How do you use your media player?

Daniel Pataki
Mar 16, 2009
Updated • May 29, 2017

Following up on last week's much commented article about how you guys use your Firefox, I decided to also take a look at how you use your media player applications. This is perhaps a bit more complex than last week's question, since we are covering multiple applications. Nevertheless, which media player do you use, and how?

I have been using a lot of different ones over the years, but I never really came to like any of them because I either missed features, found them too complicated to use, and I never ever managed to maintain a we ll organized collection, especially with ratings.

I have used Foobar, Media Monkey Winamp, iTunes, and just as in last weeks post, I returned to the most simple one, Windows Media Player 11.Yes, Foobar is simpler, but it is a pain to get to look nice and WMP 11 is built in from the start. I actually like Media Player 11 a lot, I think it looks great and handles great, although there could be better features, and frankly, it's video capabilities are really bad, but I like it for music. So, how do you use your media player?

Update: I'm using a combination of media players right now. For videos I'm using VLC Media Player and SMPlayer, and for music the awesome AIMP3. I was asked why I'm not using VLC for music as well as it has the capabilities to play audio just like video. The core reason is that AIMP provides me with better control over the playback experience. I can use all kinds of plugins and functionality that VLC does not make available.

And the reason for using two media players for playing video is simple: both support certain media formats better than the other. So, depending on the file type, I use either VLC or SMPlayer for playback.

I guess, if you are just interested in playing music though it is certainly an attractive option as you can do that just fine with the media player.

How do you use your media player?
Article Name
How do you use your media player?
Daniel wants to know which media player is the favorite if the Ghacks Technology news community, and why that is the case.
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  1. jondavis said on April 23, 2009 at 6:05 am

    Can’t find one I like. :(
    I’ve tried like 10 or more players and none of them allow you to tag edit your video’s (like audio with Artist, Album, ect ) and support flv and mpg.

    Best one so far I can find is Jaangle.

  2. pospam said on March 26, 2009 at 1:30 am

    You want a simple audio player, try Xmplay.
    Portable, skinable, and it is able to play zipped or .rar albums using plugins

  3. hedgehog said on March 26, 2009 at 12:45 am

    winamp for audio files
    gom player for video files
    i’ve tried almost any media player and i always go back to winamp
    also the KMPlayer is good player for video files
    on linux i use amarok, it’s just great music player (version 2 seems a bit bloated)

  4. dario said on March 24, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    winamp for music and streamming
    MP classic for video
    VLC for files not openned by the 2 first

  5. Roman ShaRP said on March 24, 2009 at 2:52 am

    Aimp 2 – for audio. I like BASS sound more than WinAmp engine, and the AIMP have almost all functionality I need – some playlist can be opened, playlist search, Explorer menu integration, hotkeys support.

    Media Player Classic for video. It has all I need too.

  6. UnoNoOo said on March 20, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    Car: Winamp with plugins, Winlyrics, Cover & TAG. Usb gamepad with Winstick to control it. Freeway DVD2685 with 1.5″ screen to see & hear it. Hands down the most functional/affordable car music setup.

    Living Room: WindowsXp MCE for music & videos. Solid, clean & functional.

    Home Theatre: Meedio with front projection. For music, videos & games. Highly configurable & functional.

    Portable: Ipod for music, Zune for video. Entire music & video collections are portable.

    Tagging & Encoding: Itunes & MediaMonkey. Tmpgenc. Nuff said.

  7. BRAiN8 said on March 18, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    No one mentioned MusikCube? haha I used that for quite some time. It actually retired WinAmp for me and then I found foobar was was simple as well with a few more features. MusikCube was very simple with ratings, tags, and playlist sorting stuff.

  8. grapeshine said on March 18, 2009 at 9:11 am

    GOM (w/ simple skin for movie lovers) for video. Foobar2000 for music. It’s not pretty, but with the noise sharpening and channel mixer plug-ins it sounds better than anything else I’ve tried.

  9. Coolkid said on March 18, 2009 at 8:33 am

    The best audio and video player is “The KMPlayer”
    But dont get it mixed up with “KMPlayer”

    Have a look at it here [].

    One of the best graphical interface, playabilty and features.
    Once you try it you’ll all love it!

  10. SnowDog said on March 18, 2009 at 6:45 am

    Windows 7
    WMP 12 for Video
    WMP 12 for Audio

    (Shark007’s codec pack installed)

  11. Terence Hill said on March 17, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    I’m a Windows user.

    I use KMPlayer for watching videos and to open media files (fresh downloaded audio or video files for example) by double clicking on them: it’s enough fast opening and it doesn’t interrupt the music I’m listening with another other player (I can keep the current position in the song). High quality playing audio and video files.

    I use for listening the music 2 players, depending on the situation:
    1) If I want the best performance from my pc (playing a videogame for example) I use one of the simpler players around called 1by1 (however it’s not a worthless player).

