MediaMonkey, the best WinAmp alternative

mediamonkeyMediaMonkey is a free audio player for Windows. I tried it while I was looking for a Winamp replacement, because of its bad management of media library (I lost all MP3 ratings exactly when I finished to order my collection). I was impressed by the wide choice of functions of this software: it has everything you could ask this kind of application.

Even if there’s a commercial version of the same app (the “gold” edition… MediaMonkey “free” will beg you a little with this offer), differences between the two versions are not so big, and free features are really generous.

MediaMonkey allows you to:

  • move files directly from the application window;
  • burn audio CDs;
  • create smart playlists starting from several parameters;
  • auto-level MP3 levels;
  • import your iTunes library;
  • download album covers from Amazon;
  • … and much, much more.

The best feature I found is the ability to use (and edit) ratings (the “stars” in Windows and Windows Media Player), saving the correct tag directly into the single file (ATTENTION: See note below!). This was very important for me, because I love rating my music, to quickly create playlists with my favourite songs, but I was looking for a platform-free solution: many audio players like Winamp or Songbird prefer a proprietary solution, with an internal database that can be lost in case of you uninstall the application, or if you move/share your files on multiple computers).

http://www.mediamonkey.com/

Note: At the time this article is posted, current release of MediaMonkey (3.0.7.1191) doesn’t correctly handle ratings: they are stored in MP3, but without being 100% compatible with Windows’ star system (this is – I think – because of Windows, that doesn’t support “half star” rates). If you’re are interested (like me) to compatibility, please look to MediaMonkey beta testing forum, where you can download the last available build. I got v. 3.1.0.1223 … and it works perfectly.

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