Which Audio Player are You Using?

May 4, 2008
Updated • Dec 3, 2012
Music, Music and Video

You can’t ignore the fact that at some point of time, you’ll listen to music on your computer. Whether it’s a CD, mp3, Internet radio or even to an annoying Flash ad that uses sound, you have to admit that it’s a great way to keep yourself occupied.

Listening to music only needs a software program that does the needful. This brings me to my question for all the readers. What program do you use to listen to music on your PC? I know it sounds a little strange but I’m curious about preferences of the folks who visit Ghacks.

There are a lot of audio players out there. For most people, I guess it doesn’t make that big a difference as long as it plays the songs. But I know some people who are vary particular. How did you select your player? Did you like how it looked or how you could customize it? Were you looking for something that could play specific audio formats?

I’ll start the ball rolling. I listen to music on my computer everyday and my player of choice is Winamp 2.8. Yeah, I know it’s old but what can I say. I started using it 8 years ago and I guess it’s grown on me. I want to try the Linux player Amarok though. With all the rave reviews I keep hearing, I can’t wait for it to be developed for Windows.

Some of the other players I know about are Media Monkey, iTunes, Songbird, Foobar2000, etc. Drop me a line and tell me what your favorite player is and why.

Update: My favorite music player right now is AIMP. It is lightweight, comes with an impressive set of features which remind me a lot of the Winamp of old, only better.


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  1. random_dude said on June 3, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Amarok is definitely the player of choice

  2. ArkticMud said on March 26, 2009 at 2:12 am

    As far as I am concerned there is only two decent options, aTunes on windows and amarok on linux, both are FOSS and both are brilliance, take my word for it and give them a go, you will not regret it!

  3. HighLANder[SERBIA] said on March 7, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Well, pretty much using KMPlayer, because of its great reproduction capabilities, has almost all video and audio codecs, supports all kinds of internet streaming protocols, also supports serbian subtitles which is very important to me.
    Has smaller memory fingerprint than WMP, and hasn’t crashed, not even once! It just doesn’t show the Now listening on MSN, but i can live without it :P Strongly recommend!

  4. Fad said on February 14, 2009 at 1:47 am

    Aimp2 for music (Quintessential Player previously, and CoolPlayer before that)

    GomPlayer for video (previously CrystalPlayer..and something else I forgot)

  5. Peter said on August 25, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    I use VLC and Km Player—both are good and sooo much better thanReal or WMP player

  6. soreciety said on June 30, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    Foobar,cuz it has many cool but useful component. http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Foobar2000:Components_0.9

  7. gokudomatic said on June 3, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    foobar, because of a plugin “quicksearch toolbar” that can even search in the folder name and filename (I can’t tag automatically since it’s mostly jpop, so I won’t bother to tag).

  8. davidork said on May 19, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    In windows, up until recently winamp was the golden standard.
    however, as of late, the player is buggy as hell.

  9. Bixarro said on May 15, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    My default audio player is AIMP2. Light, simple, and beautiful; I love it cuz can hide it in the system tray, and still skip tracks and control volume. Testing Songbird and Floola, cuz iTunes ate a lot of space, just to transfer files to my iPod.

    My video player is the simple, very light and versatil GOM Player. It’s just perfect.


  10. Simon Templar said on May 10, 2008 at 2:09 am

    xmplay for just pure audio, no frills.

  11. mosey said on May 9, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Winamp, but definitely an older version. I’m not on the laptop at the moment, but it’s definitely beyond 2.x and below 5.x so maybe around 3? It’s before they added all the bells and whistles to make it a ‘media’ manager. Am going to read your review of Amarok later though because I do wonder about alternatives ^^

  12. KMJB said on May 8, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    Hey man, too late, but my choice is XMPlay: ultralight, standalone, very simple use, fast open, modular plugins, extra audio HQ. Yeah, i love it! ;)

  13. Techbuzzard said on May 7, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    My choice is MediaMonkey and my reasons are:

    1. Low system resources
    2. User friendly
    3. Good interface
    4. Great library options
    5. Impressive tagging and audio files management options.

