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The 10 Best Music Players for Windows

Music Player for Windows
1 MusicBee This decade old software tops our list because of the wealth of features it has. Its key feature is that it can support large music collection; it allows you to edit metadata; and it helps in playback optimization.

On the first use after installation this player scans through your computer for music. You can also import your Windows Media Player files if any. After this you can easily tag the files either manually or using MusicBee’s excellent automatic tagging. In addition to your local files, you can also enjoy other media such as radio and podcasts.

Some of your music files might not have the metadata. But you can edit it in this software. Similar to Windows Media Player you can add artwork to the music files here also. Simply copy+paste any picture of your choice. If you are connected to internet this player also searches for lyrics of each track you play.

MusicBee enhances your listening experience as it makes optimal use of your computer hardware, be it sound-cards or surround sound system. There is plenty of scope for audio modification with its 10-band to 15-band equalizer option. And it supports almost all audio formats. This is an open source software and too good to be free.

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2 Dopamine A major distinguishing factor of Dopamine is that it installs in a jiffy! Once you are done, you’ll see a minimalist interface which is similar to Windows 10’s themes. Other music players will have a lot of features crammed up within the window. In Dopamine every option is categorically placed and this gives it an identity of its own.

This has some features similar to MusicBee. It offers functionalities like automatic tagging (which facilitates navigation) and integration. There is also an effective tool for downloading lyrics. They can be downloaded from LyricWiki, MetroLyrics, etc.

Dopamine’s interface makes your library self-explanatory. There will be three sections on your window. On the left extreme there is a column where Artist’s names are alphabetically arranged. In the middle all their albums and similar music is placed. And individual song will be listed in the right most column. This is a simple design but not suitable for huge collection.

Unlike MusicBee you can’t edit metadata here. Therefore the tracks that you intend to import should have all the information like artist name, genre, publisher, etc. Insofar as audio format is concerned this player supports almost all of them. Variables like audio latency can be controlled through the settings menu.

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3 foobar2000 foobar2000 is an open source music player. If you have a habit of judging a book by its cover then you surely must have to let this one pass. Its looks are very minimalistic, even more than Dopamine. It sports a modular design which may not be appealing to many. But do not underestimate this player’s capacity.

This is a powerful player with deceiving looks. If there are untagged tracks foobar2000 will look for metadata while you are ripping a CD. There is an advanced library monitoring system which is alert to any change like adding or deleting a song. It even automatically deletes if a song is repeated.

All popular audio formats are supported by this software be it MP3s or some of the rarer ones like Speex. If by chance you face difficulty opening any file then you can search for additional codecs which are basically user-created add-ons. Just go to preference menu and you can easily install it from there.

This player will take some getting used to. You won’t like it immediately. It’ll take some time to learn about all the features and then configure settings as per your needs. Once you’ve done that you’ll see why foobar is so hyped!

And if you are particularly bothered by the simple looks, the interface is customizable. You can always edit it as per your liking.

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4 AIMP The fact that you are looking for a music player means that your collection is a mess. It is disorganized and spread all over your computer’s hard disk. If that is the case AIMP is the answer for you. Organizing your music with this player is as easy as snapping your fingers.

You don’t need to worry even if your songs don’t contain metadata, or are in various formats. The music library here can be built by ripping a CD or from multiple directories. The songs are automatically tagged and numbered. And if any format is not supported you can always download as user-created plug-ins.

The add-ons in other players will mostly be visual themes and skins. But some of AIMP’s extensions have practical use. There are some deal breakers like a YouTube extension which allows users to create a playlist of videos, a SoundCloud plug-in to stream music. Another important extension gives you remote access to control the player.

There are some serious audio modification tools in AIMP. A sound mixing option and a superior sound engine section gives you a rich experience. On top of that it features a massive 18-band equalizer. And all these features are not there just for the sake of it. They actually work.

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5 MediaMonkey Not that music-lovers care, but time is money isn’t it?! You really want to sort your music collection so that it has a structure. Sorting it according to genre, artist, mood, etc. is a tremendous task. It will take your time and your energy. Do not worry a bit MediaMonkey has got your back.

