Popular audio players for Windows
With so many devices and screen sizes nowadays, you might find yourself using different audio players in different situations. Windows 10 originally came out with Microsoft’s Groove Music but has since decided to promote music streaming platforms like Spotify, instead. So, with the app and online landscape always evolving, here are some of the ever-popular audio players for Windows. Have we left out your favorite app? Let us know in the comments which audio player for Windows you prefer, and why? We’ll check them out and add them to this page!
AIMP is my current go-to audio player for the PC. The features, functionality, and customization options are second to none, and some of the skins available from the community are amazing. Therefore, it’s the player for me right now.
Groove Music is the audio player still included with Windows 10. Its simple UI works well with touchscreens, and music playback can be easily controlled with Cortana. Microsoft is not commited to improving Groove Music though. On October 2, 2017, Microsoft announced that it would be shutting down the Groove Music Pass streaming service, and removed all music for purchase from the Windows Store on December 31, 2017. And as mentioned earlier, Microsoft has since been openly promoting music streaming apps like Spotify.
Dopamine is a simple to use audio player for Windows 7, 8.x or 10. It’s easy to manage large music collections and it can play wav, mp3, ogg vorbis, flac, wma, ape, opus and m4a/aac files. It also has options for a light or dark theme, or your default Windows colour.
foobar2000 is an advanced audio player for PCs. The minimal UI might not be for everyone, but many audiophiles swear by it and nothing else. If you’re only about the audio, then look no further.
VLC media player
VLC media player, recently updated to 3.0.1, is a well-known, free and open-source media player. It’s popular for being able to play many multimedia file types, including Blu-Ray (which Windows 10 can’t play out of the box), 360 video and audio, Chromecast streaming, and 4K and 8K playback. It comes with enough audio and video codecs, so you should be able to play most typical audio and video files (which you might find online). If you want DVD playback, download the desktop version from videolan.org, and not the version from the Microsoft Store.
Winamp was a favourite PC audio player for many Windows users, but it has been out of development for a long time. On October 19, 2016, it was suggested that a new Winamp public beta could be on the way, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. It would be great news for Winamp fans, though, if they haven’t moved on to the likes of AIMP. You can still get the old and original Winamp below.
Windows Media Player
The trusty old Windows Media Player is still included with most versions of Windows, and why not? It still does a good job. Recently, however, Microsoft is encouraging people to use Groove, for music, or the Movies & TV app, for video.
MusicBee is a simple audio player for finding, organizing and playing music files on your PC. Be sure to try out different skins and spend some time tuning the UI to your needs.
Kodi® is a free and open-source media player for Linux, OS X, Windows, iOS, and Android. Its large UI is perfect for that full-screen experience like TVs with remote controls, etc.
ACG Media Player
ACG Media Player is a universal media player for Windows 10 PCs, tablets, and phones. It has a simple UI and very nice visual effects. It’s definitely worth a try! You can get it now from the Windows Store.
Download: ACG Media Player (Windows Store) (Free, paid upgrade available)
Easily sync content to your iPod or iPhone, available for Mac or PC – iTunes is the well-known very popular media player from Apple.
MediaMonkey is a very capable audio player, ideal for organizing very large music collections. The non-default skins are nice, and there are many ways to customize the UI and show your file information.
Nowadays, on the PC, I keep coming back to AIMP. It has tons of features and customization options, and some cool skins from the community.
Some audiophiles swear by foobar2000 and nothing else. But with an emphasis on audio and less on looks, its minimalistic UI is not for everyone.
If you want to take up the whole screen (or two), you might like the UI of Kodi (originally XBMC). It’s cool visualizations light up the room and remind me of the MilkDrop plugin from the Winamp days.
So, these were some of the more popular audio players for Windows. I don’t think there will be another version of Winamp, because it has taken too long, and there are other great audio players now. So for me, it’s AIMP. More importantly, how about you? Let us know which apps you prefer so that we can add them to this page..