Hydrogenaudio Forums

Hydrogenaudio Forum => Polls => Topic started by: ExUser on 2009-12-10 14:42:30

Poll
Question: What is the most user-friendly audio player?
Option 1: Amarok votes: 7
Option 2: foobar2000 votes: 140
Option 3: Helium Music Manager votes: 1
Option 4: iTunes votes: 75
Option 5: MediaMonkey votes: 20
Option 6: MusicBee votes: 12
Option 7: MusikCube votes: 2
Option 8: Songbird votes: 5
Option 9: Winamp votes: 62
Option 10: Windows Media Player votes: 28
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: ExUser on 2009-12-10 14:42:30
I've sorted the links by name, alphabetically. This is pursuant to discussion here (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=76776). I've included both a single-choice and a multiple-choice poll because considering many pieces of software to be user-friendly is a valid response. Sorry I could not include all the options, there's a limit of 10.
 
  What qualities do the software you consider to be "user-friendly" have that the others lack that gives them the edge?
 
   
  I really have to face the music: I am a foobar2000 fanboy. To me, there is no software that compares. The one place where foobar2000 is not user-friendly is in configuration. However, this is irrelevant to me, because configuration is complicated regardless of the software you choose to use.
 
  foobar2000 makes everything easy, and after being configured once, allows immediate access to a whole slew of features, from conversion, to ReplayGain, to secure ripping, to tagging, to moving. All of these are quick, efficient, and streamlined. It's the fastest way to work with my music. The speed at which it works is directly related to its ease-of-use. The Properties dialog, where all the usual tagging happens, is the best solution I have ever seen to the difficult problem of mass-tagging. Sure there are features that will grab metadata from elsewhere, but none of them come without caveats.
 
  It has proven its ease-of-use and user-friendliness over the years, as I introduce new people to it and watch them clue in to both how powerful it is and how natural it is. The focus of foobar2000 has always been significantly on the UI. Initially, it was simply that the UI was Win32 as opposed to the abortions that were skinned players at the time. Even as a simple noisy notepad, however, foobar2000 has had the power to make the user-experience simple and effective.
 
  On top of all of the simple features, foobar2000 offers a huge library of more complicated technical features. However, you don't need to even look at the technical features.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: Squeller on 2009-12-10 14:55:49
I've made a poll here (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=76851) because this discussion fascinates me.

Not your fault, but as you probably realized difficult questions. a) I don't know any mentioned audio player b) what is "user friendly" (ok, something personal) c) we're at fb2k's home d) people tend to answer this question: "what's your favourite player".
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: ExUser on 2009-12-10 15:00:51
What players do you know then, Squeller?

I know that b) is subjective. I know that due to c) there will be a large foobar2000 factionist vote. And I'm hoping that some people will be able to overcome their intrinsic bias for d) to vote honestly.

From what I gather on the other discussion, there are some foobar2000 users that would vote against foobar2000 here, which should help solve d).
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: Yirkha on 2009-12-10 15:02:26
Meh, a poll. I was afraid it would appear, as it would be skewed because fb2k official forum is hosted here on HydrogenAudio, or that fact would at least always provide good excuses for others, or start useless registration spree only to cast a vote for someone's favourite player... So here goes my null vote
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: ExUser on 2009-12-10 15:14:39
I'm hoping the multiple-choice vote will offset that somewhat, and we can disregard the foobar2000 option to get a reasonably unskewed perspective from the multi-choice poll. That was my intent with it anyhow.

The selection bias is towards foobar2000, there's no question, but there's bias everywhere... There will also be pro-Winamp/MediaMonkey bias here and anti-iTunes bias, simply due to the general perspectives of a lot of people in this forum.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: Mark7 on 2009-12-10 15:15:43
I voted for winamp as most user-friendly. And for foobar and winamp for user-friendly. Winamp plays about everything, even videos easily. Support of most file formats makes it most user friendly to me (opposite of itunes  ). Too bad it's getting a bit bloated though, fortunately you can turn most bloat off.

