Alternative to Windows Media Player
February 24, 2019 8:17 AM   Subscribe

So, apparently WMP is discontinuing the part of it that looks up album info. I really don't want to have to manually look up and edit every song I rip. So it's time to rip the bandaid off and find a new program to help me manage my music files. A sprinkling of snowflakes below the fold...

I only need to manage my music files: rip CDs, cast to sonos, create playlists, copy music to an mp3 player. Ad-free required. Free preferred.

No online streaming. No itunes. No video.

So far, these have been recommended:
• MusicBee
• MediaMonkey
• Foobar2000
Anyone have experience with these, and opinions on their suitability for my purposes?

Other simple media player/library programs I should consider?
posted by dancing leaves to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I went through a vetting of these programs and others a while ago and landed on MusicBee. I find it well designed, fast, and customizable with a nice-looking interface. And it fulfills your requirements.
posted by Leontine at 9:27 AM on February 24, 2019

MusicBrainz Picard is not a player, but it will (make an attempt) to organize your song library.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 10:46 AM on February 24, 2019

I use Sound Juicer for ripping (to .ogg format, but has always worked anywhere an mp3 works) and Google Music Manager to upload to Google Play Music, where you organize by genre, create playlists etc. You can use the Google Play Music app on any Android device and it is free. Sound Juicer almost always gets all the info from the CD and encodes it on the .ogg file. I think it is linked to MusicBrainz. I have had an occasional experience of being informed that MusicBrainz does not have info on a particular album, and then I do manually enter the song titles, artist, etc., but as I say it is very rare and has only occurred with very obscure albums. I am actually not sure if Sound Juicer is usable on Windows (or has a Windows analog), I have a Linux OS.
posted by RRgal at 12:12 PM on February 24, 2019

I use version 3.2 Media Monkey (I'm too cheap to upgrade to 4.1) on Windows 10 for organization, creation of normal and auto playlists, etc.

But for the actual ripping I do that in Linux command line as follows (I realize you may or may not have access to a *nix machine; if you do you would need to get ripit and lame from the repository if not already installed):
ripit --bitrate 192 -e --playlist 0 -r 2
The above will rip to 192 kbps and eject the desk when finished. It will not create a playlist and will use cdda2wav for the actual rip (option 1 is cdparanoia, for CDs not in great condition).
posted by forthright at 12:33 PM on February 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

Before going over to the dark side and using iTunes (I have multiple iOS devices), I found MusicBee to be the best, by far. And Musicbrainz Picard, as mentioned by ArgentCorvid, is an excellent tool for getting and correcting album/track info. Back up your music files before using isn't as intuitive as it could be, but with practice it gets the job done. Once I turned it loose for the final time on my library, it did it's job and I haven't had to use it again since.
posted by lhauser at 6:02 PM on February 24, 2019

I use CDex to handle ripping CDs; it connects to the FreeDB CD database, and it's rare that it doesn't identify or mis-identifies a CD. It's not a full-blown music player, so you'd want to find something else to use for that, but it's really good for the ripping part of things.
posted by Aleyn at 7:42 PM on February 24, 2019

Foobar is fantastic, been using it for almost a decade now. These days I tend to leave it alone, I just need a list of my music and a search button. However, I've gone through peiods where I thought album info and art and all that was important and worth displaying. It was very easy to get it set up the way I liked and I was able to find plugins for more niche stuff like a way to put the music onto an ipod or whatever. The community for it is also helpful and enthusiastic, and there's nothing you can want to do with the program that somebody out there hasn't sorted out for those who want it.
posted by GoblinHoney at 2:31 PM on February 25, 2019

Response by poster: I looked at the 3 programs I originally mentioned and immediately ran screaming into the night. Way too complicated for what I need, way too many features, and thoroughly super annoying, convoluted, and ridiculous learning curve required. {blech} Yes, it was traumatizing; please don't judge.

I just want something minimalist that does what WMP used to do. The *only* reason I was dissatisfied with WMP is they are discontinuing support for finding album info online of my CDs when I rip them. I'd rather not have to edit and rename the tracks manually.

• I only need to CDs, ...cast to sonos, ...create playlists, ...copy music to an mp3 player.
• No online streaming. No itunes. No video. Ad- and cost-free.
• Any simple media player/library programs I should consider? (More simple than that. (Even more simple.))
posted by dancing leaves at 1:23 PM on March 24, 2019

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