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Winamp vs Mediamonkey
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February 3, 2010
9:37 AM
Pwnana
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There are clearly better alternatives to the standard itunes (I havent used it for years). From my experiences, Winamp is my favorite. It takes some getting used to, but its got tons of useful features, and the free version isnt missing any significant features, really just fast ripping and burning. Its also got tons of skins and plugins ( I especially love the skins that allow the little player bar at the top of the screen). But there is also a fierce following for Mediamonkey, but I cant really say anything about it as I have never seriously used it. What do you prefer?11

You got Pwnd
February 6, 2010
4:17 AM
Jabtano
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winamp has been around forever,there also was a time before itunes when winamp was the player of choice.I’m with you I still use winamp.itunes is ok but for some reason i can not get passed that brushed metal look. and seeing that both players do what i need them to do. I’ll stay with winamp simply because i can have it look the way i want it.

In the end everything will be OK. If it's not OK then it's not the end.
February 6, 2010
4:45 PM
Jeffinprov
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This is timely — for this evening, actually, as I have been debating over whether to install a Media Monkey Gold license that I’ve had for awhile onto my 32-bit Vista laptop. MM gave me some problems on my primary machine, a 64-bit desktop (i.e. it inexplicably quit working), so I’ve been using Winamp… which I don’t by any means treasure. Ambivalence reigns, although I am clear in my disgust for iTunes. A good analysis (hint, hint) about what’s out there would be very, very welcome!

February 10, 2010
1:27 PM
OldElmerFudd
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Haven’t used it for quite a while, but my favorite version of Winamp was 2.91 http://www.oldversion.com/Winamp.html

MediaMonkey is better than the current versions of Winamp imho. Ymmv. Just my 2 pennies.:wink:

February 10, 2010
2:28 PM
Pwnana
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Maybe I will do a detailed analysis of the 2 for you all. I need a new project anyway…

Any other players you think could compete with these 2?

You got Pwnd
February 10, 2010
5:48 PM
sean
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I know you’re all going to shout at me that it isn’t exactly what you’re talking about, But I like using VLC player in tandem with winamp.
It, for me anyway, runs faster, and uses less resouces on my laptop (not that I have to worry about it anyway……. (4 GB ram, Quad core ;P))

Also, I use it for .pls files used for internet podcasts.

My two cants. IM Honest O

February 10, 2010
6:40 PM
karen
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Foobar2000

February 10, 2010
9:22 PM
sean
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I meant two cents. Is there an edit feature that I can’t see?

February 10, 2010
9:41 PM
Pwnana
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I believe VLC isn’t really the same thing as Winamp. I use it too, I think its the best media player out there, but it cant organize libraries. Im talking more about big library managers / players. Ones that can sync with PMPs, read podcasts, have a music store, etc. Like you said, you use it with Winamp, presumably when you just want to view a single media file. But I could do a comparison of just players, too (that would be a MUCH bigger task). Foobar I think would go in that category as well. I might do Zune and iTunes as well, as much as I would like to NOT install itunes on my computer -_-.

@Sean There is. Inside the little self-contained rectangle that is your post, look in the upper right-hand corner for the edit button.

You got Pwnd
February 10, 2010
11:22 PM
Locutus
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You know, I like Windows Media Player 12.  It actually makes a great companion to searching the ID3 tags in Windows search.

Oh, the site that was :(
February 11, 2010
12:16 AM
sean
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I don’t mind WMP, it’s been getting better.
Windows Media center however, i think, is just a waste of system resouces.

@pwnana it’s strange, i know where it is, and if I post I can see it, but if I refresh the page it goes and disappears.

February 11, 2010
10:22 AM
Pwnana
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Ok, Ill add WMP to the list.

@Sean

Are you still logged in when you refresh the page? Oddly enough, I am logged in right now and I cant see the edit button on my posts either O_o

EDIT: Ok, I think it disappears if you are currently writing or editing a post. So make sure you do not have the post writer box open when you check.

You got Pwnd
February 16, 2010
9:40 AM
Ramesh Kumar
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I read many reviews, tried 3 apps & settled down on just 1 app – Media Monkey Standard – not the paid version. I've not deleted the other 2apps – JRiver Media Jukebox & RealPlayer.

