How-To Geek

Ask the Readers: What Desktop Music Player Do You Use?

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We all love to listen to music on our computers whether at work or at home. This week we want to know which desktop music player you use for listening to music.


There are a multitude of desktop music players available to choose from. Some come pre-installed on our computers and others we specifically download for their features and functionality. For some of us a music player that simply plays our music gets the job done nicely but for others there is a need or desire for more. Whether it is displaying album cover art, song lyrics, or creating playlists there is a music player out there to fit your needs.

People can definitely be passionate about their favorite music player and be ready to engage in a little evangelism when needed. But hey, if you know about a great music player, then why not share? You never know when you can help someone else find a better music player or perhaps find a better one yourself.

What is your favorite desktop music player? Do you use more than one? Let us know in the comments!

[polldaddy poll=”3535867″]

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 08/25/10

Comments (144)

  1. Mysticgeek

    Foobar2000 rocks!

  2. Umut

    I use MusicBee.

  3. at0mic

    i used winamp up until wmp12 came out, i can get the same stations without installing another program.

  4. JasonCook599

    How can you not list VLC? It is one of the most versatile media playing application?

  5. Bart

    Gom player is the best by far!

  6. Santino Awesum

    MediaMonkey is the best media player I’ve ever used to organize my music collection

  7. Chris

    Potplayer for me

  8. Cara

    VLC, always

  9. mrrix32

    All the legal music I want for the low, low cost of FREE.

  10. Etienne

    Well, foobar2000 on Windows because it is amazing! And Rhytmbox on Ubuntu, because I don’t know a lot of players for Linux.

  11. Asian Angel

    Winamp and MediaMonkey for Windows & Banshee for Linux. ^__^

  12. eceplayground

    iTunes obviously

  13. skinn3r


  14. didbygraham

    VLC – why not listed? better than those listed

  15. MinDokan

    Zune :)

  16. Osama Sayeed

    Jet Audio……………….

  17. Dave


  18. NaeNae

    Why is VLC not listed? I’m going to assume that it was a simple mistake…

  19. dekadans

    I use the not-yet-in-the-US-program Spotify, free legal streaming music that also can play my local mp3-files.

  20. jake

    WTF!! where is vlc??

  21. sam

    you showed a VLC logo but didn’t include it in the list, anyway I use VLC

  22. introvertsrule

    Jet Audio

  23. Sidneys1

    Zune ftw. I’m surprised it’s not an option.


  24. jan

    1by1 directory player in Windows.
    MOC and Decibel Audio Player (both directory players) in Linux

  25. Masoud

    where is zune?!

  26. Matthew

    Winamp on Windows, Rhythmbox on Ubuntu. Spotify on both aswell.

  27. Tuxster

    JRiver Media Center, no question about it. More capable and customizable, better library management, better tagging capabilities, and better smartlist capabilities then all of the listed ones, and I have tried almost each and everyone of them..

  28. Ryan

    iTunes for the check boxes

  29. Umbilino

    J River Media Center, just the best

  30. Rock

    VLCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC, the best____________

  31. PS1

    iTunes and VLC (Windows 7)
    VLC for Videos and Banshee (Ubuntu)

  32. PS1

    And sometimes use the Spotify xD

  33. Kevin

    Windows Media Player for music, VLC for flash videos, Rhythm Box on Ubuntu

  34. Thomas Skov

    I use the Zune Player for music.

  35. Hatryst

    I use WMP, but i’m amazed that MAJORITY of the people use iTunes…
    No doubt its the best app ever written for windows :p

  36. Mysticgeek

    I use VLC all the time for quickly listening to a song or album and for video exclusively. But for my music collection it’s Foobar2000 all the way.

  37. Tommie

    Spider Player. And when I want to be all stylish and sleek, Xion. I believe the question was what desktop MUSIC player you use…

  38. david


  39. MrMiesta

    w00t vote number 420! (itunes btw)

  40. ortibal

    WinAmp Pro for music library, XMPlay for exotic formats and general audio – so small and capable

  41. James

    vlc always!

