iTunes can be quite buggy and slow when running on Windows. It lags when scrolling on a dual core system with 4 gigs of RAM and an 8800gts, with nothing running in the background. It’s a simple to use program, but that shouldn’t stop you from switching to something else if you experience problems with it on your computer. Here are some great free iTunes alternatives for Windows.
VLC media player is not just an audio player, it’s also a movie player and a format converter. VLC probably has the most features out of all Windows media players. It is lightweight and supports more features than most people would ever need. You can also use it to convert videos into iPod format. This is a great all-around media player that will play practically anything you throw at it.
While the name might sound a bit weird, this is a great audio player. It is very lightweight, supports thousands of skins, and has many plugins to support almost every audio format imaginable. Take a look at screenshots of some of the features, although when not using custom themes it might look very plain. foobar2000 also works with popular MP3 players.
Winamp has improved greatly over the past few years. A few years ago I wouldn’t recommend this program, but I do today. It’s lightweight and has many features. You can download custom skins and plugins. It supports a lot of popular MP3 players. Check out the full feature list here.
It’s not that bad. Windows Media Player comes built into your Windows operating system, so why not give it a try? It opens up quick and plays back your audio and movie files. It can rip and burn discs too, and has a nice library manager. With this plugin you can sync your iPod with it too.
If you’re not satisfied with any of these media players, you can always open up your MP3 player as an external drive. Here’s a screenshot of how it looks with a Sansa e250 on Windows Vista:
I have an iPod Nano first gen also and it shows up like this too. Then you just configure your folders to show hidden files, and you’ll see the Music folder inside it. Just drag your music in there or from there as if it were a flash drive.
If there are any other media players you like, comment on them below.
itunes screenshot from apple.com