Main competitors

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Mizery_Made
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Re: Main competitors

Post by Mizery_Made »

Helium does have a few nice features, the main one is more advanced Artist handling, but it's performance was seriously lacking in comparison to MediaMonkey. I gave it a shot a few years ago, imported all my music files and it took like three minutes for a single node to display everything, when it takes mere seconds in MM. Uninstalled Helium and never looked back... well, except looking back, envious of it's more advanced Artist handling. Otherwise, MM has everything I need and allows me to get things done in a timely manner.
RifRaf
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Re: Main competitors

Post by RifRaf »

another vote for helium 2009 here. have only been using it for the last week but very impressed, the features it ships with by default are like mm with all my favourite plugins (well not all) . The cover flow feature works great on normal video chipsets here, the analyse mp3 feature is great and the multiple databases, of various types, is a winner as well. artist handling is excellent and it really does seem like a full feautured player, ie. it wants you to play your music, not spend a life sorting it. the fact that the analyse mp3 feature nicely applies a quality rating that is compatible with mm is great as well meaning another tag now has usefull data and was able to trash some problem files with it. the speed is pretty much up to scratch with mm, am testing with large collection.
Dymium
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Re: Main competitors

Post by Dymium »

RifRaf wrote:another vote for helium 2009 here. have only been using it for the last week but very impressed, the features it ships with by default are like mm with all my favourite plugins (well not all) . The cover flow feature works great on normal video chipsets here, the analyse mp3 feature is great and the multiple databases, of various types, is a winner as well. artist handling is excellent and it really does seem like a full feautured player, ie. it wants you to play your music, not spend a life sorting it. the fact that the analyse mp3 feature nicely applies a quality rating that is compatible with mm is great as well meaning another tag now has usefull data and was able to trash some problem files with it. the speed is pretty much up to scratch with mm, am testing with large collection.
Hi,

What size of database are you talking about?
10.000+ or 100.000+
And what type of database did you use? Access/MSSQL/MySQL?

I tried it with 100.000+ and MSSQL but the speed is (much) lower compared to MM, not to talk about memory usage (have to run Helium + a SQLserver database-app)
RifRaf
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Re: Main competitors

Post by RifRaf »

hiya Dymium, at moment have about 85k files loaded into the default access db. things do seem slower when its rescanning in the background, however being able to use multiple databases would allow smaller sets of music to be in each database with maybe one all encompassing db for when you really want everything available. installing the mysql was not an issue though currently getting an error with the import on a couple of files (am assuming some corrupt tag) and will retry after the analysis is done and bad files removed. currently cleaning a mini-itx machine (atom processor/2gb ram/1tb hdd/xppro) to do some comparisions with about 30k files with fresh installs and databases using basic hardware as current test machine is a decent dual core with 4gb ram so memory use is not an issue.
Nebbin
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Re: Main competitors

Post by Nebbin »

I like the look of Helium (similar to MM, but cleaner), and it seems very well featured. I especially like the artist browsing where the artist pics are shown, and also the statistics page.

From what I've read in their forum, it also has it's own fair share of problems, but is looking very promising indeed. I'd say this app is by far MediaMonkey's closest rival.

Unfortunately, if (as Mizery_Made suggested) it's significantly slower than MediaMonkey, then that's a big disadvantage for me. I can't see myself changing for only a few features. I've come to know MM's feature set very well, and I don't wish to re-learn another command system to do basically what I can do right now.


EDIT: Like Matrix07 mentions below, the JRiver app isn't too bad either, but the strict forum moderation / censorship (eg. deleting any mention of a competing product in posts) drove me away very quickly. I much prefer MM's openness and committed, mature community - there are some very helpful people and it's great to be able to debate almost any relevant topic without a complete flame war :P
Last edited by Nebbin on Mon May 11, 2009 10:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
matrix07
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Re: Main competitors

Post by matrix07 »

My experience so far, in no particular order.