    2) When I don’t need a superfast PC, I use Foobar heavily tweaked that looks very nice, with lots of plugins and features (I like particularly to see the lyrics of the song playing), and ofc the best audio quality. I consider Foobar the FireFox of the audio players :)

  12. Cyclonus said on March 17, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    My choice: Songbird.

  13. Leo said on March 17, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Winamp its the best for me. Enable global hotkeys and always open a single .m3u file wich contains all my library (around 10000 songs). Then just use the “Jump to box” (win+j in my case) hotkey, enter part of the
    artist/album/song name and hit alt+j to play it or alt+q to queue the song, hit ESC and I’m back to what I was doing. It doesn’t get better than this. I have also hotkeys to play/pause (win+home), increase/decrease volume (win+arrow up/down), change track (win+pgup/pgdn) or show winamp (win+del). You can create a hotkey to many functions to the point you don’t even need to ever see the player. Being doing this on all my computers and everyone likes it as soon they get used to the hotkeys. If you listen to music while doing other things I think this is a nice configuration, give a try :)

  14. eRIZ said on March 17, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    At the most – Winamp5 + classic skin; of course – global hotkeys.

    It might be Foobar but it’s very difficult to find any SDK for it; I need any to show ID3s on my program. ;)

    For video – only Media Player Classic + ffdshow + RealAlternative + QuickTime Alternative. And I laugh on people who install huge codecs packs. :D Total waste of resources.

  15. p5chin said on March 17, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Winamp for audio
    KMPlayer for video – plays everything u throw at it with excellent maneuverability

  16. Steven said on March 17, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    I had used QMP (quintessential media player) for years, but then the develepmont became slow & erratic & I went over to AIMP. AIMP is perfect for playing back music formats. It comes with a few extra tools (ripping/encoding/ID3 tag editor) & does have a pretty decent media library, although I never use media libraries I did try AIMP’s & it functions rather well.
    AIMP has support for hardware media keyboard buttons (essential for any music player) & has a lot of skins for those who like changing the decoration now & then. There is also a skin editor available which makes it extremely easy to either modify or create a skin without all the hassles of playing around with code & co-ordinates, one just needs a decent graphics program.

    For video there is only one player that I use, I have tried many but the only one that does exactly what I need is Media Player Classic.
    I create videos & need something small & fast that will playback rushes. As it’s my default player for video I combine it with XnView to browse my rushes & configure all video formats to open in MPC & not inside XnView.

  17. Paul(us). said on March 17, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Hoi Daniel, its ferry easy. For music MS media player, for all the movies, tv programs, streaming,etc the BS player pro and for the few files the BS Player pro is not able to handle the VLC Player. That’s it.

  18. Psjentje said on March 17, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Foobar for audio
    VLC for video

    Real & Quicktime Alternative when needed. (rather not though)

  19. dop said on March 17, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    foobar2000 for audio
    KMP for video (plays everything)

  20. ray said on March 17, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    I mainly use wwinamp. If I’m not using winamp it’s because I’m listening to some kind of internet stream whare there isn’t a way to play it easily in any media player. I also love the ogg format for the music and so on that I store on my external hardrive.

  21. starboykb said on March 17, 2009 at 11:59 am

    I still love using Winamp and its light weight and simple. For video, I used media player classic and VLC.

  22. Rico said on March 17, 2009 at 11:44 am

    i’ve tried every freeware music player out there, and i keep coming back to Winamp. Not surprisingly, it’s gotten horribly bloated over the years, but it does everything i need to do, mainly managing a library of over 10,000 songs across multiple formats, seemless network playback, automatically watching folders, and compatibility with my smartphone for managing music and automatically transcoding files.

    Despite this, Billy’s my associated player for all formats it recognizes. It’s so lightweight. Only major downside is that it tends to lockup on media played across a network.

    i’d love to get Foobar 2000 up and running as my main player, but i don’t have the time to sit down and tweak it like i’d like.
    It’s really too bad because it beats the pants off of pretty much everything else in resource use and sound quality.

    For videos, it’s mostly GOM Player with VLC as a backup for videos that won’t play in GOM.

  23. The Mighty Buzzard said on March 17, 2009 at 5:34 am

    The only features I really use once I’ve opened a media player are play, pause, skip, double-size, and switching to or from fullscreen. Occasionally I’ll take advantage of drag and drop to the playlist. Other than that, most features are a waste of cpu/ram to me.

  24. joe said on March 17, 2009 at 4:32 am

    i use mplayer for all video. it’s completely invisible as a player, no GUI. just the media in its own window.

    the best thing about mplayer is the user configurability, especially setting up the mouse and keyboard to control it.

    once i got used to mplayer everything else just seems clunky

  25. g said on March 17, 2009 at 4:23 am

    foo for music (not a poser)
    gom for video

  26. G Thompson said on March 17, 2009 at 4:01 am

    AIMP2 for Audio and also its toolset is nice (especially its conversion ability).

    I also have MediaMonkey on main home system since i love its playlist ability and so much less clunky than iTunes ~lol~ (Though its not Free ~sigh~).

    VLC for Video’s other than flv’s.

    For Flv’s I use the simple but quick FlvPlayer (

  27. Zed said on March 17, 2009 at 3:10 am

    Foobar2k for music (Billy on my HP 2133 netbook), Media Player Classic/VLC for videos.