In terms of retrieving metadata this player is better than even MusicBee. The player will look for metadata while ripping CD and you can also manually enter it. Additionally if it is missing or incomplete the player will look it up on the internet.

Another important feature is that you can listen and add metadata simultaneously. Thus you don’t have to preview every unheard song in order to figure out its genre. Label it when it pops up. MediaMonkey eliminates the need to dedicate special time to label unknown songs.

Audio files are systematically arranged in a hierarchy by an automatic algorithm. The algorithm arranges them on the basis of artists, albums, series number, etc. It updates the library whenever you add, edit and remove files.

About the technical aspects, well it supports a wide range of formats. It can also act as a server for media sharing UPnP and DLNA devices.

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6 Clementine According to the developers Clementine is inspired by Amarok 1.4. With the growth of digital music industry more and more players are being launched in the market. To cope with the competition developers fill their products with multiple irrelevant features. Clementine’s developers wanted their software to stand out for its simplicity.

This is another player with simple looks similar to foobar2000 and VLC. Its functionality however is second to none. It provides for some excellent library management through the in-built file manager.

You are in for a treat if you listen to online platforms like Radio Tunes, RockRadio, SoundCloud as Clementine is equipped for finding audio content therein. A little configuration and you can also access music from your cloud storage like Amazon Cloud Drive, Box, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc.

That’s not the end of it. You get some cool tagging features too. Manually you can edit tags only on files of MP3 and OCG formats. But automatic tags can be applied directly through MusicBrainz’ database. Album art can also be fetched from

Clementine does not limit your music experience only to your local drive. You can even access internet radio stations such as Icecast, Jamendo,, Magnatune, and SomaFM.

Moreover there is an app for Android called Clementine Remote. It allows remote access not only on basic controls but also various settings.

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7 Spotify Music streaming is the newest trend in the digital music era. There is no better player than Spotify in that regard. Apple and Google have tried their hand at streaming music but Spotify is ahead of them by some distance. All the music is categorized on Spotify according to genre, mood, artist, etc. However it doesn’t feel personal as your local music library does.

Spotify claims that it has 30 million tracks to offer, and it might even be true! This player is a platform for various artists around the world to exhibit their talent. They record their live sessions and Spotify brings it to you from every corner of the world.

There is a playlist called Daily Mix which features tracks you listen to on a regular basis. Time Capsule is another excellent way to refresh some memories. You may even get nostalgic. It will surprise you that many of the songs will be those you listened to growing up. And it is not a coincidence. Spotify creates the Time Capsule playlist based on your date of birth and your music taste.

All the above services can be availed only in the paid app Spotify Premium. The paid version allows streaming in three sound qualities low, medium and high.

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8 Winyl Named after the old vinyl records this player intends to do away with all the complexity most players have. This is perfect for those who have failed to catch up with the speed in which digital music is progressing.

The interface is pretty simple and easy on the eye. A sidebar on the left enlists familiar options such as Artists, genres, folders, radios, playlists, etc. There is also an in-built file explorer for easily browsing through your music.

Winyl puts more focus on the Artists. What you do is click on the Artists tab which leads you to a list of all the artists in the library. When you click on any one artist all of their albums appear from which you can choose. It is also possible to scroll through all the albums of an artist without having to pick one at a time. You can browse faster this way.

The player has no trouble in handling over 100,000+ audio files. We all have some songs that we listen more often. Winyl will make note of 25 such songs and create a playlist using its ‘Smartlist’ feature. It is also equipped with an able tag editor and can also import lyrics from the internet.

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9 Bread Player This open source player is designed especially for Windows. Its aesthetic design will keep you interested. However this is not just an eye-candy. It’s quite capable of carrying out the regular functions like any other player.

The interesting feature of this player is the pre-amp it comprises. This software is not found in most of the players. You might have seen the huge amplifiers that are used to optimize sound for larger speakers. Such design is not present your computers. Using the pre-amp software your music could be amplified to up to 12 decibels.

Another amazing aspect is the keyboard shortcuts this player has. There are a total of 17 shortcuts by which you can control playback. You don’t have to flounder over your mouse to decrease volume or pause/stop playback. Just hit the key.

There is a full screen mode for playback where lyrics are displayed. The in-built file manager means you can add songs to the playlist without having to browse through the computer. This is not very important feature but still useful.

