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What is the most user-friendly audio player?

[ 7 ] (2%)
[ 140 ] (39.7%)
Helium Music Manager
[ 1 ] (0.3%)
[ 76 ] (21.5%)
[ 20 ] (5.7%)
[ 12 ] (3.4%)
[ 2 ] (0.6%)
[ 5 ] (1.4%)
[ 62 ] (17.6%)
Windows Media Player
[ 28 ] (7.9%)

Total Members Voted: 633

Topic: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009) (Read 74090 times) previous topic - next topic
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What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)

Reply #25
I would prefer another title, for example "What's your favorite audio player".


That's the problem when 'user friendly' isn't defined in the first place.

When I started the thread that spawned this one, I basically meant a software FLAC player/album art displayer for n00bs with only average interest in technology for its own sake.  Not geeks (like me).

I suppose an ideal u-f app is one that doesn't need a geek to show the naive user how to set it up and operate it.  It's intuitive.

What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)

Reply #26
I can't answer the poll, because I've used foobar2000 solely since 2002, and I don't know any of the others, except iTunes when I'm on the road (pc at home, MacBook when away), which is pretty good. I do consider iTunes more userfriendly, but that says nothing about its capabilities.

What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)

Reply #27
iTunes is probably the most user-friendly. It comes as you would use it from the install, and is fairly clear in instructions. It comes ready with reliable support for iPod too, something that many people need, so it is the player I voted for.

Foobar is one of the least user-friendly music players. But it is definitely the most modifiable, and for this it is my favourite player.

What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)

Reply #28
User friendly is a term that means different things to different people.  Is a player which requires detailed configuration friendly?  If the result is a player which does exactly what you want then maybe the answer is yes.  For an inexperienced user that might be a resounding no, and their idea of user friendly might be the player whose defaults most closely resemble whatever they used before.  Some people want an audio player, pure and simple.  Others want the audio player to be able to sync their personal player/manage a collection/edit tags/burn CDs/transcode etc etc.  Other people wouldn't consider anything to be user friendly if its designers hadn't considered end users with special needs.

I also notice that neither of the players I use daily is even in the poll, probably because they are unavailable or hardly used in Windows.  Amarok is a long way from being the only audio/media player on the free desktop.  If I mostly used Windows I'd probably say foobar because it is one of the few players which can do what I want without being obtrusive.  But in fact I rarely use Windows and for audio playback use Music On Console or gmusicbrowser, the first being a console based player with a ncurses UI and using ffmpeg backend to play anything supported by ffmpeg, and the second being a regular GUI collection/database based player (cover art, lastfm, ratings, tagging etc etc) with a choice of back ends.  Both naturally require some configuration but both do what I want (different purposes...MOC has the advantage that I can use it on systems with no graphical desktop but still have an easily navigable nobrainer this case that's user friendly!)  Neither even slightly resembles foobar but one of them would get my vote if it appeared in the list.  So that's another null vote.

What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)

Reply #29
Thank you for the commentary Takla. I mostly agree with your perspective and I'm sorry for the lack of free representatives.

Personally I tend to dislike curses and prefer more CLI-driven players on Linux. I use mpd when away from Windows.

What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)

Reply #30
MusicBee is my no. 1. I have tried almost everyone (winamp, foobar, media monkey, itunes, aimp, etc) but this player/organizer is amazing. You should give it a try...

What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)

Reply #31
I've been an avid foobar user for years now.  However, it took a bit of time to get used to foobar and get it set the way I like it.  That in my opinion, does not make it the most user friendly out of the box.  I put my vote in for Media Monkey--out of the box, its easy to set up and its pretty simple, compared to foobar anyway.  Once foobar is set up, its a piece of cake for it to do what you want but the blank interface upon default is not what most basic computer users are looking for with stuff like Aero being available.  My two cents.
foobar2000, FLAC, and qAAC -V90
It just works people!

What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)

Reply #32
Have to say MusicBee.  Used Foobar for years way back but retreated to iTunes (for kids) and Sony Media Manager (for walkman phones) in the last couple of years.  Have been waiting expectantly for Songbird to rise to the challenge but no (too slow and no MTP).  Found MusicBee recently and well pleased.  IMHO it's what Songbird should be.  Loads if functionality.  Plays all file types (except protected stuff), MTP (in the latest build), audio fingerprinting, taq editing, web browsing (for artist/album), music downloads (from blogs), cover art browsing, CD ripping (to FLAC and MP3), file conversions, folder monitoring....the list goes on.  Oo and is pretty quick

What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)

Reply #33
I'm a foobar user and I love it.

But there's no way foobar is "user-friendly"

What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)

Reply #34
The first time I tried foobar it seem distinctly unfriendly.. but I think the usability of a new install has improved a lot over the years.

I might have gone for Amarok as first choice, but they came out with a major revision and haven't got all the features back on yet (like supporting msc players).  Apples vs oranges to some extent as they are on different OS's .

I count as distinctly *unfriendly* any player with ripping that defaults to saving your music with DRM.  WMP and Itunes both have that at least in their history, along with updaters that wouldn't work so for me that's still where they stand.

What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)

Reply #35
iTunes has never saved rips with DRM.

What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)

Reply #36
iTunes has never saved rips with DRM.

I don't think it ever forced you to, but the first time I installed it that was the default.

What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)

Reply #37
You may have thought, that that encoded m4a files were DRM protected when you ran into incompatibilities. But actually iTunes has not even ever had the ability to put DRM onto self-ripped files.

