Review: Play your tunes with GOM Audio

Play MP3s, Net radio, CDs, and more with this stylish, dedicated audio player.

Gretech's GOM Audio is a music player based on their GOM Media Player. GOM Audio is meant to handle all your audio: MP3s and other files, CDs in the tray, and Internet radio and streams. It supports most audio formats, including AAC files saved as M4As and high-quality and lossless formats like WAV and FLAC. In addition to skins, playlists, and plug-in support, GOM Audio offers an equalizer, A-B repeat, playback speed control, and effects like reverb and surround sound. The latest release, GOM Audio 2 plus, features better exporting of very large playlists and improved CD control and playback. GOM Audio runs in Windows 2000 to 8; we ran it in 7.

During setup, we could associate GOM Audio with various file types, make it our default CD player, and choose other options. Don't worry; they're easy to change later on, if you aren't happy with the results. GOM Audio's default skin is an attractive brown-themed player with docked playlist. Initially, the playlist window contained a very helpful quick start guide to the program's most important features, such as the Mode button in the upper-right corner. This button toggles GOM Audio's small main window between album art, counter, or both; right-clicking it calls up the main menu, which accesses all controls, preferences, playlists, power options, and documentation. We clicked "Skins" and sampled the cute Polar Bear theme as well as our eventual favorite, Fondness, a minimalist design that nevertheless gives quick access to both basic controls and the full menu of options.

The proof is in the playing, so we played some files, including MP3s, WMAs, and similar formats, and then sampled some online sources such as Net radio and streaming files. Entering www.spotify.com returned a playlist full of radio stations. We also tried the equalizer, which can tame unruly desktop speakers and correct other audio issues. We like GOM Audio and think it'd make a great all-in-one player for music lovers.

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