Audio players are software used to listen to music encoded in a variety of formats. In the past, the capabilities of these programs were limited and the users could use them to simply listen to the songs. Today, however, contemporary applications for playing music files offer much more.
There are several dozen major programs for playing music, which are most often offered to the users of personal computers working on Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. Also, currently, the development of mobile devices has forced the creation of a version of some programs on the Android operating system.
In addition to playing music, audio players give users the opportunity to stream music to other devices and do a lot of customizations such as applying skins, visualizing music or downloading songs from the user’s disk. In addition, audio players can also automatically adjust the volume of songs, they allow the user to adjust the song speed as well as mark favorite tracks.
Do not forget that the format of the saved music file is important for playback. All players are compatible with the most popular format, which is MP3, but there are also many others such as WMA, RealAudio or Vorbis.
The use of the Internet connection has contributed to the incorporation of various types of network protocols into the music players, which give the possibility of streaming data.
The HTTP protocol is one of the most popular ones, and thus all the players are able to support it, but there are also several others, such as asx or M3U.
Popular audio players include such programs as Winamp, Spotify or foobar 2000. It should be remembered that many of the audio players can also be called multimedia players due to the built-in movie playback capabilities. An example of such software is iTunes or Windows Media Player.