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  You are at: AudioTech Center: MP3 Players  

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Name: WinAMP 2.9x
Rating: 10/10
Download: Click here

Review: WinAMP was one of the first, and is still the best overall MP3 player available. It is easy to use and has excellent sound quality. Version 3 of WinAMP is already out, but is not a direct update from the 2.x line. Thus, version 2 is still being updated by the WinAMP team and is the preferred version by many people due to its lean, efficient approach. WinAMP features a 10-band equalizer to fine-tune the sound, playlist support, optional special effects plugins and visualizations, and plenty of skins to choose from to customize the look of the WinAMP interface. If you're looking for a no-nonsense MP3 player, look no further.

Want better sound? Give the free Enhancer plug-in for WinAMP 2.x a try, especially if you don't have a high-end sound card and speakers. The enhancement in sound quality can be quite amazing.

Name: WinAMP 3
Rating: 8/10
Download: Click here

Review: WinAMP 3 is Nullsoft's next-generation media player rewritten from the ground up with their Wasabi programming language. Sporting a brand new customizable interface, multiple playlist support, and a new media library for organizing your MP3s, this new version has more to offer than version 2. But it has also received complaints of being bloated and slow. Whether you want the added features at the expense of a less efficient program is up to you. Either version of WinAMP is a fine choice for your default MP3 player.

June '03 Update: Looks like AOL (parent company of Nullsoft) is planning to ditch WinAMP 3 and go back to WinAMP 2.x (also referred to as WinAMP Classic). Not surprisingly, version 3 didn't take off with many of WinAMP's core followers. News article here.

Name: Sonique
Rating: 05/10
Download: Click here for the latest version

Review: A couple years back, Sonique was one of the most promising MP3 players in development. After being acquired by Lycos, it seems to have faded significantly. With the release of WinAMP 3, there isn't much that makes Sonique stand out anymore. It is still a nice player with a snazzy interface and cool skins, but its future is questionable.

Name: Windows Media Player 6.4
Rating: 10/10
Download: Click here

Review: Included with most versions of Windows, Windows Media Player 6.4 is a versatile player for most of your audio/video playback needs. With the ability to automatically download and add new audio and video codecs when needed, it is able to stay up to date with little effort from the user. While Windows Media Player can play MP3s and other audio formats, its main appeal is of its no-nonense video playback capabilities,

Note: Windows ME and XP come with a newer version of Windows Media Player as the default audio/video player. Many people don't like the newer versions, and would like to use version 6.4. While not readily apparent, Windows Media player 6.4 is still included with Windows ME and XP. A simple search of the mplayer2.exe filename will reveal its location on your computer.

Name: Windows Media Player 9
Rating: 05/10
Download: Click here

Review: The newer versions of Windows Media Player seem to be in direct contrast to the lean, simple approach found in version 6.4. Many would classify these newer versions as bloatware, with some new, interesting features but mostly a lot of junk. If you're looking for a fast, no-nonsense audio/video player, stick with Windows Media Player 6.4.

Note: Windows Media Player 7.0 comes standard on WinME. To run Windows Media Player 6.4, search for the file "mplayer2.exe" You may uninstall WMP 7.0 if you so desire.

Name: RealOne Player
Rating: 06/10
Download: Click here to download the latest version

Review: This is a must-have if you access streaming audio and video on the Internet in the RealAudio and RealVideo formats. RealPlayer handles mp3 files as well, although it wouldn't be a great choice as a default mp3 player. One of the dislikes of this program, though, is the amount of undesirable features built into it - some of which are geared at pestering you with advertisments. Much of the annoyances can be avoided by reviewing the program preferences and disabling everything you don't need.