I have been through the wars trying to find the best way to play my favourite music on my computer (with an output to my stereo amplifier and speakers) – or on my smartphone through a portable speaker or earphones. The problem is that most music (mp3) applications assume that everyone listens to pop music – therefore everything is organised into albums, artists and songs. The application does this through data contained in the mp3 files, whether you copied them from your CD collection or downloaded them from YouTube or similar sources. In extreme cases, the application will delete files from your computer and decide what you should be listening to from streaming sites.
Windows Media Player used to leave files in the folders you put them in, and simply followed that system. Now, you are likely to find everything under “Unknown Artist”, Unknown Album” and “Unknown Songs”. Now, that’s really practical <sarcasm>, and in the best cases I find that half my Elgar or Mozart collections have disappeared under the names of the orchestra conductors or something even more esoteric. One solution is to edit the “metadata” in the files – which is really tiresome – which in any case will still be assumed to be the latest hits from Heavy Metal Shithead or whatever.
How do we escape the tyranny of the artists, albums and songs? I found some of the very rare applications for smartphones and computers that simply play your files from the folders where you put them on your hard disk.
For the smartphone (Android) – Folder Player which costs almost nothing for the full version. Music Folder Player was made for people who don’t like to see music displayed based on artist, album, track or playlists. If you prefer organizing your audio tracks in folder this may be the right player for you. There is a free version that you can try on your phone before buying the full version. It works fine for me.
Finding something for a computer is not easy. Google searches will point you to the applications designed for pop music. I came up lucky by finding Micro Music Player. Read through everything carefully to make sure it is compatible with your computer and operating system. There are versions for Windows and Linux. I don’t know about Apple-Macintosh. You organise your files yourself in folders under names of composers or whatever you want, and you select those folders manually, and the application will play everything in that folder – no frills and no “unknown …”. It isn’t perfect for everything, but I haven’t found anything better.
Of course, you can go on playing CD’s as in times past, or even tapes and vinyl records. The nice thing about having music on a computer is not having to look through rows of disks to find what you want. The point of any of these applications is organising things so that you can find things easily. That’s what computers do!
Please note that I’m not advocating illegal copyright violations, and that I assume you have paid for and bought the CD’s or downloads from the Internet that can then be copied for your own private use in this way.