Audio player

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XMMS as an example of an audio player in Winamp style:
top left : playback control and playback status display
right : playlist with pieces of music
bottom-left : frequency equalizer

Audio Player ( English for audio player ) called audio devices and software that are able to play back audio data. The range of functions of the software player has evolved significantly in the 2000s, which is why most audio players have now become media players .

Software player


Audio players are programs that only load audio data from audio formats or from CDs , convert it at great expense , if necessary, and then pass it on to a computer's sound card as digital music signals .

Some players also include database functions for managing the audio files. These enable the user to sort his audio data according to artist , music album or other criteria, to create playlists or to offer sophisticated search functions.

OpenCubic player , for example, a player with frequency spectrum - Audio Visualization ( STFT )

Some audio players have the ability to graphically display the audio data to be played using visualizations. For example, the frequency spectrum is displayed as a bar chart. Many visualizations use the audio data primarily to create artistic graphics or animations.


The advent of compact audio formats , chiptunes and later tracker modules on home computers in the 1980s led to the emergence of the first software audio player. This continued at the beginning of the 90s on the PC platform with MS-DOS , computers were now also equipped with CD-ROM drives, which made it possible to play audio CDs . Inertia Player and CubicPlayer are examples of audio players for audio CDs and tracker formats of that time. With the development and spread of the highly compressed MP3 audio format at the end of the 90s, the use of the PC as a playback device gained wider popularity, especially through the creation of compressed pieces of music by CD ripping . Audio players in today's sense emerged, including the genre-defining Winamp , with a consistent plug-in system (for audio formats, sound output and audio visualization ) and a customizable user interface (via skins ).

Due to the further growth in computing power and the associated video capabilities, many audio players expanded their capabilities in this direction in the 2000s and thus became media players .

Hardware player

These are devices that can only play audio data. These devices include CD players and the first generation of MP3 players .