5 Awesome Free Music Players You Probably Haven’t Tried Yet
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Not all music you love is on your streaming service of choice, and you have plenty of great tracks on your hard drive too. Plus, there’s always the question of getting recommendations for new tunes. These alternative music players can help.

From bringing all your streaming services into one app to a gorgeous and minimalistic new player, there’s something for everyone here. And there’s a bit of nostalgia for those who miss the classic Winamp.

1. Voltra (Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS): Minimalist Music Player With a Free Streaming Twist

If you love a minimalistic interface for your music players, Voltra’s desktop and mobile apps are worth checking out. The clean white-and-black design is gorgeous, and also a breeze to interact with.

free music players you missed

The app itself has everything you would want from it. You can build your media library, browse artists and albums, and create playlists. Voltra supports every common audio file format 10 Common Audio Formats Compared: Which One Should You Use? 10 Common Audio Formats Compared: Which One Should You Use? We may all be familiar with MP3, what about AAC, FLAC, OGG, or WMA? Why do so many standards exist? Which ones should you care about and which ones can you ignore? Read More too.

Here’s the differentiator: Voltra includes a streaming service. Any user with a Voltra account can stream any song for free once. If you like it, you pay to stream it again. And after the 10th time, you stream it, you own the track for unlimited play. It’s not the best system nor the cheapest, but you might discover some cool indie artists through it.

And no matter what, Voltra itself is an excellent music player for songs stored on your computer. So use it freely for that without worrying about the streaming part.

Download: Voltra for Windows, macOS, or Linux (Free) | iOS (Free)

2. Harmony (Windows, macOS, Linux): iTunes Without Bloatware, Plus Streaming Services

Good God, Apple, fix your iTunes already! It has become a bloated application that simply isn’t good enough as a music player anymore. If you like the iTunes interface but can’t stand how much of your resources it hogs, try out Harmony.

free music players you missed

Obviously, Harmony works with your stored music. But it also includes a host of plugins for popular streaming services like Spotify, Deezer, Google Play Music, YouTube, Reddit, and others. Install the plugins, sign in with your accounts, and Harmony becomes a powerful music player that will play almost any song you search for.

Apart from Harmony, there are some other great alternatives to iTunes for macOS X Alternatives to iTunes: 5 Best Free Music Players for Mac OS X Alternatives to iTunes: 5 Best Free Music Players for Mac OS X Unless you're chained to the iTunes ecosystem and have no choice but to use it, you may want to consider switching to one of these alternatives. Read More too. But having tried them all, my vote would go for Harmony today.

Download: Harmony for Windows, macOS, or Linux (Free)

3. Plexamp (Windows, macOS): For Those Who Miss Winamp and Others Like It

The developers at Plex, one of the best media server apps Your Guide To Plex - The Awesome Media Center Your Guide To Plex - The Awesome Media Center If you have a lot of locally-saved movies and TV shows, you need to install Plex. And this is the only guide to getting started with Plex you'll ever need to read. Read More , recently released a new standalone music player. Plexamp is inspired by music players of old, with a distinct tip of the hat to good old Winamp, both in name and design.

free music players you missed

It all starts with the visualizers, which are patterns of colors that play on screen in tune to the beat. It’s a mesmerizing (and nostalgic) experience, and if you’ve never seen something like it before, you’ll love it. PlexAmp adds some of the other things that old music players used to have, like volume leveling (to avoid one song being louder than the next) and gapless playback (to switch to the next track without a distinctive skip).

On top of these old flavors, Plexamp adds new features from its server-based technology. For example, it turns your existing media library into a radio station, based on popularity or dates. Similarly, each artist can be turned into a radio station too. Here’s a full breakdown of everything you need to know about Plexamp What Is Plexamp and Why Do You Need It? What Is Plexamp and Why Do You Need It? In this article, we're going to quickly explain what Plex Labs is, then move onto an in-depth look at its first standout app, a music player called Plexamp. Read More .

Download: Plexamp for Windows (Free) | macOS (Free)

4. Reddit Music Player (Web, Mobile Web): Stream Reddit’s Best Recommendations

On various subreddits, users of the internet’s largest public forums are constantly sharing their music recommendations The Best Albums of All Time, as Chosen by Reddit The Best Albums of All Time, as Chosen by Reddit The music album represents the optimum expression of musical quality. And while music is highly subjective, there are certain albums widely considered to transcend taste. These are the best albums of all time! Read More . Reddit Music Player brings them all under one roof, ready to be played on a desktop or mobile browser tab.

free music players you missed

It’s a huge list of subreddits that covers every genre and sub-genre you can think of. Choose one of the various supported subreddits to see a playlist of all the songs listed in it. You can filter by trending, new, or top tracks this day/week/month/year/all-time. As with any good music player, there’s a shuffle button too.

