Five Best Desktop Music Players (2023)

Everyone has a favorite desktop music player. For some of us, it's the one that just plays our music fast, with no fuss or hassle. For others it's a tool that organizes your playlists, syncs with your smartphone, makes your music collection easy to dig through, and looks good while doing it. This week we're going to look at five of the best desktop music players, based on your nominations.


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(Video) TOP 5 Best And Free Music Player Software For PC 2022 Edition

Earlier in the week we asked you which desktop music player was the best. Which one really brought the thunder in all of these areas, but was still fast, flexible, and functional. You offered up tons of replies, but a few stood above the rest. Here's what you had to say:

The polls are closed and the votes are counted! To see which desktop music player you voted as the Lifehacker community favorite, head over to our Hive Five Followup post to read more and discuss the winner!

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MediaMonkey (Windows)


(Video) Top 5 Free Music Players For PC

MediaMonkey seems like an impossible combination of jukebox and library organizer. Sure, you can use it to just play your tunes, organize playlists, and sync with your mobile devices, but if your music library is a mess (like mine is), you can also use MediaMonkey to clean it up without a ton of effort. The layout and UI is customizable, and the player is snappy and fast even under the load of many-thousand song libraries, which is more than we can say for some of the other programs in the roundup. MediaMonkey does the basics too: It'll rip CDs, download podcasts, support file types like OGG and FLAC in addition to MP3, AAC, and others, and it'll automatically update your library based on changes to your library folders—so you can copy in new music without worrying MediaMonkey won't see it. If you like auto-generated playlists seeded by songs you own or like, MediaMonkey can do that too. It can convert file types on the fly if you need it to, stream media via DLNA to other devices on your network like a TV, receiver, or wireless stereo.

Those of you who praised MediaMonkey specifically called out its customizability, customizable hotkeys, watch folders, and more. Even those of you who noted that you don't care for it as a music player love it as a music organizer, and turn to it to keep your files arranged, properly tagged, and easily searchable should you want to find something you downloaded a long time ago. Plus, MediaMonkey is free—although $25 gets you MediaMonkey Gold, which adds on some more features.


Winamp (Windows/Mac)


Winamp has been whipping the llama's ass for over 15 years, and that's not a bad thing. it's has come a long way since its early Nullsoft days, back before it was picked up by AOL, and in fact we were just reflecting on how far it's come. Some of the changes were good, some not so much, but overall it's still an amazing jukebox and media player that's relatively lightweight, fast, and customizable. The interface can be as minimal as a shade at the top of your display with tiny playback controls, or as blown out as a full-screen jukebox UI that features search bars, library information in multiple windows organized by artist, album, and song name, a full web browser, and more. It all depends on what you're looking for. Winamp handles all the tasks you'd expect from a media player: It can rip CDs, support crazy file types, sync with mobile devices either via USB, or wirelessly through its well-crafted native Android app. Winamp still has the features you loved about it if you've used it for a long time too: Skins, themes, ShoutCast radio support, visualizations, and more.


Many of you praised Winamp for keeping up with the times and adding more streaming music sources to its app, while others noted that its Android app and its beta Mac client show that the developers behind it show no signs of slowing down on it. Winamp is definitely more bloated than it used to be (adding things like AOL music, video support, etc) back in the old days, but it's still flexible, functional, and completely free. There are a few extra features available in the $20 Winamp Pro version, but the free version is probably enough for most people. Winamp has been straightforward, easy-to-use, and a solid app for years—almost a constant compared to other apps that have come and gone since.

foobar2000 (Windows)


foobar2000 is one of the most flexible, customizable, and tweakable music players available, and it doesn't shy away from that fact. foobar2000 calls itself an "advanced" freeware audio player, largely because it's lightweight, can play virtually anything you throw at it, and while it's powerful and flexible, it can be a little daunting to get used to at first. More than a few people have given up on foobar because they'd rather spend more time listening to their music than tweaking their media player, but if you're the type who wants a personalized listening experience and a tool with just the tools you like (and none of the bloat you hate), foobar2000 is worth a look. The learning curve isn't as steep as some people make it out to be. It does all the things you would expect from a media player: It supports gapless playback, has tons of customizable hotkeys to control playback, supports CDs and crazy file types, and more. Perhaps most interestingly, foobar2000 supports ReplayGain, which does an amazing job of making sure your music is all played at the same relative volume and loudness.

