MusicBee is a media player/library manager for Windows, written in Visual Basic .NET and freely distributed by the author. It organizes collections of all sizes, is highly customizable with third-party plugins and skins, and intelligently scrapes data from several trusted sources to update any empty tags or artwork in files you play.
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Pro Customizable look and feel
MusicBee can be skinned which can significantly change the appearance of a player.
To apply a skin, it must first be downloaded, moved to the appropriate folder, and after restarting MusicBee, it can be applied. A collection of skins can be found here. It's also possible to customize the layout by choosing which panels to display.
Pro Can autofill information on songs
MusicBee can automatically identify songs based on their sound signature and use that information to pull metadata about the song (such as tags, artwork, and lyrics).
Pro Simple interface
MusicBee offers a very straight-forward and easy-to-use interface.
Pro Remarkably responsive interface with small to medium numbers of files
Your media library is stored in a flat file rather than a traditional database, limiting its ability to manage truly massive collections of audio files, but offering far reduced processing overhead for small to medium-large collections.
Pro Portable version is available
A version of MusicBee can be used without having to be installed. It can be kept on an external device and run from that.
Pro Functionality can be extended via plugins
A collection of plugins can be found here. These plugins extend the uses of the app from iOS support, last.fm support, to streaming services support.
Pro Auto-playlist creation with powerful rules
Pro Lots of ways to organize media
Pro Synchronized lyrics
In addition to automatically pulling lyrics for songs, MusicBee can synchronise music playback with lyrics.
Pro WASAPI/ASIO support
High-end audio cards can be easily used to their full potential without any additional software due to WASAPI and ASIO support.
Pro Can convert media
Pro Good podcast support
MusicBee allows the user to subscribe to and auto-download podcasts.
Pro Waveform seekbar
Pro Integrates with Last.fm
MusicBee allows scrobbling with Last.fm.
Pro Supports Winamp visualizers
Pro MiniLyrics integration
Not only does it allow MiniLyrics to search for and add synchronized lyrics to your music files, but the MiniLyrics window can be docked in MusicBee over its own lyrics panel so you can edit them and see them displayed along with whatever you're playing.
Pro Runs well under WINE in Linux environments
There are detailed instructions in the community forum describing how to create a suitable WINE prefix in which to install MusicBee with nearly all the features operating as they do in Windows. There is also support for Linux using CrossOver by CodeWeavers, who offer an automated installer to accomplish the same result on nearly all major Linux distributions as well as Google's ChromeOS.
Pro Does it all better than any other app .... still.
Pro iOS sync support
There is a plugin available that allows users to sync their iOS devices (including music ad podcasts).
Pro Ability to lock down access to settings
It's possible to lock down access to settings while still having access to the player. This is great for parties, allowing guests to browse and play music without worrying if they will mess something up.
Pro Supports seeing time on seek
MusicBee tells you the time you are seeking to on mouseover on the seek bar.
Con The UPnP plugin is still buggy
Con Doesn't integrate with system media playback interface
Con Extremely buggy.
Crashes and freezes a lot.
Con Installs pictures that are irrelevant to the artist being played
Con Does not handle large numbers of files very well
When opening a large number of files, the interface slows down, album view blocks, process blocks disk every now and then on updates.
Con MP3 and AAC transcoding requires installing separate encoders
Due to licensing reasons, MP3 and AAC encoders don't come bundled with the software and have to be installed separately.