I am a big fan of the current generation Winamp, I love it's excellent library tools (especially the query language) and portable support. Of course that's all good and well at home when I want to easily copy a fresh collection of music onto my portable drive, but when I'm working all I want is a simple player with half decent playlist support that doesn't hog resources. Winamp has been ok in that role, but it's a bit resource heavy and it's lack of support for the media keys on my keyboard is a touch irritating.
Well as of yesterday there's a new player on my Seagate Freeagent called CoolPlayer. It's an open source audio application that the awesome guys at PortableApps.com have repackaged in portable format (and renamed CoolPlayer+ Portable). It's a simple player that has a playlist editor, equalizer, and skin support. The included PortableApps skin has a minibar mode which is nice, but more importantly it natively supports my media keys, which means I don't need any kind of visual interface at all. I set it to remember it's playlist info and play on startup, and it's a simple case of launching from the media key and just getting on with work.
Resource wise, while playing (with a pretty large play list) CoolPlayer and it's portable wrapper combined don't even register as far as CPU usage, and their memory footprint is consistently at 115k. I've only been using it for about a day, but in that time I haven't seen a single sign of instability, which is another plus. This is definitely one to add to your portable toolkit.
Keeping with the portable stuff, the PortableApps launcher and backup apps have been given an 'official' update to 1.1. The new features in the released have been tested through a few beta versions so it should be pretty stable. Now being referred to as the PortableApps 'platform', three installation flavours are available:
- The "Platform" installer (1Mb) has just the launcher and backup app
- The "Suite Lite" installer (35Mb) adds portable versions of Firefox, Thunderbird, Sunbird, ClamWin, Pidgin, Sumatra PDF, KeePass, Sudoku, Mines, Coolplayer and AbiWord.
- Finally the "Suite" installer (113Mb) includes all of the above except AbiWord is replaced by the full version of OpenOffice.
The full suite in particular is an impressive showcase of the technology. Fully installed it takes up a measly 350Mb and provides fully functional web, office, media and security apps and throws in a couple of games for good measure!
The full new feature list includes multilingual support, wallpaper swapping, a movable menu, support for higher resolutions, a tray right click menu, personal picture, eject button, and other goodies. The global shortcut is an awesome addition!