Those of you who called out foobar2000 almost all rallied to the fact that it's extremely light on system resources, well-developed, and has a wealth of plug-ins and add-ons that extend its functionality. Many of you mentioned that it supports incredibly rare file formats, and it can handle massive music libraries without choking. It's completely free. If you're the type of person who likes to start from scratch and build essentially the ultimate music player that's just right for you, foobar2000 will get you there, and you'll be happy with the end product.


(Video) 5 BEST Music Player For PC & Laptop to Enjoy Music

MusicBee (Windows)


In contrast to many of the music players that have tons of options, tweaks, and toggles, MusicBee starts you off with a super-lightweight but still customizable utility that you can load up from there pretty easily. A little effort gets you things like song lyrics, album art, artist info, and so on. You get a wealth of built-in skins and customization options to get you started, but none of them slow the player down or make it feel bloated or slow. MusicBee can also handle large libraries, podcasts, less-popular file types, CD ripping, and more. You can use it to organize your library, tag your songs, and download additional data about your tracks. It supports syncing to mobile devices as well, and much more, all in what's often described as a "deceptively simple interface."

Many of you praised MusicBee specifically for being so deceptively simple: Out of the box it's fast and easy to use, and you won't spend a lot of time just getting it to work and play your music. However, the more time you sink into it and into exploring its plug-ins and added features, the more rewarding you'll find the app to be. Some of you noted it's a perfect replacement to show people still using iTunes or Windows Media Player what a lightweight and customizable player can be, others pointed out that even while other tools offer way more features, MusicBee is the perfect balance between features and usability. It's completely free.


Zune Music (Windows)


Well, color us surprised. The actual device is long gone, and the Zune Music service is now Xbox Music, but many of you nominated and voted for the Zune Music desktop player. Whether it's the player's gorgeous interface, podcast organization and downloading options, auto-generated backgrounds, seeded and custom playlists, or unique look and feel, it's earned a lot of love from many of you, and even though it's possible Microsoft will pull downloads for it tomorrow, we have to agree: Just because an app isn't in development anymore doesn't mean people shouldn't use it if it's great at what it does. The Zune Music Player is indeed good at what it does. It supports a ton of file types, and while it's not the most flexible or customizable, it's fast and can handle large libraries, and in full-screen mode, it's fun to use.

Those of you who praised it specifically notes that you liked the fact that it's "not an Excel homage" like so many other players, according to reader sab0tage, and the auto-generated backgrounds, downloaded artist art and information, and other visual cues won over many of you. It's free, and it's still available, but we're not sure for how long. If you want to give it a try, grab it now and save the installer in case you ever need to reinstall.

That's all she wrote! Now it's time to put them to an all-out vote to determine the Lifehacker community favorite:

This content is no longer available. :(

(Video) Top 5 Music Player Software's For PC 2019


Honorable mentions this week go out to the two media players that come with every Windows or OS X machine: Windows Media Player which, as many of you pointed out is bundled with Windows, works just fine, and while it's not the most robust or powerful, it's very effective, easy to use, and while you won't find yourself fiddling with custom audio settings or plug-ins, it gets the job done. In fact, while it's a bit dated, one of our former writers had a good defense of it here, and it's still an interesting read. On the flip side, we should also give a nod to iTunes, which was surprisingly distant from the top five, unlike the last time we asked you guys this question.


If you're looking for a solid, cross-platform alternative player that works in Windows, OS X, and Linux, many of you rallied to the banner of Clementine, a richly featured desktop jukebox app that supports music stored at Google Drive, internet radio from Spotify, Grooveshark, and more. It's also a podcast catcher, supports copying and syncing music to USB devices, the list goes on. If you're looking for an alternative to the names above, take a look.

On a personal note, I'm bummed that AIMP didn't make the list this time around, since it's a more than solid player that deserves a little more attention. Similarly, I'm saddened the Linux users didn't turn out in large enough numbers to get any Linux players like Amarok or Tomahawk into the top five. Maybe next time.


Finally, although Google Play Music is a webapp, a number of you mentioned that you use it as your primary music player—partially because it just works so well in a web browser, but also because you can upload all of your music to it, generate and seed playlists with it, stream genre or song-based radio using it, and buy music through it all in the same app. Just shows you there's a trend towards cloud-based players.

