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Media Player Roundup

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October 26, 2007 12:54:11 PM

Just because everything works, it doesn't mean you should stop looking for something that might suit your tastes better. With that in mind, we've collected some of the most useful, functional and less publicized media players available.

http://www.tomsguide.com/us/2007/10/26/media_player_roundup/index.html

More about : media player roundup

October 26, 2007 2:41:23 PM

I think this roundup must add more players, we have now more players than fingers in both hands !!

lets count...

Media Player Classic
RealPlayer 11
Windows Media Player 11
JetAudio 7.0.3
Foobar
VLC
Songbird
WinAMP
MusicMatch Jukebox
Zoom Player
Quicktime
MPlayer
BS.Player

ofcourse not all of these players can be reviewed, I think only ones with the ability to be ( all in one player ) can be reviewed, I mean the ones wich can play Most type of Media + have some Media Management and Organization thing on it

so I can count the main software here
Real Player 11
Windows Media Player 11
JetAudio 7.0.3
WinAMP
Songbird

I don't know about other's as I didn't tested them
October 26, 2007 3:29:13 PM

While Songbird looks interesting, it also consumes the entire screen easily.

Take Winamp, if you use the library it won't take up the whole screen. If you hide the library, you're left with the same space as an IM window. I haven't found a format that Winamp won't play, with most of my non-MP3s being in FLAC, APE, AAC.

Then again, I'm an advocate of using Folders. You can arrange them however you want -- group them by genre then band, or just group by band and have assorted song grouped by genre. Whatever you want, it's how you'll know where your music is. Same with video, group them by type of video or by genre, whatever you want. I know my video collection keeps rotating so often a library based video player would be useless (I tend to burn things quickly, despite >1TB capacity, or delete things I've seen and don't need to see again), so folder based approach let's me easily find what I want. Plus, Vista makes it easy to put the root folder for your videos right in the left navigation bar, just have to open up your hard drive.
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October 26, 2007 4:17:15 PM

Hm... I rather enjoy my music player. MusikCube - Totally free. I grabbed it when I was gaming on 1 gig of RAM, 'cause of it's RAM usage. 3 megs when playing a song! Simple, but it's not the most pretty thing. It does allow playlists, dynamic playlists, ID3 tag editing, library setup, and search features. It's a shame it doesn't play video, though. :/ 
October 26, 2007 4:50:34 PM

You guys totally dropped the ball by not including or even mentioning Mediamonkey

October 26, 2007 6:33:51 PM

I preferr winAmp for playing audio files because of how much screen space it uses (or doesnt use). if im surfing, or chatting via im, or coding or whatever, and listening to music... I dont want my audio player app taking up 3/4 or 1/2 of my screen space. making it difficult or annoying to adjust stuff on the fly - ex, play that song again, skip that song, or pause/mute/stop -- must move mouse to the small window and click.
VLC looks promising because winamp is starting to use annoying amounts of ram.

songbird looks nice. but if its major claim to fame is an integrated web browser? -- big deal. It also takes up way too much screen space.
October 26, 2007 7:31:02 PM

I never was a fan of WMP or iTunes and I never understood why people seem to like them so much. They are bloated and useless programs. I have always been a fan of using winamp (the earlier lightweight versions) coupled with windows explorer to find files to queue in my playlist. As a result, for Linux systems I prefer XMMS or Audacious over something huge and bloated like Amarok. I Just don't understand why people feel that it is necessary to integrate so much into an audio player. At most you need a control interface and a playlist window that you can bring up and close at will. Having a file browser and web browser integrated is just redundant and silly.

As for video playback, props to the article for mentioning Media player classic. VLC is alright, but i like MPC better. Also, by far the most flexible video playback program i've encountered is MPlayer (it runs in Linux and Windows) and it plays EVERYTHING right out of the box, which is great.

