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Media Player Roundup -- The Winner(s) Declared

We've looked at several media players for Windows Mobile devices but which one is best suited for you? We've looked at Pocket Player, Pocket Tunes, CorePlayer, Vito Player, Flipside, and the newest offering, Kinoma Player. Does one of these applications stand out above the others? Some are so close in performance that it may be a tough choice while others aren't so difficult to distinguish. We have players better suited for the hardcore media junkie and some that will appeal more to the casual listener.

To see how these media players shake out, read on!

Media Player Round Up

FlipSide by Electric Pocket ($19.95): While this media player does make a good first impression with the ability to import album art, that impression doesn't last long. It's not to say that Flipside is the worst medial player out there, it's the weakest of this group. Flipside is a very basic media player but a little too much of an iPod "wanna-be". Stability issues also plague this very basic media application.

CorePlayer by CoreCodec ($29.95): This was a tough call. CorePlayer is a media player designed for a more hardcore user that is feature riddled. But I found it difficult to navigate through and did experience a few stability issues. It may be a strong player amongst the media applications but I can help but feel that it has two left feet.

VITO Audio Player by VITO Technology ($9.95): This was another tough call. VITO Audio Player is actually a very nice media player and I hate to penalize it because it's too basic. However, VITO does lack a functional equalizer and the ability to create playlists while those higher on the list do. It is still a very good choice for those looking for a straightforward, basic media player.

Pocket Player by Conduit Technologies ($19.95): I consider Pocket Player the best of both worlds. Using default settings, this is a very good media player for the casual listener. Pocket Player has enough customization for navigation, playback, audio quality and appearance that it will satisfy the hardcore user as well.

Pocket Tunes Deluxe by Normsoft ($37.95): With a clean and intuitive interface that maintains a full-set of features for both Windows Mobile Pro and Standard, Pocket Tunes is one of the better media players available. Supporting both internet radio and stored music, this application can easily satisfy the casual listener and most hardcore media hounds.

Pocket Tunes is our pick for best 'classic' media player. If you're not interested in an internet-connected player, Pocket Tunes is tops; the fact that it can also do internet radio is an added bonus.

Kinoma Play by Kinoma ($29.95): We'd be remiss if the new kid on the block wasn't mentioned. While Pocket Tunes holds the title of 'classic' top-dog in this roundup, Kinoma Play gets a strong mention. Designed to help you find media on the internet to play as well as play on board tunes, its only weakness may be the amount of Program Memory it can consume. Based on the initial comments of those who have taken the plunge, Kinoma Player may soon unseat Pocket Tunes.

Kinoma Play is still a 1.0 release, but even so it's our pick for best 'internet-connected' media player. It might be a little memory-heavy, but the incredible feature set makes it worth it for any device that can handle it.

WC Staff
WC Staff
25 Comments
  • Interesting. I have pTunes & Kinoma Player.
  • if you don't need AVRCP, tag / library support or HE-AACv2, you will hardly notice them. In these respects, however, more established players like CorePlayer are far better
  • Where would WMP be if it was included? Is it worth the extra cost for Pocket Tunes?
  • I was a big user of the standard Windows Media Player until I upgraded my phone to WM6.1. Ever since them, WMP chokes on my 2000+ songs that are stored in an 8 gig card. I like to play all my music completely shuffled, and WMP now pauses over 30 seconds between songs, which didn't happen before the upgrade to 6.1.
    So, I've been trying all these players one by one. All the players I've tried do not have the lag problem that WMP has. However, each has some fatal flaw that has made me give up on them. Both Pocket Player and Pocket Tunes came close, and I like both of them. The flaw in Pocket Player is that their shuffle algorithm plays the same songs over and over again. The flaw in Pocket Tunes is that they only use the "album artist" tag and not the "contributing artist" tag. So you can't identify the artist if the song is from a compilation album. It comes up with "Various Atists" which isn't very helpful. I'll keep trying out the other players...
  • isn't it a little sad that the 2 best apps are newcomers to the WM land and made their name in PalmOS land?
    It might be indicative why WM has never achieved its potential over all these years.
  • You completely left out my favorite MP3 player, which still claims to be the most popular (probably due to a free version being available). Did you skip it on purpose? I'm talking about PocketMusic, of course. It's old though. A new one that certainly deserves some attention is whatever player the M8 will have, check it out:
    http://www.engadget.com/media/2008/03/m8_music.jpg
  • All this is very subjective, but personally I think PocketPlayer is superior to all those listed although PocketMusic (which you left out) and Kinoma come close
  • 1. Indeed CorePlayer is pretty complicated to learn, which I also pointed out in several of my articles - particularly the one on the library handling of all these apps.
    However, once you learn the secrets of this player, you'll certainly like its strengths: very well tought-out library system, low CPU usage, great video playback, stability.
    Speaking of stability, I havent ever run into stability problems with the PPC version (NOT the SP version, which I only used the 1.1 version of and really occassionally so I can't relaly comment on its stability).
    And it has the lowest CPU usage among the reviewed players. (But not necessarily so with the non-reviewed and by many liked iPlay.)
    2. I too miss Pocket Music. While it does have some lacking functionality (for example, album art), it's become pretty good.
    3. I really recommend reading my multimedia-related articles; I've provided a lot of very thorough comparisons between all these players (and a few more). See http://www.pocketpcmag.com/cms/blogs/cat/206 . Note that I'll publish my full (!!) Pocket Tunes and Kinoma review in 1-2 days, along with updating my older roundups with info on the latter.
    4. volwrath, picking the 'best' of these players is indeed pretty subjective. After all, there's no player to have ALL the functionalities. For example, CorePlayer, Pocket Player and Pocket Music severely lack HE-AACv2 support, which TCPMP, Pocket Tunes and Kinoma all support. However, MP3/ OGG / FLAC CPU usage-wise, CorePlayer is the best and the situation is the same with video playback, particularly that of H.264. That is, it's very hard to pick a winner as it generally boils down to one's preferences which of these apps suits one best.
  • which still claims to be the most popular (probably due to a free version being available). Did you skip it on purpose? I'm talking about PocketMusic, of course.water damage
  • gsplayer for music. hands down.
  • Well, GSPlayer has its own problems. Of course, if you don't need AVRCP, tag / library support or HE-AACv2, you will hardly notice them. In these respects, however, more established players like CorePlayer are far better.
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