I use foobar myself, but i don't consider it to be user friendly. I really like how you can customize it, but you really need to put some effort into it to make it the way you want it. I still don't know how i can auto-update my playlists...doh
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: ExUser on 2009-12-10 15:20:18
Argh. I just realized I missed J. River... >_> That was unintentional.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: GHammer on 2009-12-10 15:33:31
I would consider all players 'user friendly' if all what you want is to download, install, play.
Once past that I'd say that foobar should not even be in the poll, it's far from friendly. Solve the fan vote issue too.
J. River is not friendly, too many options and different places and ways to configure them.

BTW- I use J.River and foobar, they just don't pass the "My sister wants to play music" test.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: jmcguckin on 2009-12-10 15:36:58
actually, being a long-time iTunes user, I had to vote for it as the most user-friendly audio player... call me crazy, but it's done a great job at managing my music librar(y,ies) and other content for going on 7yrs, and it supports all the formats I need it to (for the moment, at least, though I'd eventually like to see native FLAC support come to OS X/iTunes).

as for which audio players I consider user-friendly, I voted for Winamp, foobar2000 (which to me comes in close second to iTunes), Amarok (based on what little experience I've had with it), and iTunes (which has my ideal UI, very straightforward and easy to use)... Windows Media Player is a chore to set up, but once that is out of the way, I'd also consider it reasonably user-friendly.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: yerma on 2009-12-10 15:37:33
I gave a null vote. I've been using Winamp and foobar for years now and I somehow managed to tell them to do what I want them to do. Nothing fancy though, only some moved frame borders and some checkmarks in the prefs. Never tried any other players, because there was no need to and it would only clog up my computer. Therefore no recommendation from me...
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: Squeller on 2009-12-10 16:40:24
What players do you know then, Squeller?

I know that b) is subjective. I know that due to c) there will be a large foobar2000 factionist vote. And I'm hoping that some people will be able to overcome their intrinsic bias for d) to vote honestly.

OK then. I'm probably answering the question "what is an 'average user'-friendly audio player?"

I know not many players. WMP, fb2k, Winamp (used it for a long time) and VLC. OK VLC is not purely audio. I've seen Amarok but it couldn't compete against, maybe Winamp. I only voted for Winamp. I think an average user wants some kind of tape deck simulation with knobs and such, and probably some fx eye candy. Not what fb2k is targeted at.

I'm not sure about WMP. To me, it is totally confusing. I always found myself searching for menu entries and functionality. But I have no idea how the "average user" (whoever that is) feels about WMP. Windows people use it because it's there, but is there love for it? Don't care.

The answer on "what is a squeller user friendly software" is: fb2k is perfectly alright. Has almost all I want. That is playback and customizable  organization of huge amounts of data.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: rpp3po on 2009-12-10 20:07:58
foobar2000 makes everything easy, and after being configured once, allows immediate access to a whole slew of features, from conversion, to ReplayGain, to secure ripping, to tagging, to moving.


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... 

iTunes can suck, if your tracks aren't tidily tagged, also if you have been socialized with "directory-structure-thinking". But even my grandfather intuitively gets along with iTunes easily. Out of ~20000 songs he finds the Mozart track he is looking for in less than 100ms by just typing "moz" in a prominently placed, large field called "Search". Browsing by artist, album, or genre is also easy. The default settings are sufficient, just drag and drop additional tracks or insert a CD. iTunes will manage your collection. That's friendly!
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: Axon on 2009-12-10 22:17:48
I suspect most of my peers believe I think like an alien, so I'm not voting. But given that I love fb2k, lots of others here love fb2k, and the fb2k logo is an alien.. maybe more of us should be abstaining.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: greynol on 2009-12-10 22:27:58
This is HA so the deck is stacked.  Null vote for me.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: q-stankovic on 2009-12-10 22:38:04
(sorry for the bad english)

I often use the word "userfriendly" so that i should exactly know what it means. However i feel the difficulty to give an good definition. Is WMP more userfriendly than foobar2000 just because the user doesn't have to learn Titleformatting or is foobar2000 more userfriendly because you will never watch your library in WMP sorted by f.e. lyricist/year/artist? If you then take a look at Helium Music Manager you will see more than 32 views in the library that will suit the needs of most users and that also can be modified in the preferences without any usage of a language . Does that mean HMM is the most userfriendly program of the three? After all you must acknowledge that foobar doesn't force you to use complex title formatting: the album list comes out of box with some views and for the most views you really don't need more than some knowledge about some simple conditional and string functions. So is  foobar2000 the winner regarding userfriendlieness?

