Windows Media Player (WMP) has been packaged with Windows for as long as most of us can remember. Windows 8 brought with it Groove Music, but Groove development tailed off, and Microsoft started to promote music streaming platforms like Spotify, instead. WMP and Groove Music are included in Windows 10. Over the years, many people have been more enthusiastic about third-party audio apps, thanks in part to their customization features and addons. Including WMP and Groove Music, here are twelve good audio players for Windows. They are mostly in no particular order.
Audio Players for Windows
AIMP is a top 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 at the top of this list right now.
2. Groove Music
Groove Music is the latest of the official audio players for Windows. Included with Windows 8 through 10, its simple UI works well with touchscreens, and you can use Cortana to control music playback. Microsoft is not committed to improving Groove Music, though. Back 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. 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 extensive 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 color.
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.
5. VLC media player
VLC media player is a well-known, free, and open-source media player. It’s famous 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, you might download the desktop version from videolan.org, and not from the Microsoft Store.
Winamp was a favorite PC audio player for many Windows users, but it has been out of development for a long time. On October 19, 2016, we thought there might be a new Winamp public beta on the way, but that never happened. It would be great news for Winamp fans, though, if they still haven’t moved on to the likes of AIMP. You can get the old and original Winamp below.
7. Windows Media Player
The trusty old Windows Media Player continues to part of Windows, and why not? It always does a good job. Microsoft has, however, encouraged people to use Groove or services like Spotify, 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 screen UI is perfect for that full-screen TV experience.
10. ACG Media Player
ACG Media Player has a simple UI and excellent visual effects. It’s worth a try!
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 famously-known top-rated media player from Apple.
MediaMonkey is a competent audio player, ideal for organizing extensive music collections. The non-default skins are excellent, and there are many ways to customize the UI and show your file information.
Nowadays, on the PC, AIMP remains a favorite. 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 look like the MilkDrop plugin from the Winamp days).
What are your thoughts?
Are these audio players too old-school for your taste? Do you recommend a better music app? Are you more into streaming services? Leave your suggestions in the comments, and help to add to this list of audio players for Windows.
See also: Free Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)