  42. John in SF

    VLC leaves all the others behind. How could you not list it as a choice?

  43. Ross


  44. Mohan player at work on my Win7 desktop, Rhythmbox on my Ubuntu computers at home.

  45. Zack

    I use Ubuntu, so I use Rhythmbox. On Windows, I use foobar2000. Both are amazing music players. VLC is a great media player and the best for video, but it’s not the best for music.

  46. Mario


  47. aresef

    What?! VLC is not listed? Common- a big player for many! Voice for VLC. Am I behind the times?

  48. josephst18

    Zune rocks, especially for music discovery.

  49. bursky

    Zune! :D

  50. Lady Fitzgerald

    VLC. I’m also wondering why the logo is shown but it’s not listed in the poll.

  51. blop

    winamp… It really kicks the llama’s ass! :D

  52. awraynor

    Zune. It’s beautiful, great for music discovery and the subscription service is great.

  53. el_dominicano


  54. vik

    i use jetaudio

  55. David

    Zune for me.

  56. The Biu

    XMPlay is also a great player! =D
    I use both XMPlay and foobar2000… Aimp is also another great one…

  57. Who Cares

    Listening to music on my computer is a waste of time. But when I do it I usually use Microsoft’s Media Player or VLC’s player.

    But when I watch TV, THAT’S where I waste my time! And for TV viewing I always use Microsoft Media Center (not to be confused with Media Player). I really wish the Linux Guru’s could come up with something like MMC for Linux (Ubuntu, Mint or whatever) so I could finally be free of Microsoft and their Windows OS. Somehow, MythTV is just too confusing and cumbersome. And don’t even get me started on drivers (even when I’m using a “standard” Hauppauge or ATI TV card)!

  58. Prashant

    I use Zune and VLC (vlc for real medial formats)

  59. Jaibee

    You havnt listed VLC????

  60. Rjayr

    VLC all the way!

  61. Kele

    Winamp. I have it docked between my taskbar and the desktop so it’s always in view but doesn’t impede anything. I love it.

  62. doug

    i use QMP, from the look at this list,a hidden jewel.

  63. brie987

    Kantaris and VLC Why no VLC option, why you have to be like that HTG?

  64. Darryl

    I use MediaMonkey to organize my music and load my iPod, but for my desktop I use 1by1. Put your computer into sleep mode with 1by1 playing and when it wakes up 1by1 picks up right where it left off. It’s my alarm clock.

  65. Nabu

    Foobar..all the way…fast..sleek.
    and K lite for quick checking out the song..
    VLC is good, can be an alternative without foobar.
    Tried many others….winamp..earlier versions were good, but left it for slow loading times(foobar starts in 2 secs).
    iTunes…bloated and slow..resource hog
    Media monkey…good, but slow on my pc.
    Foobar has lots of plugins too..i can change song from notification area…

  66. entropy

    I am using of thing two.
    jaangle and AIMP2… by the way, Aimp classic?……
    different between?

  67. josu

    I haven’t really bothered with WinAmp after WinAmp 3, if I have to use Windows, foobar2000 is my weapon of choice. Awesome customizability (just browse through DA for skins) and light resource usage.

    On Linux (with Gnome) I prefer Exaile, the Gnome equivalent of amaroK (its v1.4 used to be THE media player). Great music and playlist management. QuodLibet is also nice, but since it doesn’t include an equalizer it’s kind of a no-go for me. Occasionally I use Spotify to listen to some tunes that are not in my collection.

  68. Jesus


  69. Rounak


  70. Thomly

    I use Songbird on both Windows and Linux for the easy sharing of ratings etc.

    And it’s a great media player.

  71. Kalle

    I use Spotify the most and Winamp sometimes

  72. Juergen

    VLC – what else?

  73. Kim

    I use MusicBee :)

  74. asdf-chan

    Windows: iTunes, Jajuke, MPC-HC
    Linux: Exaile, MPlayer

  75. RichS

    Spotify! Why is it not on the list?