I gave up to decide wich player at the whole is the most userfriendly one. Nevertheless, it could make sense just to compare parts of the players with correspondending functionality in other players. When i compare the "Automatically fill values" window with correspondending parts of Media Monkey, HMM or JRiver so this little window is a good exemplar for userfriendlieness: it is so simple to use and you don't have to think several hours until you completely understand how it operates - nonetheless it is more powerful than the same tools in other programs. On the other side: Compare foobar2000s query syntax with HMMs graphical query editor - it is more fun to use the latter one. I would say that this the most important criterion: not to get headache to learn how something works and why it works in its special way.
( By the way: in that sense the tagging program "the godfather" is the most horrible program at all)

Let me illustrate that with some arbitrary examples in HMM and foobar:

Userfriendlieness in HMM
  • You have powerful features like the Music Information Browser and the Artist Relations wich can be used in an intuitive way. You won't need a tutorial to learn how to edit artist relations wich can be defined manually, by library content or by fetching data from dicogs/last.fm - you will just do it.
  • The main parts of the player (playlist browser, library, album browser, artist browser, music information browser, search) are quickly to find and reachable.
  • In the latest version the context menu command got a more logical arrangement.
  • A simple-to-use query editor

Not so userfriendly in HMM
  • I still have problems to understand how the tag editor works with multiple selections.
  • Some windows can have three childwindow so that you easily can loose overview.

Userfriendlieness in foobar2000
  • Removal of unnecessary options in version 0.9 till 1.0b
  • Believe me or not: my sister as she bought her first computer one year ago decided in favor of foobar2000 and against winamp - she told me that winamp is too complicated.
  • So many little things like: a big button in album list that tells you to add music to your library and brings you to the right page in preferences.
  • Powerful tools (converter, fileops, properties window, ...) that are easy to handle

Not so userfriendly in foobar2000
  • Sorting, columns, groups and layouts are cluttered and doesn't have a central place. While the sort strings are available in main menu and definable in advanced preferences, the groups and columns are available on rightclick of header in playlist view and definable in an own page in preferences. The layouts on the contrary are available in quick setup window and its definition is the best hidden feature in foobar2000. You may say: so what? - that is your subjective opinion, I would then give an objective criterion: all these four elements are related to list view and are an unity.
  • Many small things.

To sum it up: I cannot say wich player is the most userfriendly so i didn't vote. For me it is more important to see how each of the players can improve their friendlieness for its users. And all the three player i like (Foobar2000, HMM and JRiver) are improveable
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: antman on 2009-12-11 00:44:43
1. iTunes
2. WMP
3. Winamp

Winamp is my primary, Foobar is my secondary (which I only use to rip/transcode, if it was unrestricted free in Winamp, I wouldn't need it).  I say this to show I didn't just vote for my favorite, and by the fact that Foobar is currently number 1, shows me that's the case.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: Antonski on 2009-12-11 13:52:50
I would prefer another title, for example "What's your favorite audio player".
I voted for MusicBee, because it has the best musepack chapters suport, but I don't know whether it is the most user-friendly for everybody. It comes preconfigured and you can start use it immediately after installation, but it is not just an audio player (the same goes to the most of the rest BTW ) and this might be too much for somebody.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: Artie on 2009-12-12 03:20:07
For me . . . VUPlayer. Simple, clean interface. No lights, bells, or whistles, yet still supports my favorite DSP plugins. (Ozone and OSS3D)

"User friendly" could be its alternate name.  Everyone should at least check this out.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: randal1013 on 2009-12-12 14:36:38
the most user-friendly.....well that depends on the user.

for a n00b, itunes is probably the most friendly.

for a geek, foobar is probably the most friendly.


it should be noted that itunes and foobar are the only 2 audio players i've used in the past few years.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: ImBullseye on 2009-12-12 15:28:53
I think the Zune software is quite easy to use. I disliked iTunes a lot and w/ zune sftw seems very easy.

