What I want in a desktop Media Player

on November 14th, 2010 by Matt | No Comments »

We all use one at one point. Windows Media Player, iTunes, or something else entirely. But in my humble opinion, no media player offers everything that I want personally.

Here are the upsides of the media players I’ve felt like using more than 5 minutes.
Windows Media Player

  • Built into Windows
  • Has many connections to Windows Media Center
  • Doesn’t take long to start up
  • Has 2 modes: Library, Now Playing
  • Understands Windows 7 Libraries
  • Default theme fits in with Windows
  • Skinnable
  • Very useful plugins
  • ‘Always on top’ feature

Winamp

  • Very skinnable via cPro (Classic Pro)
  • Can be set to auto-hide on a side
  • Very compact
  • Extensive amount of available/useful plugins
  • Direct compatibility with SHOUTcast
  • Can have all details about current playing song on display at the same time
  • Simple to use
  • Built in web browser
  • All kinds of expandable sidebars
  • Windowshade mode
  • Mini visualizer

iTunes

  • Easy to organize music (Albums, Artists, Genres, etc)
  • Smart Playlists
  • iTunes Store, Ping
  • Proper iPod Sync (including ‘Convert to AAC’ when you run out of space)
  • Play by artist/album (shuffle)
  • Great Podcast support
  • Resizable picture grids
  • Mini Player
  • Get Album Artwork online
  • Genius
  • Can be set for completely manual folder/file additions

What all of the above also share (pretty much the basics):

  • Repeat 1, Repeat All
  • Says how many artists, songs, total time and size
  • Album Art
  • Available G15/Z-10 screen compatibility
  • ‘Display Duplicates’
  • Song Ratings
  • CD Art Display┬ácompatibility
  • Last.FM compatibility

But of course, each of these have their downsides. And thats what makes it had to choose between them. I’ve tried other media players like MediaMonkey, foobar2000, VLC, Songbird, and even some lesser known ones. None have even a fraction of what I need, let alone all the best from everything.

Why can’t there just me one media player to rule them all? How about more customization on every front?

If you guys have any recommendations, please let me know. There goes another mini-rant by me. ­čśŤ