AIMP is a free audio (music) player for Windows. It has slowly and completely replaced WinAMP in the Windows desktop platform. The official website is here: http://www.aimp.ru/
What makes AIMP so great:
- It plays everything.
- So many settings and customization options.
- Amazing skins available.
- All required features. And some more.
- Very stable. This player has never crashed.
- Regular updates. Very active development.
- No ads.
- No upgrade promos
- No splash screens.
AIMP DSP Manager
The most important part of an audio player is? It is its Audio settings. So, here we take a look a the AIMP DSP Manager. AIMP has all the audio features and plugins that one may need to make his audio sound better.
The Sound Effects tab gives you features such as Echo, Reverb, Flanger, Chorus, Bass, Enhancer, Speed, Tempo and Pitch. I use only Bass and Enhancer.
The Equalizer button opens the Equalizer settings. AIMP has a powerful 18 band equalizer ranging from 31 hertz to 16.0 kilohertz. It has plenty of inbuilt equalizer presets and options to save your custom settings.
The Volume normalization feature gives you balanced audio output irrespective of different decibel levels that may exist in various audio tracks. The decibel value of an audio file is its loudness limit. Usually, the audio music tracks have loudness from 93 to 96 decibels.
Volume normalization limits the loudness level to a certain level called the norm. The disadvantage of Volume normalization could be the clipping of very high and low-frequency noises. In case of audio music files, it’s not always helpful. The clipping of high frequency could decrease the treble from the song and clipping of low frequency could decrease the bass of the song.
Normalization tries to give you a constant level of sound, this is helpful in video files where sometimes the dialogues are of low loudness and the background music is high. In those cases, you may need to adjust the volume multiple times during watching that movie. Increasing the volume during normal conversation scenes that have low loudness and decreasing the volume during action scenes of scenes with high loudness background music. Using normalization in video players is much more helpful than in audio players.
Instead of Normalization, one can use Replay Gain setting in audio players.
As mentioned earlier, different audio files can have different loudness levels called decibels. For example, our normal conversation is of about 60 dB (decibels) and a rock concert is of about 120dB.
Analyzing the audio files with audio gain analyzer tools will show you the differences in the decibel levels among various audio tracks. Usually, older songs, pre-2000 have dB levels of around 89, and post-2000 ones have a level more than 93. Audio song files these days have dB levels of around 95-97. If you add songs of different time periods in your playlist then you may get different levels of sound output (loudness) from your speakers even when the volume is kept at the same level in your music player. Replay Gain tries to provide you a consistent level of loudness irrespective of the dB values of different tracks. With Replay Gain enabled you’ll get a similar level of loudness from all of your tracks.
The Mixing Options tab lets you adjust the setting related to transition between tracks. AIMP includes a wonderful feature that mixes the previous track with the next track. Usually, the first few seconds of songs don’t contain any music or the music gradually picks up the volume. Similarly, during the ending of the song the volume decreases and last couple of seconds are silent. AIMP lets you mix the successive tracks in a seamless manner. With this feature enabled, there are no or very little silent seconds in the continuous playback of songs. The ending of one song mixes into the beginning of the next song that gives you a better listening experience.
AIMP Settings Panel
AIMP provides a lot of options for its users to customize the AIMP experience. I like to use these settings in the playlist appearance.
Disabling the Enable groups option saves a lot of space on your playlist.
You can choose the format to display the songs. I prefer to use the Artist Title followed by Song Title format.
Unchecking the Show second line with info option makes the playlist look compact, and it gives space for more songs to display in the playlist. Unchecking Show rating is also recommended.
The default playlist file addition settings are very time consuming. Every time you try to add a track in the playlist, it asks you a location to select. You can make this whole process a lot easier by customizing the File adding option in Playlist settings. All you need to do is to uncheck the Ask user option in the Drag and drop settings panel.
The Tray settings available under System category manages how AIMP behaves in Windows’ system tray. Here are my customized settings for this category.
Finally, about Skins. The default colour of AIMP is Orange. It may look good if you are using colourful themes but it does not look that well with the default Azure coloured Windows theme. In order to change the colour across AIMP themes, click on the Skins button in the Interface category of the Options window. At the bottom, you can see a couple of slider with colour bars. The first one presents a complete colour spectrum, you can move the slider to select the colour for you AIMP theme. Th second bar manages the saturation levels of that selected colour.
The Inbuilt theme called Bliss 4K. It comes in two colour version – Light and Dark.
The default skin is the light one. If you want the full dark version then click the four squares button next to the minimize button on the AIMP Title Bar. Both variants of the skin are shown side by side below.
It is a customized and advanced version of the inbuilt AIMP skin.
The official page of the skin is below:
Uranis skin comes in a lot of styles, you can check all of them. My choice is the Urania BS variation, which somewhat reminds me of my favourite AIMP skin of all time, Half Blood for AIMP2, which can be found here:
The official page of the Urania BS skin is below:
That’s about it. There are so many options to explore. Give it a try.