Portable music library management software?
September 17, 2007 3:14 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for an application to play music files from my external hard drive/music library. However, there's a snag.

That snag is that our computers here are locked down tight. (This is XP) That means no installing programs.

Basically, I'm looking for something like mediamonkey or winamp that I can run portably (like from a USB drive). You know, just unzip and run, no installation.

I would just run media player, but believe it or not, I can't upgrade it to the current version. I'm running the original version that came with XP back in the day. Let's just say, not so good with more than 100 megs of music.

Thanks in advance O great masters of, erm, music mastery?
posted by kungfujoe to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have a look at this. It's a list of portable (as in "runs from an usb stick without installation") freeware for windows. It lists CoolPlayer and xmplay as media players, so give them a try.
posted by Nightwind at 3:23 AM on September 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

Portable Apps lists VLC which will work, but is none too pretty.

Foobar can be easily made "portable". (see here)

I have heard rumours of a portable Winamp floating around - but couldn't find a decent link. Perhaps you could simply install on another machine and copy the executable over? A surprising number of applications will work that way. (old link that suggests Winamp might work that way)
posted by geminus at 3:34 AM on September 17, 2007

Try 1by1. It's tiny (106kb), can use Winamp plugins, requires no installation, and copes just fine with huge direcories of music. The latest versions now handle network folders, and such.
posted by Solomon at 3:35 AM on September 17, 2007

MPlayer plays anything and runs from anywhere with no installation required. Run it straight off your stick.
posted by flabdablet at 4:31 AM on September 17, 2007

The MPUI front end I linked to often gets its initial language detection wrong, by the way. If it comes up in Danish, click on the 4th tab, select Sprog, choose your language and click Save. Apart from this minor annoyance, it's very easy to drive.
posted by flabdablet at 4:36 AM on September 17, 2007

I am dead certain winamp will just run from a directory. I have an older version of it (version 3 I think) which I have copied from older computers, and it still runs just fine.
posted by tomble at 5:59 AM on September 17, 2007

I have winamp installed on my USB drive - you can run it from there with no problems.

Get the smaller version to save some space - you probably don't need the bloat anyway.
posted by chrisamiller at 7:50 AM on September 17, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the helpful answers.

Here's a summary so far:

foobar and winamp are useless, since you need to install them, and I can't do that (as I stated above, plus my home computer is a linux box).

MPlayer doesn't do libraries, so right out.

VLC doesn't do libraries, so also right out.

Coolplayer, 1x1 and xmplay all look good, and I'll be trying them out.

Thanks for all the good advice.
posted by kungfujoe at 8:20 AM on September 17, 2007

I haven't tried it myself, but have you looked at Songbird? It's a media library application that's built on the same codebase as Firefox.

As for portability, I haven't got a clue, but as there are portable Firefoxes there may be a portable Songbird.
posted by bruzie at 9:00 AM on September 17, 2007

billy may be exactly what you're looking for.
posted by MyDocuments at 11:01 AM on September 17, 2007

Here's a summary so far:

foobar and winamp are useless, since you need to install them, and I can't do that...

Uh, here's what tomble said:

I am dead certain winamp will just run from a directory.
posted by philomathoholic at 11:30 AM on September 17, 2007

Well, I have tried winamp3 on a couple of computers now and it seems to run just fine from a flash drive. Can't guarantee it will work on every system.

The trick was to install it on one computer then just copy the directory onto my flash drive. Seems to work perfectly on all the other computers. I don't know about later versions of it though.
posted by tomble at 5:38 AM on September 18, 2007

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