Music Player: Foobar2000
As I covered the movie part yesterday, I think it is time to address the issue of music playing using a PC.
The default player for both video or audio files in
Windows is called Windows Media Player. I did not even mentioned it yesterday as it simply can't handle the video
file playback. However, the audio file playback was not at all as bad and the latest version (the 11th) brought major improvements mainly because Microsoft wanted a software to compete with Apple's iTunes.
There are plenty of similarities between the two rival players mainly because the players act as online music (and lately video) stores. Sincerely I don't enjoy using either of them, and I can't put my hand on the reason of this attitude of mine.
Until a few months ago I was a faithful user to the famous Winamp. I found Nullsoft's player to be both practical and easy to use and this is why I preferred it over iTunes. When the new Windows Media Player arrived I found it to similar with Apple's software so I decided to stick to Winamp even if I was not completely satisfied with its development.
Call me crazy but I did not like the implementation of new features that were simply to many and because of them the player began to lag a lot. Practically I was not able to listen to music while I was doing some work on my computer because sometimes the whole computer would freeze when switching between mp3 files and videos. For me the audio player became a video player and the emphasis in development was not on the music files. After some months I have decided to look for a small player capable of good sound quality and who did not consume a lot of system resources.
Foobar2000 was (and still is my answer). This small player just does his job very well. It is designed for music and this is the only thing that it is focused on. Of course it has additional features but the main one is the ability to play audio files with no impact on the system.
A great feature that I found for the first time by using this player is the posibility to have tabbed playlists. Yes you can have multiple playlists opened all the time and you can switch through them by simply pressing a mouse button.
Another feature it has is the ability to add extensions/plug-ins which can extend the features of this player and you can customize it to your own personal preferences.
The last of the feature I want to talk about is the conversion between different audio formats. I do not use this feature but the player is capable of such operations and some of you might find it useful.
If you like listening to music while you surf the web, and if you use Firefox, there is a great little extensions that allows you to control your player from the browser window. It is called FoxyTunes and it comes with plenty of features and the list of music players supported is impressive. So all you music lovers download Firefox by pressing the link on the sidebar of this page and next time you read this blog you will be able to control the player without leaving the browser window.
So here goes my recommendation: Foobar2000 is a great player and I think you will appreciate it.
If you don't, I still think the others alternatives (Winamp, iTunes, Windows Media Player 11) are pretty good, especially if you feel the need to have all that functionalities packed together.