Windows is a vast platform with a huge selection of apps, and it's sometimes difficult to know where to get the best one for you. That's certainly true of music apps, since different types of music listener will have different requirements. Fortunately, there's a lot of great apps to choose from. Here we've rounded up what we feel are the best of the best.
If a format exists, VLC can probably play the file. It's very much the Swiss Army Knife of media players.
VLC goes beyond just digital files and also offers streaming support and will convert various file formats. It's an extremely useful tool to have around for music and video
Spotify is probably the most popular streaming music service on the planet, and it's now available through the Microsoft Store (opens in new tab), too.
It's the same desktop app as it's always been, with the added bonus of seamless updates through the Store. If you're going to use Spotify, then getting it from the Store is the thing to do.
Not only do you get access to Spotify's vast catalog of content, be you a paid or free subscriber, but you can also use it to play your own locally stored content. The app itself is totally free to use, and while the design is a little cluttered, if you want to stream as well at catalog your own tunes, it's a top choice.
While Foobar2000 was pushing forwards with a Windows Store app to complement its existing Win32 offering, that project seems to have stalled thanks to low user count. The "proper" app is still very much alive and kicking and is both powerful and customizable.
When you set it up you can tweak the interface to your liking, and Foobar2000 will play basically anything you can throw at it. It's also got a built-in transcoder, support for full Unicode, tags, and gapless playback.
That last one alone is reason enough to give it a try. It's also free, if you need another reason.
Despite not being a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app for Windows 10, MusicBee sports a modern design that looks really nice. But looks aren't all it has going for it.
It's easy to move your existing music library from Windows Media Player or iTunes with the import feature, as well as being able to organize your podcasts and audiobooks.
Toss in gapless playback, some pretty robust equalizer controls and a host of customizations, and MusicBee very easily becomes your music player. You can even pump the sound out of your PC in 5.1 if you have the speakers for it!
It's also totally free. There's nothing not to like.
Great affordable accessories for music fans
Getting the most from your music requires a little help from some hardware. Whether it's headphones or speakers, if it doesn't sound good you're going to have a bad time. These are some of our favorite accessories.
COWIN E7 PRO (opens in new tab) ($90 at Amazon)
COWIN's E7 Pro delivers active noise canceling on a budget. They're lined with well-cushioned earpads for a comfortable and great-sounding experience.
Anker SoundCore 2 (opens in new tab) ($40 at Amazon)
The Anker SoundCore 2 offers punchy mobile audio, boasting impressive audio quality over Bluetooth and 3.5mm connectors with a promised 24-hour battery life.
HiFiMan RE-400 (opens in new tab) ($39 at Amazon)
The RE-400s offer a comfortable fit and a neutral soundstage that makes them stand out from a lot of other similarly priced headphones.
Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
Get the best of Windows Central in in your inbox, every day!
Thank you for signing up to Windows Central. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.