Have you tried the free Windows Media Player 10 from Microsoft? Download it from the Windows Media Site rather than Windows Update so you will have the install file to reinstall over itself if you run into future problems.
It now comes with an mp3 encoder, no more purchasing separately from Cyberlink. If you want better quality encoding than WMP or even MusicMatch go to audiograbber.com and use that with the Lame encoder (instuctions on the site). If you want control of your mp3 collection go to magnus-brading.com for mp3Wizard.
WMP has an excellent library system built in. For a cool visualization go to soundspectrum.com and get G-Force.
Other options include winamp.com, quinnware.com, or foobar2000.
I, too, have a lifetime MusicMatch Deluxe but don't use it since it hasn't got along with any cdrom drives I've had. It's a shame because I always liked the radio. You can, however use WMP for internet radio as well.
An interesting observation: It's always seemed to me that Microsoft had an okay no frills media player but noticed what SourceForge was doing with Siren Jukebox. They liked it, so enticed SourceForge into a cooperative deal. Having access to the Siren Jukebox technology, Microsoft developed WMP7. Sort of a Siren Jukebox built into the OS! SourceForge/Sony, seeing that almost all the features were now built into Windows, discontinued further development.
I experimented with the last version of SirenJukebox, still available at the Sony site, a while back when a basic version was included with my old Acoustic Edge sound card. I found a hack that unlocked the deluxe version since they won't sell it anymore. Funny, I thought, this is an early version of WMP7! Everything worked on XP except, since Sony isn't updating its cd-rw compatibility, the cd-writer produced disks that had problems moving through tracks. Since WMP7,8,9,10 gives me everything SirenJukebox has I ended the experiment.
Anyway, Microsoft did a great job with WMP10. Even though originally someone else's technology (what from them wasn't?), it works great.
I've been using Musicmatch and have an lifetime upgrade.
However, I'n not happy with the latest 9.0, it's too heavy and loads my CPU more than I think is needed. And it so slow when starting up.
What freeware would you recommend?
I would like to use one that is similar to Musicmatch with libary, playlists, etc. It's no thtat importent with all that online stuff.
I've got a laptop with XP pro, 1.7 M processor, 2G RAM and an Edirol UA-1000 USB soundcard.
Tobias Karlsson in Sweden