Various formats are supported in the player. This player also has an automatic download feature for tagging. It will look up on the internet any missing details essential for categorizing.

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10 Audacious Audacious does not have as many features as other players; but it has enough to get the job done, and with a fairly good efficiency. This player also has a simplistic design with a neat interface. The appearance can be customized through settings as the player comes with multiple Skins.

This player is capable of maintaining multiple playlists at the same time. Just sort your playlists according to the genres and save them. VLC media player also has a feature where you can save playlists, but you’re allowed to open only one playlist at a time. Audacious allows you to open multiple playlists at any given time. There are various user-created plug-ins to enhance your experience.

Beneath its simple design there is a plethora of rich and useful tools. There is detail retriever feature for auto-tagging, voice removal, and Crystalizer effect.

In terms of music playback this player too, like all others, support a wide range of formats. The formats that can be played are AAC, FLAC, OCG, WAV, and WMA to name just a few. You can enhance your music experience with the help of Effects and Equalizer feature. There are plug-ins for the same too.

This player is simple and efficient, however, lacks certain features and is therefore the last one on our list.

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music player

The regular media players do not allow you to tag, arrange, and enjoy your music. If you have a large collection you’ll need to organize your music to truly enjoy it. Take a look at the above-detailed music players that will more than suffice your needs!

Everything you need to know about Music Players for Windows

The introduction of iTunes at the beginning of the millennium was the onset of a revolution in the digital music industry. Twenty years prior to that ‘Walkman’ was the new kid in the town. Further technological advancement brought about a change in the way music was recorded and stored. Compact Discs’ introduction made it possible to record good quality audio. Its increased storage capacity meant that a large number of songs could be stored on them. iTunes sought to change forever the manner in which we experienced music. Its aim was to bring all your music on one platform eliminating the need to collect multiple cassettes or CDs.

Given that iTunes was available only for Apple devices there was a need to develop something similar for machines that ran on Windows. Thus began the movement in the digital music industry where software developers came forward and built free music players for Windows platform. The digital music industry was growing very fast and significantly. Competition is always tough in a growing market. So developers of free music players started packing their products with countless features most of which were gimmicks. As a result a lot of these music players will be absolute useless. But for those who have a good eye gems like MusicBee, Dopamine, foobar2000 will not have gone unnoticed.

Some of the best music players for Windows are at par with iTunes maybe even better. We’ll let you be the judge of that. These music players will sort your tracks based on the metadata available. There is no audio format these players can’t play. However making the most of these music players is altogether a different matter. Making a library of huge music collection is not an easy task. It’ll take your time and effort but it will be worth it in the end.

Moreover all Windows users complain that the sound output from their computer is not satisfactory. Mere categorization of your music is not enough. You need good sound quality too. Therefore you’ll need to use sound enhancers to get the best out of these music players. You also need to have necessary information about audio formats and other technical aspects relating to audio quality.

That is too much information to process in one go. But don’t worry all you audiophiles out there we’ll explain everything you need to know about these music players.

Note: If you are more into streaming music from services like Spotify then there is no relevance of this article for you. The tips and suggestions made below are mainly for creating local music libraries of songs collected over the years.

Music Players for Windows are ineffective without arranging your library

Primary tagging

Is your music scattered all over your hard-drive? Is there a structure in which they are stored? If not then you must have a simple folder structure that is easy to understand. Say for example there is a folder Music >which contains sub-folders for Artists> which contains sub-folders for each of their Releases.

Having the structure to your music folder is not enough though. If the metadata of your tracks is incomplete or missing the music player will not be able to arrange it. This is where the process of arranging the library truly begins. First thing you got to do is enter the Primary tags if missing or incomplete. Primary tags are the most basic ones like artist name, album, etc.

There are various tools available online for Windows which can do it automatically for you. You should try out Jaikoz because that is the best tool out there for filling primary tags. What you are required to do is add the tracks which don’t contain even the basic details, also add those which you think have incorrect primary tags. Once you have the full list there is an “auto correct” feature in Jaikoz. Hit it and you will have the primary tags filled in automatically.