Have something to say about one of the contenders? Want to make the case for your personal favorite, even if it wasn't included in the list? Remember, the top five are based on your most popular nominations from the call for contenders thread from earlier in the week. Don't just complain about the top five, let us know what your preferred alternative is—and make your case for it—in the discussions below.

The Hive Five is based on reader nominations. As with most Hive Five posts, if your favorite was left out, it's not because we hate it—it's because it didn't get the nominations required in the call for contenders post to make the top five. We understand it's a bit of a popularity contest, but if you have a favorite, we want to hear about it. Have a suggestion for the Hive Five? Send us an email at

Title photo by audio-collage.


Which is the most popular music player application in 2022? ›

#1) Spotify

Spotify is the best music player for android. It gives you access to millions of songs and podcasts, which can also be downloaded for offline use. Spotify offers a Free version and a Premium i.e. Paid version (ad-free).

What is a good free music player? ›

And you don't have to pay for a great listening experience. Let's look at the best free music player apps for Android first.
The Best Free Offline Music Player Apps for Android
  • AIMP. ...
  • jetAudio HD Music Player. ...
  • Rocket Music Player. ...
  • Phonograph Music Player. ...
  • Pixel Music Player. ...
  • Impulse Music Player. ...
  • Shuttle Music Player.
7 Sept 2022

What is the best quality music player? ›

7 Best HD Music Players In 2022
  • Sony NW-A45/B Walkman with Hi-Res Audio.
  • Fiio X1 Hi-Res Lossless Music Player.
  • Onkyo DP-X1 Digital Audio Player.
  • Sony NW-WM1Z Signature Series Hi-Res Walkman.
  • Pioneer XDP-300R Hi-Res Digital Audio Player.
  • FiiO M11 Android Hi-Res Lossless Music Player.
  • PLENUE D2 High-Resolution Audio Player.
29 Sept 2022

What is the easiest music player? ›

The best music player apps for Android
  • AIMP.
  • BlackPlayer EX.
  • DoubleTwist Music Player.
  • MediaMonkey.
  • Musicolet.
  • Neutron Player.
  • Oto Music.
  • Phonograph.
21 Oct 2022

Which software is best for music? ›

  1. Avid Pro Tools (macOS, Windows) ‍ Avid Pro Tools is the industry-standard music production software. ...
  2. Apple Logic Pro (macOS) ‍ Apple Logic Pro pushes the sound barriers with integrated Dolby Atmos tools. ...
  3. Ableton Live (macOS, Windows) ‍
1 Jul 2022

What are the top five music apps? ›

Best Music Streaming Service for 2022
  • Spotify. Best music streaming service overall. See at Spotify.
  • Apple Music. Best alternative to Spotify. See at Apple.
  • Qobuz. Best for audiophiles. See at Qobuz.
  • Tidal. Best for compensating artists. See at Tidal.
  • Amazon Music Unlimited. Best for Prime members. See at Amazon.
30 Aug 2022

What Mp3 player holds the most songs? ›

Best Overall: EVIDA Mp3 Player with Bluetooth 5.0

The device has 32 gigabytes of storage space, meaning it can hold a whopping 10,000 songs at a time.

What is the best free offline music player? ›

Top 8 Free Offline Music Apps for Android/iPhone 2022
  • 1.Musify- Android&iOS. ...
  • 2.Pulsar- Android&iOS&Chrome. ...
  • 3.AIMP- Android. ...
  • 4.Jet Audio HD Music Player - Android&iOS. ...
  • 5.Poweramp- Android. ...
  • 6.Vox- iOS. ...
  • 7.Rocket Player- Android&iOS. ...
  • 8.Offline Music Player - iOS.
1 Nov 2022

What's the best free music player for Windows 10? ›

💻 What are the Best Music Players for Windows 10 PC?
  • PowerDVD.
  • Groove Music.
  • Vox.
  • Macgo Media Player.
  • Winamp.
  • iTunes.
  • Spotify.
  • Musicbee.
22 Oct 2022

What music software is easiest? ›

  • DAWs for beginners Q&A.
  • Best DAWs for Beginners. Apple GarageBand. Bandlab. Roland Zenbeats. PreSonus Studio One Artist. Bitwig Studio. Steinberg Cubase Elements. Reason Studio.
1 Sept 2022

What is Number 1 music app in the world? ›

1) Spotify

Spotify is one of the most popular music streaming apps in the world and is used by millions of people. It has a lot to offer. One can listen to their favorite songs, albums, podcasts, and much more.

