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Old 02-10-2011, 12:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry What's the best music player?

Last night my iTunes library was perfectly fine. Unbeknownst to me, Windows decided to install some updates overnight (which really shouldn't have been an issue anyway), and iTunes went and wiped my entire library database file. The mp3 files are still intact in their folders, but I just lost all of my ratings, playcounts, etc etc etc. So fuck iTunes, I'm just going to get a new media player and start from scratch (unless someone knows how to fix this).

So I was wondering, what are the best music (I guess 'media' player would be more accurate but I really don't give a damn about using it to play anything but music) players for Windows out there? It needs to be able to sync with an iPod classic and it should be able to scrobble with Last Fm.
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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For simple casual use, I think Winamp (with modern skin) is good, particularly for those with large libraries as it has a search bar right in the middle of your screen as the primary way of finding stuff in your library (if your library is huge, searching is the way to find your music). You can define your own library views and so on using queries, so it allows for some customization. It also supports a lot of file formats which is nice.



It's easy to rip CDs and so on with it as well. It basically does what you need from a media player and some things you probably don't need as well.


The absolute best media player I've had the pleasure of using is Foobar2000, but the problem there is that it requires a lot more from the user before he/she can reap the rewards from using it. The core principle of foobar is that it's customizable; you build your own media player and define yourself what it should do using foobar's simple scripting language as well as plugins. After just installing Foobar, it doesn't look that nice or have that much functionality, but by building your own theme or using someone else's and getting more plugins and so on, you can basically add almost whatever functionality you'd like your media player to have. Hence, it is of course brilliant

Foobar2000 is only for windows computers though!
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I had no idea winamp still existed...
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tore View Post
For simple casual use, I think Winamp (with modern skin) is good, particularly for those with large libraries as it has a search bar right in the middle of your screen as the primary way of finding stuff in your library (if your library is huge, searching is the way to find your music). You can define your own library views and so on using queries, so it allows for some customization. It also supports a lot of file formats which is nice.



It's easy to rip CDs and so on with it as well. It basically does what you need from a media player and some things you probably don't need as well.
Yeah I was doing a bit of google research and Winamp seems like a candidate. Some other prospects are Media Monkey and Music Bee, but what I don't like about Winamp and Media Monkey is that they both have the option to purchase a better version, which means the free version is probably being a bit skimped on features.

Quote:
The absolute best media player I've had the pleasure of using is Foobar2000, but the problem there is that it requires a lot more from the user before he/she can reap the rewards from using it. The core principle of foobar is that it's customizable; you build your own media player and define yourself what it should do using foobar's simple scripting language as well as plugins. After just installing Foobar, it doesn't look that nice or have that much functionality, but by building your own theme or using someone else's and getting more plugins and so on, you can basically add almost whatever functionality you'd like your media player to have. Hence, it is of course brilliant

Foobar2000 is only for windows computers though!
Now what do you mean "it requires a lot more from the user"? Do I need, like, scripting and computer language knowledge? Or just time? Because I have time.
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah I was doing a bit of google research and Winamp seems like a candidate. Some other prospects are Media Monkey and Music Bee, but what I don't like about Winamp and Media Monkey is that they both have the option to purchase a better version, which means the free version is probably being a bit skimped on features.
For Winamp, I think the stuff you're missing will be rather insignificant. For example, I think if you pay for the pro version, you can rip CDs straight to MP3. With the free version, you would have to pick another open source format instead like ogg vorbis (.ogg) and that is, basically, not a problem anyways (oggs are fine).

The free version does everything I would need my Winamp to do.

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Now what do you mean "it requires a lot more from the user"? Do I need, like, scripting and computer language knowledge? Or just time? Because I have time.
It takes a little time and you would have to learn the scripting language in order to get the most out of foobar. It's so simple, however, that you can basically learn most of it from watching what other people have done (download someone elses foobar theme and have a look) and if you have specific questions on how to do stuff, we have a foobar support thread on this forum.
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Oh, neat. So Foobar is a bit like Firefox in that you can just pick and choose what plugins you want to add? What are some good Foobar plugins?
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Oh, neat. So Foobar is a bit like Firefox in that you can just pick and choose what plugins you want to add? What are some good Foobar plugins?
Yes, a bit like firefox in that respect only Foobar out of the box is not a very functional media player like firefox is a functional browser. You have to do stuff to it before it does what you want. As for plugins, first off, I like foo_ui_columns which is basically a different way from the default to build up your foobar's graphical user interface. To understand what it is, you'll have to check it out.

Some other ones that I like are :
  • foo_discogs - Fetches album info from the discogs database (which I like)
  • foo_fileops - Let's you rename/move/copy files according to custom scripts. This is included in the installation, but you have to make sure you check it off in the installation options.
  • foo_audioscrobbler - Scrobbles plays to last.fm
  • foo_quicktag - Gives you a submenu when you right click where you can choose to add values to certain file tags, f.ex Album Type -> Studio Album, Studio EP, Best of Album, etc. You can define yourself what this menu should include and what tags they should write to.
  • foo_quicksearch - Gives a highly customizable searchbar which is my preferred way of finding my music
  • foo_uie_library_tree - Gives you a panel with a library tree which you can customize in various ways and also gives you autoplaylist support (f.ex a playlist which is always updated with all songs above a certain rating)
  • foo_uie_biography - Gives you a panel with artist biography from last.fm, but what I like the most is that it can fetch artist pictures and album art for you automatically (without prompts/dialogues) if those things are missing

There are also plugins that will give you visualizations, album art browsers (like in itunes), lyrics and various ways to tag your files from a number of databases and so on.
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ok cool! I think I'm going to install Foobar and fiddle around with it for a bit. Thanks tore.
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Winamp has become a bit more unstable over the years, but as long as you stick to wav & mp3 it's fine. FLAC works quite nice too. It's got a brilliant library
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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foobar2000, end of discussion. I used WinAmp for a while and although it's a pretty good music player it does have some user interface features that bug me.

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Originally Posted by tore View Post
Some other ones that I like are :
  • foo_discogs - Fetches album info from the discogs database (which I like)
  • foo_fileops - Let's you rename/move/copy files according to custom scripts. This is included in the installation, but you have to make sure you check it off in the installation options.
  • foo_audioscrobbler - Scrobbles plays to last.fm
  • foo_quicktag - Gives you a submenu when you right click where you can choose to add values to certain file tags, f.ex Album Type -> Studio Album, Studio EP, Best of Album, etc. You can define yourself what this menu should include and what tags they should write to.
  • foo_quicksearch - Gives a highly customizable searchbar which is my preferred way of finding my music
  • foo_uie_library_tree - Gives you a panel with a library tree which you can customize in various ways and also gives you autoplaylist support (f.ex a playlist which is always updated with all songs above a certain rating)
  • foo_uie_biography - Gives you a panel with artist biography from last.fm, but what I like the most is that it can fetch artist pictures and album art for you automatically (without prompts/dialogues) if those things are missing
Add Soft Playlists to that. It generates Last.fm related playlists and can even generate playlists of similar song based on a selected song like iTunes Genius.
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