  76. Matus

    VLC :)

  77. hvranic


  78. funkybebel

    Billy (from Sheep friends)

  79. TEA

    What is iTunes ? Foobar all the way, and remote controlled Zoom Player when I´m lazy to get off the sofa…

  80. Ryan

    I used foobar2000 on Windows and I am absolutely loved it, never used a media player that fast and customisable with how much music I have. I’ve now however switched over to Ubuntu and using Rhythmbox, I wish there was a version of foobar on linux =/

  81. Ron

    This won’t be an accurate result since many people are using multiple OS’s but can vote for only one player. Anyway, Linux – Banshee. Windows – Foobar. VLC rocks as a cross-platform player.

  82. محمد مهدی

    KM PLAYER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  83. Rannon


  84. George

    Rhythmbox on Ubuntu. Media Player on Win 7 work PC.

  85. GoodBytes

    Zune software by far!
    I strongly suggest everyone to at least have a look, whether you have a Zune or not (or know what it is).
    I tried many, and fall in love with the Zune software to manage my music.

  86. Mary

    VLC only. Why show its logo in the survey and then not include it amongst the choices?!!?

  87. Gary

    I use Ubuntu primarily and use Rhythmbox. It plays music which is good enough for me, i don’t need all the extra stuff.

    When i use Windows tho, i use VLC because VLC rules.

  88. Joe

    Exaile for me!

  89. Ben


  90. Steve

    MediaMonkey has been my primary music player for a couple years now. The tag correction options are awesome.

  91. J.Shadow

    anybody using AIMP???

  92. Kerensky97


    Try it out for a week, you’ll love it.

    I waited ages for Amarok to become Windows capable. When it finally did it sucked. MusicBee is the closest thing and it actually works.

  93. Gregasus

    Winamp, because it really wip’s the lama’s ass

  94. sai

    Why there is no KMPlayer in options?
    Very sad about who decided options for this poll…since he/she doesn’t even know that KMPlayer is one of the best available today.

    My vote is for The KMPlayer !!

  95. Bru

    I just started using Windows Media Center in Windows 7. Love the interface!

  96. RocRizzo

    VLC FTW!
    It plays anything on any platform. I use it for EVERYTHING! If VLC can’t play it, I don’t want to play it!

  97. sonofanarchy

    Media Player Classic Home Cinema Edition

  98. Matthew Guay

    Zune for PC is one of the nicest desktop music apps IMO…..

  99. Aparecido

    VLC – why not listed? better than those listed [n]

  100. GGlynnD

    MusicMatch, Media Player Classic, VLC and Win Med Player in that order….

  101. James

    Usually Exaile.

  102. Beerd

    Up until recently I used iTunes only because I use an iTouch. Otherwise it wouldnt have mattered, but I read a post explaining how to use Foobar2000 with an iPod so i downloaded that a couple days ago but havent customized it for my iPod yet. Once i get that running i’ll be stick with foobar

  103. Mahdi

    KM PlAyEr

  104. John3347

    While I generally loathe anything whose name starts with a lower case “i”, I have not found anything that is as simple to use as iTunes. Double click the desktop icon, then double click whichever song you want to start playing from, then just listen to music for 3 or 4 days straight if I wish. I have approximately 1600 songs from the 50s and 60s on my harddrive and that is what I listen to. Other than the player, there is nothing else in iTunes for me. (VLC is by far my favorite video player)

  105. Ledav

    Winamp for Music files
    VLC for video files

  106. Rose Tyler

    I used Winamp for many years until I found JetAudio. The entire Cowon Media Center is simply awesome.!

  107. Victor

    I use Spider Player; good sound & equalizer.

  108. BLUEBOY


  109. Muaz

    VLC for quick playing stuff

    and for my Metal collection library i use WMP 12. highly underrated !!

  110. Msidiiq

    Where is VLC?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! how come it is not listed.??????

  111. Chewie063

    Portable KMPlayer

  112. nixdagibts


  113. Lowlander

    The actual audio result is the vital feature. Winamp can achieve great results but only with the right plug-ins, while JETAUDIO has by far the best sound engine built in. An Audio Engineer has spoken.

