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Don’t you just hate it when a music player is so bloated that it takes forever to install, even longer to load, and slows your computer down to unbearable speeds? There are some lightweight music players 5 Lightweight Music Players That Don’t Sacrifice Features 5 Lightweight Music Players That Don’t Sacrifice Features For some time, I have been searching for the best free music players out there. Time and time again, I find myself coming back to my tried and trusty Foobar2000, but every once in a... Read More out there, like Foobar2000 (our Foobar2000 review Play Music Like An Audiophile With Foobar2000 [Windows] Play Music Like An Audiophile With Foobar2000 [Windows] Foobar2000 is the desktop music player of choice for audiophiles, tinkerers and anyone looking for a lightweight, efficient program. We have it listed on our page of the best Windows software for a reason, although... Read More ) and GOM Audio (our review Tired Of Big & Bloated Music Players? Try GOM Audio For Free! Tired Of Big & Bloated Music Players? Try GOM Audio For Free! Read More ), but maybe you don’t like them for whatever reasons. Well, have you heard of Jaangle?

Jaangle flew under my radar until a MakeUseOf reader, DiogoCosta, recommended it as his personal favorite program for light, simple, and efficient music playing. Seeing as how Jaangle was originally known as Teen Spirit, I was a bit skeptical at first, but it turns out that Jaangle is a fantastic program worthy of your attention. If you have any reservations about this one, put them aside and check it out.

First Impressions

jaangle-interface

On first glance, Jaangle looks simple. It’s not minimal by any means, but you can tell that there wasn’t much of a graphical budget behind this program’s development – which, frankly, is fine. Jaangle was created by a single developer and released for free with the source openly available. For what it is, the aesthetics are as good as can be.

My immediate impression: Jaangle is indeed very fast. The interface is simple and grows on you over time. The layout of it can be customized, but the process isn’t drag-and-drop and thus not very intuitive. Otherwise, my overall impression is very good. It has the speed and flexibility to be a real contender in the lightweight music player genre.

During your first run of the program, Jaangle will ask you if you want to automatically import media into the player. If you say Yes, you’ll be asked to select a folder or folders on your drive(s), then Jaangle will scan through all sub-directories and import available audio files. I was up and running in less than a minute thanks to this feature.

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Core Features

jaangle-default-setup

Jaangle gives a solid delivery when it comes to the basic features you’d expect from a music player. In some cases, “lightweight” might be synonymous with “stripped down” and “bare essentials only,” but not here.

  • Multiple panes. You can enable or disable seven different panes in the interface. You have to add new panes relative to a current pane, which is why the layout setup can be a bit difficult to get just right, but there’s a level of flexibility here that’s great.
  • Multiple collections. Jaangle is one of the few music players that can handle multiple collections. Typically, you would separate your entire music library into different playlists, but Jaangle lets you subdivide a library (or multiple libraries) into collections, which you can then browse independently of one another.
  • Information retrieval.  For music files with incomplete data, Jaangle can pull information automatically from Amazon (album covers and album reviews), Last.FM (album covers, artist bios, artist photos), and Google (song lyrics).
  • Tag editor. Jaangle doesn’t have the most sophisticated tag editor – in fact, it’s a little more basic than the average music player – but it does have one that you can use to manage your library. If you need something more advanced, check out one of these music library management tools 4 Fantastic Tools to Manage Your Massive MP3 Collection 4 Fantastic Tools to Manage Your Massive MP3 Collection Music library management can be an entirely frustrating experience, especially if you have years of unorganized music waiting to be sorted and labeled properly. Poor music library management will come back and bite you later... Read More .
  • Global hotkeys. Control your music even when Jaangle isn’t the focus window. Global hotkeys are so convenient that nowadays it could be a dealbreaker to not have them. Fortunately, they’re available here and quite useful.
  • Visualizations. Jaangle utilizes Winamp’s AVS system for creating eye-catching visualizations. There are a few default ones that come packaged with the program, but you can also add more by scripting your own AVS visualizations or downloading them from the web.
  • Skins. Jaangle comes with dozens of different color schemes along with the ability to edit or create your own. It’s very easy to set it up so that Jaangle matches the colors of the rest of your operating system.
  • Mini player. For those times you don’t need to manage or browse a playlist and instead you just want the player tucked away into the edge of the screen.

Advanced Features

jaangle-advanced

And for those of you who are more adventurous or demanding of your music players, Jaangle does have a few advanced features that you can use to wring out every last drop of value from this awesome program.