I have VLC & KMPlayer. Both are class acts, the latter is classier. However as Pwnana rightly pointed out VLC is a different genre of app in terms of need & usage. Therefore let's keep both VLC & KMPlayer out of this post.

Learnings:-

1) First one has to decide whether one is looking for “good library mgt” or mainly a “good player”

2) After that one has to choose the best app within that genre.

3) A good library organizer at least has to be an acceptably good (or better than just being acceptable) at playing. It invariably is. One has to be practical about this aspect. The human ear can make out frequencies & sound quality only within a certain biological bandwidth. A machine can do so across a larger bandwidth. If you are looking at home use go by “biology”; if you are doing it for a commercial purpose go by the “machine”. A tea taster or wine taster has a more sensitive tongue whereas others don't! But then a tea taster is doing a job the others are only drinking tea.

4) Since I was “only” using Winamp to play I searched for a “good library mgt app” rather than a “good player”

5) Although this primary objective is well defined you'd notice that there is a lot of intersection between primary benefits & secondary benefits  e.g. is it also a good ripper, a good burner, does it associate with more types of audio files etc etc. This particular aspect of the subject is either very putting off, very pedantic or just so detailed that either it just tires you or makes you drop off to sleep or just go for a walk!

6) After reading the reviews in cnet I shortlisted only 2 librarians based upon varius parameters & user ratings – MediaMonkey & JRiver Media Jukebox

7) I found MediaMonkey's excellent reputation fully justified & its features awesome. That's why it is my only aka main librarian now

8) Why?

  • Even e.g. if 1000 songs (BTW it can handle 50,000 & still run fast) are thoroughly disorganized this bloke can organize it – both along some default parameters & also along customized parameters you'd like to define. You can do it even in just 5 minutes. OKAY OKAY GO EASY ON THAT 5 MINUTE BECAUSE SOME OF US ARE MORE DISORGANIZED AND/OR SOME OF US HAVE MORE SONGS. THEREFORE IMHO YMMV.
  • You do not have to suffer through each song 1 by 1 all the way up to 1000. e.g. let us say you have 213 Hindi film songs, 337 Mexican Cha Cha Cha, 457 Jamaican Reggae & 678 German Ballads. YOU NEED NOT HAVE TO SUFFER AWAY SONG BY SONG. Some parameters would be common e.g. the language of the song, whether it is a ballad, trip hop, trance, synthpop or cha cha cha for instance. There would also be uncommon parameters – is it fast/slow, instrumental/vocal etc etc etc
  • MM is smart.You can do your classification fully or partially; song by song or all in one shot. It has a property dialog box for an I'd-like-to-enter-the properties-seperately-one-by-one-for-each-song-basis.
  • MM also has a Property Stamp where you can say – “Man I find this one by one very dreary & besides I am short on time”. In which case just select a bunch of songs & use the Stamp 
  • Obviously you can use the stamp AND ALSO the one-by-one approach. Pre plan & only after that get on to the “doing” bit
  • MM allows this “1 by 1″ , “stamp” or both for:-
  1. Property definition
  2. Editing property defined which you have defined earlier but which you feel needs correction
  3. Formatting so that either you are “All Caps”, “Proper Case”, “Sentence Case”, “All Small” etc
  4. Several other things too including but not restricted to blank fields e.g. you do not as yet know the year of the song or the name of the album
  • MM also allows you to store lyrics
  • MM has a huge set of file associations. ONE PRACTICE I FOLLOW – SINCE I USE IT AS MY ONLY LIBRARY/MAIN LIBRARY I'VE CREATED MOST FILE ASSOCIATIONS WITH MM. I HAVE ASSOCIATED MY SECONDARY LIBRARIANS WITH FEWER FILE TYPES.  CERTAIN FILE ASSOCIATIONS I've CHOSEN NO APPS TO ASSOCIATE WITH
  • MM does not handle .ra, .rm or .midi files. That is RealPlayer's forte. Therefore per force I also have RealPlayer. That said since I dislike floating in a sea of apps I've chosen to make RealPlayer as much a librarian as it is a good player (RealPlayer that is)
  • Since my primary objective was to get a “good music librarian” rather than a “good player” everything else – ripping, burning, compiling, file format conversion et al were secondary concerns for me. I've satisfied those needs by apps where Ashraf says “ACCEPTED”

This post is getting long. There are some other learnings. I'll post it in the next post. Bye for now.

