This alternative to iTunes and Windows Media Player is rough round the edges
Winamp has been around for years now and it continues to be one of the better alternatives to iTunes and Windows Media Player.
The free version has more than enough features for most users who want to use it as a media player and for downloading podcasts and listening to online radio.
The install process is easy enough, although some unwanted toolbars and options are bundled, which will need deselecting. Once up and running you can choose between a number of different skins so the player has the right look for your computer.
The video player will play most popular file formats and there is also access to Internet TV stations that have been created by other users. While it might be a bit more ‘rough round the edges' compared to iTunes or Windows Media Player, there is something quite fun about Winamp.
Visualisations, a feature for as long as we can remember, are still present and as colourful as ever.
Other options are all relatively clear and the 'Import from iTunes' feature works well; it imported all of our music without any problem, including all the tag data and track information. Clicking on an artist name displays a short biography and also videos, photos and news.
Somewhat strangely, there's even a web-browser with Flash support included... although why anyone would want to use it we're not quite sure. Still, it works perfectly well.
The free version is lacking some important functions; MP3 encoding and full-speed CD burning are both considered ‘premium' functions and require purchasing the Pro version.
If you really don't want to use iTunes or Windows Media Player and want a media player with some interesting extra features, then Winamp is worth considering, although it certainly isn't as ‘polished' as its more famous competitors.
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An alternative to iTunes and Windows Media Player, but not a very good one
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