  114. Vishal


  115. Emad Mokhtar

    Zune FTW, even I don’t have Zune device but I like the app

  116. Dream23

    VLC is a good video player, but thats it.
    things like a media library are essential to large music collection.
    My vote goes for Winamp…

  117. Bartman

    After struggling with WMP I switched to Foobar2000.
    Wow! What a difference! Awesome!

  118. techsavvy

    I use VLC because on my laptop I need to raise the volume in order to clearly hear dvd’s and some other video files. It has a volume control mapped to ctrl+up arrow and goes up to also normalizes all tracks and i can mix tracks using multiple instances of vlc (set in preferences) .

  119. Stu


  120. Daniel

    On Windows I’ve always used Winamp, since it’s always been a great piece of software for playing music with the best features (Global Hotkeys, Library, Replay Gain etc) but it has one flaw over Foobar 2000 (which is now my default). It’s lack of portability. I have two libraries of music. One for regular music and a Club Music library. Sometimes I just feel like listening to my regular, sometimes I want house music. With foobar everything is possible, I have three portables running. One for regular, one for house and one with both and is so fast for scanning Replay Gain. Though I still have Winamp, foobar has addons for all the features I love from Winamp. Mp3Tag for tagging flawlessly globally.

    On Ubuntu I’ve had trouble finding something as powerful as Winamp or Foobar, but, Rhythmbox is alright, but I wish for something more powerful.

  121. hb860


    >Foobar2000 rocks!

    I can confirm it. :)

  122. Vijay

    Banshee – Ubuntu… Zune – Windows7.. Fell in love with Zune player after using it once… thanks to howtogeek…….

  123. Eagle

    I use a tiny portable software xmplay it’s smaller and sounds better than any other player I’ve tried.
    It’s a shame really that it isn’t better known because it is great.
    It’s not good for organization though so for this i use mediamonkey.

  124. DuanVu

    JetAudio is good choosing!

  125. Elizabeth

    I am still trying to find the ‘right’ one however, reading the comments here, I will
    be checking out some of the listed ones.
    what media player lists lyrics ?? pls let me know? thanks ! :)

  126. Júlio César


  127. ssc73

    I change constantly. Always looking for the best sound. I like winamp and aimp at the moment and will probably try foobar next. But WMP12 is very good and I love smplayer. I keep VLC around but find myself using it less and less. WMC, WMP12, SMPlayer and VLC are all very good. Zune is good for using Zune. But the music player is slow, buggy and very un-customizable. Would not under any circumstances install itunes. Ever.

  128. alaukik

    Minitunes FTW
    It has a very good uncluttered interface.

  129. Osama Sayeed

    Foobar2000 sounds good but I believe the JetAudio is way much better along with the appearence and the handy use of it (keeping it under the tray and playing any song I like, also I can keep my taskbar free). I am a fan of it since JetAudio 5

  130. farid

    i vote for wmp but for music but VLC always for video and for the format that WMP don’t support

  131. farid

    oh i have forget that i have switch ti kantaris better moded VLC

  132. Hariks

    We yell see :)

  133. Adil

    Windows Media Player fulfills almost all my needs.

  134. Rohan

    I use foobar2000, i love the way you can customize the user interface, it fits well with windows 7 and barely takes up any of the computer’s resources. it also has support for universal formats and theres plenty of codecs and plugins for it.

  135. Nortech

    Spotify – on my laptop, htpc and mobile

  136. greg


  137. greg

    P.S. Zune for discovering and listening to music. VLC for watching vids and general media-playing goodness.

  138. ali

    Jet Audio

  139. SV

    Sound Vibe –

  140. Audi


  141. anderson

    aimp2 is my choice for now, or splayer or kmplayer but i like a player that is easily controlled from my keyboard IE:stopping and starting my media with the spacebar and raising and lowering the volume with the arrow keys.

  142. Fred

    MOC (Music on Console) for the win!

  143. Edgar

    VLC, GOM, KM, XMPlay (great), Windows Media… all good…

  144. bubs353

    Windows Media Player, Media player classic, Vlc

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