Large Audio Libraries

My question is fairly simple - is there a PC-based "jukebox" (WMP, iTunes, etc.) that handles a large music library efficiently? I have about 1500 CDs (16K songs) currently in WMP 10 - it does okay, but it takes a long time to manipulate the interface on a lot of tasks, given the size of the library. This wouldn't be the first time that MSFT released software that was, um, sluggish on early releases and then let the hardware catch up. I'm wondering if there are other players that would handle a library of this size efficiently.

Second, what are the key things to do to ensure performance in WMP 10? It seems disk bound, so I'm assuming just having fast drives is the only real help, but does a significant addition of RAM help, for instance?

Finally - any good resources (links) on audio PC libraries and how to get good peformance?

Thanks, Kirk
I've been using the Escient Fireball-120 system together with a Sony 400 disc carousel. It's a stand alone hard drive with 120 Gigs. You can use three daisy changed carousels slaved to the main unit, burn directly to the HD itself or a combination of both. Connected to the internet you can immediatey access CD titles, song titles and cover art which catalogues into the hard drive. It's a very cool system and sorts by music classification, WAV vs. CD etc. Too many amazing options to mention. CD burner built in. Plays continuously with random play options of all sorts. They've just upgraded the software so that you can communicate to your computer for backup purposes and even further cataloging options.

In terms of the sound quality, I have to say its amazing. Of course, I treat it like other sources in my system with vibration platforms, upgraded power cords, condtioners and occasionally an independent DAC.

As one who has tried all sorts of cataloguing methods over the years, this setup is a dream come true! Check it out.
squeezebox, squeezebox, squeezebox. I have around 8K and its smooth sailing. Handles key word title searches in a few seconds as apposed to minutes. And open source server side software ensures that the OS keep current
What you want is a library that searches and manages by filename (or compiles a database) rather than ID3 tag (this is, of course, assuming your filenames are up to snuff). I'm not sure what WMP does, but guessing from the slow speed you report on "only" 16,000 songs, I bet it searches and manages via ID3 tag. I'm using private noncommercial software so I'm not much help because I don't know what's out there, but in your search, the above qualities are what you need (hint: winamp is about the worst, foobar I reads filenames and is faster, but about the least user friendly GUI if you're not used to it).
You need J. River Media Center, period. The BEST there is. Try it for thirty days. Once I started seriously archiving my collection of cd's and records I needed the same thing. It's a great progrma and supports multiple codecs, burning, secure ripping, tag editing right there on the spot. Support is GREAT through the forum. I was impressed, now all my friends use it. Email with any questions, it's so powerful you can get lost in the features.

DC - Thanks! Since initiating this thread, I have continued to look for and keep my eyes open for a better jukebox - they're relatively easy to try and see how easy they are to break. Anyway, I had come across J. River MC and you are absolutely right - this is the best, period. It is so intuitive - after several months with my library loaded on WMP, and struggling to do anything much advanced in a way that I thought was intuitive, J. River is a revelation. Easy to set it up to let you look at your music collection in any / all ways that make sense. An easy $25 to pay. Thanks, Kirk
I have about 150gig of Apple lossless on iTune in Windows XP environment and it runs fairly fast. That's about 500 cds. I think iTune runs on mp3 ID3 tag as well. Maybe it has its only internal database system.

I tried the same on WMP and it is not great. foobar 2000 was very fast but I don't like the interface much. Slightly better sounding than WMP and iTunes though.
iTunes does have its own database: XML.
I've got a friend that uses Windows Media Center and is able to access his collection via remote through his television. He also does searches via wireless keyboard. I didn't recall him being able to access directory stuctures in this way. I did think it was rather nice to just be able to scroll through the album cover icons via remote and just point and shoot to play.

I'm curious as to how the J. River software compares in accessing your media in this way. Has anyone compared the features of Microsofts Media center to J. River's? I'm just talking about the media interface layer and not the backbone.
J. River has a reasonably good media interface, meaning an interface that is designed to be thrown up on a TV and navigated the way you'd expect that level of interface to be navigated. I haven't hooked it up to my TV, nor have I bought a video card that includes the remote, but I see no reason why this wouldn't work, and assuming it did, you'd have the same sort of remote controlled, A/V interface to your music collection. I like J. Rivers interface better than WMP in all respects, but I think this interface is way more interesting than the WMP or XP ME version.
I am using the Meedio application ( with my library of approximately 250 cds (another 750+ to go).

Connected to a plasma TV via the DVI output of an ATI video card.

Remote control by Streamzap (

Meedio has a similar look/feel to Microsoft XP Media Edition, but is more customizable.