Ok, you’re finally feeling good about your music collection. It took you awhile but finally you have entered the 21st Century and now have all your music on your computer hard drive as MP3s! Congratulations. It’s great because now you can do searches for things like “love”; or “birthday”; or “rain” and find all the songs that have those words in them and create playlists. Maybe you’re thinking there are other things you can do. Easier things. More powerful things.
So today I have a list many FREE software titles that can help. So let’s get started. Let’s start with music players:
Part I – Audio Players
The default audio player software on your Windows is probably not enough, when it comes to extensive features and customizability. Here’s a pick of the best media players that can let you sort through and efficiently play most audio formats on your Windows computer:
1 VLC Player – It’s more light on resources that you would imagine. VLC is a very versatile player – throw any odd format, and it plays them for you instantly (FLV included) (www.videolan.org/vlc/).
2 Winamp – Winamp has its own fans, it’s customizable to a large extent and can come as a great saver. If you listen to music every other day, you need to have Winamp installed. (www.winamp.com) A similar player is Jet Audio (www.jetaudio.com)
3 Songbird – A feature rich application that has great looks, go for it if your Windows computer has got some memory to spare. You can customize it by adding extensions (similar to Firefox) (www.songbirdnest.com/)
Part II – Organizers & Jukeboxes
Jukeboxes are music software that come with amazing capabilities. Go for them if you have huge music collections scattered all around – not just in your computer, but also in audio CDs.
1 Media Monkey – The best piece of software out there that you’ll love using. Tag editor, format converter, CD recording, iPod support, you name it – it’s got all the tools that squeeze the best from your tracks.
2 J River Media Jukebox – Very pretty, has good features. And might serve as a good jukebox.
3 MP3 Tagger – The best ID3 tagger out there in the market, that’s free as well. (www.mp3tag.de/en/)
4 Magic MP3 Tagger – One other little tool that you can make use of to tag your music collection. If your music is incorrectly being tagged, this tool can set things right by tagging your MP3 files. There’s a big database that this magic tagger accesses, and not a single file can be left out untagged.
Part III- Rippers, Converters
For when you want to copy new CDs to your hard drive.
1 Audio Grabber – Fantastic audio ripping software, with FreeDB tagging support included, I bought it back when it wasn’t free, but now it is. Another similar ripper is FreeRip. (www.audiograbber.com-us.net/)
Part IV – Audio Editors
Trust me, as far as I know, there’s no free editor as much capable as the professional ones out there. But still if you’d like to do some basic recording and effects, you could try these:
1 Audacity – Open Source, and is very light weight. (audacity.sourceforge.net/)
2 Wavosaur – Comes with no installer, and is a single exe file that does the job. Supports WAV format
Part V – Other
1 Last.fm – A social networking site for audiophiles out there. Listen, get interesting tracks based on what you’ve played, and add friends! (www.last.fm/)
2 Tunatic – A song is playing on your head, but you just can’t get it’s title right? Then download this, install, hum the song through your mic and let Tunatic locate info on the song for you! Quite cool! (www.wildbits.com/tunatic/)
3 Audio Files GDS Indexer – Google Desktop Plugin – Install this one if you have got Google Desktop installed. Adds a bunch of functionality to the Desktop Spider to make it more friendlier towards Audio files.
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