The Quintessential Player, or QCD, is a feature-rich media player comparable to WinAmp, which as we all know is owned by AOL. By default it supports a wide variety of audio formats (MP3, Ogg Vorbis, Wav, and Windows Media Files to name a few), and with plugins it can support many, many more. And if streaming media is your thing, it also supports SHOUTCast and ICECast. Most of all, it is freeware with no spyware attached. As of this writing it is on version 3.51.

Now, I said there was no spyware, but the player does have a CDDB component, and some people regard Gracenote a purveyor of spyware. Caveat emptor or whatever the Latin equivalent of "downloader beware" is (lj suggests caveat admissor.)

All I know in terms of media players are the big players. I've used RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, WinAmp, and so on. I'm sort of on an open/free software kick, so I went looking for something different. QCD turned out to be every bit as easy to use as WinAmp, which I was my recent favorite. Here are some of my favorite features:

  1. It's skinnable. That's just fun.
  2. It's smart. It remembers the last playlist played, last directory played, and the last song played. I store all of my music under one directory, so this is great in my book.
  3. It's interface is easy to use. If you can manage WinAmp, you can manage QCD. There are profuse, intuitive keyboard shortcuts as well as a command line interface.
  4. Did I mention it is free? No ads, no spyware, no spam.


Download QCD at

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