If you remember the early 90s, you can probably recall the craze of large tape recorders people used to carry on their shoulders, and Sony’s Walkman line for more discreet music listening. Then came the PC era and audiophiles turned to finding the best audio player on Windows. Fast forward to 2013, we don’t have to carry any extra gadgets anymore – not even our music collection on computers or smartphones, because it can now be streamed straight from the cloud on our smartphones, thanks to music streaming services like Spotify and Last.fm. Though if you’re an avid music listener who still prefers the old ways of keeping an offline music collection, and are on the lookout for an elegant media player for the purpose, try Xion Audio Player. The compact audio player is designed with many advanced features, and its fully skinnable interface is also something to brag about.
Xion Audio Player’s power lies in its customizable interface, which can be easily skinned from a PSD file. Yup, you can create your own skins in Adobe Photoshop and load them straight to the app. Even the default skin looks pretty decent to say the least, and seems to be inspired from WinAmp. Another interesting bit about Xion’s UI is that it sports separate applets for equalizer and playlists etc. which can be easily positioned anywhere on the screen. Speaking of Equalizer and Playlists, you can set custom equalizer settings or choose among the predefined genres like rock, flat, pop, dance etc. Likewise, you can create your own playlists for songs, albums and artists.
Another great feature regarding the UI is that you can customize the skins from within the app, provided the skin itself supports this feature. For instance, the default skin of Xion Audio Player lets you specify custom color for the skin. In addition, you can toggle Album cover art.
The Choose Skin window – which can be accessed by right-clicking the app and selecting it from the context menu – allows choosing custom skin packs. Simply click ‘Get More Skins’ to download additional skins from the internet that have been created and uploaded by other users on Xion Audio Player’s website. Apart from skins, the application also support visualizations and plugins, though not in an impressive way as skin packs.
Xion Audio Player’s Configuration window lets you play around with a plethora of options. The Settings tab houses most of the generic settings like auto application update and start up mode. The Player tab, on the other hand, allows you to control UI opacity and scale its size between 10% to 500%. You can specify custom equalizer settings from the Configuration window as well. And in addition, hotkeys can be assigned for playback controls like play/pause, next, previous, open file etc. And if you have multiple audio devices on your computer like a dedicated sound card or multiple audio connectors, you can specify which one to use under the Output tab. Plugins and File Types are pretty much self explanatory.
With its powerful feature-set, customizable skins and top-notch audio output, Xion Audio Player is unarguably a strong contestant for the title of the best audio player for Windows. It works on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.