Foobar2k is still very nice!
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: no404error on 2009-12-12 16:35:11
1. Winamp
2. AIMP
3. iTunes
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: 2E7AH on 2009-12-12 18:07:11
1. MusikCube
2. foobar2000

it should be noted that itunes and foobar are the only 2 audio players i've used in the past few years.

so..., are you n00b geek? 
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: randal1013 on 2009-12-13 15:24:58
1. MusikCube
2. foobar2000

it should be noted that itunes and foobar are the only 2 audio players i've used in the past few years.

so..., are you n00b geek? 

i'm a geek.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: texasflood on 2009-12-22 03:03:13
Holy Cow! If Foobar is anywhere near user-friendly, I'm much dumber than I thought. I truly wish it was as easy to use as some folks make it seem. I got so frustrated with it that I removed it from my computer. To me user-friendly would mean that you can start using it right away (the basics anyway), then spend a few minutes browsing the help file to comprehend the rest of the features. Everyone on this forum probably has vastly more experience than myself regarding music players. In fact, I've only had a computer for about 7 or 8 years. The first audio player I remember using was called Musicmatch (I think). I was perfectly happy with that until Yahoo came along and screwed it up. So, I then used WMP for a while until I discovered mp3 players and the importance of secure and accurate ripping (I had wondered why some of the CDs I burned had some imperfections, but I just blamed it on the disc). Then I found out about EAC and more recently dBpoweramp. EAC was very difficult to set up for me. I spent at least several weeks of my spare time pouring through Google searches for guides, going to forums like this one and plain old trial and error until I think I have it figured out. dBpoweramp is very simple (user-friendly) and I love it, although I still use EAC on the rare occasions I can't get a perfect rip with dB. Of course, in the course of learning about these rippers I also learned about LAME and FLAC (I'm almost embarrassed to admit I had been using the .wma format because it took up less space and I didn't know any better). So now I have nearly all of my CDs ripped to flac on an external hard drive and used dB Music Converter (also very simple to use) to encode to mp3s on my main HDD for listening to and loading up my portable mp3 players, which leads me (finally) to the topic of this discussion. First I did try FB2K, but at that time I was engrossed in trying to figure out EAC, so I was a bit overwhelmed and ditched it. Next up were Winamp and Media Monkey, both of which I liked and still use. To me Winamp was a little easier to use right off the bat, but as I've gotten used to both of them I am liking Media Monkey more and more (free versions of each). To me, a true newbie, I find those 2 players along with WMP the most simple and straight forward and yes, user-friendly. Currently I'm searching for a free CD burner that I feel comfortable with and is compatible with Vista. I have been using the burners that came with the software for a couple of external drives (Nero and Roxio), which are fine unless you are making a compilation CD from several different albums. I want one that you can level the volume in an uncomplicated way without damaging your mp3 file. After I figure that one out I plan on playing around with foobar some more because it seems like an awesome player in that you can do so much with it if you can master it.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: FasterThanEver on 2009-12-22 07:08:51
I'm a very happy J. River Media Center user.  Since it wasn't included in the poll, I had not yet commented.  I'll do so now.

I don't think that the poll question gets at the real question a new PC audio user faces.  Ease of use is just one criterion among several potentially important criteria.  A player that is easy to use but lacks functionality I need is a non starter for me.  A player that I can customize to suit my way of doing things is far less painful for me than one for which I have to contort myself.

The relevant criteria vary for different people.  Any new user should experiment with several players before settling on one player.  By the time, a user is ready to make a choice, he or she should pick a player that is a good fit and is easy enough to learn to use.

Bill

Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: krabapple on 2009-12-22 08:54:25
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.

Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: Jens Rex on 2009-12-22 11:52:28
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.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: Shemuel on 2009-12-22 13:37:37
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.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: Takla on 2009-12-22 23:52:40
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 (http://moc.daper.net/) or gmusicbrowser (http://gmusicbrowser.org/), 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 UI....in 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.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: ExUser on 2009-12-23 01:57:53
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.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: Peter Prochazka on 2009-12-23 08:23:33
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...
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: Meeko on 2009-12-24 15:55:59
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.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: blammo on 2009-12-29 09:36:16
Have to say MusicBee (http://getmusicbee.com/).  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
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: Bodhi on 2010-01-31 19:42:23
I'm a foobar user and I love it.

