There are a truckload of programs out there that you can use to manage your music library, but it’s because numerous options are at your disposal that make it taxing to decide which media player should you choose. Nightingale is one such open source media player that lets you play music and video files on your computer. But that’s precisely what most media players let you do, right? So Nightingale makes itself standout from the crowd by its wide array of third-party extensions that further improve its functionality. For instance, there’s an extension that lets you stream SoundCloud. And then there’s one you can use to scrobble your Last.fm. And more!
Nightingale’s interface isn’t something jaw-dropping but it looks pretty good nonetheless. And it does manage every media file on your computer in a simple and intuitive design. The UI of the app comprises the playback bar at the top, a sidebar to the left that lets you access sub sections such as your media library, extensions, and playlists, the list of music files at center and a lyrics bar to the right that fetches lyrics of current song automatically from the internet.
The usage of Nightingale is simple and straightforward. But first off, let me tell you how to add your music to Nightingale’s database. The program enables you to add either individual files or complete folders. In addition, you can import your existing iTunes libraries and playlists for seamless migration.
When your music library’s been imported, the rest is a simple click and play procedure to playback your song. Nightingale can handle most audio and video formats without any hassle including MP3 and MP4, the two widely used media formats.
But Nightingale’s major strength lies in its wide variety of third party extensions (plugins). These plugins let you stream music from online services such as Last.fm and/or SoundCloud, and in some cases even download non-commercial music from supported services. To access a specific service, you simply need to click its plugin from the Radio section in the sidebar. For instance, if you want to stream SoundCloud, simply click its plugin and it will open in it in the main pane at the center. From here, you can search, add and listen to your favorite songs hosted on the site.
One interesting feature that I found in Nightingale is the built-in web browser. That’s right, a full-fledge web browser that lets you surf your favorite web sites. This can be accessed by clicking File > New Tab on the menu bar. From there, you can simply type the website’s address in the URL bar to navigate to the site.
I’ve always fancied iTunes’ mini player feature that makes it easier to skip tracks while using other programs. Thankfully, Nightingale also offers the option to switch to a mini player. To switch to the mini player all you have to do is select this option from the View menu. The mini player houses playback controls for next, preview, play/pause, volume slider and song information bar. Nightingale also allows you to configure and use hotkeys to control it even when the app is minimized or out of focus which is another nice touch.
With its many features, built-in web integrations, and a ton of third-party extensions, Nightingale is definitely one of the best media players out there. It works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.