The best music player for you – whether you’re running Windows or a Mac OS – should do more than just play your MP3s. We picked MP3 player software that burns and rips CDs, lets you create playlists, includes plugins and allows you to edit file information.
We omitted free MP3 software, like Winamp, because most free programs limit what you can do or simply don’t offer as many options. A couple MP3 software titles we chose let you play podcasts and some can broadcast internet radio. You can learn more about how to find the best player for you in our articles on MP3 software.
Best MP3 Software for Organizing Your Collection
Beyond just playing your music, an MP3 player program should also help you organize and catalogue your music collection. MediaMonkey is a good choice for keeping your file information updated thanks to its ability to connect to the internet and download file info from sites such as Amazon and Wikipedia. It also detects duplicate files, which helps you weed out unnecessary files. It can also help you find all of your media files across all of your drives, which is something that most standard MP3 player software won’t do. Once it has information on your files, it automatically sorts them into premade categories, such as genres or artist names, or you can organize it so it makes sense to you.
MediaMonkey is music management software for people who are serious about music. It keeps the data for your files so you don't lose anything if you transfer the music to another application. If you have songs that don't have tag information, MediaMonkey can automatically search the web for information such as the artist, album, album art and more.
The Most Compatible MP3 Player Software
If you’ve been collecting music for some time, you may have files of all kinds hanging out in your folders. The problem with some standard MP3 player programs is they only play MP3s, but jetAudio gets that you may have MIDIs, WMAs, OGGs, AIFs, RAs and more. You likely have some video files, too, which is why jetAudio is a good choice over the free MP3 software that’s available. This audio software can play AVIs, MPEGs, WMVs, DIVXs, MP4 and other video formats. Additionally, jetAudio lets you rip and burn CDs so you can add your physical music library to your digital one. This is one of the few MP3 player software titles that also lets you listen to internet radio.
jetAudio is music collection software that provides recording capabilities, and this MP3 software is compatible with 57 file formats. When you initially scan your computer for media files, jetAudio automatically puts music files in one area and video files in another. This music library software has links to music resources online such as YouTube, last.fm and Amazon.
Best Audio Software for Editing MP3s
It’s hard to find an all-in-one answer to what the audiophile wants: a media player, DJ app, smart organization and powerful editing tools. J. River Media Center comes close to that, though. This MP3 editing software and media player lets you edit and modify MP3s until you get it just how you want it. That means you can change almost anything about an MP3, including volume and bitdepth, without loss of quality. Editing metadata within a file’s ID tag, the area that houses all of the information about a track, is easy in J. River Media Center, too.
You can go deeper than the basic information, too. In addition to editing information about the album, artist, year, genre, song title, track number and playlists, you can include song length, bitdepth, bitrate, compression rate, comments and much more – more than 100 different tags, actually.
J. River Media Center
J. River Media Center is MP3 software that helps you keep track of audio and video files and images. You can also listen to the radio online through this software. This music management software automatically scans your hard drive for compatible files, but it doesn't discriminate regarding which files it gathers and where it puts them within the application, which means you’ll have to organize them by type later. However, it does automatically update your library when you add new files to your computer.
Best Simple MP3 Player Software
RealPlayer is one of those media players that seems to have been around almost as long as digital media itself. It hasn’t always had the best reputation, thanks to seemingly endless pop-up ads and error messages, but it was also one of the first to stream media. Since its heyday in the ‘90s, it has managed to stick around and compete as a fairly straightforward media player. Set up is as easy as switching a few buttons on your drives to have the program search for photos, videos and music files. It also includes a built-in downloader and converter, so you can have certain files in different formats (switch a video file to MP3, for example). The interface is clean and easy to navigate, which makes RealPlayer one of the simplest MP3 player applications available.
RealPlayer can play music, convert files and connect you directly with Facebook videos. However, this MP3 software is known for its frequent crashes. Additionally, it asks which file types you want RealPlayer to handle. It doesn't select the types of audio files it should collect on its own, which is somewhat annoying.
Audio Software With the Most Attractive Interface
Yes, the most important feature of any MP3 player program is the playback of your audio – it should be easy to use, and your music should sound awesome. Another important feature for many users is how it looks. If you’re listening to music alone, how a player appears may not matter much. If you’re hosting a party, you likely want something like ZenPoint DigitalCenter to make your laptop look as entertaining as the music you’re playing. You can essentially turn your laptop into a mini jukebox with this MP3 player software. Album artwork is displayed in full-screen mode, and you can easily browse your music collection or search for a specific song. ZenPoint DigitalCenter can also be used for karaoke, and a slightly odd addition is a weather forecast.
ZenPoint DigitalCenter is a media suite that plays music, movies and radio. It also has a clock, karaoke center, photo gallery and weather forecast. In this article, we'll focus on the MusicCenter. This MP3 software plays music, allows you to create playlists and has a party mode. However, for the most part, it has only basic music player features.
Whatever your passion – music, movies, karaoke, photo sharing – there’s MP3 player software out there for you. All of the software we chose for our lineup gives you the basics of any media player, but each one stands out for one or more features that you aren’t likely to find from the MP3 player that came standard on your PC or laptop.