Jaangle (formerly Teen Spirit)
I've got spurs that jingle, Jaangle, jingle... And my boots smell a lot like Teen Spirit. Okay, if you didn't follow that, Teen Spirit--a free music organizer, player, and tag editor--is now known as Jaangle. Let's hear it for snappy names...and for programming that won't jangle your nerves in the least. Jaangle has found a home on my system simply because of its wide format support which includes MP3, AAC, WMA, 16-, 24-, 32-bit wave files at all resolutions, OGG, Flac, and even Apple Lossless--a rarity outside of iTunes.
When you import music into Jaangle it automatically reads the ID tags and downloads available album art and artist info from Amazon, LastFM, and Google. The interface--though skinnable--doesn't have quite the stylish appearance of iTunes or even WMP, but it's more usable and I liked the transparent mini-play that docks to the top of the screen. All functions are readily accessible within a single main window, and Jaangle stays away from multiple overlapping child windows. Everything is provided in paned windows which you can still show, hide, minimize, maximize or resize. My only suggestion to the developers is to replace the plus sign that invokes a dialog to add windows with a simple drop-down list.
One feature I truly enjoyed was the three-band equalizer. So many people mess up their sound using multi-band EQ, it's a long-standing music industry cliché that if you want to generate business for a recording studio, just give away 12- or 24-band EQ units to potential clients. Bass, mid, and treble is all most users need if the curve and center points are musically adjusted by someone who knows what they are doing. Apparently, the Jaangle folks do. Everything sounds right.
Jaangle isn't quite the eye candy some music players are. However, it's free of charge, based on open source APIs, every bit as capable--and to my mind a lot more fun.
Note: This program is donationware. It is free to try, but the author accepts and encourages donations towards further development.
--Jon L. Jacobi