For software that isn't tied to one machine.

Friday, April 10, 2009

CoolPlayer+ Portable Review

A not-quite-there player

A slick, lightweight music player built similar to Winamp and many other players, but without the extras. The portableapps version has a much nicer interface than the official version (which is also portable): a very sharp red/black that rivals any player I've yet tried. There's an equalizer and a "thin" format window as well users can cycle through. The program is easy to download, which was no surprise since portableapps releases are always good at this. Controls are obvious and effective and there are shortcut keys that are easy to find and understand.

Odd formats like RealMedia and Blackberry AMR are unplayable -- by default, only files ending in ".ogg" and ".mp3" have a chance. Although the vast majority of audio formats are in these two groupings, how hard is it to include Apple's AAC and Microsoft's WMA decoders? Is that against some license? Coolplayer will play a host of major formats including flac, aac, m4a, mp4, psf, speex, and wma but you must download them individually as plugins. Further, I'm not sure where you'd put them in the portableapps version. This won't be a problem for hardcore GPL folks, but for the rest of us its an unnecessary inconvenience.

Other problems:
  • The play list would not dock nicely under the player window so you could see cleanly and easily what's coming up next, although you can press "P" to toggle it easily.
  • The "About" menu's annoying cursor movement is annoying and makes looking up the keyboard controls that much harder.
  • Unable to make the song title stop scrolling. This is a personal gripe of mine as any movement on the desktop is a distraction. There's an option to disable it in the options menu but it doesn't work.
Because portable software should necessarily be lighter weight, this software still has its pluses, but doesn't match AIMP, Winamp, or XMPlay in terms of the total product. This is not software I'd recommend or use, although I definitely see some promise and look forward to future versions.

CoolPlayer+ Portable
Version: 2.19.1
License: GPL
Size: 1.58 megs

Score (out of 10): 4

No comments:

Post a Comment