Review: MediaMonkey Standard provides great sound and plenty of features

MediaMonkey Standard offers plenty of ways to enjoy your favorite tunes, but its default layout isn't very easy on the eyes. Luckily, you can customize that and just about every other inch of this powerful music player. That, combined with the built-in streaming radio and other nifty features, make it one of the best free media players on the market.

The program makes you click through a ton of pop-up windows -- including several administration permission windows -- while it's installing. The program, itself, is worth the wait for most music fans, though. It has neat features like … Read more

New MediaMonkey doesn't go bananas

The iTunes alternative music jukebox MediaMonkey's latest version jacks the volume, but only a little bit. It's an upgrade worth downloading simply for the improved performance that comes with support for multicore processing, and there are some other worthwhile feature enhancements as well.

One long-standing complaint about MediaMonkey has been that its search feature, while adequate, was far from robust. Version 3.1 changes that, and offers a helpful mouse-over tooltip that explains the Boolean-style searching. It's not true Boolean terminology, but typing in queries such as TO* will give you all songs, albums, and artists that … Read more

iTunes ain't the only gig in town

All eyes may be on Apple this week as the Cupertino, Calif. company is set to release its iPhone 3.0 firmware and iPhone 3G S phone. But unless you number among the 10 percent of smartphone owners who actually has an iPhone, there's little reason you need iTunes, especially to organize your digital music. MediaMonkey is an excellent freemium jukebox that handles large collections especially well. Just updated to version 3.1, its ID3 tags, CD and DVD, and full-featured encoder are just the beginning. A $20 upgrade gets you, among other things, on-the-fly file conversion to your … Read more

Let the monkey manage your tunes

Despite a glut of free player/encoders, it's tough to find one that meets our expectations. Formerly known as Sound DB, MediaMonkey has excellent library-management tools that keep the largest digital music collections well organized. Stir that up with integrated CD and DVD burning, a stellar interface, a full-featured encoder, and the ability to sync with portable audio devices such as the iPod, and you have a pretty compelling product.

Upon first launch, the program scans your drive for supported digital media files to add to the library. Files are sorted based on their ID3 tags, and the helpful … Read more

Featured Freeware: MediaMonkey

Mac users may have it easy with iTunes, but Windows fans should look elsewhere for solid features, a customizable interface, and device syncing support that doesn't devour resources. That's why there's MediaMonkey, which juggles excellent library-management tools with skins, plug-ins, autotagging, links to the MP3 store, track encoding, podcast catching, and more.

Upon first launch, the program scans your drive for supported digital media files to add to the library. Files are sorted based on their ID3 tags, and the helpful Auto-Rename and Auto-Tag From Filename features keep untagged tracks from falling through the cracks. … Read more

Ape eats Apple: Why MediaMonkey is an iTunes killer

At least on the PC, iTunes' performance has been less than stellar. Sure, it set the standard for jukeboxes early on, but most of that was probably tied to its then-exclusive ability to sync with the ubiquitous iPod. Now that device syncing, and especially iPod syncing, is a must-have feature, iTunes' other flaws are standing out like a mohawk in Mecca.

Swinging in to the rescue on one heck of a lengthy vine is MediaMonkey 3. The latest free version of this Windows stalwart, which has been beating its chest since the beginning of the decade, showcases some great new … Read more

Killer Download: Organize, tag music collections

I get my music from several places. Over time I've ripped most of the CDs in my collection and have also bought songs on iTunes. Though file sharing is tempting--and fairly popular judging by our Most Popular list--I've only used those applications a couple of times over the years for long lost remixes. I guess I try to stay legal out of respect for the musicians, but this article isn't about the legality of file sharing.

The problem is, when you get your music from a lot of different sources, you end up with strangely tagged tracks … Read more

Build a better playlist

I love my Archos Gmini 220. It doesn't play movies, make phone calls, or take snapshots, but it provides me 20GB of digital music and files that I can take anywhere and transfer to any computer. It also only cost me $150 two years ago and is still going strong (with the help of one critical rubber band). It's also very solid as a lo-fi recording device for live shows.

While I don't need a portable music player that massages my back or sorts my laundry, I do need one that can shuffle my tracks randomly. Unfortunately, … Read more

Which digital music software sounds the best?

Last week, I had an opportunity to sit down with the developers of MXPlay, beta jukebox software that lets you mash up your music with streaming movies, letting you create your own virtual music videos.

More interesting than the mashup features, however, is MXPlay's unique playback interface. A graphical interface lets you control the location of the listening audience and the position and direction of your speakers. Letting you tweak your own "room" does create better-sounding tunes. The MXPlay folks were very happy to compare its playback sound to that of iTunes, and I must admit I … Read more