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alternative to winampI’m a big music junkie. If I’m sitting at my computer and there is no music coming out of the speakers, then it actually puts me on edge a bit and I end up unable to focus. Whether I’m reading, browsing, playing a game, or typing away at an article, I need music and I need to be able to control it comfortably. I’m therefore constantly on the prowl for the perfect music player.

But here’s the thing – I’ve already been through all of the big name household programs. Winamp Winamp - A Solid Media Player That Excels in Managing Your Music Collection [Windows] Winamp - A Solid Media Player That Excels in Managing Your Music Collection [Windows] Winamp is a Methuselah among the third party Windows media players. First released in 1997 and originally developed by Nullsoft, it has become a subsidiary of AOL in the meantime. However, it hasn't lost any... Read More ? It has a place in my heart because it was my first music player ever, but it’s not perfect.  Foobar2000 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 ? Though it’s been my main player for years, I’m still looking for something else. AIMP3 AIMP3: An Excellent Music Library And Player - Lightweight & Free! [Windows] AIMP3: An Excellent Music Library And Player - Lightweight & Free! [Windows] Music players come and go. Yesterday, a particular player might’ve been the #1 music library manager. Tomorrow, a new music player could come out and decimate the current competition. The cycle has always been true... Read More ? MusicBee MusicBee: Your Powerful, Yet Simple, All-In-One Music Manager [Windows] MusicBee: Your Powerful, Yet Simple, All-In-One Music Manager [Windows] What do you use to manage your music library? iTunes certainly is the popular choice, even on Windows. There are other options like Winamp, Songbird, Mediamonkey and Foobar just to name a few. I stumbled... Read More ? MediaMonkey MediaMonkey 4: An Extremely Powerful Music Management Program [Rewards] MediaMonkey 4: An Extremely Powerful Music Management Program [Rewards] I recently got my hands on a copy of MediaMonkey Gold, the premium version of the free music player, MediaMonkey. This full-featured music manager was once known as Songs-DB back when it first hit the... Read More ? All worth a try but none have hit the jackpot yet.

So for the past few days, Spider Player has been on my plate. The screenshots drew me in at first glance, the feature set sounded useful, and the fact that it’s completely free sold me. Does it live up to my ridiculously high standards? Read on to find out.

alternative to winamp

If I had to describe Spider Player’s interface in one word, it’d be muted. By that, I mean it’s not particularly flashy or catchy but it’s not so empty as to be boring or bland. The layout is interesting and the colors are there yet it all happens in a way that isn’t exciting or distracting. It’s muted, which is neither a good thing nor a bad thing. That’s just how it is.

The layout itself is most similar to that of Winamp: multiple individual windows that snap together to form a whole. The individual parts can be detached or closed at will, which allows for a bit of customization. If you don’t need the equalizer, for example, then why have it? Just close it and you’ve slimmed it down.

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As for the playlist display, it’s rather primitive. Most music players nowadays have a library feature that automatically organizes your songs by artist, album, genre, etc. Spider Player doesn’t have any of that. It’s similar to vanilla Foobar2000 because you only have playlists, except Spider Player’s playlists have fewer features. If that’s what you prefer, then great! But I imagine that for most of us, myself included, it’s just not good enough.

spider player review

I should probably mention that Spider Player is pretty old. The last update was pushed out in late 2010, which is an eternity in Internet time. However, despite the fact that this program is nearing three years of idleness, the feature set is comparable to a lot of modern players and it’s kept up with the times somewhat well.

That’s likely because Spider Player used to be a premium program that retailed for almost $20 USD. Just as it went out of development, though, the creators decided to release all of the features for free. Using the following license key, you can instantly unlock all Pro features:

27U3Z909I95-KK147A893S4K6Y1M0F-780363812

alternative to winamp

Once you’ve unlocked the Pro version of Spider Player, you’ll gain unimpeded access to all of the features in the program.

  • 32-bit sound processing. Most sound processing is done on the sound card, but even if your sound card is outdated Spider Player will process audio internally at 32-bit precision, resulting in improved audio quality.
  • Audio streaming. Whether it’s from Internet radio or just an audio file located on a remote server somewhere, Spider Player can stream it perfectly to you.
  • Internet radio recording. As you listen to Internet radio (which you can with Spider Player), you can record the audio directly to a file in MP3 and AAC formats.
  • Lots of supported formats. You won’t need to install any additional codecs to play nearly any audio format in existence: MP1, MP2, MP3, MP4, M4A, AAC, AAC+, AC3, MPC, MP+, MPP, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, Ogg FLAC, TTA, APE, WavPack, Speex, WAV, CDDA, WMA, MID, RMI, KAR, S3M, XM, MOD, IT, MO3, MTM, UMX.
  • Easy format conversion. With Spider Player, you can flawlessly convert nearly any audio file into one of the following formats: MP3, WMA, OGG, FLAC, or WavPack. If Spider Player can play it, then it can convert it.
  • Portable version. Portable programs can come in handy and Spider Player can be used without needing to install it. Place it on your USB drive, SD card, CD, or wherever else and you can still run it without any hiccups.
  • Last.fm integration. Scrobble your songs and notify Last.fm of your currently playing tracks.
  • Lyrics download. Spider Player can automatically download lyrics for your songs and display them right next to the playlist, making it easy to sing along with your favorite tunes.

Music players comprise a software category where personal preference trumps nearly every other benchmark. The best music players might be missing one feature that makes it unusable for you. On the other hand, even mediocre programs can have a fan base. It’s really up to the person using it.

So what’s my final verdict? Spider Player is worth a try. There’s nothing that truly distinguishes Spider Player as a leader of its class, but it does enough things right to make it worthy of a mention. Give it a shot and see if you like it. As for me, I’ll still be on the hunt for the mythical perfect music player.

  1. Ninja Gaijin
    September 20, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Had to give up WA recently after it became a CPU hog when a couple thousand wav sample files loaded in to browse, and short ones under 1 second long it would skip unless you played a longer file before it. So I've updated to Spider player for sample browsing, winamp still for general music, FB2K for converting. Still KM/PotPlayer for video.

  2. David Moreira
    May 13, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    What about GomPlayer? No need to install codecs as it already comes with everything needed.

    • Joel Lee
      May 15, 2013 at 7:24 pm

      Funny you should mention it because I recently reviewed GOM Audio and the article should be up on MakeUseOf within a few weeks. :)

  3. Manide
    May 2, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    I'm using Winamp so rare that I won't bother to find another alternative, although there are some good apps I should try out.

  4. James H
    May 2, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I'll take a look at it, but it will be hard to pull me away from Quintessential Media Player, which appeals to my secret minimalist side.

  5. Scott M
    May 2, 2013 at 11:31 am

    I have using Winamp for a long time and really haven't any complaints but I will try this as I am always willing to test a more evolved application.

  6. Nevzat A
    May 2, 2013 at 8:47 am

    My fav player is AIMP, it can even convert audio.

  7. ha14
    May 2, 2013 at 8:41 am

    it is free since few years, it has good sound quality and radio too but now it is limited

  8. Nuray Toy
    May 2, 2013 at 4:04 am

    Very cool :-D

  9. ReadandShare
    May 2, 2013 at 3:51 am

    Wonder what Spider offers that MediaMonkey doesn't?

  10. Garey B
    May 2, 2013 at 1:24 am

    Dang it I just fell in love with musicbee guess I'll have to give this one a try before I fully commit.

  11. Sean L.
    May 1, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    Thank you! Going to give it a try...

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