Review #14: AIMP (Windows)

If you’ve read my previous list of music players, you must’ve understand my obsession on good music players. I simply want a light, library-based player with a separate playlist pane.

I’m not really happy with Jaangle lately (it’s been abandoned for 4 years, and I hate having to open a new dialog window to search for songs), so I tried to search for a replacement. I’ve never tried AIMP before, thinking it’s just another Winamp clone. But it seems like AIMP has gone through a big change for version 4.01, so I feel compelled in giving it a run.

AIMP’s new interface looks clean and modern, and I like it. I found it pretty amusing that AIMP has separate Play and Pause button, whose reason I believe is aesthetic (five buttons looks more balanced that four). The layout, which combines the music library and the playlist, looks familiar and easy to navigate.

AIMP scans my 3700+ music files in about 3 minutes.  You can group music files by artists, albums, genres, and folder. To play an album, you either drag its title from the leftmost pane, double-click on its track, or right-click on its title. Double-clicking its cover art would open its file on your image viewer instead.

When you drag a track from the middle pane to the playlist, AIMP would show you a circular menu, using which you can add the track to the top, bottom, or the current position.

You can also create a smart playlist using rules (artists, genres, year, etc). For example, here is a smart playlist containing electronic songs from the 90s:

AIMP is equipped with several tools, including a tag editor and audio converter. The tag converter is pretty decent; it lets you rename using rules (e.g. %artist% – %album%), count BPM, and change cases. The audio converter doesn’t let you convert to mp3 for legal reasons; you’ll need to add a mp3 encoder by yourself.

AIMP’s memory usage is around 10-20 MB; much higher than Jaangle, but still quite reasonable.

Conclusion

I found AIMP to be right in the middle of Jaangle and MusicBee, two of my favorite music players: it has the stability and lightness of Jaangle and the stylishness of MusicBee.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with AIMP. It doesn’t have anything new or groundbreaking, but it  has everything I want from a music player. There are still a few things I don’t like, though:

  • I think that double-clicking on an album’s cover should play it instead of opening the cover’s image file. Yeah, that function might be useful, but put it on the context menu instead.
  • On previous versions, AIMP lets you browse and play internet radios; the radio capture button is still on the top toolbar, but I can’t find the radio browser anywhere. I’m quite disappointed.

(Pro tip: If you’re not a fan of AIMP’s new interface and prefer its old, playlist-based one, hit CTRL+M)

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