  • Equalizer. Jaangle comes with a built-in 3-band equalizer, which may seem a bit dinky if you’re used to 5-band, 8-band, or even 12-band equalizers, but I’d have to say that Jaangle’s 3 bands have proven themselves more effective than any other equalizer I’ve tried. In this case, less is more.
  • Advanced search. You can use Jaangle’s advanced library search options and filters to quickly find songs. Potential filters include song titles, artists, albums, and even lyrics (if you have them downloaded). You can even search for songs based on the ratings you’ve given them OR by the date you added them to your library.
  • History tracking. Jaangle will keep track of your recent plays, your most played songs, your most played artists, and you can filter through this history based on date, title, and artist. Not a core feature but I can see it coming in handy sometimes.
  • Online scrobbling. With Jaangle, you can scrobble in two ways: using native Last.FM scrobbling support OR through Jaangle’s own online scrobbling service. The latter is in beta and it may not last forever, but Last.FM scrobbling works just as well.
  • Music quiz game. There’s a cool little game in Jaangle that plays clips from various songs in your library and presents 4 possible song titles. The goal of the game is to guess as many songs correctly within 60 seconds. It’s a fun distraction when you have nothing else to do – and, surprisingly, it’s actually fun.

Conclusion

All in all, Jaangle may not be the prettiest music player on the block, but it has a deceptively dense set of features that will make your music-listening experience as good as it can be. Jaangle falls in line with other lightweight players, like Foobar2000, as it has fast performance and doesn’t take up many resources. I definitely recommend giving it a go if you haven’t done so already.

What do you think of Jaangle? If you’ve used it before, would you recommend it? If not, what’s keeping you from trying it out? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

Image Credits: freeimages.co.uk

  1. j.a. angle
    October 30, 2013 at 9:10 am

    it looks great but can't use it as default music player. Just does'nt do it !!!!

  2. Denis
    October 19, 2013 at 8:59 am

    I've used Jaangle since it's first release as Teen Spirit and it has many features I find very useful. One major one for me, it can continue playing while you load a completely different collection, from a different drive, or over a network. The history is also useful and it calculates stats on most played etc. I have tried other players, but they don't quite measure up.

  3. ?????? ?
    October 11, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Design fron 90's... Not for me/
    AIMP is The Best

  4. RcRon7
    October 10, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    That looks like a great player. The interface does look a little basic for my tastes but sometimes less is good. One thing I have always looked for is something that is fast, and has a small footprint with regard to cpu usage.

    Personally I have been using WinAmp for years. It has a small foot print and works great. It also has a mobile app. When your phone is on your home network WinAmp for the PC will connect, and allow you to move files back and forth, create playlists and play music directly from the phone. There is a free version that is all most people will need, including linking with the mobile app. However I did pay for the full version to get some extra functionality.

  5. Skylark-Torch
    October 10, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    I've been using Microsoft's Zune Media Player because I have a Zune HD. Truth be told, I really like it. I can only imagine a small set of features which it lacks that I would desire, (All relative to having multiple computers) and I absolutely love the UI.

    Of course, for my laptop, I've been trying to look for something lighter, so I've looked at Media Money and was intending to try it out. Now there's this to try too, and it looks great!

    So: thanks.

    • Joel L
      October 11, 2013 at 8:11 pm

      I liked Zune while I had it, but once I got my phone I didn't need it anymore. Hope you like Jaangle!

  6. Derek Parcher
    October 10, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    When I first started it was itunes until Songbird showed up. The fact Songbird plays flac, wav and mp3 meant no longer compressing music for transporting to home stereo. If the music is in SACD or DVDAudio I use AmarraSymphony. Why change the quality of your music from it's original form?

  7. Duckeenie
    October 10, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    I have no idea who you think would be offended by my previous comment. Some things that are said are so ridiculous they could only possibly be meant in fun.

  8. Duckeenie
    October 10, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    I tried it a while ago, they used to have the yellow skin as default. Everybody knows you can't trust a music player with a yellow skin!

  9. Andrew Raisbeck
    October 10, 2013 at 9:18 am

    FWIW, having had a couple of extra options installed by a helpfull PC World tech guy after a hard disk crash about 7 months ago, I have come to really like
    Media Player Classic http://mpc-hc.org/, light and still feature packed, and a nicer warmer sound for audio playback too

    • Joel L
      October 11, 2013 at 8:10 pm

      Never considered using MPC-HC as a music player. I use it exclusively for my videos, though!

  10. Teguh
    October 10, 2013 at 6:20 am

    It looks almost similar with foobar..

  11. Karl J. Gephart
    October 9, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    I've stuck with Light Alloy as a lightweight, portable music player with several good interfaces and great file handling. http://www.softpedia.com/get/PORTABLE-SOFTWARE/Multimedia/Video/Light-Alloy-Portable.shtml

  12. Fred Angels
    October 9, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Excellent recommendation Joel, but personally I prefer MusicBee to manage my music. For a simplistic player 1by1 is my player of choice.

    http://getmusicbee.com/
    http://mpesch3.de1.cc/1by1.html

    • Joel L
      October 11, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      1by1 is on my list of programs to try out. Thanks for the endorsement!

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