If you’re finally ready to make a change and try something new, there are plenty of decent music/media players free to download online with great feature sets. I’ve read a number of Top 5 and Top 10 lists on the best lightweight music players and I’ve noticed a trend of simply naming the most popular. Just because a lot of people use something, that doesn’t make it the best. After trying a bunch of them out, I’ve chosen on my top media player. Here’s how I got there:
My go-to media player has always been Windows Media Player, it was already installed on my PC and it did what it was told. The list of functionality wasn’t mindblowing, but if I clicked on a song, it played – great! VLC was pretty light and worked great, but I needed a bit more in the organizational department.
I moved onto iTunes, which became the bane of my existence. Now, I know that iTunes is the main music player for many people out there but it’s restrictions and general meanness made it almost impossible to use. iTunes managed to consistently delete all the music off my iPod, and after some excessive cursing, I duly deleted it. I did, however, like iTunes organizing features, but this was not nearly enough to redeem it.
After painfully testing multiple other players, I tried out MediaMonkey. It has great organizational features and worked well straight out the box. It’s most useful feature has been the ability to identify tracks and fill in missing tags. You can either have MediaMonkey search online for information, or use the song’s filename to fill in missing tag fields.
If you’d like to completely replace iTunes, MediaMonkeycan be used to sync and backup iPhones, iPads, iPods, as well as Android devices (compatibility page). The handy Auto-DJ feature will always keep 5 songs at the bottom of your playlist to allow for continuous play. The Party mode turns your PC into a jukebox, allowing friends and family to choose songs from your library to play, without being able to modify any of your music files.
It’s fast, it’s lightweight and it’s feature-heavy. So far, MediaMonkey has exceeded expectations and is ranked as my top music player. It has both a free and paid version, but the free version has doesn’t hold back on it’s most important features and provides and great experience for music lovers.
For movie lovers, check out our top choice for the best video player for Windows.