  28. rickxs said on March 17, 2009 at 1:19 am

    SM player for me simple,modern, plays everything

  29. Transcontinental said on March 17, 2009 at 12:04 am

    XMPlay for audio, Gom Player for video, Media Player Classic for formats not handled by the first two. Windows Media Player only for video streaming formats (mainly mms). For music sessions I appreciate a player called Silverjuke Jukebox, a very nice player.

  30. Dante said on March 17, 2009 at 12:03 am

    I don’t use media players for music at all. I just use them to see movies off the internet.

    Porn Porn Porn and More Porn “)

    Just joking. But some very interesting YouTubes – like the hag that took half an hour to park (and even than someone had to do it for her), or the whiny bratty old hag that screetched at the top of her lungs in the Hong Kong airport.

  31. shane said on March 16, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Hey Xaro,

    I took your suggestion and checked out “Billy” and it’s awesome! It gives a whole new meaning to the word simple.

    I’ll still use Foobar a lot for editing, tagging and burning cd’s, but will definitely use Billy, too. It’s great. Thanks!

  32. Karthy said on March 16, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    Use winamp and i control it using global hot keys.

  33. Daniel Pataki said on March 16, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    It seems loads of you like Winamp! Since I don’t really use a huge amount of features WMP id fine for me.

    I would use VLC exclusively if it had some nice playlist support.

  34. WhACKO said on March 16, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    For playing audio recently switched to Aimp from Winamp which has gotten too big with unnecessary stuff, tried Foobar, didn’t like it…

    For video I can’t get away from BSPlayer and Mplayerc, atm I’m testing Windows 7, and the first thing I did is uninstall Explorer and Media Player (yay)…

    Searching for some way to browse through folders, just something to display the files in the folders and associate them with the respected players, and to be controlled with a remote, haven’t found anything to my liking yet.

  35. Dave said on March 16, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    One more vote for WinAmp. The best player for music since 1998 :)

  36. Xaro said on March 16, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Want a simply music player? Then use Billy
    It’s the simpliest music player I have found.

  37. hitz said on March 16, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    i use wmp 11 4 music, its simple. D ui is awesome, when i want c play video, i use km player 2.8. . No need c think much
    let the music play

  38. Charax said on March 16, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    I use Mediamonkey and VLC player mostly – Mediamonkey usually has a decent playlist of stuff that I control while browsing through Foxytunes, VLC is hooked up through MediaPlayerConnectivity to play most types of embedded video (except Divx, for which I use it’s own web player).

    I used to use Winamp but aside from Shoutcast TV, it doesn’t give me anything Mediamonkey can’t so it’s not worth having both.

  39. 0d3 said on March 16, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    My choice is Winamp. I have a computer dedicated to playing music and Winamp does a good job acting like a jukebox with the Bento skin. I’ve been using Winamp ever since I remember. I have tried iTunes, Foobar2000 and Songbird but always return to Winamp. Maybe its just what I’m used to but Winamp works for me. Also I’ve never had any problems with Winamp and my iPods using the mlipod plugin.

    Outside of home I just stream my music straight from a home server using Firefly media server and a flash client.

    For video content I use DivX player or Real Alternative and for problematic files VLC.

  40. j0hn said on March 16, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Winamp, but not the latest version, i use a very old one (2.95) because is the simplest player that i’ve found, the only plugin i added was a lyrics viewer that stays close all the time and i open only when i want to check the lyrics…

    i also use it to play movies and videos, with ffdshow it has subtitles support and everything works fine.

  41. shane said on March 16, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Foobar2000 is hands-down the best media player available. And the newest version is no longer “a pain to make look nice”. It’s super-simple and sounds great and leaves almost no footprint and takes up no system resources.

    Using iTunes or Windows Media Player is the equivalent of driving a cheesy Hummer with the air conditioning on and windows down, speakers “thumping”.

    Less is more.

  42. spee said on March 16, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    My default media player is Winamp. I use it 99% of the time for listening to music and the rest 1% to open video attachments on e-mails (usually wmv). Also I never open Winamp manually. Instead, I open the music file/folder.

    I have Real player for flash videos. The plugin for Firefox and IE comes very handy if I want to download flash videos, so I keep Real player.

    I have quicktime mostly as a plugin if a website requires it and iTunes for my iPod(since I don’t trust the iTunes alternatives yet. iPods are pretty sensitive devices and I wouldn’t risk any mulfunctions by an alternative software).

  43. Anonymous said on March 16, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    depending on media format and plugin features i like to use several different media apps. i like these: amarok, audacious, gxine, kaffeine, mplayer, rhythmbox, totem, vlc, xmms, xine. sox is awesome also.

  44. LethAL said on March 16, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    foobar2000 stays in the tray, and I control it with media keys. I made the UI very minimal when I do look at it.

    I think it looks better without any fancy skinning. I handle ratings with foo_quicktag and ctrl-shift-1..5.

    WMP is too old for my liking. It doesn’t support ID3v2.4 tags with UTF-8, and I would have to jump through hoops for flac support, hotkey ratings and the like. And then there’s WMP12, which took about a day to add my library.

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