a2b Music Player
|Created by AT&T to support its proprietary music format, the
player downloads CD-quality music, and includes features such
as custom playlists and liner notes. The player costs nothing,
unless you count time as money. Typical tracks take 9 to 12
minutes to download on a 28.8 modem. Plays a2b music files.
|Converting CDs to MP3s faster than real time, the system rips,
encodes and manages files with a flexible interface. Plays
MP3 plus CD Audio, MPEG-1 Video, and WAV.
|This player lets you manage CD-quality music from the Net,
, CDs, or even vinyl and cassettes. Advanced options include
fade control and a customizable interface. A stripped-down
version with lower audio quality is free.
|The Liquid Player handles MP3, with support for the Windows
Media format coming soon. One-click options let you buy songs
or CDs or "Get song free." Donwloads, however are a bit slow.
|The simple interface packs a punch, with high-quality sound
and plug-ins for graphics or sound formats. Look for upgraded
|The speediest of players lets you download more than 1,000
songs and record CDs-fast. Plays MP3, plus G2, legacy M2U,
RealAudio, and WAV.
$29.99 with RealPlayer Plus G2
|A playful option with animated menus and controls. Plays MP3,
plus CD Audio, IT, MOD, WAV, and XM.
Virtuosa Gold 3.1
|An all-in-one player that downloads and plays, rips from, and
burns to CD, and organizes MP3, plus LMP3, MIDI, SMP3, and WAV.
Special features include fast-forward and rewind.
|Still one of the most popular players around, coupling an easy-to-use,
configurable interface with cool visualization tricks like a frequency
-analysis display. Supports MP3, plus CD Audio, MP1, MP2, WAV,
Microsoft WMA, and more.
$10 for consumers; $25 for businesses
Windows Media Player 6.2
|Sparse on features, Microsoft's up-and-coming player supports the widest
selection of codecs, including MP3, plus ASF, AU, AVI, ID3, MIDI,
MOV, MPEG, VOD, WAV, and WMA, and can be upgraded automatically.