It’s the smartphone era. And, channels like Spotify and Pandora have risen in popularity. Agreed. But, this definitely doesn’t mean that the music players for Windows are dying a slow death. They are very much in demand and will continue to rule the roost until we’re using our computers to listen to downloaded music. Wondering why? Because they let us play our favorite tracks even when we’re offline.
Indeed, Windows has its default music player – Groove Music. But, it’s very nascent at this moment and quite amateurish in its approach. Fortunately, there are third-party music players that help us enjoy an amazing music experience.
The trouble with default Music Players is always the same, they play things incredibly safe. Be it Android’s Google Music Player, iOS’s iTunes or Windows Media Player in most PCs, it is like the developers were actively seeking to avoid spunk in the design. The result is an experience that is undeniably easy to obtain, but for those looking to do more than just get by, it isn’t the most fulfiling.
The idea behind this post is to get the word out about a few more music players available, and maybe break the hegemony of default players. So, here are the best free music players for Windows in 2018 you can have. I’m guessing Android and iOS are already covered.
Best Music Player For Windows
|Windows Music Player||Supported Platform||Price||Download Link|
|aTunes||Windows, Mac OS X, Linux||Free||Download|
|KMPlayer||Windows 2000/XP/Vista, (32bit)/Windows 7 (32bit)|
|Clementine||Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android||Free||Download|
|Audacious||Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10, Linux||Free||Download|
|AIMP||Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, and XP, Android||Free||Download|
|VLC Media Player||Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS||Free||Download|
|MusicBee||Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10||Free||Download|
|Foobar2000||Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10||Free||Download|
|MediaMonkey||Windows 10, 8 and 7 (Desktop), Android (Mobile)||Free||Download|
|Winamp||Windows, Android and Mac OS||Free||Download|
In my personal, and very biased evaluation (I’ve been using aTunes for over 2 years now), aTunes proves that one need not succumb to being basic to ensure ease of use. You’ll be surprised how easy the app is to use, how effortlessly it helps you change tracks that are playing and more. The applications looks up artists for you, that too from several sites, be it YouTube or Wikipedia. It is available in multiple languages, uses multiple tags to arrange music, and filter content, making your music easier to find and play.
The catch? The app doesn’t have a lot of troubleshooting help available on the system, and so you’ll probably find it hard to get some help, given how forums are rare and sparsely populated too. Nevertheless, it is certainly one of the best music player for Windows 10!
- Clean, uncluttered UI that displays both primary and secondary information elegantly.
- Options like AudioScrobbler, the Song Properties tab and the Navigator to customize your experience.
- Powerful scan that can toss up around 8,000 tracks in just about a couple of minutes.
- Built-in links to get similar searches for songs and related videos on YouTube.
- Over 27 skins to customize the look of aTunes.
- Integration with Last.fm and several other radio playing services, including Pandora.
- Favorites feature to pick your preferences and gather all of them at a single place, automatically.
- Compatible with a range of audio formats, like MP3, FLAC, WMA, AAC and WAV.
KMPlayer is primarily understood as a video player. However, the application can play your songs just as easily. The multiple screen options make great addons to the application’s utility. There are multiple sound modes, and you can intimately modify sound quality and properties. KMPlayer perhaps works better with music videos, and with subtitles (you can fine tune those as well!), your ordinary music file can be a quick lyric video to karaoke to.
- Interface is fully customizable with options like ‘Screen Controls’, ‘Capture’ and ‘Control Box’, ‘Pan & Scan’ and ‘3D Subtitle Control’.
- Built-in capabilities to support WDM TV and BDA HDTV platforms.
- A variety of skins available to revamp the look. You can also create your customized skins to your own likings.
- A powerful Playlist Editor to manage your video and audio files efficiently.
- 3D support available. A service, 3D Movie Plus, allows you to watch 3D movie trailers, documentaries and commercials.
- A full-scale Control Box (with features like Video, Equalizer, Playback Drop and more) to customize audio, video and subtitles. Screen capture is also available.
- DXVA support, multi-video watching, split-video play and quick bookmarking available.
