MediaMonkey isn’t exactly easy on the eyes, but its organization tools work so well, you won’t care.
iTunes lets you do a lot with your music, but—let’s face it—Apple’s media management application doesn’t really focus on music. It’s simply too busy handling everything else. If you like the look and feel of iTunes, but wish that it kept its focus on music, you’re going to love MediaMonkey. Especially if you use a mobile device that does not run iOS.
MediaMonkey bills itself as “the media organizer for serious collectors,” and this free application lives up to that claim. The first time you launch the application, it will scan your computer for audio and video files. The process is quick: it identified almost 6000 files on my computer in just a few minutes. And once they are identified, MediaMonkey’s organization features shine: you can browse files by their location on your PC, artist name, composer, album, genre, year, publisher, rating, and classification.
MediaMonkey also presents you with a section called “Files to Edit,” where you can browse files that have unknown, missing, or inconsistent information. It also flags those that are duplicates, makes it easy to clean up and declutter your digital media collection. (The $25 MediaMonkey Gold includes an automatic library organizer, which can run as a background process, as well as faster CD burning and on-the-fly audio and video file conversions.)
MediaMonkey is more than just a media organizer: it’s also a digital media player, where you can play your favorite tunes. I like how easy it is to make minor corrections to the files as you’re playing them. You can easily level the volume of a track, for example, to equalize the volume between tracks.
The interface looks a lot like iTunes, with a similar layout and a white and blue color scheme. MediaMonkey’s interface is rather text heavy, though, and its text is smaller and more dense than Apple’s software. That flaw is easy to overlook when you consider how well MediaMonkey works with mobile devices, though. I tested it with both an iPhone and an Android smartphone, and it recognized both devices without issues, and was able to sync each of these phones with my PC easily.
This feature alone will make MediaMonkey a winner for any non-iOS users who have been searching for an application that will give them an iTunes-like experience. But iOS users too shouldn’t overlook MediaMonkey: music aficionados and organization-mind iPhone and iPad users will like what it has to offer.
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Liane Cassavoy is a veteran technology and business journalist. She contributes regularly to PCWorld and has written about business issues and products for Entrepreneur Magazine and other publications. She is the author of two business start-up guides published by Entrepreneur Press.