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Big Dog
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Disclaimer: This is a product I tried and thought others might like. I have no affiliation with its creators nor am I compensated for posting about it in any way whatsoever.

I had been wanting an MP3 player with skins that would imitate a cassette deck (What can I say, I am old.)

There are skins for Windows Media player but I could not find what I was looking for. Same with VLC.

In my search I came a across one I had never heard of called AIMP. It not only had some really cool skins, it also has a host of features that allows you to customize the sound. It is available from download.cnet.com. The skins I found at AIMP

Among the skins available is this one which I am now using. Here is the cassette deck, eq and 2 speakers. It can be customized as to what shows (there is also an option to show the amp). When playing, the cassette wheels turn, the db meter functions and the tape counter moves to the music playing. On the speakers, the woofers move. On the eq the spectrum analyzer animates also to the music playing and the sliders can be moved to customize the sound. There are also presets on the eq for various types of music, rock, classic, club etc.

One of the cool things with this setup is when I project my laptop to my 55" television. It provides a cool visual when I am playing mp3s.

If anyone knows of MP3 players similar to this, I would be interested in checking it out.

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Here are some other skins available.

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There are reel-to-reel skins for you really old afficionados.

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Big Dog
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Is WinAmp still around? One of my old faves... it had skins and visualizations too.
I am not sure. I remembered using Winamp back in the day but it did not come up in my search.
 

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If anyone knows of MP3 players similar to this, I would be interested in checking it out.
A couple years ago I tested pretty much every free PC audio player, and some paid ones.
MusicBee seemed to do basically everything, its layout windows can be changed positions to make your own setup easily enough, plenty of skins, has a good lyrics window that can show the song lyrics as well as auto-downloads pictures and facts about the band that is currently playing, it has WASAPI support for a cleaner sound than using Windows DirectShow, etc. And it's free.

Something like Foobar is popular, and it can do probably everything anyone could want, but not a lot of those functions are built-in, so you have to add the pieces like adding extensions to a browser. It's annoying. MusicBee basically has all the good stuff already built-in.

The following is a cassette skin for it. Doesn't look as cool as some others, but if you click on the demo pics you can see how you use your mouse to act like you're pushing in an actual cassette on the screen. That kind of thing isn't very practical to me and is only amusing for a short time, but other people like it.

 

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Big Dog
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I will have to give MusicBee a try.
 

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Second for MusicBee.

Then again, I don't care about skins. I like to listen to music, not watch it. I never even got into music videos on MTV back in the day, either. I know, I'm always in the minority. Don't think I'm trying to change any minds here.

What I like about MusicBee is that I can rip my entire music collection (going back to cassette tapes) and organize them my way, by artist and album, even embed the album covers and lyrics.I can sync the whole mess to my phone and play it in the truck via Bluetooth.

I'm old enough that I'll never pay to rent (stream) music. I only want to buy it once!

I started this project in 2016 when the election ads were non-stop, making listening to the car radio during my commute intolerable. Now I have my own soundtrack wherever I go, no commercials. Life is good.
 

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Big Dog
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What I like about MusicBee is that I can rip my entire music collection (going back to cassette tapes) and organize them my way, by artist and album, even embed the album covers and lyrics.
I do that with Roxio 2012 which surprisingly enough works on Win 10.

But I still want to try MusicBee.
 

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(What can I say, I am old.)
Old school?

I still have an 8-track player and a few tapes. Even a reel-to-reel with rehearsal tapes and a few copies of session tapes.
 
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Big Dog
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Winamp is still around.

Does AIMP have a dual auto reverse tape deck? :ROFLMAO:
Hmm, yeah, yeah it does... 😁

Old school?

I still have an 8-track player and a few tapes. Even a reel-to-reel with rehearsal tapes and a few copies of session tapes.
We have a couple of tapes we keep for nostalgic purposes along with an 8" and 5.25 floppy disk.
 

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Wish I had some of the thousands of 80-column cards I ran thru an IMB-026 keypunch.
 
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Big Dog
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We have certainly come a long way.

Back in 1995, a co-worker introduced me to online music and an accompanying player for it. These were not the popular songs we listen to now as that industry had yet to develop. It was mainly independent music compositions done on what I guess were synthesizers. However some of it was quite good.

In addition to the player, you could download an equalizer and a reverb. For the time it was pretty cool even playing through those tinny PC speakers. Considering I had no radio reception where I worked, it gave me something to listen to during the day.

Comparing that player to todays technology is like comparing a $5 transistor radio Denon audio setup. However, we cannot knock the transistor radio as there was a time every household had at least one.
 

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When transistorized car radios first appeared in the 1950s, we considered them tinny. Maybe we were missing the hum of the vibrator as the tubes in the radio warmed up. :D Hmmmmmmmmm (for the younger readers, that's the vibrator!)

EDIT: Tubes require high voltage, up to 300 volts, and a vibrator was part of the circuitry to produce that high voltage.
 

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Big Dog
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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
When transistorized car radios first appeared in the 1950s, we considered them tinny. Maybe we were missing the hum of the vibrator as the tubes in the radio warmed up. :D Hmmmmmmmmm (for the younger readers, that's the vibrator!)

EDIT: Tubes require high voltage, up to 300 volts, and a vibrator was part of the circuitry to produce that high voltage.
That was a little before my time. By the time I had my own car, we were transitioning from 8-track to cassette. Now I just plug in a thumb drive in my truck. It has a CD player which I think I tried once.

Growing up, I do remember having televisions that used tubes. On one of them was a console television my dad picked up somewhere. A tube would come loose and we would loose picture. This was remedied by simply pushing it back in. I was doing this one day and ZAP!!! I am suddenly sitting 5-feet from the television wondering what happened. Obviously I slipped and touched something high voltage which knocked me my yonder on my derriere.
 

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Yeah, the HV from a tube can really get your attention. I had a hard time learning not to trace a circuit on a schematic drawing with the meter probe because it tore up the schematic. But it wasn't nearly as hard to learn not to take my finger of a point on the schematic and stick it on that point in a "hot" circuit; often the B+. Wow!!

Can't vouch for this, but I heard a story about an old car radio that became repairable. The owner finally put an "old-look" transistor radio in the car, but really missed the hum of the vibrator while the tubes warmed up. So he built, or had someone build, a device that turned the radio volume all the way down, hummed for the appropriate amount of time and then ramped the volume up; just like a tube radio! Some car collectors are obsessed with keeping their vehicles as original as humanly possible.

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