Out of the myriad array of tasks that we use our computers for on a daily basis, listening to music is probably one of the most common. And considering the huge music collections most of us have, having a powerful music player software makes all the sense.
Now, there are many great music player application out there, with some just centered around playing music, while others also toting advanced media library and management functions. But which one are the best? Let’s jump in, as we discuss the 7 best music player software for Windows
Best Music Play Software for Windows
Clementine is one of the most versatile music player applications out there. You can effortlessly add your entire music collection and organize it, thanks to Clementine’s advanced library management features. But that’s not all. Clementine can also directly search and play the songs uploaded to a variety of cloud storage services, such as Dropbox and Google Drive. Simply sign in to the cloud storage service via the application’s preferences, and Clementine will automatically add the detected media to your library/playlist. You can even use it to enjoy streaming music and Internet radio from web based services like Soundcloud, Spotify and Jamendo.
Clementine supports a diverse variety of audio formats (e.g. MP3, WAV, AAC and FLAC) and has robust playlist management functions. In addition, it can automatically download missing ID3 tag info (artist name, genre etc.) and album art from Internet music information databases like MusicBrainz and Last.fm. There’s also support for converting music into formats such as MP3 and FLAC. Clementine also includes an Android app which can be used to play music/control the application wirelessly. How cool is that?
Platform Availability: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux (Desktop); Android (Mobile, as Clementine Remote app)
Using MediaMonkey for the first time can be intimidating, given the plethora of impressive features it comes with, but once you get a hang of it, things get a lot easier. MediaMonkey can handle nearly all popular digital audio formats, like MP3, AAC, FLAC; and can even handle some video formats such as MP4 and AVI. Other than that, it also has the capability to rip Audio CDs, and can download podcasts and track metadata as well.
Other than that, MediaMonkey continuously scans the library folders for any changes, and updates the media collection automatically if the same are detected. One of the more important features of MediaMonkey is that it can sync to a variety of iOS and Android devices. Then of course, you have the regular goodies like advanced playlist support, and automatic metadata tagging. And if you choose to upgrade to the premium (Gold) version of MediaMonkey, you get a whole lot of extra functionality, such as custom music collections, auto playlists, and much more. It can also be (optionally) used as a portable application.
Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8 and 7 (Desktop); Android (Mobile)
Pricing: Paid version costs $24.95, Free version also available
For a freeware music playback and management application, MusicBee includes a ton of features. Apart from music playback, MusicBee makes it easy to manage and organize extensive music collections into libraries. You can directly import your Windows Media and iTunes libraries as well. It can also connect to the Internet and automatically download missing track metadata (e.g. album art, artist name) in a jiffy. There’s a built-in ID3 tag editor which lets you manually tag your music, as well as a variety of “player modes” suited to different playback environments.
As far as format support is concerned, MusicBee supports almost all popular formats, ranging from MP3 and AAC, to OGG and WMA. And if that’s not enough, you can also download a bunch of plug-ins which expand MusicBee’s functionality in a number of ways. Other features include DSP effects, Last.fm scrobbling, Smart playlists, and then some more. Oh, and MusicBee is also available as a portable application.
Platform Availability: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10 (Desktop)
Having one of the cleanest looking UI’s ever, aTunes is a joy to use. There are no confusing menus, unnecessary options or anything. But make no mistake about it, aTunes is a fairly potent application. You can simply add multiple mediafiles and folders to the the application, and it will automatically manage and organize them, thanks to the baked in solid media management functionality. The digital music collection can be viewed after filtering on the basis of metadata, such as album name and genre, and the full-screen mode with the iTunes like Cover Flow mode looks real good. aTunes is compatible with a bunch of audio formats, including popular ones such as MP3, AAC, WMA, FLAC, and WAV. There is support for smart playlists and duplicate track removal too.
aTunes can connect to a variety of web based services, such as Last.fm, and lets you listen to Internet radio stations and download podcasts as well. However, one of the downsides of aTunes is that there is almost next to none documentation available for it. So if you need some help regarding the program, you’ll need to dig deep into the application’s forums.