RameshSmile

February 16, 2010
7:02 PM
jumbi
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Great post Ramesh !

February 17, 2010
9:23 AM
Ramesh Kumar
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Thanks JumbiSmile

MM also has scripts. There are 2 types of scripts – “built in already” & “those you can plug in”. The built in scripts are baked into the apps gui. Use them boldly bcos they are great.

The second category was lousy & so the script or rather its functionality broke down. Their names were – “EvilLyrics” & “MiniLyrics” These 2 blokes are apps aka plugin functionalities which let the lyrics of the song scroll down in front of your eyes on the screen when you listen to the song. Obviously hearing a song & simultaneously being able to read its lyrics is great.

Just one important learning – this genre of app / consumer benefit is far from being perfected. I am not going into the reasons. This genre of apps has not perfected its coding & scripting yet. So stay away from it because it can even freeze MM or make you worry if one of MM's dlls etc got shattered. I may be wrong because my facts are 2 months old. So do not go blindly by what I say. Update me so I can alter my thinking on this please.Smile

One last learning follows in the immediate next post

RameshSmile

February 17, 2010
9:50 AM
Ramesh Kumar
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Because you have a great player & a great librarian pls do not think that these are the only 2 bases & therefore you've got all bases covered. I am sharing a very pleasant learning & a pleasant surprise with you.Smile

Magix Music Finder – a very unique genre of music apps. This bloke has a clever “music” algorithm using which it finds out if 2 songs are similar in mood & genre. MM cannot do that. Let us say you have 2 songs in MM & both are “happy”. Let us say one is “Progressive Rock” & the other is “Reggae”. If you go on a picnic chossing both these songs as part of a single playlist you'll not feel happy even though you've categorized both songs as being “happy”.

That's because both Progressive Rock & Reggae as you know not only use different types of drums but also different styles of drumming, syncopation, riff et all. Even their instruments differ. Magix is very smart it catches within your hard disk & from the internet songs which have a similar feel & therefore a similar mood – & not just because of how you or I defined it.

Magix music algorithm catches which instruments are used & even if the drumming style is similar. It “knows” if it is Reggae, Country Music, Bluegrass or whatever. Man you cannot fool this guy! The paid version even allows you to define an percentage level. It is WOW!

MP3 Organizer Pro – is another great app with a civic minded developer. This offers a battery of features which are at an exquisite & relevant tangent to (& therefore complementary) to both MM & Magix. This guy handles tagging, spots lyrics on the net if you wish, album art, duplicates (in a different manner, I'll come to that), tells you by colour which songs in your library has lyrics & which do not, finds editing errors, sets font & case as you wish, search songs (MM has search too) & even allows you to sync ID3 tag v1 with v3 or vice versa. Trust me this guy does it in a way different from MM

How does he spot duplicares differently from MM – MM spots a duplicate only if it is 100% similar. In the case of this guy you can define similarity in terms of percentage – from 1% to 100%

BTW I have MM, Magix & MP3 Organizer Pro – all freeware versions. They serve my purpose because their feature richness is appropriate rather than excessive.

Lastly this issue of MM free vs Pro. Pro has 2 things which free does not. Pro can lullaby you to sleep & switch off aka sleep timer. Pro allows you to “multi-parameter-select & create a playlist”. I do that indirectly in MM by pressing on tab & sort, with that tab pressed I press another tab. Bingo – I have my playlist. Since I am not a fan of the lullaby dept Free is fine & I don't need Pro

Yup! That's it

RameshSmile

February 18, 2010
8:49 PM
Ramesh Kumar
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One nice postscript to this thread. 

Duplicate Music Files Finder 1.6 does just what its name suggests. This is a peach of an app written by a coding aficionado who sadly is starved for donations.

Incidental learnings & why this app is a must have apart from MM, Magix Music Finder, MP3 Organizer Pro.

There are several different ways in which duplicate files can be found – therefore different types of algorithms exist. Duplicate files gooble up disk space faster than you & I realize. This is really worth it

RameshSmile

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