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With all the music I grab for free using streamripper or USENET, I need something to play them with. For about five years, going back to my first exposure to Linux with Lindows 4.5, I've used nothing but XMMS, shown above. With the default skin shown, it's almost a dead ringer for WinAmp in appearance and function. Sure it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of Windows Media Player or Rhythmbox, such as automatically updating my playlist, but it just works, all the time.

I use XMMS at work to listen to my music, after randomizing the play order, and sometimes I hear a song that's familiar, but I never knew the name of it, so I just read it right off XMMS. I'm have a minimalist aesthetic, so the simplicity of XMMS appeals to me, even if it is no longer under development and being maintained with the lastest eye candy.

Other media players available for Linux:

  • amarok - Lots of features, but takes forever to scan my library
  • audacious - (Rave reviews for this one, but haven't tried it)
  • cmus - Console based
  • kaffeine - A KDE player much like Totem for Gnome
  • mplayer - Low RAM overhead, just plays music from the command line
  • rhythmbox - A lot like amarok
  • streamtuner - Great for surfing internet radio
  • totem - My video player, also used for streaming music & mp3s, has trippy visualizations
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