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Years ago, when i first started listening to mp3s and other kinds of digital music on my computer, I used the capable but clumsy winamp for all my audio needs. Then, slowly, as my music collection got larger, and additional format support was required for me, I found the immensely popular winamp to be even more clunky. They then came out with version 3, and then went straight on to version 5, giving version four a miss, and offered lots of new features that modern users wanted, largely because of the popular, but unforgivably slow, heavy, and clumsy iTunes.

Even so, I found winamp to be less and less useful, clunky, and slow. The new focus among audio players to want to scan your music collection(aka: the "Music Library"), instead of taking a prompt from the user on what files they want played, was against the way I wanted to listen to music. Eventually, I found a "good enough" solution with the heavy, but feature-rich Quintessential Player, but still went wanting for that extra power and speed afforded in the pre-2000 days of smaller collections and winamp version 2.

I accepted for years that speed and snappiness weren't a feature of players that didn't employ the "music library" approach. I was distraught, because the world had accepted a standard in audio players that I very much disliked. That was until today, when on a whim, I took a look at the current list of ogg-capable players at the xiph wiki, and came across one called VUPlayer.

To my intense delight, VUPlayer plays files on demand, rather than spending time scanning my drives for files. In addition to the standard set of file formats, it plays ogg files, FLAC files, m4a(itunes) files, and almost anything else I could wish to play, with the notable exception of shn files. That's fine though, as I don't have any shn files. It displays files in a simple on-the-fly playlist, which allows dynamic and customizable sorting, multi-mode repeat, random play, customizable system-wide hotkeys, and unlike quintessential player, ogg audio streams.

I have a new audio player. VUPlayer is highly recommended.

1:01 PM, Sep 9, 2006

1 comment

Brian replied:

I've been using foobar2000. It has an optional library feature, but it doesn't try to move any files or anything annoying. Very light-weight too.

9:58 AM, Sep 17, 2006

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