MediaMonkey

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MediaMonkey is an advanced music manager comprising a music player, cd ripper, audio converter, ID3 Tag editor, and playlist generator.

It also supports external MP3 players, including the Ipod.

If you’ve been looking for a free program that can be a kind of one-stop-shop of audio, doing everything that you might possibly want to do with your library of audio files (and doing it well) – MediaMonkey just might be that program.

Here are some of the reasons why this program is so cool:

  • Audio format conversions. Supported formats are MP3, WMA, OGG, WAV, and FLAC.
  • Rips and burns music CD’s.
  • Powerful Tag editing functionality: as good as it gets, with support for importing ID3 tags and album art from external resources like Amazon and Freedb. Auto tagging tracks and saving album art from Amazon is just beautiful!
  • Organization: allows you to automatically change your music library’s folder structure based on your audio files’ tag information.
  • Dynamic Playlists: you can easily create these, e.g. “all tracks from the ‘Electronic’ genre from 2004 to 2006”. Unfortunately, advanced dynamic playlists based on multiple criteria are only availabe in the paid ‘Gold’ version of the program.
  • Search: makes it possible to find the music you are looking for in a snap.
  • It offers versatile scripting support. In fact there are hundreds of downloadable scripts and skins that a community of enthusiasts have created that enable MediaMonkey to do pretty much anything you could think of.
  • Also offers compatibility with Winamp 2 plugins.
  • Synchronization with MP3 players, including the Ipod is seamless. The paid version allows for automatic file conversion when syncing music with hardware players (this sounds nice but I can certainly live without it).
  • It is a music player not an audio player. As far as I am concerned this is a huge PLUS, as this would have been over-reach, and I already have my favorite freeware video players which I am extremely happy with (VLC media player and GOM Player).
  • The program also features a motley collection of cool little features, such as controlling the player by mouse gestures, support for skins, a right-click ‘find more from the same’ command that delivers tracks from the same artist, album, genre, etc.
  • MediaMonkey seems to me to be less resource intensive than some other shareware ‘Music Management’ software that I have used (specifically Media Center and Musicmatch).

Here are some of the reasons why it is not as cool as it could be:

  • The iTunes like interface is functional but not very exciting.
  • No support for browsing by album art. This is surprising as many shareware music managers have this. Note that I DID find a script that adds this functionality to MediaMonkey here (works great); it required a bit of manual fiddling with the registry to run properly, though.
  • No support for some protected file formats such as WMA v10 and protected AAC files (a non-issue to me, but some might want to know this).
  • Forces you to manually install LAME MP3 encoder if you want to still be able to encode and convert to MP3 after 30 days of installation. This is a nuisance, but doable fairly easily (click here for instructions).

Differences between free and paid versions: The two most important features that the paid version provides are (1) real-time audio library scanning, which keeps your library updated without you telling MediaMonkey to re-scan your folders, and (2) advanced dynamic playlist generation for multiple criteria (e.g. I want a playlist for all ‘Rock’ genre tracks rated 4 and above where the year is between 2005 and 2006). Other differences include the need to manually install the MP3 encoder I mentioned above, plus a few others which to me aren’t that significant.

For all of MediaMonkey’s functions you could find strong 100% freeware titles that can do each one of them seperately. You could have the Music Management and dynamic playlists portion with the excellent MusikCube, ID3 Tagging and Amazon/CDDB resources are offered with Mp3Tag, and encoding and converting is offered by many programs, e.g. BonkEnc. MediaMonkey offers all of these functions at the same place, does a really good job at each one of them, and syncs with external MP3 players and the Ipod (as of this writing MusikCube does not have Ipod support).

Additionally, one of the real strengths of MediaMonkey is the community that has grown around it of people who absolutely love it (and create all sorts of scripts and plugins for it). If you’re an Ipod owner and do not want to use iTunes you could do worse than use MediaMonkey. I recommend it higly.

Version tested: 2.5.4.978

Go to the download page for the latest version. The program home page.


 
 
 
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Has been reviewing software since 2006 when he started Freewaregenius.com
  • parijat

    its a cool software

  • pradeep

    its a cool software

  • silvain

    thanks for finding such awesome software.

  • Anonymous

    gooddd

  • Akshay

    vvvvvvvvvvvvvv

  • Peter

    I have about 6000 mp3 files and it works great. It’s especially good at categorizing files and/or moving them around. I use it instead to iTunes to handle my 60Gb iPod.

  • Bonobo

    Another good point..

