Monday, August 22, 2005

Media Players

There are a vast number of programs out there used for viewing media. Between DVD's, avi, mpeg, mp3 and all the other media I can and do play on my computer I have numerous programs which I use. Today however I decided to write about two programs I use for music and the pro's and cons of these two programs. They are Winamp and iTunes I use both at times for listening to my mp3 collection. Of course some people do use windows media player, but I don't feel it's even remotely in competition with these programs.

I have been a big fan of winamp for many years. When listening to music I often dump my entire collection onto one playlist and hit shuffle. The jump and enque functions makes it easy to find specific songs without disturbing a playlist and when minimized the current track title displays on the winamp part of the taskbar. Winamp also lets me be as expanded or compact as I like, with library and an equalizer and a playlist that I can open and close at will. The library is easy to manage and I can add folders which will re-scan every so often for new media, I can even add folders from the network. Of course one of the neatest parts of winamp is skins, such as the gun version pictured. Despite my love of winamp I've recently taken to using iTunes at times.

There is only one reason I use iTunes - smart playlists. This seems to be the only benefit for iTunes as a music player, however I have discovered one problem with this is the fact that most of my music is labeled incorrectly. I do not own an iPod so I have little use for iTunes, I find the library almost impossible to simply update as I do not want to create a specific iTunes folder, I store my music on an external harddrive which I have already organised myself. Also I've found it interesting to be able to access my flatmates music through iTunes via our network, however I usually have little use to listen this way when I could just copy the mp3s. I find if a song starts to play and I'm not sure what the title is I cannot glance to my taskbar which I have always found useful with winamp. Although the search function does include album which I have found useful in finding songs from soundtracks.
Personally I don't think I'll be making any permanent shift to iTunes, but I'm curious, what programs does everyone use? And why?


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