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PC (Windows) program for reading music CDs

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Sumnernor, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. Sumnernor

    Sumnernor Well-Known Member

    Apr 18, 2007
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    Munich, Germany
    Real Name:
    Sumner Northcutt
    I have a XP PC and my old PC was Windows 96/98. There was a program which was very good for playing music CDs. One would get a list of tracks with, I believe, and see what the rest time for the current track or disc- My new PC seems more interested in video then audio and they are not very good. Is there a good (free) download program I could use?
  2. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

    Jul 6, 1997
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    Steve Tannehill
    iTunes will work. It connects to CDDB and will play music in addition to rip it.
  3. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2008
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    I wouldn't wish iTunes on my worst enemy! It's a truly horrible product on the PC and absolutely un-needed unless you want to "buy" product from the iTunes store. But if you go that route be sure to uninstall Bonjour after the install completes (you don't get a choice up front). It's a totally un-necessary networking protocol that is only friendly to Apple products and generates undesired network traffic by blindly broadcasting for clients. It's been known to cause problems with networking on Windows systems. iTunes will complain after the uninstall but will still work. You should also consider uninstalling "Apple Device Support" unless you plan to sync with a iPhone/iPod/iPad. Personally, I'd also uninstall the "Apple Updater" as it constantly checks for updates and offers other Apple products you probably do not want (Safari for one). If you leave it installed disable the auto-check for updates and be *very* careful about what you allow it to install. It will default to install everything it *thinks* you need.

    Once upon a time I would have highly recommended WinAmp. But it's gone through years of problems and I stopped using it not long after the company was purchased by AOL back in the early 2000s. The "Professional" version ($20 - but there *is* a free one) gets good reviews. It might be worth a look.

    A product that gets high marks is "Media Monkey" (http://www.mediamonkey.com/). I've not used it but it looks very good and can also organize your collection. They, too, have a "pro" version that costs but appearances are the free one will do everything you need and then some. I'm looking at giving it a try myself (using a VM for testing).

    There's also VLC Player (http://www.videolan.org - primarily video but can do audio - it's very good but doesn't have what you're looking for in audio playback), and Media Player Classic (http://sourceforge.net/projects/guliverkli - also very good but lacking in the audio display functions - it's basically a clone of the old Windows Media Player 6.4)

    But... Windows Media Player *should* do all you need/want and comes pre-installed on Windows systems. While it's not a "great" program it's superior to iTunes IMHO. I'm guessing that's what you were using before and the OEM of your new system has a different media player installed as the "default" player *or* you're using the new Windows Media Center. On Windows 7 you can find the standard Windows Media Player by clicking the Start circle, selecting "All Programs" and looking for Windows Media Player abover the folders listed. If it's not there you can create your own shortcut. Windows Media Player can be found at: c:Program Files(x86)Windows Media Playerwmplayer.exe (on a 64 bit system - if yours is 32 bit drop the (x86) after Program Files).
  4. mattCR

    mattCR Well-Known Member
    HW Reviewer

    Oct 5, 2005
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    Overland Park, KS
    Real Name:
    I'm a big fan of using EAC.. Exact Audio Copy. Perfect if you prefer LAME encodes, works with FLAC, does everything I want it to do, including embeds, lyric downloads, etc.


    Also, it will clean up damaged discs.
  5. Paul D G

    Paul D G Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2001
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    What BobO'Link said about iTunes.

    Personally I still use WinAmp (ever since it came out) as my normal mp3/CD player. I have zero problems with it, but I'm not using any of it features like streaming media, etc. The program has a small and compact interface and most of the time I have it minimized to a thin bar at the top of my screen.

    I LOVE MediaMonkey, tho. I wouldn't recommend it as a simple music player as it's a music library management program. I love that it can be installed as a portable. I have my music sync'd to a portable HD with MediaMonkey installed on it and no matter where I go I can plug it into a PC and have full access to my library.

    Never liked Windows Media Player.

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