What is the best music app for beginners? ›

7 Essential Free Apps for Making Music On The Go
  • GarageBand (iOS) It goes without saying that GarageBand is an incredible app considering it's free to download. ...
  • Groovebox (iOS) ...
  • Figure (iOS) ...
  • BandLab (Android/iOS) ...
  • Suggester (iOS) ...
  • Beat Maker Go (Android/iOS) ...
  • n-Track Studio DAW 9 (Android/iOS)
14 Jul 2022

What is the lightest music player? ›

The phones running customized Android skins also offer their music players. While both of them do a superb job, they are mostly bloated.
7 Best Free Lightweight Music Players for Android
  1. AOSP Music+ ...
  2. Clean Music Player. ...
  3. mMusic Mini Audio Player. ...
  4. Vanilla Music. ...
  5. Simple Music Player. ...
  6. Foldplay: Folder Music Player.
10 Jul 2019

What's the hardest for music to play? ›

These are the definitively the hardest pieces of music to play
  • Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji - Opus clavicembalisticum. ...
  • Alexander Scriabin - Mysterium. ...
  • Franz Liszt - La Campanella. ...
  • Giovanni Bottesini - Double Bass Concerto No. ...
  • J.S. Bach - Chaconne in D. ...
  • Luciano Berio - Sequenzas. ...
  • Conlon Nancarrow - Studies for Player Piano.
11 Sept 2017

What software plays music on computer? ›

Well known examples of media player software include Windows Media Player, VLC media player, iTunes, Winamp, IPTV Smarters, Media Player Classic, MediaMonkey, foobar2000 and AIMP. Most of these also include music library managers.

Which software is used to listen to songs? ›

Answer: The windows media player is software used to play songs and movies on a computer.

What music software works on Windows? ›

For assisting you out, we have come up with a well-researched list of 8 best DAW in 2021 compatible with Windows 10/7.
  • Avid Pro Tools. Price. Pro Tools First: Free. ...
  • Propellerhead Reason. Price. ...
  • FL Studio. Price. ...
  • Steinberg Cubase. Price. ...
  • Reaper. Price. ...
  • Adobe Audition. Price. ...
  • Bitwig Studio. Price. ...
  • Motu Digital Performer. Price.
30 Aug 2022

What app lets me listen to music offline for free? ›

1. Musify. Not all music streaming platforms require you to pay for its premium version so that you can download music, and Musify is a great example of that. The app lets its users download songs from its catalog, so they can listen to them offline and for free.

In which app I can download unlimited songs for free? ›

Download Unlimited Music - Best Software & Apps
  • Tik Tok. 21.7.9. 4.2. (46712 votes) ...
  • XVPN. 4.3. (447 votes) ...
  • Spotify Music. (543 votes) Free Download for Android. ...
  • Snaptube. 4.3. (37411 votes) ...
  • SoundCloud. 2022.10.04-release. 4.5. (122 votes) ...
  • Avidemux. 2.8.0. 3.4. ...
  • BandLab. 8.3.3. 4.6. ...
  • Blubster. 3.1.1. 2.9.

What music app does everyone use? ›

Spotify (free/subscription)

Probably the best-known music streaming app, Spotify is a massive force in the streaming industry, boasting more than 406 million subscribers and offering access to 80 million tracks from almost any artist you can think of.

How can I make my audio high quality? ›

10 tips to improve audio quality
  1. Record in a quiet location. ...
  2. Avoid echo. ...
  3. Invest in a decent microphone (if you can) ...
  4. Get a microphone stand. ...
  5. Use a pop filter. ...
  6. Stay close to your microphone. ...
  7. Use a mixer to split up audio channels. ...
  8. Make a test recording.
28 Jul 2022

Do people still use MP3 players in 2022? ›

In the year 2022, some people are still downloading songs in . mp3 and carefully curating them on their iPods.

How many songs will a 32gb MP3 player hold? ›

There is 1028mb in 1gb. So 1028mb divided by 4mb (per song) you can hold roughly 250 songs in 1gb. So a 32 GB can hold roughly 8000 songs.

