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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
  
Canar
post Dec 10 2009, 15:42
Post #1





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I've sorted the links by name, alphabetically. This is pursuant to discussion here. I've included both a single-choice and a multiple-choice poll because considering many pieces of software to be user-friendly is a valid response. Sorry I could not include all the options, there's a limit of 10.

What qualities do the software you consider to be "user-friendly" have that the others lack that gives them the edge?


I really have to face the music: I am a foobar2000 fanboy. To me, there is no software that compares. The one place where foobar2000 is not user-friendly is in configuration. However, this is irrelevant to me, because configuration is complicated regardless of the software you choose to use.

foobar2000 makes everything easy, and after being configured once, allows immediate access to a whole slew of features, from conversion, to ReplayGain, to secure ripping, to tagging, to moving. All of these are quick, efficient, and streamlined. It's the fastest way to work with my music. The speed at which it works is directly related to its ease-of-use. The Properties dialog, where all the usual tagging happens, is the best solution I have ever seen to the difficult problem of mass-tagging. Sure there are features that will grab metadata from elsewhere, but none of them come without caveats.

It has proven its ease-of-use and user-friendliness over the years, as I introduce new people to it and watch them clue in to both how powerful it is and how natural it is. The focus of foobar2000 has always been significantly on the UI. Initially, it was simply that the UI was Win32 as opposed to the abortions that were skinned players at the time. Even as a simple noisy notepad, however, foobar2000 has had the power to make the user-experience simple and effective.

On top of all of the simple features, foobar2000 offers a huge library of more complicated technical features. However, you don't need to even look at the technical features.

This post has been edited by Canar: Dec 10 2009, 15:56


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falconsoars
post Aug 18 2010, 06:59
Post #2





