XMPlay

xmplay_small

XMPlay is a free and lightweight media player for Windows, with support for a wealth of custom audio formats and Winamp-compatible plugins.

One of XMPlay’s best interface features is configurable global-focus shortcut keys. You can configure volume up/down, skip/rewind, and next/previous shortcuts which work while your focus is on another program, even when in Full Screen mode. I like to use it for playing and controlling podcasts while doing something else.

xmplay_global_shortcuts

One thing XMPlay doesn’t seem to handle intuitively is numbered files without leading zeroes. For example, loading a set of 12 songs labelled:
song_1.mp3
song_2.mp3
song_3.mp3

song_10.mp3
song_11.mp3
song_12.mp3

The order will be:
song_1.mp3
song_10.mp3
song_11.mp3
song_12.mp3
song_2.mp3
song_3.mp3

And so on. But if the files are tagged appropriately, you can sort them by metadata such as track number by right-clicking on the question mark button in the playlist window.

xmplay_sorting

MIDI Soundfont support

XMPlay’s native MIDI plugin can be configured with soundfonts to sound nicer than the standard Windows MIDI playback. A pretty decent soundfont (Chorium) is provided on the plugin’s download page.

Other soundfonts:

¥Weeds¥ General MIDI Soundfont by Rich Nagel. A nice alternative to Chorium.

Regression FM – Makes everything sound like a Sega Genesis game. I can’t find the author’s website anymore, but the Regression FM Youtube channel has a download link for the soundfont under the ‘About’ page.

OPL3-FM 128M by Zandro Reveille – FM synth timbres by The Fat Man, sampled from an ISA Sound Blaster 16. Can be found on the author’s website or on Github.

Vintage Dreams by Ian Wilson – Vintage synthesizer theme, can be found on this webpage.

(e 11/Nov/2016: Images, sorting by metadata)
(e 13/Nov/2016: OPL3-FM 128M)