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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Winamp,and other forgotten media players

Winamp has come a long way since its early Nullsoft days,back before it was picked up by AOL.

Written by Muhammad Zulqarnain Zulfi | New Delhi |
November 25, 2013 2:13:57 pm

Last week Winamp announced that it was going silent in December. The death of Winamp,which was once the most popular media player on computers all over the world,seems to have been caused by the unassailable popularity of VLC Media Player,iTunes and some other new players. So what is in store for other media players that have become forgotten in the past few years? Here is a list of top five struggling media players and their top features:

Winamp

Winamp

Created in 1997,Winamp has come a long way since its early Nullsoft days,back before it was picked up by AOL. Some of the changes were good,some not so much,but overall it is still an amazing jukebox and media player that’s relatively lightweight,fast,and customizable. The interface can be as minimal as a shade at the top of your display with tiny playback controls,or as blown out as a full-screen jukebox UI that features search bars,library information in multiple windows organised by artist,album,and song name,a full web browser,and more. It all depends on what you’re looking for. Winamp handles all tasks you’d expect from a media player: It can rip CDs,support all file types,sync with mobile devices either via USB or wirelessly through its well-crafted native Android app. Winamp still has the features you loved about it if you’ve used it for a long time too: Skins,themes,ShoutCast radio support,visualizations,and more.

Many of you praised Winamp for keeping up with the times and adding more streaming music sources to its app,while others noted that its Android app and beta Mac client show its developers had no plans of slowing down on it. But Winamp now is definitely more bloated than it used to be,but it is still flexible,functional,and completely free. There are a few extra features available in the $20 Winamp Pro version,but the free version is probably enough for most people.

Jet Audio

Jet Audio

Jet Audio not only provides a good deal of music management capabilities but is also a powerful media player that can play a wide number of formats,with a heavy dose of features. The interface is overwhelming and not user friendly with buttons and options on mouse hover everywhere. But it shouldn’t take much time to get used to it. The video quality is awesome,but the audio quality needs to be configured for the best output. Subtitle rendering is very good and can be customized to a great extent.

There are a few visualisations available to bring your audios to life,as well as a good deal of skins to customize its appearance. Jet Audio is more than a media player as it is loaded with features like AudioCD burning,ripping,recording,creation,converting audio and video to different formats,Internet radio and includes an inbuilt Youtube downloader and with a timer and clock.

RealPlayer

RealPlayer

Till about a couple of years back,RealPlayer was really big.Big enough to command file formats that worked only on it. However,its MP3 software was prone to frequent crashes. Plus,the player doesn’t select the type of audio files it should collect on its own,which is somewhat annoying.

RealPlayer can convert files to other formats so that you can play your media on portable devices such as smartphones,PS3,Xbox 360 and more. This MP3 software can also convert songs on vinyl and cassette tapes to digital formats. Additionally,you can rip and burn CDs,remove the gaps between tracks and crossfade your music. A unique feature this music organiser software offers is its Audio Trimmer. You can select portions of songs and save them as new files,allowing you to create ringtones or clips to share with friends.

The music player options are limited compared to other MP3 software we reviewed. However,it still has some good features.

On the way out?

Gom Player

Gom player

Available only for Windows (98Se through Vista),it also will play most media files,including flv files with its own internal codecs. If,however,you come across a file it cannot play,it will direct you to the appropriate open-source codec to install.

The program is a little quirky,though. Tried to play a DVD disc on two different PCs using GOM… On one it would not play it at all (and this was a machine I’ve been able to play DVD discs on before),while on the other PC it played it fine. One very noteworthy feature of the GOM player is its ability to play broken media files.

According to subscriber Ash,”GOM Player’s claim that it can play broken avi files is very true. We have a file sharing network on campus which uses DC++. Usually avi files which are being downloaded stop partway due to too much traffic. GOM Player was able to play every one of those files on my system up to the point where they stopped downloading.

The KMPlayer

KM player

When everything comes down to using a media player that is feature rich and easy to use,KMPlayer definitely stands out. Also known as K-Multimedia player or KMP,it offers many advanced features,supports a wide range of codecs and formats,is extremely customisable and is available in multiple languages.

A minimalistic,user friendly and functional interface,all the options are available to you on right click in the main window which gives access to the players extensive features. The player offers quick playback and a fully customizable interface that change upon every new playing track… It’s simple enough to use for an average person but don’t be deceived by its simplicity,its offers a powerhouse of configuration options and its strong user base and its active official forum helps you out whenever you run into a problem with the player.

Additionally,KMP also supports 3rd party codecs and doesn’t install the codecs on the computer like others. However,of late KMPlayer has started loading apps like Pandora.TV that could be distraction for many. KMPlayer gets special mention though,feature wise outwitting every other media player in its category.

UM Player

UMPlayer

UMPlayer is a cross platform multimedia player that uses MPlayer as the core. This open source player is universal,meaning that,with over 270 codecs inbuilt,it will play a healthy number of digital formats and you don’t have to worry about installing extra codecs.

The GUI is based on SM Player and has an esthetically pleasing,simple and intuitive user interface. It integrates the ultra-popular video sharing website Youtube and Shoutcast internet radio service with a search form in the main interface to seek and play your preferred video and the top internet radio stations of that day. Another interesting feature is that you don’t have to worry about searching for the subtitles for your playing,the program fetches it for you from OpenSubtitles.org in your preferred language. It also reads damaged media files and scratched CD/DVD.

There’s plenty of media players out there and if you are a regular user of Youtube and Shoutcast and lazy enough to search for your desired subtitle,UMPlayer could be the next reason to ditch your favourite media player.

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