[Contest] MediaMonkey Gold [Forum Exclusive]

| May 5, 2012

Hello, I have used many media players from iTunes, Windows Media Player, Microsoft Zune, MediaMonkey and more. The main ones I use are Zune and MediaMonkey, I use Zune because of my Windows Phone but when I got introduced to MediaMonkey I tried it out and liked the way it handled my music collection and use it to play, listen to music, burn, and transfer to media devices.

Installation

Installation was quick and easy, you go through the normal steps in installing a program. You will come up to additional tasks that would let you select to create a desktop icon and enable theme. If you enable the theme, it will enable full skinning and overrides the windows system theme. This option can be disabled or enabled on the Options page after installation so if you want to see how it works you have the option.

After installation

MediaMonkey makes it easy to transfer all of your music and grabs your music quickly. After selecting where my music was located, I could start seeing the music right away and start playing and sorting and you can have it to automatically update the library if a new song is added to the folder you selected to be monitored. It also brought playback information and rating information from iTunes and Windows Media Player plus any playlist that you have on Windows Media Player. It took less than 3 minutes or so to gather 850 music and transfer information from iTunes and WMP into MediaMonkey, time could vary on amount of collection but it seemed quickly and maybe time was less than 3 minutes. So with installation and after installation it took around 5-8 minutes to completely start using MediaMonkey.

Features

MediaMonkey is a well featured music/video player, it has an easy music and movie manger and easy to find specific songs, artist, albums or any type of search you will do if you have a big music collection. It accepts a lot of formats from MP3, AAC, WMA, AVI, MP4, WMV, etc. You also are able to create playlist effortlessly and also create auto music mixes from a predefined selection that you can select like having an auto mix of your favorite artist, song title, album, etc. Finding duplicate tracks are fast and easy with MediaMonkey, finds and shows you the duplicate tracks. Another great feature is tab browsing, usually useful if you are searching but don’t want to lose where you were looking at or use the web browser to search music from allmusic.com, amazon.com, etc. You also are able to listen to net radio from shoutcast or Icecast directories. If you have media servers, it has an easy access to view music/video from your servers. For those that use your media player on parties, MediaMonkey has a cool feature called Party Mode, the mode will be shown in full screen and depends on the settings, you can have it to prevent switching to other applications even prevent the alt+tab, alt+esc, crtl+exc. You can set up a secure party mode password so no one can change the music without your consent, you’ll also able to disable player controls and track rendering and there’s more settings that can be changed through the options or before entering into Party Mode from the View tab you’ll be able to click on options to view the options for the Party Mode. You can have the pod catcher to grab any podcast that you want to subscribe plus any media from the web. Syncing your portable devices is easy and you can sync iPods with MediaMonkey without problems.

Pro Features

The main features that the Pro version will satisfy your music needs. Burning speed increases from 4x on free version to up to 48x. Ripping music is transfer bit-perfect using accurate-rip database so ripping music should not reduce quality by reducing speed of discs. You can create your customized collections, so having collections from home videos, party music, classical, etc. You can use the collections to have music for the sleep timer feature where you could have a selected time where music will play and gradually fade on periods of time and then turns off feature, this feature is quite useful for those that listen to music before sleeping and won’t have to worry about closing player or stopping music when it is time to sleep. The free version is able to encode mp3s using time limited time LAME encoder but the pro version lets you encode unlimited MP3s encoding without having to install a MP3 encoder. With pro version you’ll get advanced search functionality were you can search with any criteria and even find lyrics. Pro version lets you use multi-core when converting, encoding, ripping or using the volume analysis, quite useful when you want it to use more than one core for those that have 4 cores or more. I like to use at least 2 or more cores when ripping so that it will run well and not have any problems. Another Pro feature that can come useful is the Virtual CD, so you can create a virtual cd on a USB or external hard drive, this will have the USB or External HD act like a CD but it’s not really a CD. You can also create previews, maybe need to show previews of music to friends, this feature could easily do it and help in creating previews of songs you want to show to friends without having it playing the whole song.

Options Menu

The options menu has many options that you can change to customize your experience with MediaMonkey; you have all the general settings like when to look for updates, language, OS integration, Party Mode options, explained when talked about the party mode, network and performance where in the performance you can select how many cores it can use when conversion, ripping, volume analysis but only on Pro version. Also in the options menu you have the player options, Auto-DJ/Now Playing, Volume leveling, playback rules, input & output plug-ins, DSP plug-ins, general & Visualization plug-ins. The next one is the Downloads /Podcasts. The library section displays the tags & playlist options, auto-organize, virtual cd & preview options, media sharing, appearance, media tree, and search. Portable/Audio devices options give you a way to configure your devices and plug-ins. Last and not least is the skinning as mentioned on installation you’ll be able to select a skin plus if you enabled the skin theme, it will replace the windows system theme. You have 3 themes to choose from plus you have a link where you can download more themes from MediaMonkey’s site.

Conclusion

MediaMonkey has many features that will keep your collection organized plus with the pro version, it will organize your collection in more better ways that you’ll will effortlessly find any music you will like to search and could create collections that you have to customize what music you have, so when on parties having your custom collection and Party Mode, you’ll won’t have problems when quest tries to change your music.

So using this player it has organize my music with auto tags and info where now I could find the music that got lost when having a big collection as some of music I had I forgot I had and with MediaMonkey I was able to save custom collections to have the music that I haven’t heard with music that I regularly hear so I can listen to them again. With the interface, it is not that difficult to get used to how MeidaMonkey works and has everything you need and uses the title menu to display, so it helps limit the menu to give more screen space to see the music you are looking or listening to.  So I’ve been using it as my main player and quite like the features from MediaMonkey, and will be keeping this as my ain player due to the sleep feature, ripping as I’ve had problems with the other two (iTunes and WMP) in ripping the same quality that was on the disc and usually was lower than what it supposed to be. Multi-core support is great, as mentioned in my review, the multi-core helps when encoding and ripping music and that won’t decrease performance when doing those tasks. MediaMonkey is a player I recommend if you’re a music collector and want an great performance, fast search, and great management of your music.

 

Reviewed by lmanlo

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