Do you have gigabytes worth of music files? Have trouble finding the one you want at a given moment? Want to get album covers and lyrics for the tracks you own? Jajuk Advanced Jukebox is free software that can help you with all this and more.
[Note: this post was written by Freewaregenius contributor B.C. Tietjens.]
Jajuk can be used as a web program directly from the website, but I chose the downloadable version. The install package was about 215MB and took around 3 minutes to complete. Installation was quick and painless, requiring little more than telling it where to install. After that, upon first opening Jajuk, a short wizard will help you find your music files. You can specify multiple folders on your computer and the program does the rest, scanning each folder and adding all music it finds to it’s database. The wizard also lets you specify it’s “work” folder, which is a nice option for those of us who have partitioned drives and don’t want to add anything to the Operating System drive. After scanning and finding your music, Jajuk automatically organizes it for you based on a number of criteria, including genre, album, year produced, and file type. Then you move on to the main Jajuk interface.
The main interface for Jajuk has so much to offer the user, it’s rather overwhelming at first. There is so much it can do, and so many options, it took me a good twenty minutes just to go through them. After browsing around for a bit, I started to notice that I had begun to use it intuitively without realizing I was. It’s a great system that leads your subconscious mind through the process of learning what Jajuk has to offer. With that in mind, let’s go over just a few of the most notable features.
First, Jajuk offers a number of different ways to view and interact with your music, including playlist views, album views, and entire collection views. Additionally, it has a few different ways of “watching” your music, meaning it displays information in different layouts, depending on what your preference of the moment is. This is a nice feature for those of us who may be tired of having a single window with a giant playlist and attempting to hunt through for the song we want. It also offers a number of options for listening to streaming internet radio stations, in case your personal collection is a bit thin or just getting tiresome to you. There’s also a pretty slick “stats” view that breaks up your music collection into pie charts and bar graphs showing different statistics like genres and size of your overall collection by months. Another nice feature is the “Rarely Listen” option, which seeks out songs in your collection that you don’t listen to often, or that you listen to less often than others, and brings them to the top of the playlist. I found myself, on more than one occasion, smiling and nodding along, thinking “Wow, I forgot I had this song, but I love it!”.
Second, Jajuk offers the ability to auto-connect to the internet and download album art and even lyrics for each song it plays. This is a great feature that is actually offered by a number of different jukebox programs out there but Jajuk has one of the slickest interfaces I have seen for this option. For example, in the “Display” view, Jajuk will show a window with the album art, another with the current playlist, and another with the currently playing song’s lyrics scrolling through it. This one has to be my personal favorite, and I can see myself using it for a long time to come.
Third, Jajuk offers a number of personalization options, like different color schemes, or ‘skins’ for the interface itself (I like the Magma and Raven skins), along with the ability to shift and move nearly any component to a different part of the window, or even shrink it down to a single “bar” interface to keep it out of the way. Personally, I don’t much use the bar interface, since I enjoy “watching” my music so much.
Finally, Jajuk offers a huge host of options on how to play and organize your music files. These include standard, expected modes like “play album”, “play genre”, and “random” or “newest” tracks. That would be enough for any other jukebox but Jajuk takes it a step or two further and offers neat tools like “Create Party” which allows you to specify certain parameters for songs and creates a playlist based on them. It even has a Karaoke mode and an Intro mode (which plays only the first few seconds of each song). It has all the standard options like crossfading, shuffling, repeat, and repeat all as well. A really wonderful boon to those of us who are less than vigilant about our track lists that Jajuk offers is the ability to “Find Duplicate Files” that searches for and eliminates extra files of the same track. It’s a nice space saver as well as a tool to make sure you don’t hear the same song 500 times on your playlist. Now, for those of you thinking, “This is too much! Sometimes I just want a simple music player!” Don’t panic! Jajuk has that option too.
To really go over every single feature and option that Jajuk offers would take a dictionary sized article, but if you download it and dive in, you won’t be disappointed. Until next time, my friends!
Version Tested: 1.9.5 alias <Killer Queen> (requires Java run time 1.6 or later, not include in install package) on Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
Get it free here.