Perhaps the best thing about Clementine is how well it fits the Windows GUI paradigm. The menu can be browsed with that much ease, and you can pick out tracks with ease. Taking note of contemporary demands of a music player, Clementine is capable of playing music from your cloud storage accounts as well. Plus, you get to access SoundCloud, Spotify and other music services through the application.
If you’re looking for more to impress, do you know the app has an Android app as well? What’s special about that, you ask? Well, just that you can control your Clementine application on the PC Wirelessly through your Android! The Future is here, folks!
- An advanced Library Management to add, organize and customize your audio and video selections.
- Cloud storage (Google Drive and Dropbox) and radio streaming services (Soundcloud and Pandora) lets you upload/save your preferred files directly and gives you a wide access to a variety of songs respectively.
- Compatible with formats like MP3, WAV, FLAC and AAC.
- An option to convert music into MP3 and FLAC formats is available.
Audacious is easy to dismiss as an average player with the common bits and pieces rearranged. But spend time with it and you’ll see how intimately the application’s features have been lined up and how practical that arrangement is. Audacious is not just a great audio player, it has perhaps the best optimised layout in the popular apps of the genre. To add to it, Audacious has additional Plug-ins you can install using the app’s program settings menu. The most useful in my experience has been the vocal removal feature. It’s easy to make karaoke tracks on your favorite songs out of it. Or, if you’re trying to make a parody, or edit the song to improve it, the feature comes in handy.
- A very sorted, scalable UI with lots of amazing features loaded in it.
- Create your library folders and the application will itself pick tracks as per your choices, complete with details like artist and album’s name.
- Features like Duplicate Track Removal, Shuffle/Crossfade and Tag Editor available.
- Compatible with multiple audio formats, including FLAC, WMA, WAV, OGG and AAC.
For those who like their music player stripped of junk, AIMP is a good option. But it isn’t insipid like stock apps. You can modify how the application looks by installing skins. The app has only the very standard features, such as equalizer, shuffling and quick playback control buttons. But the default skin doesn’t have any more detail, just look up your songs and play them using AIMP. It is a different story if you use a different skin, be it preinstalled or downloaded.
- AIMP is rather simple with no elaborate menus, library scans and sub-sections.
- Even the UI is as plain-looking as it can be, with just ‘Now Playing’ view and ‘Playlist Editor’ option.
- Options like Shuffle, Equalizer and Crossfade are easy to access to customize your audio/video plays.
- Excellent search option that’s quick and precise.
- Compatible with formats like FLAC, MP3, DTS, OGG and MIDI.
- A well-worked library module with features like audio encoding and smart playlist generation.
- Plug-ins available, along with skins (both built-in and downloadable) to rejig the look of AIMP.
6. VLC Media Player
Flagging the list off with the name, which is hugely popular and largely mistaken as a Windows default. Yes, you’ve taken the cues right. It’s VLC.
A free, cross-platform media player, VLC is compatible with all the versions of Windows, from XP SP3 to the latest 10. Essentially famous for its video playing gigs, it is an excellent music player as well that can play any of the multimedia files (that includes all the standard choices like AVI and MP4, as well as Audio CDs, VCDs and DVDs). Off course, without going through the hassle of downloading any extra codecs. You can do conversion between various formats as well.
To say the least, VLC is feature-rich, powerful and has what it takes to be on the top of this list.
- Plays everything imaginable, from files, discs webcams and streams. And, that too for free.
- All required codecs come pre-installed. The hassle is kept to a minimum for user convenience.
- Supports GPU acceleration for faster playbacks.
- Customize it using VLC Skin Editor.
- Plenty of add-ons available for heightened experience.
MusicBee is second on the list of best music players for Windows and for right reasons. It makes tall claims about converting your PC into a music jukebox and takes all care to walk its talk. It’s simple, manageable and supports a ton of things, including Podcasts, Radio Stations and SoundCloud integration.
MusicBee is designed to handle the most complex of the needs, so that you get the best experience and never complain a thing about its performance or speed.