What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)

Reply #38
I guess this topic should be moved to pool section. no?

What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)

Reply #39
for those who don't speak english, l10n is important, and in this regard foobar2000 keeps to fail badly over the years. that's why several of my friends won't use it.

of course i use it, but that doesn't matter. there's a world beside english speakers, and it's quite huge. foobar2000 doesn't (and apparently won't) support translations, period.

i don't quite understand peter's point, someone who wants to do something with the player won't read help pages all the time but will switch to (or stick with) an other player instead. it's quite obvious. listening to music is definitely something people don't want to learn from books.

What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)

Reply #40
I think you are confusing the term "friendly". Usually a person with whom anybody can get along with easily is called friendly. In contrast a person that is generally grumpy to everyone except those, who have established friendship with him ("configured once"), is usually not specifically called friendly, although maybe even being totally capable of sustaining great, long-lasting friendships in principle.

So no, Foobar is not user-friendly! iTunes is, and somewhat Winamp, but not Foobar, not even close! It's still the most flexible of the bunch, once configured it can do whatever you want and easily. But I would never call it friendly. That's no big deal, I wouldn't call my best friends necessarily friendly (to everyone), either... 

I think this deserves repeating.

I am a foobar2000 users and don't see myself switching (lots of configuration has gone into my version of fb2k). I love the program.
But I don't consider it user-friendly. Maybe if canar wants to set it up for my friends, then it will be user-friendly. But out-of-the-box, no.
God kills a kitten every time you encode with CBR 320

What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)

Reply #41
foobar is friendly for people who use computers for other things than browse and watch movies
if you don't know what 286 means, or what is dosamp, I guess it's not designed for you nor you need it functionality
thou it's doing it best to do it with every new release

What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)

Reply #42
Old grumps, who only like other old grumps who can list every quarterback of their favorite football team since 1920 are not usually called friendly! You are just using the wrong word.

I program since MS-DOS 3.3. I would never call Foobar user friendly, anyway. Vim isn't either, although it is a great productivity enhancement for me for ASCII editing. Moreover, I don't really see any cultural or UI related common roots between Foobar, 286s and DOS.

Besides, iTunes doesn't compare badly from a professional user's standpoint, either. I want to get to what I want as quickly as possible, and I want categorized overviews, when needed. iTunes is good at both and I don't need much more. When you are able to feed it properly tagged (including artwork) AAC, MP3, and ALAC files, with a lossless archive in whatever format such is never a problem, it can deliver a great UI experience. At least on the mac platform it is blazingly fast. Within a fraction of a second it it can filter 30000 tracks for just a few letters typed into the easily accessible search field.

What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)

Reply #43
I voted for iTunes as that is what I have used for the past 6 years (it will be 7 this Fall) ever since Apple released it for Windows back in 2003 shortly after the release of the 3G iPod.  It took a little while to get used to as I was coming from a series of different software.  Back then, I didn't know much better when it came to audio encoding or management.  I had previously used Rio's music software that came with my Rio 600, Rio's software that came with my 1.5GB Rio Nitrus (that was all the storage in the world back in early 2003), and then I migrated to iTunes whenever my Rio Nitrus broke down (the 1" micro drives weren't all that reliable) in late 2003.  So far, I have not encountered any issues with its interface.  I didn't like what Apple did a year or two ago whenever they made the album view the default, it came off as Apple trying to copy what MS did with the Zune.  I prefer the list-o-text view with an album art preview in the lower left corner.  It took one click of the mouse to turn it back the way I wanted.

What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)

Reply #44
@rpp3po: lol, dos 3.3 - best OS for 286

and dont take it literally
about cultural, I don't know, but when I first meet foobar I thought I can type in console

What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)

Reply #45
I'd prefer not to vote because my knowledge of most programs in this list is very limited. I tried most of them these past years, often out of curiosity, but Foobar and iTunes are the only ones I really used in their current versions. I loathe iTunes, and I don't find it user-friendly at all. I dumped it as soon as I could switch to a Foobar component for my wife's iPod. Some thoughts:

- Foobar, freshly installed with no components and DUI is much more user-friendly than a lot of players. It's been a slow evolution, but 1.0 unfairly suffers from Foobar's geek-toy reputation.

- Foobar is still missing the basics: a clear and "dummy-proof" help file. And of course, as viktor wrote: translations. I don't mind it myself, but , the language barrier is impossible to overcome for a lot of people.

- no player without custom (user-created) tags support should be called "user-friendly". Any half-decent photo manager let the user decide how to tags its collection.

- no player without support for usual audio formats should be called "user-friendly". And yes, I'm including FLAC in the list.

- If "user-friendly" means "quickly learned by a computer-challenged user", then the old "make it look like reality paradigm" is the best. It's been used from the beginning (the "desk", the "trash", the icons etc.). Hence the most user-friendly audio program should compare to browsing a material (as opposed to virtual) record collection. I'd vote for Album Player if it was in the list. It feels very close to the "real thing".

In the meantime, I'm very happy with Catraxx/Foobar/MP3Tag. But my tolerance to user-unfriendliness is probably average.

What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)

Reply #47
iTunes all the way.
...and in all fairness you have not listed many alternative players that run on Mac OS X.

What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)

Reply #48
No Vote...
i can't compare, i have only used foobar the last 7 or 8 years...

What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)

Reply #49
WMP's metadata retrieval/automatic tagging capabilities continue to rule for me
EAC>1)fb2k>LAME3.99 -V 0 --vbr-new>WMP12 2)MAC-Extra High