But there's no way foobar is "user-friendly"
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: DonP on 2010-01-31 20:21:29
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.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: rpp3po on 2010-01-31 20:48:29
iTunes has never saved rips with DRM.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: DonP on 2010-01-31 20:57:17
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.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: rpp3po on 2010-01-31 21:14:45
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.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: а.п.т. on 2010-02-12 11:23:06
I guess this topic should be moved to pool section. no?
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: viktor on 2010-02-12 12:29:21
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 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t12583.html) 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.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: timcupery on 2010-02-12 15:46:43
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.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: 2E7AH on 2010-02-12 16:03:30
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
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: rpp3po on 2010-02-12 16:23:05
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.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: kornchild2002 on 2010-02-12 16:23:55
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.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: 2E7AH on 2010-02-12 16:34:56
@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
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: BoraBora on 2010-02-12 21:27:46
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 (http://www.albumplayer.com/) 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.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: birdie on 2010-02-13 13:26:53
Juk.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: krmathis on 2010-02-13 20:07:10
iTunes all the way.
...and in all fairness you have not listed many alternative players that run on Mac OS X.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: MartDann on 2010-02-17 18:12:04
No Vote...
i can't compare, i have only used foobar the last 7 or 8 years...
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: LANjackal on 2010-02-17 21:20:33
WMP's metadata retrieval/automatic tagging capabilities continue to rule for me
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: Captain panda on 2010-02-18 05:47:36
I guess I am in the minority here, but I think VLC Media Player is the most user friendly media player I have seen. Very basic, clean interface. It doesn't have much in the way of features, but that's different from user friendliness.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: Porcus on 2010-02-22 12:05:46
If fb2k were just removed from the poll, then the home ground bias would be shifted to "what kind of users are using fb2k?" Hell, I was just about to nominate mplay32.exe (assuming you don't need a library) until I realized that the average user won't even find it 

Features and ease of use cannot really be separated here. Some players cannot get their libraries working with my number of files (> 50 000), but would be user friendly if you slash a zero. And if you want bit-perfect output (i.e., if your requirements for "playing music files" is that it does actually output your music files), then everything on Windows XP is ruled out, I think. (Don't know about Windows 7.)


I'd like to mention VLC and BSPlayer though.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: B7k on 2010-03-04 14:58:04
Was a winamp user for along time but have been using foobar2000 since version 0.9.4.2 and has became my main audio player / Encoding tool
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: RickH on 2010-07-28 21:55:11
I voted for iTunes, WMP & Winamp...not familiar with the rest.  For my Sansa Fuze, I like J. River's Media Jukebox.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: falconsoars on 2010-08-18 06:59:46
My favorite audio player(s):

There are a lot of missing players here, including the ones I consider to be the most user friendly.  So I voted for my favorite player among those listed - Media Monkey.  I like its balance between geek and newbie - more ways to tweak it than I could ever use, but still easy to use in its vanilla "right out of the box" form.  I listen to internet radio quite a bit and I consider MM to have one of the best radio tuners out there.  The one exception is trying to figure out how to save a station as a favorite.  The only way to do it on MM is a stupid work-around for what should be a simple, standard feature.  One of the most important reasons I favor MM among the listed players is its ability to manage very large libraries.  Mine is about 100K tracks and continuously growing.  So I guess I could sum up my preference for MM as: it's an "all-rounder" (like a versatile British cricket player) -- pretty good at everything I want it to do for me (even if not the best at each one).

Beyond this limited list of players:
I like variety and experimentation but I also like intuitive apps, where I don't have to spend more time reading and learning the app than using it.  So this has led me on a quest to try every player I have been able to find on the web -- dozens!  And new ones keep popping up on a regular basis. 

