People are making the change to online music streaming these days. However, millions of people still have a cache of music on their computer. Admittedly, there are tons of music player apps for Windows. In fact, Windows 10 comes with two, Groove Music and Windows Media Player. However, if you’re here, you’re likely looking for something other than those.
AIMP is a powerful and popular music player for Windows. It supports dozens of audio codecs. That should work for everything you have. It also includes skinning, theming, playlists, and all of the usual music player controls. The UI is fairly customizable and you get an 18-band equalizer. It even deals with audio CDs and includes an encoder. There really isn’t a lot this beast can’t do. It requires a little time to learn, but it’s otherwise fantastic. It’s also free as far as we can tell. There is an Android app version as well.
Foobar2000 is another popular and powerful music player. This one is a little tougher. The UI is super customizable. However, it has a steep learning curve. The base app is fairly simple, and then you can add skins, plugins, components, and other stuff. They dramatically add to the functionality and appearance of Foobar2000. This is a good one for people who take their music collection seriously and have time to learn the system. Those looking for something simpler may want something like AIMP, or MediaMonkey, but Foobar2000 is being updated regularly.
Winamp was once the king of all Windows Media Players before it was bought by AOL and fell into a hole. It wasn’t advanced for years and years despite being incredibly popular (and useful for whipping the Llama’s ass…), it basically died. That is, until Winamp 5.8 was officially released in 2018, more than a decade after the software’s previous release. Winamp 5.8 works well, there’s a busy forum of contributors and advice for using the app, and Winamp 6 is scheduled to be released in 2020. In short, Winamp is back and is still an option, but you may want to try other media players that have been in constant development. Plus, diehard Winamp fans often discuss if the much older Winamp version 5.666 is still better.
If you’re into your Winamp and want the open community version, you can also checkout WACUP: The Winamp Community Update Project, based on version 5.666 and taken further. Recommended!
MediaMonkey is a fairly popular music player app that’s been worked on since 2001. It has a lot of features. However, its hallmark is its organizational features. It can grab metadata from online and you can edit them manually. Additionally, you can sync your library between your PC and your Android phone. The UI is typical, but simple. It also has various skins and plugins that improve or otherwise change the looks and features. This one has two premium versions. One is for a license for the current version of MediaMonkey. The $49.95 is a lifetime license and supports the developers.
VLC is one of the most popular media players on any platform. It plays video and audio content. By that, we mean it plays basically any video or audio content. That includes streaming video if you have the proper link. It’s not much to look at and its organizational features are fairly basic. However, it will play almost whatever you throw at it. Those looking for a more nuanced music experience have the four options above this one. Those looking for an app that just plays stuff (and does it well), VLC is a good option. It’s also completely free and it’s available on Android, iOS, Mac, and Linux.