I think all of those programs easily beat the crap out of bloated and worthless programs like WMP and iTunes. Check out the above programs when you can, and I promise you won't regret it :D 

-Zorak
October 26, 2007 7:53:14 PM

songbird is more or less an itunes replacement for linux. thats its real claim to fame.

I personally really enjoy WMP11, much more than itunes.
Im suprised they didnt mention amarok.. thats a really good one too.
October 26, 2007 8:12:42 PM

Here's more about Songbird (v0.3 Release Candidate 2, as of 23 Oct.), from the horse's mouth - er, bird's beak:

"Songbird™ is a desktop Web player, a digital jukebox and Web browser mash-up. Like Winamp, it supports extensions and skins/feathers. Like Firefox®, it is built from Mozilla®, cross-platform and open source."

"Cross Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux; 45+ languages; 64-bit support"

"Developer Friendly: 30+ Songbird add-ons; Author an add-on; Songbird developer roost"

"Anything, Anywhere: Use an iPod, USB device; Play tracks from iTunes; Store, Yahoo! Unlimited"

(I took slight liberties with the punctuation...)

Here's a link to their site: http://songbirdnest.com/ . I hope this is helpful, folks. (I have not tried it yet...) Cheers!

- Valvicus
October 26, 2007 8:21:59 PM

Oops! That's supposed to be "Play tracks from iTunes Store, Yahoo! Unlimited" (not that everyone couldn't've figured out it wasn't a deliberate punctuational liberty (heh, heh)).

-Valvicus
October 26, 2007 8:38:28 PM

The biggest advantage of MPC over VLC has to be the ability to add more codecs and view softsubs without problems. VLC is known for problems with that.

If you want to watch non-native shows, like anime or just something subbed, it's very good. Hardsubs are still used a lot, but with the H264 it's getting more used.

Maybe things changed, I don't follow the media players a lot. I just have to say I ussually use Zoomplayer
October 27, 2007 12:13:44 AM

GOM is easily the best video player out there.

GOM will play just about anything without having to install codecs. No other video player will play as many videos (including VLC, mplayer, etc).

It does an amazing job playing damaged and incomplete files. For example, I can drag videos onto GOM when I've only downloaded a quarter of them and they'll often play; this allows me to cancel a download if it's not exactly what I wanted.

It smoothly fast-forwards/reverses through most videos. You can quickly sample the video or jump to just the part you're looking for.

SRT support, including short-cut keys to advance or reverse the subtitles, makes it easy to use an SRT file for different copy of the video than what it was meant for.

I could go on and on about all the killer features that make it better than anything else out there.

Wikipedia has more info on it:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GOM_Player

You can download the English version of GOM for Windows here:
http://www.download.com/GOM-Media-Player/3000-2139_4-10...
October 27, 2007 2:45:06 AM

Winamp for all audio...

MPC(my fav once configured up right, i encode all my own stuff in Mpeg4) and VLC(quicktime, 3GP, and real video) for everything else(for DVD's I use power DVD)....Windows media player does not bug me at all tho i still use it for general short videos...
October 27, 2007 8:17:00 AM

I used WMP, RealPlayer, MPC, iTunes, WinAMP ( not the latest versions ) and some other stuff

I would say that I never found an all-in-one player like JetAudio !!

JetAudio has two versions, Basic and Pro, the Basic is absolutly free, while the pro adds some more functionality like Video covnertor and Advanced Audio convertor too...

