When comparing Spotify vs MusicBee, the Slant community recommends MusicBee for most people. In the question“What are the best audio players for Windows?” MusicBee is ranked 2nd while Spotify is ranked 13th. The most important reason people chose MusicBee is:
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](http://musicbee.wikia.com/wiki/Skins). It's also possible to customize the layout by choosing which panels to display.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Huge collection of music and fast access to newly released songs
Spotify has over 20 million songs and arguably the largest collection out of its competitors and usually has the fastest access to new music.
The Spotify desktop client allows local music files to be imported with the option of syncing with a mobile device which largely mitigates the issue of missing artists.
Pro Related artists
Helps to find new authors based on your previous picks
Pro Curated playlists
Public playlists on Spotify created by other people are great for finding new music.
Pro Client's functionality can be extended via third-party apps
Pro Has a free version
A free, ad-supported account allows streaming from an extensive library of music.
Pro Weekly Discover playlist uses a great algorithm
A playlist generated by Spotify based on your listening habits and released every Monday. The algorithm used by this playlist is great and stands out from its competitors.
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 Vast library capabilities - handles a massive collection of music with ease
Current file count exceeds 500,000+. Updates the library faster than other similar feature rich players whilst being fully capable of playback, id tag editing, even visualiser generation simultaneously, limited only by the power of your PC. If your experience is different you likely don't have a capable machine.
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 Media library
Has media library support that can displays all available tags plus custom tags.
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 Free account have lots of ads
If you hate commercials, you would buy Premium or go on using something else.
Con Discovery is terrible
The discovery algorithm is poor and does not learn fast enough. Not obvious how to train it.
Con Poor audio quality
There's a high range of bitrates and most of vary from average to bad.
Con Extremely buggy
Crashes and freezes a lot.
Con The UPnP plugin is still buggy
Con No shuffle play
Does have an option for shuffle play but this randomizes the songs, which means repeats.
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 Doesn't integrate with system media playback interface
Yes it does - Read the manual, check or ask for help at the forum to find out how to use Musicbee.
Con Installs pictures that are irrelevant to the artist being played
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.