  14. Marc-O said on May 6, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    at home: mediamonkey. so good I even paid for it. – Lighter than most (especially iTunes)
    – un-bloated
    – excellent library management even for very large sizes
    – neat interface
    – flexible ripping solution
    – works just well with my zen stone plus

    at work: amarok (on Kubuntu)
    – does most of what I need there correctly.
    – I’ve met some really strange bugs though, but they happen very rarely.

  15. jbhq said on May 6, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    1) 1-by-1 – simple mode (but not necessarily)
    2) kmplayer – control mode
    3) winamp – full monty

  16. collapse said on May 6, 2008 at 11:25 am

    winamp is my first choice.

  17. Florent said on May 6, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Only the best here:
    Music, Video, Photos, iPod, iPhone, Documents, Podcasts, etc. with….
    J River Media Center latest version (regular updates) !

    @tash: because the poll answers are infinite.

  18. cristiano007 said on May 6, 2008 at 10:13 am

    But polls have very few options, this is most interesting and then please make an article analyzing all.

  19. kasperlitheater said on May 6, 2008 at 9:17 am

    Foobar2000. Small, clean and fast – but can play almost any format.

  20. tash said on May 6, 2008 at 5:33 am

    With this many comments, maybe you should just make a poll :P

  21. RainDelay said on May 6, 2008 at 2:37 am

    After trying Winamp 2.8 through the current version, iTunes, Foobar2000, Media Monkey, Windows Media Player, VLC, and Media Player Classic, I have settled on XMPlay for my audio needs.

  22. sergev said on May 5, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    foobar2000 (for albums and like, playing from library) + xmplayer (for single files, through file association)


  23. Thinker said on May 5, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    Winamp 5 with classic skin. Pretty lightweight, fast, and media library that rocks all other media players.

  24. webrider said on May 5, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    I use Winamp 2.95 with a very clean skin, after all its for listening to music, its always minimized in the system tray as a set of buttons to play and advance songs, so who wants a super duper coolgy bungy shinyskin?
    Then i use media player classic with klite codec pack for video. I like VLC and bsplayer too but i find media player classic its better, more configurable, i love it cause it starts centered on the screen, what i dont like its the poor playlist it has
    sorry im not an english native speaker!

  25. L0N3R said on May 5, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    Amarok pwns all :)

  26. Bruno 'ReX' Barbieri said on May 5, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Winamp 5

  27. Jacob said on May 5, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    I use cowon jetAudio.
    plays video & audio – supports almost all types of formats – minimizes to system try – can configure hot keys for almost all functionalities – have very compact interface while playing video- arrow keys for ffwd/rewind/vol up/down etc…
    (these features are very important for me ‘coz my laptop dont have multimedia keys.)

  28. Abd said on May 5, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    I use the latest version of WinAmp (currently v5.531). Ever since I discovered it, I didn’t change my Audio Player, even though I kno there are better Audio Players. I’m just too lazy to get a new one.

  29. Cheryl said on May 5, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Wow! I never thought I’d get these many comments! Maybe I should post stuff like this more often. Thanks a lot everyone.

  30. Tobey said on May 5, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Media Monkey here :)

    It’s a very likeable player with good functions for sorting the music.

  31. cristiano007 said on May 5, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    I forgot to say that I’m using ZOOM for video. It’s easy and flawless. I’ve tried VLC but had many problems in my system. I was using GOM but it had some little problems lately with .wmv.

  32. Bob Shacklock said on May 5, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    I’m using iTunes mainly as I have an iPod. I am looking to get rid of iTunes as it is a POS and go with maybe Windows Media Player or something else.

