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    I am a fan of Foobar2000.

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      How does it perform?

      I haven’t thought about it, but if I’m stuck on Windows, this is my preferred player as well.

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        It worked just fine on my 2005-spec machine in 2005, and it doesn’t look like it’s had much feature creep or a disastrous acquisition since then.

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          Foobar2000 Is the best music player ever written, with support for themes and plugins.

          It performs great even on low-end hardware, and can output to ASIO in bit-perfect mode.

          I’ve been a Linux user for 10 years now, and Foobar2000 Is the only software which hasn’t a comparable alternative.

          I you’re lucky enough, searching for “what.cd foobar” will lead you to the best theme/plugin combo ever composed.

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            HN recommended DeaDBeeF as an alternative for Linux http://deadbeef.sourceforge.net/

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          I hope the story on configuring this has gotten better. Many years ago it seemed like a total pain to set up, even if it is super fast and efficient.

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          winamp. grab a binary from 5+ years ago and never look back. I have never seen it use more than 5% cpu even on the most ancient of machinery and it even has inbuilt configuration for setting the playback thread to a higher priority.

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            it is mentioned in this post. edit: oh, you mean grab an old version?

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              Yeah. The 2.x series is the codebase before Winamp was acquired by AOL.

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                Yeah, IIRC version 2 was excellent and v3 and up were bloated like everything else.

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                  It’s mentioned, but only as far as “I didn’t like the website design so I didn’t bother”, no?

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                VLC has served as a minimally viable satisfier of this category for me.

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                  I’ve never been impressed with the music players available on Windows, so I wrote my own. I even try to be a good citizen on the platform, unlike most Windows software.

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                    This is kind of illustrative of most software though, isn’t it?

                    Most bloat seems avoidable if developers would be willing to cease development when all goals have been met. Obviously, scope varies wildly, and some products need continued development, such as operating systems. But a lot of consumer-facing software seems to undergo questionable feature additions and needless facelifts because…shiny things? I really don’t know. I suspect software has never really shook its consumeristic roots, where the new thing is automatically better than the old thing.

                    One sure sign of bloat: developers start talking up some meta-programming thing they’re putting into the next version: “now you can script Winamp using JavaScript!” Fake example, but it crops up all the time. Bored developers need to be directed to new projects instead of inventing solutions for problems that never existed.

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                      Now that I’ve received like 100 suggestions “uses only 2% of CPU”, I should mention that even when groove goes into space heater mode, it’s only using 1% or less of CPU. And the same for Spotify. So whatever merits some other player has, telling me it will only use twice the CPU as a bad one isn’t very compelling. :) Which is not to say they aren’t efficient, but you should be sure you’re using a measurement capable of distinguishing.

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                        I actually use pianobar https://6xq.net/pianobar/

                        It uses somewhere between 0.3 and 0.7% CPU.

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                          That’s pretty neat! I love that stuff like this was made a long time ago and still just works with minimal resource usage.

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                          Not sure about $2000 for a dedicated music playing computer.

                          I have a pi3 ($40) that I hooked up to my existing sound system (second hand NAD amp ($90), second hand speakers ($0), DAC ($300, I splurged on this one)) which runs mpc and have a chromecast ($30) for streaming. I know the latter isn’t really dedicated but I can control both from any device (computer, phone, tablet) and have the option of local files or streaming from a service…for less than $100.