Featured Freeware: Quintessential Player

Other players may receive more attention, and we'd love to see an official update for this jukebox, but Quintessential Player offers efficiency, stability, and flexibility. Not bad, eh?

Other players may receive more attention, but it's hard to beat Quintessential Player's efficiency, stability, and flexibility. Easily customizable and built to support almost any plug-in, this freeware tool also has a fine video player. CD-ripping and MP3-converting features increase the program's value without bloat.

The stylish interface includes a lot of sensibly set hot keys, making playback and music management a no-click affair. It also is completely skinnable, with plenty of designs created by a large community of developers and fans. The extremely helpful Quintessential Player Web site provides a library of optional tools and full developer kits for creating your own skins or plug-ins.

Our only beef is that you can only exit the full-screen-video mode through the right-click context menu, whereas the other functions have buttons that appear when you hover your cursor at the bottom of the screen. Quintessential Player takes up less memory than other multitask jukeboxes, making it a smart choice for performance-conscious users.