With more and more multimedia content filling your hard drive, it’s increasingly important to have some way of managing it all. Teen Spirit (from developer Artificial Spirit) is an all-in-one media player and organizer that aims to do exactly this with a focus on usability. A highly user-friendly interface and one click access to album information make this a great application, particularly for music lovers.
If you use Windows Media Player to manage your audiovisual collection then you’ll certainly find Teen Spirit a breath of fresh air. Although the look is not quite so slick and polished, the system for obtaining extra information about a track, album or artist is far better. Teen Spirit works by assigning tags to your music files which are then used to search for the appropriate lyrics and other associated information from several databases including All Music, Net Covers and of course, Google. By casting the net so wide, Teen Spirit tends to return much more extensive results than Windows Media Player. However, be careful with the tags. If they are not specific enough, Teen Spirit tends to retrieve completely the wrong information. Another useful feature is that it stores all this information locally so that you don’t need an internet connection to view album info once you’ve retrieved it for the first time.
You can create multiple music collections by simply adding the folder paths that contain your MP3 files, search through your collections and sort the file list in several ways. Teen Spirit also keeps track of the files you play, lets you review statistics and generates a personal hitlist based on which songs you listen to most. You can also do all the other usual things such as rename files, create playlists and edit ID3 tags. However, you can’t customise the interface in any significant way – there are no new skins for example – and you can’t drag and drop music from one playlist to another very easily. Teen Spirit also lacks an equaliser of any kind although the developers say they are working on a DJ function which will hopefully incorporate one.
However, Teen Spirit performs far less impressively with video files. There’s no info retrieval feature for these and the playing controls are limited. In fact, we found that although it clearly separates your videos from your music, you’re probably better using an external application with more features for video playback.
Teen Spirit is a great application for those who have huge music collections and feel their current music player doesn’t give them enough album info or doesn’t organise files very well. Seeing the right album covers and reading the artist bios really brings your music alive so even if you’re happy with your current music player, you might find you get more out of your collection with Teen Spirit.