You’ve collected hundreds of thousands of megabytes (and maybe even gigabytes) of digital music and video in the past 10 years, and as your media library has grown, so has the necessity for finding the perfect desktop media player. Not only must the perfect player be capable of playing back your media, but it also needs to be able to help you search through and find any song or movie you’re looking for at a moment’s notice. Hit the jump for a glimpse at the five best desktop media players according to Lifehacker readers.
VLC (All Platforms)
VLC is the cross-platform Swiss Army knife of media players. It’s lightweight, open source, and can play virtually any file—audio or video—that you throw at it. VLC has no media library tools, but you can create and save playlists. Either way, the slim, no-nonsense player has found a home on countless Windows, Mac, and Linux installs.
This weeks honorable mentions go to Media Monkey (Windows freeware and shareware) and Windows Media Player. Whether or not your media player of choice made the Hive Five, let’s hear more about the player you love and why in the comments.
Adam Pash is a senior editor for Lifehacker who has a polyamorous love for media players. His Hive Five feature appears every week on Lifehacker.