  33. Mike said on May 5, 2008 at 11:17 am

    iTunes. Nothing beats it on a Mac. :)

  34. john said on May 5, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Used Winamp for years since version 2.0. loved it.
    Until they jumped to version 5.So never could have used a winamp 4skin…
    Swapped it for the then pretty unknown VLC and enjoyed it very much, the easiness at which it didn’t complain and simply opened every file.
    Until I upgraded and had Vista installed, since then I use and love Kmplayer. It does everything and does it good.

  35. Obi-Wahn said on May 5, 2008 at 10:15 am

    I started with WMP, but changed then to WinAMP.
    2 Weeks ago, my system crashed and I started to use BSplayer (wich I found on filehippo.com) because WinAMP uses ~20 MB RAM, BSplayer tops at 6 MB. It doesn’t care about the Playlist size, how long your last restart was, is skinable and plays the most audio and video formats.

    But for Videoplay (AVI, …) I use VLC, for DVD’s PowerDVD (and sometimes VLC)

    Long story short: #1 Rule to choose Mediaplayer: Less RAM usage –> Better

  36. Reactive said on May 5, 2008 at 7:15 am

    foobar2000 all the way!

  37. yash said on May 5, 2008 at 6:02 am

    was using winamp….it bloaateedd so much i changed to XMplay

  38. sarana said on May 5, 2008 at 5:54 am

    foobar . . . I’m not into the nice looks of other players. I just want my music listed easily so I can play it. I find it much easier to organize and make lists in foobar, although there are some simple features I don’t understand why they are not integrated. Whatever, nothing is perfect. I guess I’ll just stick with v0.9.4.5 since I use Windows 2000. The newer versions require XP.

  39. LaCooler said on May 5, 2008 at 5:39 am

    I mostly use Media Player Classic and once in a while WPM 11. Used to use Winamp, but it got too bloated. Have tried several others that were good, but I just don’t listen to enough music on my comp to care that much.

  40. SEan said on May 5, 2008 at 5:10 am

    J River Media Jukebox

    It was shareware but is now freeware. Think MediaMonkey. But, I think it blows MediaMonkey out of the water. Mainly because it has
    1) A nicer interface
    2) It can burn cds at full speed (MM is crippled)

  41. Angelo R. said on May 5, 2008 at 4:05 am

    On Linux I tend to stick with Rythym box, and on windows I normally use either Foobar or VLC. Lately though, because of my Creative Sound-blaster card, I’ve been using the Creative MEdiasource software that came with it more and more. It’s fairly fast (although, it can be a bit laggy at times when watching movies, but I don’t do much clicking then anyways). It also sorts through my songs fairly quickly, and adding new folders for it to scan is a breeze. It’s not my preferred application,but it does work well enough for me.

  42. Xyborg said on May 5, 2008 at 3:57 am

    On Windows I’m using the AIMP2.

  43. noneck said on May 5, 2008 at 3:57 am


  44. Pavan Kumar said on May 5, 2008 at 2:52 am

    Me too winamp 2.9

  45. cristiano007 said on May 5, 2008 at 2:13 am

    I’ve tried everything around but always come back to foobar2000 because:
    -it can play anything
    -it’s lightweight
    -it’s very customizable
    -it’s very tweakable
    -sounds the best to me

  46. Nachtrog said on May 5, 2008 at 1:29 am

    Winamp 2.8 for music, VLC for video

    Winamp 2.8 because of performance (listening while playing games) and the equalizer options.

    VLC because I’ve never had any codec problems or other stuff with it, and when I have video files with out of sync audio it’s easy to fix the problem on the fly with VLC

  47. Declan said on May 5, 2008 at 1:08 am

    Foobar2000 when on the computer.
    Floola to transfer music to my iPod.

  48. Jakob said on May 5, 2008 at 12:50 am

    Foobar2000 because it’s nice to my computers ram and cpu

  49. Drake said on May 5, 2008 at 12:45 am

    VLC 0.86f is the best!!!

  50. tash said on May 5, 2008 at 12:19 am

    I use MediaMonkey almost 24/7.
    It can handle my 100+ gigs of music without additional cpu/ram load.
    With a couple plugins, it updates my Now Playing status on MSN, can change my display pic to album art, and also uploads the album art and a now playing page to one of my personal websites. Last.FM gets updated usually too.