For example, Spoons - creator of dBPoweramp, has finished the beta test version of a complete rewrite of "dBpoweramp Renaissance: New ultra low resource audio player, UPnP enabled".  I haven't gotten around to setting up a UPnP audio network around my house yet, so I'm waiting to try it until I have the kind of set-up it's targeting.  But if you have such a set-up, you might want to go to the dBpa site, download the Renaissance player, and give it a spin.  Since I don't have a UPnP network set up, I'm not very knowledgable about them.  From my limited knowledge of UPnP and my experiences with just about every free or low cost audio or media player, I think it's probably the first player to specialize in UPnP applications.  Of course, it works in more traditional set-ups too, but from what I've seen and read, it's the UPnP specialization that really sets it apart from other players.
[fyi: Here's my definition of low cost -- I don't consider $50 for j River Media Center to be low cost, but I do consider $20 for MM Gold to be at the upper end of "low cost" - the most I'm willing to pay for the extra functionality of the premium version of a web app]

I'm still on my quest and haven't settled on a single player for all uses.  So I use multiple players - each for a specific function.  Current configuration:
- iTunes - organize and play mp3 and aac+/m4u tracks + interface with my partner's iPod
- Foobar2000 - organize and play lossless and high bitrate lossy tracks:  FLAC, ape, wave, and wavpack
- Media Monkey - organize and play wma & ogg vorbis tracks + interface with my Sansa portable, where I mainly play ogg (better quality at low bitrates than mp3 and aac+/m4u so I can carry more music with me without sacrificing quality)
- For a player where I combine all of these different codecs into mixed format playlists, I have been experimenting with different players and have moved from fb2k to Winamp to MM to Jet Audio and now to AIMP2.  In each one I have encountered major lacks of important functionality for me, or bugs that regularly crash the player.  So I have continued to explore and experiment in my quest for the best player (for me). 

I think the biggest challenge has been the size of my library.  So I’m now tending towards organizing my library on a different player than the one I predominantly use for playing tracks.  For example, I build, manipulate, and play playlists on AIMP2 by adding audio files directly to the playlists and sometimes delete the playlists when I get tired of them.  But I don’t plan to import all of my audio tracks into the AIMP2 library.  In fact, I don’t plan to keep a library on AIMP2 at all – just playlists.

I should mention one more very good player, especially since it's open source - VideoLan's VLC player. I really like it for audio playing but because I consider it to be the best video player available and I have many other audio player alternatives to use, I reserve my use of it exclusively for video.  That way I can keep the player "clean" and fine tuned for video - no library to manage, no audio add-ons to complicate the situation, + all the settings, including surround sound and speaker parameters, are targeted specifically at providing a superior home theatre viewing and listening experience from a limited cluster of locations in the room.

The Moral of the Story:  For me, there is no perfect player or one best player for all uses.  So I will continue to explore new possibilities and put together a suite of players that best meet my needs of the moment.  I get greater overall satisfaction from an audio player suite plus I love the exploration and discovery of new player “gems.”
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: LeoL on 2010-08-22 17:46:13
I've used most of the players around and now find MusicBee by far the best. Foobar2000 is great if you put the effort into customizing it, but it is a lot of effort. iTunes is unbelievable slow and doesn't play FLAC. I used to quite like MediaMonkey but it kept crashing and I found the interface was not really what I wanted. It was ages before there was a stable MediaMonkey release that fixed the crashes.

But MusicBee has a very simple interface that just does what I want with no hassle. And the support you get from the MusicBee forum is first-rate with the author contributing on a very regular basis. Now I just can't imagine using anything else at all. The author even responds to requests from users.

My only real question is why everything else is so poor compared with MusicBee. I don't mean that as an insult to anyone, but I find it amazing that a company the size of Apple can produce something so inferior. It is possible to get iTunes to do stuff that you want but it just seems like hard work. The controls are spread all over the place and if you don't know to press the very small arrows you would never find some stuff. Double-clicking or right-clicking does not do what it should and is not consistent. For ages I tried to get iTunes to download all versions of podcasts but couldn't find the right option. It has improved over time but it is still so slow and I have a very fast machine.

