A Digital Symphony

A classical music lover’s guide to enjoying your collection on a computer.

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MusicBee and other alternatives


MusicBee is popular open-source software for ripping, tagging, cataloguing and playing. It has a huge amount of capability and can be extensively customised. However, it is a challenge to duplicate the cataloguing capabilities of Muso or the tagging capabilities of Picard with Classical Extras. It is possible that there may be more skins and plugins in the future which improve it further.

There is a UPNP plugin which enables playing over a network, but it does not give the same level of metadata quality as LMS (when used directly, e.g. from Muso).

If you are an existing MusicBee user and have got to grips with all its capabilities, then you may be able to do something that gets close to the quality of information in Muso. In which case, please share it!


Superficially MediaMonkey has some useful classical music functionality - e.g. to drill down from composer through “grouping” (work) and display the relevant albums as shown in the following screenshot:

However, there are a number of frustrations: for example, the inability to use sort fields and the one-dimensional layout of the track information (no grouping by works) to name but two. However, it does have a UPNP player built in.


Foobar2000 is another popular player. Like MusicBee, it requires a bit of effort to get the best out of it. It does have UPNP capability. It is also possible to use it as a player linked to Muso, but personally, I can't see a lot of point to using it like that: better to use Muso with the default player (or HQplayer) for local playing or LMS for network playing - bearing in mind that LMS will play to DLNA players as well as Squeezebox-specific players.