What is the best app to play music on PC?

Listening to music has become an integral part of our daily lives. Music provides numerous benefits, from improving mood and mental performance to stress relief and motivation. With the proliferation of digital music and music streaming services, people now have instant access to vast music libraries spanning countless genres right on their personal devices. This has made music incredibly convenient to enjoy anytime, anywhere. But with so many music player apps available, especially for PC, the choice of which one to use can be daunting. This article will provide an overview of the most popular and functional music apps for PC, evaluate their key features and capabilities, and offer a recommendation for the best app to play music based on criteria such as usability, library management, sound quality, and customization options.

Music Apps Overview

When it comes to playing music on a PC, there are several major apps to consider. Three of the most popular and full-featured options are iTunes, Winamp, and MediaMonkey.

iTunes from Apple (https://www.apple.com/itunes/) has long been one of the top choices for managing media libraries and playing music on Windows PCs. It provides access to the iTunes Store for purchasing songs and albums as well as Apple Music for streaming. iTunes organizes your music library with advanced tagging and sorting options. It also syncs your music, playlists, and more across devices.

Winamp (https://www.winamp.com/) is another highly capable music player for Windows with a customizable interface and mini player. It supports various audio formats and music libraries. Winamp allows you to enhance your audio with plugins and offers access to Internet radio stations. It also has advanced organizing, ripping, and burning features.

MediaMonkey (https://www.mediamonkey.com/), formerly known as Songs-DB, is a music manager and jukebox app for serious music collectors. It provides detailed tag editing, automatic file organization, CD ripping, and device syncing. MediaMonkey also delivers a variety of ways to browse and view your music library. Additional features include podcast management, DLNA server streaming, and Addons for extensibility.


iTunes is a popular music and media player developed by Apple. Some key features of iTunes include a music library, playlists, smart playlists, podcast support, audiobook support, and video support 1. iTunes allows you to sync your iPhone, iPad and iPod with your music library on your Mac or PC. You can buy music, movies and apps from the iTunes Store directly within the app.

Some pros of iTunes are that it has a clean, easy-to-use interface, seamless compatibility with other Apple devices, and access to the iTunes store for buying media. iTunes also offers audio enhancements and equalizers for improving sound quality. Downsides are that iTunes runs slower on Windows PCs compared to Mac, lacks full support for non-Apple devices, and has some stability issues on PC 1.


Winamp is a classic and popular music player for Windows that has been around since the 1990s. Some of Winamp’s key features include:

  • Support for numerous audio formats including MP3, AAC, WMA, FLAC, and more
  • Extensive library management and playlist creation
  • Ability to customize the look and feel with different skins
  • Audio visualizations during music playback
  • Podcast support
  • Integration with online music services

Winamp is lightweight and easy to use. The interface is intuitive and allows you to quickly access your media library. It excels at managing large collections of audio files thanks to features like advanced tagging and sorting options. Winamp also supports a wide range of plugins and custom skins to change the visual style.

Some downsides to Winamp include its dated look and lack of major updates in recent years. It may not have some of the more modern features found in newer music players. However, it remains a solid option for Windows users looking for a capable music management app and is still actively developed and supported.

As TechRadar states, “Winamp is still an excellent media player…It remains a great way of listening to your extensive music library.”1 Despite its age, Winamp delivers a quality music playback experience, especially for large libraries.


MediaMonkey is a free music player and media organizer app for Windows. Some key features of MediaMonkey include:

MediaMonkey lets you organize your music library with options to sort by album, artist, genre, year, rating, and more. The Auto DJ feature can provide automated playlists based on various criteria.

In terms of music playback, MediaMonkey supports most audio formats and offers a 10-band equalizer and volume leveling. It can enhance bass and stereo width for improved audio quality.

MediaMonkey makes it easy to tag, rename, and organize music files. The auto-tagging feature can look up and add missing ID3 tags. There is also an auto-folder function to neatly organize music.

Other capabilities include podcast management, device syncing, CD ripping and burning, webcasting, and extensions/add-ons to customize the app. MediaMonkey also comes in a paid Gold version with additional tools.

