Find Your Jams Quickly With Stoffi Music Player

There’s no dearth of music players out there in the Windows universe, each one with a unique take on how such an app should look and function. From the humble Windows Media Player to the feature-packed Winamp to the infinitely customizable foobar2000, there’s something for every taste. But just when you thought we had every base covered, I came across Stoffi Music Player.

Designed by a cross-national team of four to fit in with native Windows programs and be as simple to use as possible, Stoffi Music Player takes a novel approach towards finding and playing back audio on your PC and beyond. The app includes some interesting features that make it worth trying out — but will you stick with it? Let’s turn the volume to 11 and find out!

Overview

Stoffi Music Player makes it easy to find your music, create playlists, and even play YouTube videos. Supporting over 20 audio formats including MP3, M4A, OGG, FLAC and AAC, Stoffi is free to download, is being actively developed and can update itself automatically so you get the latest fixes and features as they’re released. It’s great for those with sprawling music libraries and fans of minimalistic apps alike.

Stoffi's simple, familiar interface

Stoffi’s simple, familiar interface

The interface

Stoffi keeps things real simple right from the get-go: on first launch, it instantly scans your Music library (yup, that’s what Windows 7’s Libraries concept is really good for) to find your audio files. The next thing you’ll notice is the UI, which resembles a cross between iTunes and Windows Explorer: there’s a simple toolbar wtih playback controls, seek bar, shuffle and repeat buttons and an all-powerful search box. Below these is a file browser with adjustable columns to display track information, and further below is a pane that displays editable ID3 information about selected tracks, including album art.

Stoffi doesn’t merely talk the talk when it comes to integrating with Windows: besides looking like a native app, it also supports Jump lists and taskbar thumbnail playback buttons, and can be controlled almost entirely from your keyboard itself (with support for shortcut configurations from other players so you can choose one you’re already familiar with).

View and edit meta data in the track information display pane

View and edit meta data in the track information display pane

Playing files

By default, Stoffi only looks at your Music library, but you can additional locations for it to find files in. You can also add files by dragging and dropping them into the app. Once you’ve done so, you can play files, search for them and have files newly added to your listed locations show up in Stoffi instantaneously.

Playlists can be created by simply clicking on the persistent blank playlist in the left pane, giving it a name and dragging files onto it. Stoffi will remember your playlists even after you close the program, but you can also save them. If you’ve already created playlists with other apps (PLS or M3U), you can load those in here too.

Don’t have much music of your own? You can look up YouTube for tracks in Stoffi by searching in the YouTube pane. Just as with tracks from your library, you can add the results to any playlist; you can even watch the video in the Now Playing pane.

Stoffi can search for and play YouTube videos

Stoffi can search for and play YouTube videos

If you want to line up a sequence of tracks from all over the place to just play through once, you can add them to the Queue from the right-click context menu. And if you want to find a track that you liked but can’t recall the name of, you can always look up your History and sort played tracks by date or any of the other parameters to spot it.

Extras

Stoffi fleshes out its feature list with a few interesting choices — for one, it allows for connecting the player to the cloud by logging into a Stoffi account so users can control the player from a web interface from anywhere and share which tracks they’re playing on their preferred social networks. I didn’t have much success with this, unfortunately, as I couldn’t get the app to connect and respond to the commands from the web.

You can also add bookmarks to tracks with a keyboard shortcut, which make Stoffi a good choice for those who enjoy audiobooks (yes, Stoffi supports M4B files too), comedy albums or lengthy tracks from folks like Dream Theater and Sleep.

There’s a very basic equalizer that doesn’t come with any presets but allows you to create and store your own. A more useful feature is the random playlist generator which lets you specify a source (your library or an existing list) and how many tracks you want, and puts together a list from a list for your portable music player or a CD. ‘s you generate a list of songs by choosing randomly a given number of tracks from a larger set. This is very useful if you want to create a playlist to export to your MP3 player or burn to a CD for you care.

Generating a random playlist

Generating a random playlist

Finally, there’s an option to donate music to the artists you enjoy. This works by way of users sending in money via PayPal which the developers will in turn hand over to the artists if they’re successful in tracking them down — failing which the money will be returned to you, or donated to Stoffi or a charity. While it sounds noble, there are unfortunately too many moving parts to this to work properly – I’d recommend trying to buy your favorite bands’ music on Bandcamp or buying their merchandise instead.

Stoffi vs. the competition

I’m a Winamp fanboy, having used it since its first release and sticking to it till now. But I’m quickly growing tired of it eating up precious memory and responding slowly. And let’s not discuss the unsightly lurch that is iTunes, or its equally off-putting rival, Windows Media Player. Stoffi is lightning fast, makes it easy to browse my large music collection and throws in a YouTube player. What’s not to love?

A few things, actually — for one, it could use a coat or two of polish, given that we’re now in the Windows 8 era. I’d love to see support for music from portable devices, and a fix for the cloud services.

The team behind Stoffi is working on some neat features that I can’t wait to see, including additional audio sources and radio stations, lyrics and guitar tab display, an album art downloader, a mobile app, syncing playlists and settings between devices and support for Last.fm’s scrobbler. The random playlist generator will also soon allow users to limit the size or length of lists so it becomes much more practical.

Stoffi is easy to customize and suitable for first-timers

Stoffi is easy to customize and suitable for first-timers

Conclusion

I haven’t used Winamp since I began using Stoffi to review it! Stoffi Music Player is a fine choice for those who want a simple, lighweight app to get their aural fix. The interface allows users to get to the music they want to hear quickly, and does away with most of the fluff other players bundle along with their apps. It could definitely use a few more features, which are purportedly already in the works, and a better, more original UI, but other than that, this is a solid option that’s definitely worth trying out.


Summary

Stoffi Music Player is a free, simple and lightweight app that focuses on allowing users to find the music they want in their vast libraries fast. It also packs a YouTube player.

8
  • http://diablo3.pokerist-chips.com onlinegame blog

    Another issue is really that video gaming became one of the all-time biggest forms of entertainment for people of all ages. Kids participate in video games, plus adults do, too. The XBox 360 has become the favorite video games systems for individuals that love to have hundreds of activities available to them, plus who like to learn live with other people all over the world. Thank you for sharing your thinking.

  • http://buyindiablo3.rs2goldmart.com diablo 3 tips

    One more issue is video games are normally serious naturally with the major focus on studying rather than entertainment. Although, there is an entertainment facet to keep the kids engaged, each game will likely be designed to improve a specific expertise or course, such as numbers or research. Thanks for your post.

  • Pingback: Google()