1. WMP 12
If what you want is only play mp3 or WMA Lossless you'll be fine with it. You might love new functions that come with Win 7 like Media Foundation, Play To.., New taskbar shortcut etc. But when you step out of Microsoft realm into something like FLAC or APE, or iPod/iPhone, it become useless.
Fast & easy though.
2. iTune
Too much. Too slow. Too Apple.
3. Foobar
Great player.....if you are a geek. Only one of the few which can put out bit-perfect audio under Vista (I don't think ASIO works with Vista. Please correct me if I'm wrong). Installed on my machine but rarely get used because WAF is zero. Installing a skin will need a degree in computer science.
4. Songbird
Can't play APE..can't this..can't that.... Too early to be taken seriously now.
5. Jriver Media Juxebox
Pretty much like MM. Play almost everything. Can sync to iPod/iPhone. Doing something better (like quality of ASIO plug-in). Doing something worse (like tagging files).
The free version always start at Amazon.com which is a pain.
6. MediaMonkey
The only thing that make me NOT completely satisfied with MM is the lack of WASAPI plug-in to output bit-perfect audio under Vista/7. The skin is so-so but I can live with it (I can even design it if i bother but I won't bother now because of the lack of quality WASAPI plug-in like in Foobar)

Look like I'm still searching for my Holy Grail. :(
VALIS666
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Re: Main competitors

Post by VALIS666 »

1. JRiver Media Center - If I ever had to stop using MediaMonkey, this is what I'd use. Great flexibility, options and a stable program.
2. Helium Music Manager 2009 - By far the best design and look of them all, but also probably the worst coded of them all. Hideously slow and unstable, and if you have a decent sized library you need to install and run a server on your computer, which uses about 1.5 GB of RAM! Ridiculous!
3. Songbird - Does so much right, and does so many things wrong. How does it not have an active playlist? You can't rearrange columns. Just little, simple but MANDATORY things like that make it very frustrating.

After these three it's really a mess. WMP 11 and Zune Player look great, but have so few features. Foobar sounds wonderful but is downright cryptic as far as customization. Winamp does 100 things decently but nothing great. I despise iTunes.
rovingcowboy
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Re: Main competitors

Post by rovingcowboy »

mattisse wrote:After stumbling upon this topic, I thought it might me a good time to re-evaluate a few of the music managers I'd installed and tested in the past.
Feature-wise I only found one strong competitor for MM, the Helium Music Manager, which is unfortunately not free. All other programs had to many flaws at one point or another to qualify as my all-in-one music manager.

What impressed me about Helium was that it offers pretty much all the features MM does (it appears as the authors took a very close look at MM, even built in an import function for MM 2.5 libraries). But it also has some extras, that many MM users are eagerly waiting for. This includes multiple libraries, advanced multiple artist tagging, nested genres and also the management of artist information and links between artists.

The advantages of MM lie in the better tagging capabilities from external sources and of course in the availability of some excellent scripts.

A few thoughts on other music managers:
WMP: Too light on features, not extensible, not configurable enough for my likings

iTunes: nice looking, but also too light-weight, necessary extensions are hard too find especially on Windows

Songbird: shows great potential but still lacks a lot of key features. It seems to be aimed at iTunes user as the authors keep the features pretty simple, so I think it might never give power users enough control. But there are already some awesome add-ons and I like the way the community is involved.

Winamp: Was my favorite player. But that was year ago. Never liked it for actually managing my collection because the GUI is too messy

Foobar: Pretty good extensibility through plugins, but out of the box it's too rudimental and time-consuming to set up.

well done and i agree on the last ones you did in your others thoughts i don't know about the helium one i don't have it and never seen it. 8)
roving cowboy / keith hall. My skins http://www.mediamonkey.com/forum/viewto ... =9&t=16724 for some help check on Monkey's helpful messages at http://www.mediamonkey.com/forum/viewto ... 4008#44008 MY SYSTEMS.1.Jukebox WinXp pro sp 3 version 3.5 gigabyte mb. 281 GHz amd athlon x2 240 built by me.) 2.WinXP pro sp3, vers 2.5.5 and vers 3.5 backup storage, shuttle 32a mb,734 MHz amd athlon put together by me.) 3.Dell demension, winxp pro sp3, mm3.5 spare jukebox.) 4.WinXp pro sp3, vers 3.5, dad's computer bought from computer store. )5. Samsung Galaxy 5 Android 5) 6. amd a8-5600 apu 3.60ghz mm version 4 windows 7 pro bought from computer store.
KorkyKat
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Re: Main competitors

Post by KorkyKat »

Foobar - a joke in the world of binary. Download the latest version and try and get a skin or plug in. Download a skin from Deviant Art and try to get all the bits to assemble it. And so it goes on. Maybe if somebody could join all the bits together it would be a useful player. Geeks only need apply.

J River Media Center. Why sail in a canoe when you can have a battleship with ten thousand cannons? Sophisticated underneath but very dated interface. No room for scripts or tweaking. Great if you have a 9000 inch t.v. that you want to view your albums on. Terrible the way they lump album covers on top of each other - fanning they call it. But it does have extra functions such as videos, photographs, shoe cleaning and sock ironing.

