[Windows] Compare audio files side-by-side with Dual Player

Dual Player is a pretty easy-to-use program that allows you to quickly compare two sound files. The whole point behind doing this is so you can easily tell if there is a difference between these two files. Let’s see how well Dual Player does.


Main Functionality

Dual Player can be used to quickly compare two sound files. By using this program you can quickly and easily find out if the music files have any differences. This should give you the upper hand when choosing which of these two music files you would like to delete.


  • Dual Player allows you to compare two music files side-by-side for easy comparison
  • If the music have the same file time and length, you can create hashes to compare them
  • Works with many music formats (I only tried WAVE and MP3 files)


  • Uses CNET for the download and, thus, have to deal with CNET pre-installer
  • As if CNET’s pre-installer was not enough, Dual Player tries to get you to install toolbars during installation, so be on the lookout for those
  • If the music files are in different formats or are different lengths, then you can’t use hashes to compare them


Dual Player is not a bad program, but it is not great either. In a nutshell, you can use Dual Player as a program to help you compare two different sound files quickly and easily. It is able to accomplish this task nicely. However, a few drawbacks with the program keep it from being one of the greats.

First, I have to make note that the program tries its best to get you to install programs you don’t need. If you download it from CNET, you are going to get hit double hard, as their pre-installer tries to get you to do the same thing.

Now that we got that out of the way, Dual Player works great when comparing music files that are the same type and same length. When they are, you can use hashes to help compare the two different files. This makes it easy to choose which ones you want to keep and which ones you are going to delete.

That being said, the biggest problem with Dual Player is the barriers it puts up. If your two file types are not the same type, then you can’t use hashes to compare them. On top of that, you cannot use hashes to compare music that are different lengths. For some this may not be a problem, but there are other programs out there that allow you to do this.


Dual Player is free and easy to use. However, because of some of its drawbacks, I cannot highly recommend this program to people. I feel like you may be able to find a better music comparing tool out there. However, if you are desperate and don’t mind the drawbacks of this program, it may be worth your time to give it a shot.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 1.1

Supported OS: Windows 98 / Me / 2000 / XP / 2003 / Vista / 7

Download size: 576KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/34

Is it portable? No

Dual Player download page

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  • Mr.Dave

    @Mr.Dave: Here’s an update I put on the C|Net site – my opinion of this program is even better now. Thanks, Justin, for letting us know about this one.
    Update: I put my comments on the author’s website and he answered within several hours – very responsive! He sent a link to version 1.2 which fixes all the issues I found in version 1.1. Text and the purple bar are aligned properly, the Pause buttons work as expected.

    The author also informed me there is a help file. I found it with the other icons for the program in the Start menu, under All Programs / ZiiN. The help file answered my questions.

    I would change my rating to 4.5 stars if I could, for version 1.2 (for 5 it would also need to list file size and bit rate, etc., for each file). It really does make easy to compare files with your ears! I recommend starting with version 1.1, and grab 1.2 when it’s available here.

  • Mr.Dave

    I like it, since I often have more than one copy of a song, sometimes in different formats and mostly from different sources. If you don’t like C-Net, the same file is also on Softpedia. I left the following comments on C-Net:

    +One Line Summary+
    Handy program to decide which version of a song file to keep.

    Lets you load two music files at the same time, something I haven’t found in other programs. After much trial-and-error, it let me compare the files at any point in the song to see which sounds better, or one is shorter than the other.

    Text display doesn’t handle “large fonts” setting in Windows Vista (at least I think that’s what is happening): the numbers don’t align over the background areas, numbers appear to display on top of each other.
    The purple bar in the center (also misaligned) took a while to figure out. I tried clicking in the area below it and found the black-on-almost-black shaded area changes, then found this lets me synchronize the two tracks to start at different points in the song.
    Tried to load the same file in twice, thinking it might allow hash compares. I got this message: “The device name is already being used as an alias by this application. Use a unique alias.” Loading a copy of the of the file did not cause the error message.
    Descriptions of the program led me to believe it would provide a hash value comparison between the two files. I think what they meant was this tool is handy for the cases where you CAN’T compare hash values, it lets you use your ears instead of a numeric value.
    Would be helpful to show format, bit-rate, or other information about both of the song files.
    The Pause buttons are confusing, they not only pause the currently playing file, but also turn the other file on and off? Hard to tell what’s going on.

    Very nice idea. Frustrating to use since there’s nothing to explain how it works. Once I figured it out and ignored the display errors, it does exactly what I need!

  • rol

    It is possible to download from CNET without having to use their installer. Just use the “Direct Download Link” below the green “Download Now” button, and that’s it.

    The toolbars bundled with the installer of the program are another story!