The cool part is that you can sign in with your Reddit login to vote or comment on the track you’re listening to. There is no need to ever leave the Reddit Music Player interface, and you can keep rocking on.

5. Cymbal (Android, iOS, Chrome): A Musical Social Media Working Across Streaming Services

While music has a different effect on each of us, it is as much about sharing tunes with others and hearing their recommendations. Cymbal is a new music player based on the premise of finding more music you’ll like.

The app is a bit like a social network. You tell it the track you currently love the most, your all-time favorite, and an underrated hit. Cymbal will create a music profile for you, and show people with similar tastes. Follow them, and see each other’s recommendations as they come up. Tap any song to start playing it in Spotify, Soundcloud, or Apple Music immediately. Neat, eh?

It’s an excellent way to discover new music you will love 7+ Easy Ways to Discover New Music You Will Love 7+ Easy Ways to Discover New Music You Will Love The depth and breadth of music to be discovered these days is mind-boggling. The problem is knowing where to look. We're here to help with an incredible list of resources just for you. Read More , and tell others about tracks they might have missed out on. The Apple Music connection didn’t work well in our test, but try it out, you might have better luck.

Download: Cymbal Android (Free) | iOS (Free) | Google Chrome (Free)

Do You Use iTunes or Windows Media Player?

It always surprises me to find out how many people continue to use iTunes or Windows Media Player (or the new Groove music player) for songs stored on their hard drive.

Are you an iTunes or Windows Media Player user? Will you switch to one of the better alternatives listed above?

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  1. Learjet
    January 10, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    Foobar2000 all the way.

  2. Fras Smith
    January 10, 2018 at 1:44 am

    Harmony is only free to evaluate. Otherwise it's paid commercial software.

  3. Fras Smith
    January 10, 2018 at 1:31 am

    It seems that the latest version of Voltra will not work without an account. Arguably, anything that demands an email address from the user before allowing them to use it is no longer free.

  4. Keith
    January 9, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    If you use Apple Music or iTunes Match, you're stuck with iTunes until Apple releases a public API.

  5. TeeJay
    January 9, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    I prefer not to stream.
    Do any of these automatically download bpm?

  6. Nobruca
    January 9, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    I still use Winamp on my Windows desktop PC and notebook, and although I'm very fond of Dopamine, I just can't make the switch just yet: I love the modular windows Winamp provides. On my Mac mini, I use Vox.
    I tried Plexamp and Voltra (the later looked very promising), but I discarded them because they require an account. I hate having to create an account to play local files and I don't use any streaming service.
    I'll give Harmony a try, but I really wish there was native and identical version of Winamp and Dopamine for mac OS.

  7. Michael J. Tobias
    January 9, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    Still playing with Voltra. Harmony has a continual pop-up to buy it, though the "evaluation version" is free and never times out. The pop-up, and the fact that it froze on my Xubuntu 16.04 machine, gave me reason to uninstall it and not consider it again. With the plethora of fabulous free alternatives, why would anyone pay for Harmony? Clementine, Audacious, Deadbeef...all free and all fantastic.

  8. David
    January 9, 2018 at 10:28 am

    I suggest indicating that both Voltra and Plexamp require you to create an account with them, which could be a negative point for some (like myself).

    Harmony seems to be very light on features (especially when you compare it with Winamp), and apparently is a free trial which can then be turned into a paid license without additional features (?), an odd thing.

    For someone looking for a Winamp lookalike I would suggest MusicBee (https://getmusicbee.com/), which unfortunately is only available for Windows but offers tons of features, is free, and supports streaming services as well.

  9. catester
    January 9, 2018 at 5:58 am

    I would switch from iTunes in a flash if I could find something that would let me subscribe to podcasts and sync them to my beloved iPod Nano 7th generation from my Windows 10 PC.

    • Michael J. Tobias
      January 9, 2018 at 12:06 pm

      Have you tried Clementine?

      • catester
        January 9, 2018 at 4:19 pm

        No, but I'll take a look. Thanks!

    • rustygh
      January 9, 2018 at 2:48 pm

      You might like Deezer!