Songbird - Kind of cute in a basic way but needs an awful lot of development. Likewise the nasty staff who operate their feedback section. Obviously not Canadians!

iToons - Job's marketing tool. Looks disgusting in battleship grey - maybe it should get married to Media Center? Basic functionality and unlike Monkey and Media Center it will not catalogue off line c.d.'s so you can't use it as a library. But of course Jobs wouldn't be interested in what the punters want, he wants to sell from his istore. Itoons is also so bloated it should carry a government health warning. And what is all that "Bonjour" trash about? The album flow is pretty but is nothing more than a gimmick. The genius column is for idiots who don't know a crotchet from a quaver.

QMP - I think this is still in the bottom of the garden - well it looks that way since it is perpetually green. I don't think anybody visits their boards other than a few pixies demanding it be brought back to the frog pond for a facelift.

Helium - I tried it for a few days and compared it to Monkey. I think I went wrong insofar as I should have inhaled it rather than trying to use it. I just kept laughing at the direct rip-off from Monkey. At least I had the decency to send them an e-mail asking them why they were trying to re-invent the wheel when there is already one i.e. Monkey. No doubt they will soon close down and will all buy a Monkey.

WinAmp - What was a good tool is now the Empire State of music. Ugly, full of junk and designed by a blind man. Go corporate and that's what you get.

Windoze Media Player - What's that? By golly, remember the days of DRM?

VLC - Very eccentric. Suitable for those who use bicycle clips on their trousers and don't like to do things quickly.

BS Player - Not too bad if only they would let some adults do the interface design instead of the kids from Sesame Street.


Media Monkey - You could be fooled into thinking it was designed by the same group of people that designed the Opera browser. Minimalist at its best yet has a stack of gidgets and gadgets underneath its clean interface. It's a tool for those who love music - the purists. It does everything that a music lover could wish for and does so with little need for physical space or memory. It shows the artwork in the correct size and makes it available in various modules. And then there's all the keyboard shortcuts and the ability to edit in-situ. The rest you know.

How anybody could compare the Monkey to any other player, least of all the naff itoons, defies all knowledge.

May the monkey keep on swinging from the trees for many a year.

I wonder when they'll put a floppy disc facility into the programming!

And I nearly forgot. The forum (here) is one of the best around. No end of people willing to help and share ideas and free classy looking skins of which they have spent a great deal of time in creating.

:D
Eyal
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Re: Main competitors

Post by Eyal »

Thanks KorkyKat, a pleasure to read. Delightful.
Skins for MediaMonkey: Cafe, Carbon, Helium, Spotify, Zekton. [ Wiki Zone ].
danhackley
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Re: Main competitors

Post by danhackley »

Yes good post!

However, don't dismiss coverflow as a gimmick. It's the visual appeal of coverflow that attracts so many users to iPod and iTunes. There is a reason that the iTunes userbase is many times that of Mediamonkey.

However, Mediamonkey is (slowly) catching on. There is an excellent plugin called Monkeyflow, which allows users to visually browse their albums. I know you can do it in cover view, but its nothing near as impressive as a coverflow interface. That plugin needs to be part of the Mediamonkey install package (though is not perfect and needs more work done).
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nohitter151
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Re: Main competitors

Post by nohitter151 »

danhackley wrote:Yes good post!

However, don't dismiss coverflow as a gimmick. It's the visual appeal of coverflow that attracts so many users to iPod and iTunes. There is a reason that the iTunes userbase is many times that of Mediamonkey.
Sorry, but I disagree wholeheartedly. iPods and iTunes were wildly popular much before coverflow was a feature of either of them. Coverflow is a gimmick -- it really does not do a great job of helping you navigate your music collection, it's just eye-candy.
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Lowlander
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Re: Main competitors

Post by Lowlander »

danhackley wrote:There is a reason that the iTunes userbase is many times that of Mediamonkey.
That would be because it's the default software for the iPod and the only software for the iTunes store.
Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)
danhackley
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Re: Main competitors

Post by danhackley »

Just eye candy? When you browse a music store, it's the album art that catches your attention. When you flip through your own collection, it's the familiar covers that catch your eye. Browsing visually is much more appealing that looking through a text list. I don't think you can disagree with this!
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nohitter151
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Re: Main competitors

Post by nohitter151 »

danhackley wrote:Just eye candy? When you browse a music store, it's the album art that catches your attention. When you flip through your own collection, it's the familiar covers that catch your eye. Browsing visually is much more appealing that looking through a text list. I don't think you can disagree with this!
No, of course not. But coverflow doesn't really store any useful information, it just has pictures. I much prefer something like MM's album art with details view.
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