Platform Availability: Windows, Mac OS X; Linux (Desktop)
It’s easy to mistake Foobar2000 for a computer program stuck in the early 90s, given its extremely minimal (and somewhat boring) UI. But that couldn’t be far from the truth, as Foobar2000 is probably one of the most customizable, extensible and feature loaded music player software ever. And the fact that it manages to do so while being super lightweight just makes things better. You can granularly tweak Foobar2000’s UI by choosing what modules, such as playlist view, equalizer etc. are displayed. For example, the companion screenshot above displays Foobar2000 (latest tested version 1.3.9) with the frequency meter, spectrum meter, and album & artist view modules, along with the core UI.
When it comes to features, Foobar2000 has just about everything covered, with OGG, FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, and SND being just some of the many audio formats it supports. You can add all the media library folders you have to manage your collection, and Foobar2000 can automatically monitor them for any library changes at constant intervals. Adding metadata to tracks is super simple, and you can either add it manually, or have Foobar2000 grab it from Internet based music databases like Freedb. This thing can also rip Audio CDs, and even read ZIP and RAR archives. Foobar2000 can be installed as a portable app as well.
Platform Availability: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10 (Desktop); Development for all major mobile platforms planned, via crowdfunding support.
If all you want is a no-nonsense way of enjoying your music, Audacious is gonna work out just fine for you. With a simple yet functional single window UI, getting started with Audacious is easy. Just add your music library folders, and the application will load up the tracks for playback, with track details (e.g. artist name, album) showing up in separate columns. A horizontal playback status bar at the bottom shows the Now Playing information, complete with album art, and a spectrum visualizer.
Audacious has a powerful search functionality, and lets you find the track you’re looking for in seconds. It supports all popular audio formats, including FLAC, WMA, AAC, WAV, and OGG. Other more general features like advanced playlist support, duplicate track removal, shuffle/crossfade, tag editor etc. are there as well. Audacious’ feature set can be vastly extended by adding various plug-ins (can be directly added via the program settings), which impart features like vocal removal and sample rate conversion to the application.
Platform Availability: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10; Linux (Desktop)
Probably the best thing about AIMP is that how incredibly simple it is to use. There are no library scans, menu options, sub-sections, or anything like that. You just launch the application, add a few songs, and let it do its thing. AIMP’s default UI (or skin) looks a lot like Winamp (which we will come to, shortly), and consists of just the now playing module, and the playlist editor. The playlist has a quick search bar for easily finding any track. All standard functions like shuffle, crossfade, equalizer, as well as playback buttons are easily accessible.
AIMP supports a huge range of audio formats, including FLAC, MIDI, MP3, DTS, and OGG. Other than that, it also lets you listen to Internet radio stations and even capture radio streams in different formats. There are library management features, audio encoding, and smart playlist generation thrown into the mix as well. Finally, AIMP includes support for plug-ins, and using the same, can connect to web based services like Last.fm too. You can even tweak the UI using a variety of preloaded and downloadable skins.
Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, and XP; Android (Mobile)
- Windows Media Player – If you don’t want to bother installing yet another music application, you can go for the Windows’ native Windows Media Player. It’s built solidly, has robust library management features, and works generally well.
- Winamp – It’s impossible to talk about music player software without mentioning Winamp, which is arguably the best music player application ever made. Although the veteran of music player software is no longer under development, you can download the latest stable version on the Winamp forums here.
- VLC Media Player – We all know how incredibly awesome VLC Media Player is. It is the all in one media player application that can play just about any format you throw at it. And you can be damn well sure it’s going to serve your music playback needs fine. Get it here.
SEE ALSO: 10 Best Linux Music Player Apps
Playing music is easily one of the most common activities performed on any computer. And the music player applications discussed above are perfect for all your music consumption needs. If you’re looking for advanced library management features, try Clementine or MusicBee. Want something that can sync and manage music on your iOS and Android smartphones? MediaMonkey is for you. And if you’re looking for something simple yet vastly customizable, Foobar2000 is your friend. Try these out, and find out which ones work best for you. Know some applications that could’ve made it to the list? Shout out in the comments below.