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Member No.: 71025



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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Posts in this topic
- Canar   What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)   Dec 10 2009, 15:42
- - Canar   What players do you know then, Squeller? I know t...   Dec 10 2009, 16:00
|- - Squeller   QUOTE (Canar @ Dec 10 2009, 16:00) What p...   Dec 10 2009, 17:40
- - Yirkha   Meh, a poll. I was afraid it would appear, as it w...   Dec 10 2009, 16:02
|- - Mark7   I voted for winamp as most user-friendly. And for ...   Dec 10 2009, 16:15
- - Canar   I'm hoping the multiple-choice vote will offse...   Dec 10 2009, 16:14
- - Canar   Argh. I just realized I missed J. River... >_...   Dec 10 2009, 16:20
- - GHammer   I would consider all players 'user friendly...   Dec 10 2009, 16:33
- - jmcguckin   actually, being a long-time iTunes user, I had to ...   Dec 10 2009, 16:36
- - yerma   I gave a null vote. I've been using Winamp and...   Dec 10 2009, 16:37
- - rpp3po   QUOTE (Canar @ Dec 10 2009, 15:42) foobar...   Dec 10 2009, 21:07
|- - timcupery   QUOTE (rpp3po @ Dec 10 2009, 15:07) I thi...   Feb 12 2010, 16:46
- - Axon   I suspect most of my peers believe I think like an...   Dec 10 2009, 23:17
- - greynol   This is HA so the deck is stacked. Null vote for ...   Dec 10 2009, 23:27
- - q-stankovic   (sorry for the bad english) I often use the word ...   Dec 10 2009, 23:38
- - antman   1. iTunes 2. WMP 3. Winamp Winamp is my primary, ...   Dec 11 2009, 01:44
- - Antonski   I would prefer another title, for example "Wh...   Dec 11 2009, 14:52
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (Antonski @ Dec 11 2009, 08:52) I w...   Dec 22 2009, 09:54
- - Artie   For me . . . VUPlayer. Simple, clean interface. No...   Dec 12 2009, 04:20
- - randal1013   the most user-friendly.....well that depends on th...   Dec 12 2009, 15:36
|- - 2E7AH   1. MusikCube 2. foobar2000 QUOTE (randal1013 ...   Dec 12 2009, 19:07
|- - randal1013   QUOTE (2E7AH @ Dec 12 2009, 13:07) 1. Mus...   Dec 13 2009, 16:24
- - ImBullseye   I think the Zune software is quite easy to use. I ...   Dec 12 2009, 16:28
- - no404error   1. Winamp 2. AIMP 3. iTunes   Dec 12 2009, 17:35
- - texasflood   Holy Cow! If Foobar is anywhere near user-frie...   Dec 22 2009, 04:03
- - FasterThanEver   I'm a very happy J. River Media Center user. ...   Dec 22 2009, 08:08
|- - RickH   I voted for iTunes, WMP & Winamp...not familia...   Jul 28 2010, 21:55
- - JensRex   I can't answer the poll, because I've used...   Dec 22 2009, 12:52
- - Shemuel   iTunes is probably the most user-friendly. It come...   Dec 22 2009, 14:37
- - Takla   User friendly is a term that means different thing...   Dec 23 2009, 00:52
- - Canar   Thank you for the commentary Takla. I mostly agree...   Dec 23 2009, 02:57
- - Peter Prochazka   MusicBee is my no. 1. I have tried almost everyone...   Dec 23 2009, 09:23
- - Meeko   I've been an avid foobar user for years now. ...   Dec 24 2009, 16:55
- - blammo   Have to say MusicBee. Used Foobar for years way b...   Dec 29 2009, 10:36
- - Bodhi   I'm a foobar user and I love it. But there...   Jan 31 2010, 20:42
- - DonP   The first time I tried foobar it seem distinctly u...   Jan 31 2010, 21:21
|- - rpp3po   iTunes has never saved rips with DRM.   Jan 31 2010, 21:48
|- - DonP   QUOTE (rpp3po @ Jan 31 2010, 15:48) iTune...   Jan 31 2010, 21:57
|- - rpp3po   You may have thought, that that encoded m4a files ...   Jan 31 2010, 22:14
- - а.п.т.   I guess this topic should be moved to pool section...   Feb 12 2010, 12:23
- - viktor   for those who don't speak english, l10n is imp...   Feb 12 2010, 13:29
- - 2E7AH   foobar is friendly for people who use computers fo...   Feb 12 2010, 17:03
|- - rpp3po   Old grumps, who only like other old grumps who can...   Feb 12 2010, 17:23
- - kornchild2002   I voted for iTunes as that is what I have used for...   Feb 12 2010, 17:23
- - 2E7AH   @rpp3po: lol, dos 3.3 - best OS for 286 and dont...   Feb 12 2010, 17:34
- - BoraBora   I'd prefer not to vote because my knowledge of...   Feb 12 2010, 22:27
- - birdie   Juk.   Feb 13 2010, 14:26
- - krmathis   iTunes all the way. ...and in all fairness you hav...   Feb 13 2010, 21:07
- - MartDann   No Vote... i can't compare, i have only used ...   Feb 17 2010, 19:12
- - LANjackal   WMP's metadata retrieval/automatic tagging cap...   Feb 17 2010, 22:20
- - Captain panda   I guess I am in the minority here, but I think VLC...   Feb 18 2010, 06:47
|- - Baiko   QUOTE (Captain panda @ Feb 18 2010, 07:47...   Oct 15 2010, 14:37
- - Porcus   If fb2k were just removed from the poll, then the ...   Feb 22 2010, 13:05
- - B7k   Was a winamp user for along time but have been usi...   Mar 4 2010, 15:58
- - falconsoars   My favorite audio player(s): There are a lot of m...   Aug 18 2010, 06:59
- - LeoL   I've used most of the players around and now f...   Aug 22 2010, 17:46
- - googlebot   I had a look at MusicBee recently, and it is reall...   Aug 22 2010, 21:54
|- - Hansen   I've tried about every music player that's...   Sep 26 2010, 09:27
- - EazyB-FRAC   Oddly enough, "Media Player Classic" isn...   Oct 2 2010, 22:24
|- - woody_woodward   Another vote here for Media Player Classic. Bloat...   Nov 25 2010, 18:15
- - q-stankovic   It's a shame that many posts are proving true ...   Oct 15 2010, 19:52
- - greynol   We have gotten lots of spam for VLC, to the point ...   Oct 15 2010, 20:41
- - googlebot   That's really strange. For a open source playe...   Oct 16 2010, 00:09
- - greynol   It is true nonetheless, googlebot.   Oct 16 2010, 00:20
- - SamDeRe81   There can be no doubt, iTunes has surpassed all ot...   Nov 25 2010, 05:22
- - vpa   Before 2009 it was iTunes, 2009 it was JavaTunes, ...   Nov 25 2010, 18:30
- - MahFlac   foobar. It's absolutely amazing and does ever...   Jul 25 2012, 16:11
- - Canar   I'm closing this topic. It's old and far t...   Jul 25 2012, 16:44


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