    Itunes just seems to slow and clunky to me, but I don’t have an ipod either. I do however have to load up the Zune software to update my zune every once in a while..

    Other than that, Winamp is my 2nd choice on windows. Linux I use Amarok, xmms, or mpd.

  51. Evan said on May 5, 2008 at 12:15 am

    I use Amarok when working at home (I run Linux). Recently started working in an office regularly at a WinXP machine and been using winamp, mainly because I’d used it in the past and foobar2000 didn’t seem to have a decent media library component (not one I could find intuitively).

    Might take a look at AIMP and/or MediaMonkey…

    If I could figure out how to get pulseaudio/andLinux to recognise my USB headphones as an audio sink, I’d probably be using Amarok on XP too!

  52. Terence Hill said on May 5, 2008 at 12:11 am

    I use Foobar2000 to listen to my fovorite albums, I have lot of playlists here, a playlist for each artist. It’s light weight, highly customizable and very good in sound quality. You can change everything in this player.

    Foobar2000 is the Firefox of music :)

    For occasional mp3s I use instead KMPlayer, my favorite multimedia player, so that if by mistake I click on a mp3, the music i was listening doesnt stop and the playlist on Foobar remains untouched.

  53. Arvin Bautista said on May 4, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    Winamp 5. It’s got way less baggage than Itunes, it works out of the box (not a lot of tweaking needed), and I still get a robust media library.

  54. ADI said on May 4, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    iTunes for iPod
    Foobar2000 for audio
    VLC for video
    Amrok for radio

  55. Bruno said on May 4, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    for music I use Winamp 2.91
    I think it’s Winamp 2.91 STD Final (1.62 mo)

    memory, because Winamp 2.91 Lite Final (623ko) doesn’t read ogg and Winamp 2.91 Full Final (2.21 mo) is useless for me.

    for a very long recording of several hours, I use media player classic, it’s possible to resize his window “to seek” easily.

  56. Famf said on May 4, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    Foobar. It’s light weight and highly customizable with global hotkeys you can set up for changing music easily at any time.

    I love customization so Foobar is really the only choice for me.

  57. zockerwurf said on May 4, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Me, i’m using vlc player. There’s no big interface, it’s simple and does what it should: it plays music. sometimes i also listen to windows media player, because i can open it, click on play and it plays randomize through my library without much work for me.

  58. eRIZ said on May 4, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    WinAmp5 with classic skins (modern support probably uninstalled ;P).

    No CPU floods, everything work OK.

    I can’t see the difference in performance between Winamp 2.x and 5.x. Of course, 3rd edition was hopeless but 5.x is IMHO very good.

  59. Bill said on May 4, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    Mostly VLC or GOM player but I also have KM Player which is excellent and extremely customizable

  60. Jonathan said on May 4, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    I use Cowon’s Jetaudio exclusively, for 2 big reasons:
    1. It plays every type of music on the market.
    2. It plays every type of video on the market.

  61. Lobo Schmidt said on May 4, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    In my house, Foobar2000 since I only have WindowsXP here, but in my office I use Linux Mint and Amarok to listen music.

  62. Mike said on May 4, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    Years ago I used Winamp, I forget why I migrated away from it. Anyhow, I started using WMP 9, now 11. It does what I want, namely plays music, without a bunch of features I don’t use and that just clutter up the GUI.

  63. Paul said on May 4, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    I daily use iTunes when I listen to the music because of its splendid CoverFlow, even though I’m currently appreciating Songbird with this feature. On Linux the plum is Amarok!

