MP3 players for Linux

FreeAmp Available for Windows as well as Linux, FreeAmp (www.freeamp.org) is a fully functional audio player that is easy to use. As the name suggests, it's free of charge and can be downloaded from the Web site in rpm format, or as a tar file. The FreeAmp interface is simple, and the size of the player can be reduced to little more than a desktop icon.

Browsing through your songs is made simple with the easy-to-use playlist editor which appears beside the options, download manager and file search buttons on the main display.

Featuring the GPLed Xing MPEG decoder, FreeAmp plays all types of MPEG encoded files. There is also support for streaming, which will allow you to play songs over the Internet. Songs can be downloaded with the download manager that supports the RealJukebox process. The Linux version of FreeAmp supports Enlightened Sound Daemon and additional sound and command line interfaces.

Different themes, ranging from aquatic to MS Office, are available for a change of look.

Xmms Formerly known as X11AMP, Xmms (www.xmms.org), or X Multimedia System, is an MP3 player for Linux that has a graphical interface similar to Window's WinAmp.

It features support for the three MPEG audio formats as well as WAV and AU samples. Saving http streams to the hard disk is optional.

Creating a different look for your player is simple with WinAmp 2.0 skin support; skins are graphical layers that don't change the way the player works.

This makes Xmms the best looking player, by far. However, many of the options are not immediately obvious on the graphical interface, and you may be required to sift through the drop-down menu. Xmms will run on other Unix platforms and be downloaded either from source or in rpm and deb (Debian) package formats. The player is also released with Caldera OpenLinux 2.4 eDesktop and RedHat 6.2.

Xaudio This is another multi-platform MP3 player for Linux and various types of Unix operating systems. Xaudio (www.xaudio.com) is truly a multi-platform development, with Windows 9x/NT/2000 (even Windows CE) and Mac also being supported. Xaudio SDK is a development tool that can be used to implement MP3 playback capabilities to individual applications. The program can be used as a Motif-based graphical interface or a command line program that can be used from a shell prompt. Although the graphical interface is quite bland, the good points of the display include a wide range of easy-to-see options and a clear track information display.

Xaudio offers the features of audio support and online streaming similar to those of the other players mentioned. SuSE Linux 6.4 includes the Xaudio player.

In addition to the above-mentioned players, other lesser-known programs are available. See "MP3 players under development".

MP3 players under development

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Rodney Gedda

PC World

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