How many songs can you put on a 8GB MP3 player? ›

Song storage is generally calculated by the space occupied by one minute of music. A typical MP3 file format at 128 kbit/s will occupy 1MB per minute while 320 kbit/s could easily occupy 2.5MB per minute. An 8GB device can hold roughly 1500 to 2000 songs based on the factors mentioned above.

How can I listen to music without WiFi or data? ›

Napster is a very well-known platform that features several songs to choose from and is ad-free. It does have an offline listening option as all your songs are stored in the cloud, so you can pull them whenever you need to, without the need for an internet connection. The app is accessible on IOs and Android.

What is a good offline music player? ›

SoundCloud has mobile applications for Android, iOS as well as other platforms. There are several apps available at Play store which allows you free music download without WiFi. SoundCloud official mobile provides you with the facility to offline listening.

Is there a better music app than Windows Media Player? ›

The best alternative is VLC Media Player, which is both free and Open Source. Other great apps like Windows Media Player are MPC-HC, foobar2000, MPV and AIMP. Windows Media Player alternatives are mainly Audio Players but may also be Media Players or CD Rippers.

What is the default music player in Windows 10? ›

Windows 10 has "Groove Music player" as default Music player. You can also change default music player to any other music player of your choice using below steps: Open Windows 'Settings' App from start menu or by typing 'Settings' in cortana search box, and selecting 'Settings' Windows App.

What is the easiest free software to make music? ›

With that out of the way here are the 10 best free DAW apps to get you started creating music on your computer:
  1. Audacity. Audacity is the original free DAW. ...
  2. Garageband. ...
  3. Ableton Live Lite. ...
  4. Tracktion Waveform Free. ...
  5. Pro Tools First. ...
  6. Ohm Studio. ...
  7. Cubase LE. ...
  8. Soundbridge.

What is the most popular music recording software? ›

  • Ableton Live. ...
  • Audacity. ...
  • Cockos Reaper. ...
  • Image-Line FL Studio. Best for Making Beats. ...
  • Magix Sequoia. Best for High-End Mastering. ...
  • PreSonus Studio One. Best for Fast Audio Editing. ...
  • Steinberg Cubase Pro. Best for Virtual Instruments. ...
  • Adobe Audition CC. Best for Post-Production and Broadcast.

Is there a better music player than VLC? ›

Other interesting Android alternatives to VLC Media Player are MX Player, Kodi, KMPlayer and GOM Player. VLC Media Player alternatives are mainly Media Players but may also be Audio Players or Internet Radio Services.

How do I play music on my desktop? ›

To open Windows Media Player, click the Start Menu and scroll down the list of apps until you find the Windows Media Player shortcut. Click on Windows Media Player to launch the app. To add files to your music library, click Organize, then hold your mouse pointer over Manage Libraries and choose Music. Click Add.

Which music player can play all formats? ›

VLC for Android is a full audio player with support for a ton of video and audio file types, including MKV, MP4, FLAC, and OGG. Media junkies can access internet streams, DVD ISOs, and disk shares.

Which offline music player is best? ›

Pulsar. One of the most popular in our offline music player list, some consider it the best offline music app of them all. Available for both Android and iOS and compatible with Chromecast, Pulsar is the offline music app for iPhone and Android users who like lots of features.

Why is VLC still the best? ›

VLC Media Player is the go-to free video player if you're looking for a software that can handle whatever videos you throw at it. This extremely versatile software can play 360-degree videos, movies and clips up to 8K resolution, and videos in compressed file formats.

What are the disadvantages of VLC Media Player? ›

➨VLC based communication has interference issues from other ambient light sources. ➨VLC communication supports short coverage range. ➨There are challenges to integrate VLC with wifi system.

What app has the highest audio quality? ›

As mentioned, Tidal offers the highest audio quality of all other music apps on this list. There are a total of 4 audio quality settings to enjoy: Normal: 96 kbps. High: 320 kbps.

What is the highest quality MP3 format? ›

The highest quality MP3 has a bitrate of 320kbps, whereas a 24-bit/192kHz file has a data rate of 9216kbps. Music CDs are 1411kbps.

What is the best quality MP3 file? ›

The highest quality MP3 bitrate is 320 kbps at 16 bit. You can encode MP3s as low as 96 kbps. MP3s use a compression codec that removes frequencies while trying to preserve as much of the original recording as possible. This does result in a reduction in sound quality but also a big reduction in file size.


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