AIMP review

An extremely versatile music player with smart playlists, effects and internet radio

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Our Verdict

Even if you're happy with your current media player, give AIMP a try - you're likely to fall in love with its intelligent design and raft of music-tweaking options.

For

  • Intuitive controls
  • Smart playlists
  • Granular control over audio

Against

  • Options screen a little disorganized

Calling AIMP a music player would be doing it a disservice. As well as playing music, the program also acts as an audio organizer, making it easy to change MP3 tags and create playlists.

Download AIMP freePlaylists are an interesting feature here because as well as curating them by hand, you can also take advantage of the smart playlist option to create something to match a mood with less effort. On top of this, the program can be used to listen to streaming internet radio stations. AIMP can function as an alarm clock, audio converter and more.

AIMP advanced features
AIMP is an advanced media player, and supports plug-ins to add even more features

User experience

This all good media players, AIMP has a unique look - this is certainly not your typical Windows program. It looks almost like a blend between a Mac and Linux app, and while this might sound off-putting, it works.

Once you have music playing, chances are you won't want to sit and look at the program (but if you do, you can enjoy a selection of visualizations) and AIMP has an interesting way of minimizing out of view. Rather than disappearing into a taskbar button, the program window disappears completely and can be accessed through a tiny tab that appears at the left of the screen when the mouse is moved near to it. This can be a little confusing if you're used to Alt-tabbing through applications, as AIMP disappears from view and can only be access via the side-of-the-screen menu.

Because AIMP has something of a different look to other programs, you might feel that it would be confusing to use, but that idea quickly evaporates. Basic playback options and playlisting are easy to use, and the audio converter -- which handles a highly impressive number of formats -- is a breeze to get into. For diehard keyboard users, there are plenty of hotkeys and keyboard shortcuts to ensure that program control and navigation can be achieved without ever having to lift your fingers from the keys.

AIMP playlists
Creating playlists is simple using AIMP's bespoke interface and intuitive keyboard shortcuts

We liked

In addition to the regular application, there's also a portable version that can be installed on a USB drive and easily moved from one computer to another.

That's extremely handy, but what's most impressive about AIMP is the level of control it gives you over your music - and not just in terms of organization. The DSP Manager includes an impressive 18-band graphic equalizer, and there's a range of sound effects that can be applied to music during playback.

You can also tinker with speed, tempo and pitch settings. The timed shutdown and alarm clock function are very welcome additions too, as is support for an almost unparalleled number of audio formats.

It's not limited to your PC, either - the addition of an Android app means that you can enjoy much the same experience on your smartphone as on your computer.

AIMP Equalizer
AIMP includes an equalizer and many other tools for fine-tuning music and podcasts

We disliked

There's not really much to dislike about AIMP. If there is any criticism to be levelled at it, it would be that the Options screen is something of a mess. There's a huge number of options and preference that you can configure, and the means having to work through an awful lot of sections. Things could perhaps have been better organized.

Final verdict

Download AIMP freeYou might think that you're happy with your current media player, but that's probably just because you don't know what you're missing out on. Give AIMP a whirl.

Specifications

Developer: Artem Izmaylov

License: Freeware

System requirements:

  • Operating system: Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10
  • Processor: N/A
  • RAM: N/A
  • Disk space: 37MB

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