Jaikoz is a paid software. It’s free version only allows listing 20 songs for correction in one session. So if you are using the free version you’ll have to close Jaikoz and open it again for the next 20 songs and so on.

Secondary Tagging

Tracks having only the artist/album name will be hard to locate through your music player. You want your music player to display the song name and year of release too right. This is exactly why you need to do secondary tagging. We think Mp3tag is the best suited program for this task.

Open Mp3tag and through it open the folder which has your music stored. Tags have different format. Mp3tag can read various formats. But it stores the tags mostly in ID3v2.3 format. MP3 files mostly have tags in this format. Another format for tags is ID3v2.4 which is used by AAC files. But this format has been known to give problem to some music players. Therefore saving your tags in the ID3v2.3 format ensures you have a good base to start with.

Now let’s get to the procedure to fill in secondary tags. Instead of selecting individual songs you are required to select albums in Mp3tag. Once you have selected the album click on Tag Sources. There are several sources listed therein like Amazon and MusicBrainz. All of the sources have huge databases. Select any one and Mp3tag will start filling the incomplete metadata.

Manual entries through Music Player in Windows

After filling the missing or incomplete metadata through Jaikoz and Mp3tag it is possible that there are some tracks that couldn’t be fixed in batch action. Maybe these tracks’ tags were not available on the databases or the tagging programs couldn’t fix them. In this case you’ll have to manually edit and fill in the metadata. In some of the best free music players like MusicBee, MediaMonkey you can enter the metadata yourself. MediaMonkey can even look up on the internet for the same.

Organizing your music library sure is a lot of hassle when it comes to MS Windows. But once you’ve done it, it actually saves you a lot of time. Now that all your tracks have the metadata your music player can sort it out for you according to artist, album, genre, etc. It will be much easier for you to locate songs and make best use of your music player.

Optimizing your Windows Music Player’s sound output

Audio Enhancer

The thing with computer Operating Systems is that they are not designed for optimal music experience. Many of the free music players will have plug-ins for sound effect. Then there are equalizers for controlling variables. But that does not do much because the OS does not really reach the highs and lows you would like it to.

Windows has settings for sound enhancement. Here you can try various software optimizations. If you are still not satisfied after exhausting this option there is not much Windows can do to help you. You will then have to install third party software for enhancing your sound quality.

You could use ‘Hear’ which is quite impressive. It is available for both iOS and Windows. It is capable of giving quality sound output whether you are listening on a headphone or your laptop’s speakers. This program has an insane 96-band equalizer.

DFX Audio Enhancer is another one which is pretty useful in this regard. Using this you will get superior audio whether you are watching video online or talking to someone over Skype.

These sound enhancers will work wonders for your laptop speakers. But if you are using a music system then you won’t be satisfied with the amplification. There is only so much a software can do when your laptop is not equipped with an amplifier. In that case you will just have to buy one.

Is Bitrate important when it comes to Windows music players?

It is hotly debated among the audiophiles whether the bit-rate is important or not. Well the correct way to answer it would be that: it depends. But first we must understand what bitrate is?

To be more technical bitrate is the number of bits that are processed over a period of time. This means if the bitrate of a song is 256 kbps then it is processing 256 kb of data in one second. Thus if more data is processed in a second the audio output will be of better quality.

That’s where the distinction between lossless and lossy files comes in. Both the terms are pretty self-explanatory. If the file is stored in its original format without compressing it is called lossless file. This takes up a lot of storage space. Therefore it is a common practice to rip tracks from CDs and then save a compressed version of them. When the file is compressed it loses some of its data. And this becomes a lossy file. It is obvious that if data is lost the quality of the sound will also deteriorate.

Let’s get back to our earlier question whether bitrate is important or not. The reason we said that it depends is because multiple factors contribute for quality sound output. Bitrate is an important factor. But if you are using consumer-grade headphones you wouldn’t be able to tell much of a difference between a 128 kbps Mp3 file and a 320 kbps one.

It is even difficult to differentiate between a lossless (which could be up to thousands of kbps) file and lossy file. Even if you have the proper gears it will be hard to tell a difference because it takes a trained and expert ear to do that.

It is not the case that all your problems relating to music will go away once you have installed a Windows music player. You’ll need to take the above steps in order to truly get the best out of the music player.