Windows is a huge platform with a huge selection of apps, and sometimes it’s hard to know where to find the best one for you. This is certainly true for music applications, as different types of music listeners will have different requirements. Fortunately, there are a lot of great apps to choose from. Here, we’ve rounded up what we think are the best of the best.
If a format exists, VLC can probably play the file. It really is the Swiss army knife of media players.
VLC is also available in two versions for Windows, both free. There is the Microsoft Store version designed for PCs, tablets, and the Xbox One; and there’s the old-fashioned desktop app.
VLC goes beyond digital files and also offers streaming support and will convert various file formats. It is an extremely useful tool for music and video
Spotify is arguably the most popular music streaming service on the planet, and it’s now also available through the Microsoft Store.
It’s the same desktop app it always has been, with the added bonus of seamless updates through the Store. If you are going to be using Spotify, then getting it from the Store is the right thing to do.
Not only do you have access to Spotify’s vast catalog of content whether you are a paid or free subscriber, but you can also use it to play your own locally stored content. The app itself is completely free, and while the design is a bit cluttered, if you also want to stream and catalog your own tracks, this is a top choice.
As Foobar2000 progressed with a Windows Store app to complement its existing Win32 offering, this project appears to have stalled thanks to the low number of users. The “correct” application is still very lively and dynamic and is both powerful and customizable.
When you set it up, you can change the interface to your liking, and Foobar2000 will basically play whatever you can throw at it. It also has a built-in transcoder, full Unicode support, tags, and seamless playback.
The latter alone is reason enough to give it a try. It’s also free, if you need another reason.
While not a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app for Windows 10, MusicBee sports a modern design that looks really cool. But appearance is not all he has going for him.
It’s easy to move your existing music library from Windows Media Player or iTunes with the import feature, as well as being able to organize your podcasts and audiobooks.
Add uninterrupted playback, pretty robust EQ controls, and a host of customizations, and MusicBee becomes very easily your Music player. You can even pump your PC’s sound into 5.1 if you have the speakers for it!
It’s also completely free. There is nothing not to like.
Great affordable accessories for music fans
Getting the most out of your music requires a little help from certain hardware. Whether it’s headphones or speakers, if it doesn’t sound right, you’re going to have a bad time. These are some of our favorite accessories.
We can earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.