The Winamp faithful now have one more reason to hang onto the venerable multimedia player--and update it. Version 5.58 of the software includes official support for the new WebM video format. For those who don't keep up with the fast-paced world of online video streaming formats, WebM is an attractive format for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it's completely open source (read: free). In addition, the format lets you stream high-quality content with a minimal footprint in that it requires no plug-ins, unlike with Flash video--which currently dominates Web … Read more
There's a temptation to mock people who still talk about Winamp, and its true that AOL gave up its industry-leading position to Apple without a fight. However, the past few years have seen Winamp reinvent itself as a jukebox for those who haven't been bitten by the iTunes bug, and the latest version introduces the proprietary song-scrobbler Orgler.
Much like Last.fm's scrobbling, Orgler sends your music data up to the cloud. Also like Last.fm, it allows members of the AOL/Winamp community to contribute their played songs to a list of what's been on … Read more
For better or worse, buying an iPod also means committing to Apple's iTunes software. Apple's seamless combination of hardware, software, and online store has made it many fans, but for some folks, the iTunes way of doing things feels unbearably confining.
If you love your iPod, but can't stand being tied to iTunes, there are some compelling and capable Mac and PC iTunes alternatives that can sync with your iPod. Depending on your iPod model, you'll probably still need to keep iTunes around for firmware updates, video purchases, games, and some advanced features (calendar syncing, for instance), but there's no reason you can't sync your music and podcasts using a different program.
Each of the following media jukeboxes has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. This list isn't meant to be comprehensive (by all means, add your own suggestions in the comments section), I'm just taking an opportunity to highlight my personal favorites. Also, every application listed here is free, so there's no reason not to try them all and see what sticks.
Ideal user: File hoarders, control freaks, meticulous taggers, boutique format users (FLAC, Ogg), people with messy collections.
Pros Ideal for large, scattered collections Advanced tagging features and auto tagging Supports iPhone 3G and iPod Touch 2G Copy songs from iPod to computer Album art lookup Skinnable Podcast catcher… Read more
The Filter is a multijukebox plug-in for Windows and Mac that uses artificial intelligence and the All Music Guide database to create custom iTunes, Winamp, and Windows Media Player playlists based on a variety of user inputs, such as a few songs of your choice, specific artists, or music genres. It also works for video, including movies, TV shows, and Web-only videos.
Upon start-up, The Filter scans your entire music library, which takes considerable time if you have more than 10,000 tracks. It compares the metadata for those files against the All Media Guide database, as well as your … Read more
We last took a look at the iTunes plug-in The Filter way back in 2006, so it's high time to see what this alternative to the Genius playlist is up to. Of course, when it first came out there was no Genius playlist, nor a Mac version--now that there's both, does it hold up?
Certainly the most obvious benefit is that although you do need to register to use the playlist, you don't need to hand over your credit card number to this Peter Gabriel-supported plug-in. These days many people probably don't care, but to … Read more
We've talked about Simplify Media here before as a great way to listen to music from your friends' iTunes music libraries (Windows and Mac). In fact, Simplify Media was one of our 10 best downloads of 2007. The minute you fire it up, you'll see why--as long as you and your friend both have a free account with Simplify Media, you can stream and listen to each others entire music collections on both Windows and Mac. But, the latest release of Simplify Media for iPhone and iPod Touch lets you take all of that music with you.
To … Read more
Good, then bad, and now good again, Winamp has had a bit of a roller coaster life. The last few updates, starting about version 5.3, took some long-needed steps to improve the old-school media player, with support for AAC encoding, CD burning, and a robust file-management system. The latest, 5.51, ups the ante with strong support for portable devices, including iPods, the capability to sync non-DRMed files to your PC from your device, an optional new interface layout, and a built-in browser for media discovery.
Clicking on an artist's name will get you related headlines and Web … Read more
As the self-imposed deadline of June approaches, Simplify Media remains in beta for Windows, Mac, and mobile users. The iTunes and Winamp plug-in that lets you share your music with friends has, however, added three new features: chat, a "now playing" message that displays what your friends are listening to from your collection, and a built-in password reset for the forgetful among us.
The chat feature is the strongest, allowing you to directly communicate with friends, family, and even enemies with whom you've shared your music. It's a great way to give and get some direct … Read more
When it comes to software media players, computer users understandably follow what I'll call the "path of least resistance" rule of life: they use what's available on their computer out of the box. If you're a Windows user, that means Windows Media Player. Mac users have iTunes. Once Windows users take the step of adding their iPod (if that's their chosen player) into the fray, they will likely download iTunes to make it easy. But what if you don't like iTunes or Windows Media Player?
Before companies tied their portable players to their … Read more
This post was updated at 9:00 AM on Tuesday to make it clear that Imeem's platform is technically "live."
Social media service Imeem has announced the Imeem Media Platform, a set of APIs (application programming interfaces) and tools so that outside developers and partners can contribute to the site. The APIs will give developers access to media on the site (music, video, and photos), the media player interface, the music recommendation engine, and playlist-creation tools, among other things.
While the platform itself is technically "live," it's in a very preliminary phase, Imeem founder … Read more