Now that the major players (some pun intended) in the field have all been reviewed, it’s time to take a look at them all and decide which is the recommended choice for music organization software.
The point of these reviews was always to find what software worked the best for organizing the music on an MP3 player. Playback on a computer is one thing, but this site is for MP3 players after all, so if you can’t handle syncing properly you won’t get a good score. WinAmp and Songbird basically became the big losers due to this, with Songbird being too simple and performance heavy without really offering that much and WinAmp having outdated, confusing menu systems as well as being the only software that outright failed several syncing methods such as transferring playlists with the content intact.
Windows Media Player 12 is a nice piece of software that I myself like, but the true usefulness of it more than anything is the Windows 7 support and the fact it’s pre-installed on Windows 7 machines. It does what most people would need without even having to look for additional software, but it’s also very limited compared to the two major players.
The two I’m talking about are of course MediaMonkey and Media Jukebox. Out of all the applications I tested these stood out as the two that really give you a full fledge solution for music organizing. The difference between them lies in the number of features, and the way they handle the free version. MediaMonkey’s free version put limitations on a lot of features that should be free, and that is free with Media Jukebox. At the same time, the full version of MediaMonkey adds only a few things while the full version of Media Jukebox- Media Center – adds dozens of amazing features. MediaMonkey is good, and a lot of people will use it for supporting WinAmp plugins, but my personal favorite and recommendation is Media Jukebox. Having tried the full version I also have to say it’s worth the $50 price tag, and I am going to review Media Center later on to show off the full potential of what I myself can only describe as an amazing application. I didn’t do this now because I wanted to show the free options for syncing, but for a standalone review Media Center is definitely worth some attention.
Of course there are many applications I didn’t review and might not come back to review, for several reason. First off, the point of this was to review free software so that price wouldn’t be a consideration. You might have been able to forgive WinAmp’s flaws if it was the only free software, for example. It’s however a lot more difficult to justify serious lack of features and stability when there are competitors out there that does it right for free. The cost of acquiring the software is 0, so one would always go with the best one. Of course “best” is a relative term, and people might have their own views on what features they want and what the best solution is from that. Still, I find it pointless to spend time on reviewing minor software that while I haven’t reviewed I have looked at and tested and can say for sure it wouldn’t really be a competitor to the big boys anyways. The people who already have their favorite application don’t need my blessing or my review to continue using it, so it’s all about finding the best software for those that don’t already use one- or are out to switch. In my opinion, that is J. River Media Jukebox.
Next up software-wise now is music stores. There are many options out there, most for music but also some for video and audiobooks. Pay per song services and subscription services, international services and country restricted ones. We cover MP3 players all the time, which is what you use to play the music with. I’ve now covered a few music software applications, to handle the organization and syncing of music to the device. Seems only natural that the last piece of the puzzle is also covered, which is how to get the content in the first place.