Its tweaking chops are superb. You get high-end audio cards, surround sounds and equalizer to personalize your experience. MusicBee has a dedicated community for music lovers and an active one at that, where users interact and share experience. You not only get the support, but also user-generated content, like plug-ins, tricks and tips, to improve your stay with MusicBee.
- Fine-tune your music with 10-band and 15-band equalizers and DSP effects.
- High-end audio chops with WASAPI support (talking with audio devices)
- Gapless playback for uninterrupted music.
- Supports WinAmp plugins for an enhanced experience.
- Skins available for easy customization as per your likings.
- Sync your music with playlist and podcast syncing, along with audiobooks 2-way syncing.
- Supports Groove music. Stream directly from MusicBee or add to playlists.
Foobar2000 is way more modular and customizable than any music player on the list, and thus, finds a mention here. The real beauty of Foobar2000 is its lightweight setup, allowing you to listen to your favorite tracks without any system delays or bugs. Another loved feature is its advanced tagging, where each track has an Artist ID, Release Group ID, Track ID, Album Type and Status among many.
Launched in 2002, it’s still so overwhelmingly modish. Instead of skins, Foobar2000 has a customizable interface to display information that’s simple to access.
The fact, that it supports almost all media types and has additional codecs to play a file it cannot run in the first place, is a proof of its popularity. Foobar2000 supports MP3, MP4, AAC, Vorbis, Opus, FLAC, WAV, AIFF and many more.
- Foobar2000 is easy, lightweight and beautifully customizable.
- Gapless playback for uninterrupted music experience and ReplayGain support.
- Customizable keyboard shortcuts available.
- Allows Audio CDs ripping and transcoding audio formats.
- Access to third-party plugins.
MediaMonkey is the topmost choice for best media player for Windows. And, only Windows. This isn’t available for any other platform as of yet. This is one powerful media player you should try if you’re obsessive about your music experience on PC. If you’ve a truckload of video and audio data, trust MediaMonkey to handle it effortlessly. It will not slack down in the middle to give you a cringe.
MediaMonkey has an easy navigable interface and is quite impressive overall. If you’ve a music library that makes a poor show of how organization is done, this music library gives you an advanced tagging system to keep things streamlined. For entertainment on the fly, simply synchronize content to your smartphone or your portable media player.
There’s a freemium and then a premium version of MediaMonkey. If you pay, you get features like advanced searching and faster disc burning. Since they all are secondary in use and it wouldn’t be difficult to do without them, the free version is more than enough. Still, the choice is yours.
- Compatible with an array of media formats, including AAC, MP3, MP4, OGG, WAV and more.
- Gapless playback and ReplayGain available.
- Jukebox option also available.
- Advanced media tagging with options like genres, artists, ratings and more.
- Transcoding between audio formats is doable.
- Automatic renaming of files, available in batches, just to your liking also available.
Winamp is the earliest of them all and wrapped its operations in 2013 due to intense competition and failing to keep pace with the fast-evolving trends. However, it bounced back from the ashes and carries lot of relevance today. This media player for Windows bags a spot on the list, for being the most sophisticated product. So, if you’re under an impression that Winamp has little to offer, you should try its reenergized version.
Winamp is well-equipped to satisfy your needs. But, some are dissatisfied with the way its interface look and feel. They say, it’s intimidating. If you ask our advice, we don’t feel the same. We find it scalable to surf with neat menus.
- Compatible with various audio formats, including AAC, FLV, MP3, MP4, WAV, WMA and WMV.
- Plugins support to expand capabilities.
- Skins to customize the look to your likings.
- Import iTunes libraries and enjoy your music on the move.
- Find new artists and song recommendations.
These are the best music player for Windows you can try in 2018. Each of them is great to experience by its own virtue. Since Pandora and Spotify are all about instant streaming and provide offline streaming too, there is hardly left any need to have a music player. But, considering how limited such offline streaming can be, it’s always great to have a free music player and enjoy interrupted music. We hope, the options above help you get one for yourself.
If you’ve tried any other music player for Windows, let us know in the comments section below. Also, don’t forget to tell us what you feel about this post and how we can make it better for you.