Overall, MediaMonkey provides extensive tools for managing large music libraries and optimizing playback. However, the interface can seem a bit overwhelming for casual users. But for music enthusiasts, MediaMonkey is feature-rich software good for collections with diverse formats and metadata needs. As TechRadar states, “MediaMonkey is by far the most customizable of any of the free music managers here.” [1]

Other Notable Apps

While iTunes, Winamp, and MediaMonkey are some of the most popular and full-featured music apps for Windows, there are several other options worth considering as well.

MusicBee is an open-source music player that offers advanced library management, embedded lyrics support, and a customizable interface [1]. Foobar2000 is a lightweight and highly customizable player known for supporting a wide variety of audio formats [2]. Both MusicBee and Foobar2000 have devoted user bases who appreciate the apps’ customization options and audio quality.

Other apps like Dopamine, AIMP, and Winyl provide streamlined interfaces and focus on core music playback features. While they may lack some of the bells and whistles of the more robust options, these apps can appeal to users looking for a simple, clutter-free listening experience.

There are also specialty music apps like Resonic for hi-res audio, Audacity for audio editing, and Voicemeeter for managing audio input/output. The wide range of music apps for Windows means you’re likely to find one that caters exactly to your needs and preferences as a listener.

Key Evaluation Criteria

When selecting a music app for PC, there are several key factors to consider in evaluating which option will work best for your needs:

User Interface

The app’s interface should be intuitive and easy to navigate so you can quickly find artists, albums, playlists and other features. Look for apps like iTunes that offer a clean, organized layout.

Platform Support

Make sure the app is compatible with your PC’s operating system, such as Windows or MacOS. Some apps like MusicBee only work on Windows.


While some quality music apps like VLC are free, others like foobar2000 offer premium versions. Decide your budget and look for fully-featured options.

Library Management

An ideal music app will help you organize your library by editing metadata like artist, album, and song info. MediaMonkey excels in this area.

Format Support

Make sure the app can play common formats like MP3, FLAC, WMA, AAC, etc. Broad format support allows you to play your entire music collection.

By evaluating music apps based on these key criteria, you can determine the best fit for your computer and listening needs. Focus on interface, platform compatibility, price, library management, and format support when comparing options.


Based on the evaluation criteria of usability, streaming feature quality, audio quality, and cost, MusicBee is the best overall music app to use on PC. MusicBee provides a user-friendly interface and customizable features like playlists, library management, and equalizer support. It also includes streaming integration from sites like YouTube, Spotify, and SoundCloud. In terms of audio quality, MusicBee supports hi-res formats up to 32-bit/384 kHz along with standard formats like MP3 and FLAC. Lastly, MusicBee is completely free with no in-app purchases or subscription required.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Music App

Optimizing your music app settings and libraries can enhance your listening experience. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your chosen music app on PC:

Edit your preferences and settings to suit your needs. Adjust things like the default playback quality, library organization, and whether to show album art. Some apps like MediaMonkey allow extensive customization of preferences.

Organize your library with playlists tailored to your mood, activity, or listening preferences. Most apps make creating and managing playlists easy. Smart playlists that update based on set rules are very useful.

Utilize built-in library management features to clean up your music files. Check for duplicate tracks, fix tagging inconsistencies, delete unwanted files, etc. A well-organized library enhances the experience.

Look into plugins and extensions that add functionality like lyrics support, enhanced organization tools, and expanded format compatibility. Apps like Winamp have a robust extension ecosystem.

Consider paying for premium features if you are a power user. Upgrades often provide perks like mobile syncing, home streaming, advanced library tools, and higher quality audio.

Back up your library regularly to avoid losing metadata, playlists, and other customizations that make your collection uniquely yours.


There are many great options for playing music on a Windows PC. iTunes, Winamp, MediaMonkey, and others all have their strengths. However, for most users, the best overall app is likely iTunes.

iTunes balances ease of use, compatibility, features, streaming integration, and mobile syncing. While alternatives may excel in specific areas like customization or library management, iTunes remains the most well-rounded music player. It seamlessly integrates with Apple devices, works with most audio formats, and provides access to Apple Music streaming.

For those seeking a free option, Winamp is a strong pick with robust music management tools. But iTunes still edges it out for most mainstream users. The bottom line is that iTunes provides the best overall experience for playing music on a Windows PC.

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