  64. Mael said on May 4, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    VLC, Winamp or Media Player Classics

  65. Transcontinental said on May 4, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    XMPlay (default audio) and AIMP2 : BASS technology releases sound like no one!
    Otherwise, whatever bloated it may be, Windows Media Player does play quite good IMO.
    The worst I’ve met was RealAudio : anything but real!
    Winamp only for Gracenote DB and CD ripping… We stopped being in love after version 2.x …

  66. Haris said on May 4, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    I use Winamp for music and VLC Player for video because it simply plays everything! :)

  67. MartinJB said on May 4, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    I’ve just switched from Winamp to XMplay as recommended by Martin in his blogs. I like it a lot and will probably keep it as my default music player now.

  68. kevin said on May 4, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    I was a Winamp user, but then dropped it when it became too bloated.

    Foobar is cool because it’s really straight to the song.

  69. Christos Terzakis said on May 4, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    i-tunes to connect with i-pod
    but also foobar, foobar and foobar in everyday life because it is so much lighter than i-tunes

  70. Gemini said on May 4, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    Foobar200, why?:
    1) it’s pretty lightweight
    2) has a clean and simple interface
    3) global hotkeys for users who don’t have a MM keyboard (though most players have global hotkeys nowadays)

  71. Chris said on May 4, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    I sort of use a 3 program approach (overkill I know):

    1. Media Monkey for regular playback… Fast, flexible, light on resources even with a huge library, and most importantly an amazing tagging application.

    2. iTunes for transferring songs to ipod. MediaMonkey claims to have this capability, but I feel it is poorly implemented. iTunes is straight forward in this regard…

    3. Winamp (any version with XM Radio)… I simply love the radio stations offered through the integrated xm radio on Winamp… great for trying to find new music.

  72. KitLoong said on May 4, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    I’m using both iTunes and MediaMonkey. I use iTunes coz i have and iPod, but b4 i have an iPod i started using iTunes too…. I like it bcoz MSN will display wat i’m playing in my iTunes….. I use MediaMonkey for other format such as FLAC, APE etc….

  73. Tim said on May 4, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    I am still using WinAmp. On its own it is nothing special but it has a wonderful plug-in called Dynamic Library which searches the entire library as I type an entry, it makes it fabulously easy to locate any track.

  74. Moose said on May 4, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    AIMP2 replaced Winamp 2 on my system a few months ago… I don’t know how I’d never come across it before!

    Out of the box it has all the looks of Winamp 5 without the bloat, a huge range of options, nice crossfading and plays a much wider range of file formats than anything else I’ve come across. Also includes a set of utilities with it which are nicely separated from the player avoiding bloat for those who don’t want their player to also be their library, CD ripper/burner etc etc.

    It also has Winamp compatibility for plugins although I’ve found this to be hit and miss in cases where the plugin expects to actually find a copy of Winamp somewhere. Works for my music blogging on Last.FM though :) Well worth a look!

    BTW – if you really want to give Amarok a go and you don’t mind a good afternoon of downloading to get it sorted, have a look at the blog post here –


  75. NightFlyer said on May 4, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    tried a few in the past was a winamp fan for years (until AOL took it over) now I use foobar2000

  76. marty said on May 4, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    aimp2 is my choice since when I discovered it.. it has tabs for playlists, infos of every song showed directly in the playlist, a lot of useful features like copy to clipboard the song you’re listening to or capture radio streaming and much more.. must try it!

  77. Rajat said on May 4, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    i use windows media player 11… gives me good features in terms of library and playlists… i could do without the burner etc… but what the hell… looks super cool.
    xm player is another good one… has a tiny footprint.

  78. Max said on May 4, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    I mostly use VLC for playing music, but occasionally I use Windows Media Player.

  79. Seb said on May 4, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    I use iTunes as I have an iPod so it contains my huge library, but I use WMP to play my favourite playlist when I’m gaming. This is because I have a G11 keyboard with media keys at the top that control WMP even when it’s running in the background, whereas it only works with iTunes when it is in the foreground.
    iTunes is annoying in the way that it is very locked down, but I have the iTunes playlist exporter to export my playlists to formats that are friendly with WMP.

  80. La Refroidir Un said on May 4, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    Me using the Nero Showtime latest version..i feel it gives a much better digital output

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