PC Music Playback, 2017


For those of you who still have actual MP3s on your PCs… What are y’all using for playback nowadays?

I have MediaMonkey as my “full library” player, and it does a great job, but its slow to start up. Plex is great for video, its UI kinda sucks for large music libraries.

I’m looking for something fast-loading and lean to use for cases where I’m just clicking an MP3 and I don’t want a 10-second lag before playback. I guess I could always reinstall WinAmp, but surely there are other alternatives nowadays?

Or has people finally embracing streaming killed interest in stand-alone players?

(Trivia: I once co-authored the book “How to Use Musicmatch Jukebox.” Then Yahoo bought Musicmatch and shut it down. Want to kill a technology? Get me to write about it!)


I’m mostly streaming these days, but foobar has always been my go to lightweight player.


Yep, foobar. I also use potplayer for video media and it handles audio well enough too.


I guess on the PC that yeah, I’m streaming all my music now.

However, I do still purchase CDs when I want the best quality I can get (for a reasonable price). It’s something like a dollar more than buying the mp3 album by itself at Amazon, and that way I usually get the best of both worlds, since Amazon throws in the mp3 and streaming versions for free when you buy the CD (on popular music anyway. With less popular or import music, it’s really hit-or-miss).


Did anyone mention foobar? Yes? Good.


Mostly streaming, but there are plenty of gaps and rarities so a standalone player is still a must. Like everyone else, I use foobar. It’s just so fast!

Mediamonkey is good for auto-downloading podcasts though.


I went from Winamp to foobar2000 to MusicBee and that’s where I’ve been for the last 6 years or so. I do like foobar a lot, but MusicBee comes out of the box set up pretty close to how I want it, so it just stuck and I never found a reason to go back. Both programs are great though, so take your pick!


I love foobar too, but I never use it to play isolated tracks because it deletes the default playlist. At least, it always used to, and I’m not testing it again! Of course, this is because I use it as my main music library. If you’re only using it for individual tracks then go for your life.

For isolated tracks I use Media Player Classic, it’s the set default for all my music formats. It’s lightweight, fast, and just plays the track. Same with video files. Done.


I’ve been using Nightingale for the last few years and I’ve been happy with it. It seems to handle my ~45,000 song library without any issues.


I’ve a lifetime MediaMonkey license, still use it all the time. I add soundtracks all the time, so I don’t mind the startup scan. Once that’s done it runs like a dream. Can’t be beat, I feel.


Yeah, I have a lifetime MM license too. I just want something lighter for when I’m just trying to check an audio file while editing, check a version of a song, etc. MM’s great when I’m working with my entire library. When I’m looking at specific files on my drive, I want something lean that will just start playing instantly.

Thanks, y’all, I’ll check out the suggested alternatives.


I use the ultimate Windows 10 music player ya’ll


Ohhhh, sorry, I misunderstood. The best quick player I’ve found is Media Player Classic, which comes with this amazing codec pack.



Using mostly MediaMonkey because I can easily sync files and playlists with my MP3 player. Before that I had been using Quintessential Player for quite a while because it was quick and had a small footprint. Seems to be available only through third-party websites now though, so I’m guessing it’s not being developed any further.


Oh yeah, development stopped ages ago, sadly.


Not if you use Google Play Music and upload your library of rarities to your personal account! :)


This is what I do! Anything I can’t find on Spotify, I pick up somewhere else and upload to Google Play Music. Then I can stream it wherever.


As an alternative, if you have more music than Google Music can hold, I use Subsonic, which lets you stream your entire library from your own PC.


Works with video too. It’s really great.


I haven’t played local media for probably 6-7 years. I use Spotify and automatically mute the ads.


It also requires your router to understand how to forward ports correctly.

WHich the one my ISP provided didn’t. I haven’t bothered dicking with settings on my new wifi router, since setting the modem to bridge mode originally killed my internet for like 4 hours and I’m scared of fucking things up worse :)