JuicySoft - Software Reviews

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Zinf Audio Player

Zinf is an audio player which is avilable for the win32 and linux platform. The player is open source, licensed under the GPL. I know this player is rather old, the latest version of the program arrived in 2004, and the latest windows version which I have now tested became available in 2002. So the project is pretty dead on both sides, both the windows and the linux version. But nevertheless the player is still useful and therefore I am writing this review.

Zinf Player

The player handles mp3, ogg and wav-files and can play audio CD's. I have not encountered any problems with playing mp3's, such as hearing clipping sounds in the beginning of tracks. This can sometimes occur in some players when you are playing tracks which you have recorded via your line-in. I think it has something to do with that the track is starting to early, that you should maybe let the recording go for a second or two before the sounds arrives. But usually most players handles this, and it really shouldn't be a problem.

It also supports mp3-streams and ogg-streams. When I was hearing on both types of streams I didn't encounter any problems, except on some streams I encountered loosing connection after I had listen for about two hours. That was particularly one stream, so it could be a problem with the streams itself and not the player. One thing to take in consideration is that the farer away the stream is the harder it is for the player to maintain connection, because of the distance, but this wasn't the problem in this case.

Zinf Library

The player use small resources, which gives it a very short start-up time, it doesn't leave a large footprint on your computer which is very nice considering other audio players such as RealPlayer and MusicMatch. It also launches quicker than Winamp. All in all I liked the player's library, the library index your songs after artists, and then albums. So if you are going to listen to a song, you will first have to select the artist and then select the album afterwards, which contain the song you're going to listen to. One drawback I have, or rather two drawbacks is that if you enlarge the library in full-screen and then quit from the player, the player will not remember that you had the library in full-screen next time you start up, so you'll have to enlarge it everytime you use the player unless you like it the way it is. Another drawback is that when you exit the player and you're later starting the player again, the player remember the last song you played and plays it right away automatically, which I think is annoying. The only way to avoid this is to remove the song/songs you last played, from the playlist, when you exit, so you'll get an empty playlist.

Enlarged Library

When all this is said, I have to say that I think this player is interesting. But there are things that could be improved, for example the two things mentioned above. And another thing which is important for windows users is the ability to play wma-files. I know this is an open source audio player, but still I think it should be possible considering wxMusik (which is another open source audio player) supports it.

I know there are probably more things I could mention about this player, but that would take all day, and I think I have mentioned the main parts concerning this player. If you shouldn't agree, please post a comment describing the features which are missing in this review.

Zinf's Home Page