Some people require very little from their audio player. If it can handle MP3 and WMA files, playlists and a simple media library then they're happy. Sounds like you? Then Windows Media Player probably provides everything you need. If you're a little more demanding, though, you may be interested in foobar2000. It's a lightweight, yet powerful audio player that's packed with interesting features, and has a wide range of add-ons available to add even more useful capabilities.
The program handles the audio basics very well. There's native support for all the audio formats you'd expect (MP1, MP2, MP3, MP4, Musepack, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC / Ogg FLAC, Speex, WavPack, WAV, AIFF, AU/SND, CDDA, WMA, Matroska), for instance. Point the Media Library at your Music folder and it'll import all your current albums, then monitor the folder and add others as they appear. And you can also play or rip from audio CDs, where you get considerable control over the encoding process.
The default foobar2000 interface is a little busy, but that's even more configurable. You can go from having everything on the screen (library, playlist, current track properties, visualisations, more) to just a simple track listing, or combine just the elements you need, either by clicking on a predefined layout or setting up your own. The program's also excellent at tagging (you can select multiple tracks and edit all their tags at once), and its more advanced features include full Unicode and ReplayGain support, along with gapless playback.
The real fun, though, comes when you start to add foobar2000 components. There are extensions to add support for more file types, burn audio CDs, or manage your iPod. Others will help create Last.fm playlists or display Winamp visualisations, and one even tries to simulate 5.1 surround sound through any pair of headphones (the results understandably aren't perfect, but they're worth a listen).
Added preferences page to adjust priority order of installed decoders.
Greatly improved DSP manager dialog.
Default User Interface improvements:
New toolbar items for switching output modes, ReplayGain modes and DSP presets.
Improved status bar: added optional display of selected track count.
Reworked Preferences pages; improved options for minimize & close behaviors.
Keeping incomplete/problematic output files is now optional; they're deleted by default.
New and improved overwrite prompt dialog.
FDK AAC is now among the default presets.
ReplayGain scanner improvements:
Greatly improved “Apply Gain to File Content” feature, with multi threading and more supported formats.
Added command to manually manipulate Opus header gain field for both .opus and Matroska.
New Preferences pages.
Playlist & Media Library search use a new text-matching algorithm similar to Unicode Asymmetric Search.
Cosmetic tweaks; prettier buttons attached to editboxes in various dialogs.
Cleaned up Opus header gain manipulation, reported value no longer offseted by 5 dB, made header gain respected when embedded in Matroska container.
Amended Matroska tagging, certain rare files that would fail to update before are now taggable.
Matroska support improvements, improved seeking performance on files without seektables.
Made possible to choose between alternate audio streams in MP4 and Matroska files.
Implemented WebM internet stream playback.
Compiled using dynamic VC runtime, raising the limit of how many component DLLs can be loaded.
Made Album List remember expanded nodes.
Raised track count limit for cue sheets from 99 to 999.
Integration with Windows 10 Universal Volume Control.
Playback controls in taskbar on Windows 7 and newer.
Configuration saving now uses transacted NTFS if available.
Changed the way playlists and media library data are stored to minimize the amount of rewriting on each app shutdown.
Merged networking features from foobar2000 mobile:
Refreshed HTTP/HTTPS reader; added the ability to read remote folder listings.
Improved handling of various file formats over HTTP, AIFF and Musepack in particular.
More robust M3U/M3U8/PLS playlist handling; shows a warning when trying to save a M3U/PLS file that may not be readable correctly due to international characters.
New file format icons.
Improved media library search performance.
Made various playlist and search result sorting operations use multiple CPU cores.
All communication with foobar2000 website (troubleshooter, crash reporting, update checks) is now encrypted.
Refreshed File Operations preset management, now stored in a plain text files instead and possible to import/export/edit.
Work around for DirectSound audio stutters with Windows 10 1803 (beta 19).
Fix implemented for splitter lock bug.
Workaround implemented for HTTPS issues on Windows XP.
The time-saving tagging tools are useful, but it's the add-ons that really make foobar2000 stand out from the crowd. Go give them a try