The player can be minimized to system tray and you can completly control it throught normal media keys in your keyboard ( Play, Stop, Next, etc.. ) or you can set up a shortcut keys of some key combination as you wish for most features...

the latest version 7.x comes with an improved and redesigned Media Library, wich is far far advanced than older version, now the player is absolutly the best...

you may play almost any type of audio & video and use some advanced effects too...

the player also support skins, so you have some wide range of skins even if I personally likes the basic one that comes with the program

maybe there's one draw back wich is memory usage wich in most cases be around 15 to 20MB, but some times go over 20 but less than 30MB, but all this depend on how long you use your computer without restart as I keeps my PC always on, and also 20MB is nothing if you have good amount of RAM ( I have 2GB's )

the only thing I miss in JetAudio ( and all other players except WMP ) is the toolbar mode that some how becomes a part of your startmenu bar, I found this first on WMP, but I don't see it in any other player...

but as JetAudio supports keyboard shortcut, you may not even need to waste some space in your startmenu bar too !!
October 27, 2007 1:31:48 PM

Hey soory to bring this in but I think it's only fair to mention there are even more players out there. Yes more, just look towards Linux and all the media players that was written for it. There are a ton of them just for audio, Amarok, xmms, noatum, juk, audacious, rymthbox, and so many others. For all around media players you have again more than i can list but here are some Kaffeine, Mplayer, Xine, mpg123 , mpg321, and the list goes on. For Audio I use Amarok , all my files are on a windows machine and my linux box has a samba mount point to the music folder then Amarok is link to it. Amarok is a get application, it gathers info on the band, the song , lyrics, and album art automatically. For most other media applicitions i use Xine , Mplayer , or Kaffeine just depends on how I feel that day.
I understand that there is more windows users out there than Linux users but are numbers are growing. well that my two cents, you can find more information about Linux media players ar http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Linux_media_playe...


thanks
October 27, 2007 5:30:06 PM

yeah i agree, very shotty,
need more players, amarok, itunes, winamp etc...
October 27, 2007 10:57:56 PM

Maybe a useful read for someone who has never thought about using anything other than WMP, but when I saw the number of alternatives presented I skipped reading the article.

I may be wrong but I am guessing the average Tom's hardware reader has already tried twice that many media players. I have a wider selection than that currently installed.

A follow up article with expanded coverage and a feature chart at the end might prove very popular. I would definitely read it.


October 28, 2007 2:41:15 AM

Funny thing about WMP10 (I don't know about WMP11) that if you have codecs installed (stuff used for MPC, including real alt, quick alt), WMP10 will play all those files too! IMHO, MP10 is the last best player interface from MS.

Wimamp would have been my choice but it got too bloated and doesn't play LARGE list of files well. I like that it has internet TV channels on it!

oh...
Not even to start mentioning all the player not available in the english language haha.

I use TTPlayer (chinese only), and it plays EVERYTHING i drop in to it.. including the audio MP4/AVI. I just drag my whole music folder (audio and videos) in (20K+ files and it list in a few seconds.. and i get lyrics too haha)
October 28, 2007 8:10:22 AM

I would agree with TeknoJnky. MediaMonkey is a fantastic program, especially for people who have an IPod and like me cannot stand to use that bloatware POS Itunes.
October 28, 2007 11:44:15 AM

Your article states that VLC doesn't play flash video format e.g. Youtube, but I'm playing them just fine on mine.
October 28, 2007 2:33:59 PM

definately should have included the new winamp 5.5 and its new skin interface
October 28, 2007 3:14:42 PM

To me, the new Winamp skin don't look to good. I am not saying its bad but it just don't impress me. I went and grabbed Songbird and I am loving it. I can't remember the name of the media player I found back when I had a Ubuntu desktop, but anyway Songbird is very similar to that and I like it.
October 28, 2007 6:29:06 PM

Wow, I had just recently switched to foobar2000 and vlc. The best part about foobar is that I could match the Musicmatch library functionality with a couple plugins and some tweaking, but without the horrible Musicmatch bloat.

Songbird is still way too early in development to be a serious consideration. It's bloated, slow, and a resource hog, and it's only on like version 0.3. The blog searching capability is pretty cool, though, for finding new music, but I imagine once they're big enough, the RIAA will sue them into oblivion for it.
October 28, 2007 11:31:12 PM

Just started using foobar and I am in love with it.

My entire playlist of 1200+ songs, only consumes ~2-4MiB of ram while in the background.
!