Music Box: A Java audio player

Music Box is a simple Java audio player that supports quite a lot of file formats and is aimed at people who are tired of bloated players and want to listen to their favorite tracks in a simple program.

Installation & Requirements

The program is completely portable, meaning no installation is required at all. Just download and extract the files and run the .jar file. The application should run on most versions of Windows without issues, provided Java is updated.

Interface

As you have probably noticed from the screenshots already the interface of the program is quite straightforward. The player is aimed at people that just want to insert their tracks, hit play and sit back while the program plays them. There are some advanced features present but the main interface consists only of the player. Of course, that depends on what tab you are currently in.

The Music Library and Currently Playing tabs will be all that most people want since it simply gives you a list of the imported tracks and the song that you are currently listening to. Actually, all tabs except for the Wikipedia one will just give you track information. The playlist and image library tabs need your input in order to show anything as the program does not create playlists automatically and it does not acquire images from the internet automatically either.

What it does do automatically though is giving you information on the current band you are playing pulled from Wikipedia. That tab is actually a mini web browser that is limited to Wikipedia. Links and other things are still there but you will only be redirected to Wikipedia’s page on everything. In fact, you can actually browse any article of Wikipedia in a variety of languages that you can choose from when selecting the tab for the first time.

This belongs in a long list of weird design choices that some people might not be comfortable with. Creating an audio player in Java is commendable but not everything works the way it should. For example, in my first test machine, I could not open the Preferences page no matter what. Opening the player from the .bat file and seeing the CMD commands also showed that the program just did not know what to do when someone selected the Preferences.

Of course, a lot of people that use the program will enjoy it exactly for being a Java player. Complete portability, a simplistic design and advanced options only present for those that want to actively use them. For example, the program has a feature that allows you to connect to other computes in the network and pull music from there. However, it is only accessible via the Options menu and is not obstructive to your view of the actual player, in contrast to what most players would do.

Pros

-No installation
-Simple, neat interface
-Advanced utilities are there if you want them
-Artist information readily available

Cons

-Quite a few bugs
-Feels clunky at times

Conclusion

Music Box is definitely one of the best Java audio players out there, both in functionality and design. While it is obviously simple, it also feels very fresh. If the developers iron out the bugs quickly enough, I can see it being popular in its niche.