captain panda @ Feb 18 2010, 07:47) *
I guess I am in the minority here, but I think VLC Media Player is the most user friendly media player I have seen. Very basic, clean interface. It doesn't have much in the way of features, but that's different from user friendliness.


I'm also user of VLC M.P. and want to admit that is nothing can compare to it. It's the best stuff in this range.


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-greynol (25-October, 2010)
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q-stankovic
post Oct 15 2010, 19:52
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It's a shame that many posts are proving true yirkhas fear.


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greynol
post Oct 15 2010, 20:41
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We have gotten lots of spam for VLC, to the point that I'm suspicious of every single person who recommends it.


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googlebot
post Oct 16 2010, 00:09
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That's really strange. For a open source player without ads on the download page or substantial funding, what reason would there be to push it against belief? Can't think of anything but backdoors right now.
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greynol
post Oct 16 2010, 00:20
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It is true nonetheless, googlebot.


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SamDeRe81
post Nov 25 2010, 05:22
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There can be no doubt, iTunes has surpassed all others in user friendliness. Anyone can use it, buy a song, rip a CD, etc. However for those who have slight understanding more than that I'd say foobar is by far the best.
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woody_woodward
post Nov 25 2010, 18:15
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Another vote here for Media Player Classic. Bloat free.

Woody


QUOTE (EazyB-FRAC @ Oct 2 2010, 14:24) *
Oddly enough, "Media Player Classic" isn't mentioned. Not only can it play DVD's but can also any audio file or group of files dragged and dropped on top of it. The FLAC support won me over. And it's open-source and free.

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vpa
post Nov 25 2010, 18:30
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Before 2009 it was iTunes, 2009 it was JavaTunes, and 2010 it is deadbeef for me.


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MahFlac
post Jul 25 2012, 16:11
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foobar. It's absolutely amazing and does everything I want it to do with no bulky crap I don't need.
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Canar
post Jul 25 2012, 16:44
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I'm closing this topic. It's old and far too biased.


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