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How Do I Choose the Best Open Source Music Player?

By Alex Newth
Updated May 16, 2024
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Many computers come with pre-installed music players, but downloading an open source music player may give the user new features and certain advantages that pre-installed programs do not offer. For a programmer to make the most use of the open source music player, it should have a simple application programming interface (API) for easy creation of modules. Open source music players come as either web or desktop programs, and the user should get one fitting his or her needs. There are many different music formats, and the best player will be able to play a large array of these files. Users usually also want to organize their music in a specific way, so organizational tools and music libraries will be helpful.

With an open source music player, the user is given free rein to change the original code of the music player to fit his or her preferences. To make the most of this, a music player with a simple API will make it easier for programmers to edit the source code. If the user is not a programmer, then this will make it easier for the user to add new scripts or modules built by others, because a complex API may be inaccessible to regular users.

An open source music player can be made for the web, desktop or both; the music player usually is one or the other but not both. A web music player is meant to be added to a website, and it plays music on that web page; a desktop program plays music from the user's desktop and is meant for personal enjoyment. Most programs come as one or the other, so the user should download a player that plays music where the user needs it.

While there are several popular music file types, there also are many different music formats in existence. The best open source music player will have a large library of codecs that will allow the music player to play all, or most, of these different formats without upgrading. New formats are constantly being made, so a music player that can upgrade its range of codecs also is useful.

Most open source music player users want to organize their music in a certain way, such as by band, song, time or custom. The music player should allow the user to move around the songs until the organization matches his or her preference. Music libraries also allow the user to make a library based on a genre, emotion or other facets.

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Discussion Comments
By Vincenzo — On Apr 15, 2014

@Soulfox -- here's something else to consider. If you are using Linux, the music player bundled with your particular distro is already open source as Linux is centered around that type of software.

That being the case, the chances are good that you can find plenty of open source CODECs to expand the flexibility your default music player.

By Soulfox — On Apr 14, 2014

Before doing too much research into open source music players, you might want to check on the flexibility of the one that is almost certainly built into your computer's operating system. Often, the problem with those built-in players is that they lack the CODECs to play the music files you want to hear.

There is a good chance that a CODEC pack has been made that will allow the player, that is already integrated into your operating system, to play the files you want.

There's nothing wrong with open source players, of course, but why add another app to your system when the chances are good you can modify the one you already have and get it do what you want?

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