My warning to anyone using Foobar2000 is to make sure you back-up the configuration changes you do. I didn't and Windows 7 decided to trash my machine. A large amount of hard work lost in the blink of an eye. My music is on a raid set but I just didn't think about backing up the Foobar2000 changes. Big mistake. But with MusicBee I don't think there is anything at all that I would change.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: googlebot on 2010-08-22 21:54:54
I had a look at MusicBee recently, and it is really an excellent product.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: Hansen on 2010-09-26 09:27:33
I've tried about every music player that's available for Mac OS, and honestly, I haven't found anything that matches iTunes.

There might be things iTunes can't do, or that other players might do better — but nothing that matters for me, and not without a considerable cost in fiddling time.

To me it's all about ease of use. What I want is to listen to music. I don't want to waste time organizing the music or control obscure settings, and I want both ripping old CDs and buying new music to be as easy as possible.

Lack of FLAC support is the only flaw I can find in iTunes. But using another couple of minutes converting the FLACs to ALAC is no big deal, as buying music from Linn etc is pretty awkward already. The ease of buying pop and rock music from the iTunes Store makes up for the awkwardness of other, less frequently visited, music stores.

During the ripping of my CD collection, it's happened only once that iTunes could not handle a disc. Rather than fiddling around to find out if other software could solve the problem, I bought the album anew from the iTunes Store...
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: EazyB-FRAC on 2010-10-02 22:24:43
Oddly enough, "Media Player Classic" (http://mpc-hc.sourceforge.net/) isn't mentioned. Not only can it play DVD's but can also any audio file or group of files dragged and dropped on top of it. The FLAC support won me over. And it's open-source and free.

It's what I recommend to new listeners for its very basic interface resembles the classic "Micro$quish Media Player" of old. It's a very spartan interface up front but, dig within its menus, and you'll find that it's a serious multimedia player in its own right.

Open-source players: I love 'em! :-)

Form more advanced needs I can't recommend MediaMonkey enough. It's decent as a player but could be overkill for those who just want to play...their audio. And yet the power to rip and organize is all right there just in case the urge hits them to do more with their tracks.

--EazyB

EDIT: Noted that MediaMonkey only plays audio files.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: Baiko on 2010-10-15 14:37:53
I guess I am in the minority here, but I think VLC Media Player is the most user friendly media player I have seen. Very basic, clean interface. It doesn't have much in the way of features, but that's different from user friendliness.


I'm also user of VLC M.P. and want to admit that is nothing can compare to it. It's the best stuff in this range.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: q-stankovic on 2010-10-15 19:52:35
It's a shame that many posts are proving true yirkhas fear. (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=76851&view=findpost&p=672538)
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: greynol on 2010-10-15 20:41:02
We have gotten lots of spam for VLC, to the point that I'm suspicious of every single person who recommends it.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: googlebot on 2010-10-16 00:09:43
That's really strange. For a open source player without ads on the download page or substantial funding, what reason would there be to push it against belief? Can't think of anything but backdoors right now.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: greynol on 2010-10-16 00:20:45
It is true nonetheless, googlebot.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: SamDeRe81 on 2010-11-25 04:22:52
There can be no doubt, iTunes has surpassed all others in user friendliness. Anyone can use it, buy a song, rip a CD, etc. However for those who have slight understanding more than that I'd say foobar is by far the best.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: woody_woodward on 2010-11-25 17:15:41
Another vote here for Media Player Classic.  Bloat free.

Woody


[quote author=EazyB-FRAC link=msg=725231 date=1286054683]Oddly enough, "Media Player Classic" (http://mpc-hc.sourceforge.net/) isn't mentioned. Not only can it play DVD's but can also any audio file or group of files dragged and dropped on top of it. The FLAC support won me over. And it's open-source and free.[/quote]
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: vpa on 2010-11-25 17:30:00
Before 2009 it was iTunes, 2009 it was JavaTunes, and 2010 it is deadbeef for me.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: MahFlac on 2012-07-25 16:11:25
foobar.  It's absolutely amazing and does everything I want it to do with no bulky crap I don't need.
Title: What is the most user-friendly audio player? (2009)
Post by: ExUser on 2012-07-25 16:44:28
I'm closing this topic. It's old and far too biased.
SimplePortal 1.0.0 RC1 © 2008-2018