    Compare it to other media players if you have 50k+ titles in your collection. Suddenly resource use and speed start to MATTER, and MM does great by both criteria. It’s slow computing ReplayGain, but EVERYTHING is…

  • I love this software, it is now loaded on all of my computers. It is a great player, and is very easy to compile play list.

    Dave
    http://www.davescomputerserv.com

  • Martyn

    Coming from an old-style USB stick player I’m considering an iPod (or Sony NWZ-/Samsung YP-P2 in order to avoid iTunes). MM (paid) is genius for squashing more music than should fit on to the old device, but will the synch be as seamless when I shell out for a new toy? I’ve read that iPod support is buggy…?

  • Samer

    Martyn,
    You can manage the Ipod with Floola if you want to avoid iTunes.

    However, having said that, I would advise you to get the new Ipod Touch. I just got an iphone myself and the new OSX based interface is nothing short of fantastic and well worth it.

    The negative is that you will have to use iTunes, which I really didn’t want to do myself. But there are some advantages to that (e.g. programs like The Filter and others which work with only a handful or Media players, including iTunes).

  • Frank

    I paid for Media Monkey awhile back and burning cds has been a problem like it will not do it. Please help if you can.

    Thanks

  • rojer64

    MM is the ultimate organizer, has features you don’t find ealily bundled together and has AMAZING script capabilities which will bring even more: just think of one thing you’d like: the script was probably done already. Otherwise you can still do some scripting yourself if you are such a guy.

    The ressource matter is often overlooked. Most players will fail miserably in that matter, starting at several thousands titles. MM could not care less even at 100k+ .

    The last release brings a cooler interface, though some still don’t like it. The “browse by album” feature has been nicely implemented, completing the already solid contextual (right click) menu.

    The database becomes very precious after some months and it is quite easy to backup. Even to edit through scripts (ever tried sql queries?) or directly in MSaccess or open office (limited support).

    One incompatibility I found is that the skinable executable refusing to run while “true transparency” (a nice XP add on that brings one of vista’s coolest features to XP) is running. MM 2.5 skins did not have that problem, which implies that MM is probably the cause here.

    Though Foobar could be compared to mediamonkey, feature-wise, the program is much more geek oriented. And most of us are no geeks. The rest of the competition is completely left in the dust : MM simply runs circles around them poor apps.

    One thing last: you have to try it for good before you even realize what you have at hand. Which most people won’t do and still post their opinion, sadly.

    MM, at 30 USD is well worth buying if one single program ever was. The free version is still fully functional and feature-rich. Great article on a program that deserves it.

  • cyanide911

    Hey, you said that a plugin exists for browsing albums by art. Can you link me to that?
    Thanks!!!

  • Samer

    @cyanide911

    That was for the version I tested when I wrote this review (2.5.4.978)
    The new versions of Mediamonkey offer browsing by album art by default and don’t need a plugin!

  • zmonster

    Mediamonkey is garbage. I spend days tagging my mp3 with the album look up and it didn’t show anywhere else. It wouldn’t show on my mp3 player. Only when I used another bad prog WMP did it show the album art. I hate WMP, but it does a great job at the albums. It seems, I keep finding more reasons to like it. Damn Microsoft and their smart guys taking over the world.

  • Neo

    Amazing S/w. I am in love and completely hooked to it.

  • vilma

    muy buena pero la baje y se me bloqueo por eso la tuve que eliminar y tengo que bajarla nuevamente

  • Cliff

    I have MM 3.0. I think Media Monkey is your worst nightmare. It not only blows away all of your album art work (it can’t see art work stored in the iTunes database), but in my case it replaced all the albums with “David Holt: Reel & Rock” and my 22000+ songs–gone. Backup your library before playing with this and whatever you do DON’T PAY FOR IT!!

  • Joe

    @zmonster: The changes that you make in MediaMonkey only affect the database by default (which is safer, giving you an extra step before messing up all of your tags). I thought I’d lost quite a bit of tagging work in MediaMonkey before I found that you have to “synchronize tags” (either use ctrl+S or choose it from “Tools” -> “Advanced Tag Management”).

    @Cliff: It didn’t “blow away” your album art – it’s still there, locked away in iTunes’ album art folder. The problem is that iTunes stores album art in a separate own location, and, as far as I recall, gives the filename an obscure code to relate it to the album, so there’s no way to read it with another program. Considering what I wrote to zmonster above, I don’t see how it gave all of the tags in your files identical artist/album tags. I’m also pretty sure it didn’t do that to the tags in its database all by itself. I’d say that powerful, highly customizable software is not for you – stick to the simplicity of iTunes.

  • Good post, It’s a good free program for music management I came accross.