Audio player CPU (and, therefore, power) usage benchmark update!

Following is an update to my previous article on the CPU usage of the audio player applications. Please consult the old article on how the data should be interpreted.

I’ve thoroughly benchmarked the current (!!!) versions of the most important media players (including the just-released Pocket Tunes; Resco Audio Recorder 4.01, while it’s not the best for playback, has also been included because of the low MP3 playback CPU usage). All the tests have been made on the HP iPAQ 210 (always) clocked at 624 MHz. n/a stands for not supported. I haven’t tested some (not that important) cases requiring a plug-in.

(HTML original HERE)

That is:

Compared to WMP:
* if you only play MP3’s, you’ll want to take a look at Resco, CorePlayer, TCPMP, GSPlayer, Pocket Tunes and MortPlayer in this order, should you want something better than the built-in WMP
* if you play back WMA’s, it’s only CorePlayer that is better than WMP
* if you play back standard (non-HE-AACv2) AAC, on PPC PE devices (that is, Pocket PC phones), you’ll want to go with WMP. On non-phone models, CorePlayer and TCPMP (in this order) are the best; the other (standard) AAC-capable players (Pocket Tunes etc.) aren't that good.

If you want to play back HE-AACv2, the just-released Pocket Tunes 4.1 is your best choice. If you don’t need goodies like libraries, tag reading or AVRCP and can put up with the slightly higher CPU usage, you can get on with TCPMP too. Forget the buggy GSPlayer altogether for HE-AACv2 playback because of the sound quality.

For OGG playback, TCPMP is the best choice. However, its OGG decoder is stated to be a bit inferior in quality; therefore, you might also want to take a look at CorePlayer or GSPlayer. The other OGG-capable players incur a slightly bigger CPU usage.

For FLAC, of the two compatible players, CorePlayer is a bit more battery-friendly. TCPMP isn’t much worse, though.

 Hi!   I just wondered why



I just wondered why Conduits Pocket Player has n/a for FLAC support. This player supports FLAC, APE, MPC and other formats via plugins available from the website.

I also wonder how you benchmark the CPU usage. Which program do you use? I would like to test how Phantasm Music Player comes out.


1.  You're right - I'll

1.  You're right - I'll update the chart.


2. acbTaskMan. Generally, Phantasm Music Player has very good CPU usage comparable with the best titles in this regard.I didn't include it because it's simply not available for the majority of the users (including me). See my earlier-linked stories about how hard it was for me to get a trial version just because I happen to be in Europe, and most of Europe is simply banned from their site. The developer didn't even bother answering my mails; I would even have bought his stuff as I've did with several other players incl. Pocket Music, Resco Audio Recorder and CorePlayer.

 Hi! Seems like I have to


Seems like I have to buy the abcTaskMan to find out then. It's not that important to me, so I take your word for it regarding Phantasm.

I know the whole story about iPlay and Phantasm. It is a mystery to me too. I am blocked at home but not from work. I also live in Europe, in one of your neighbouring countries. But I don't care about the blockout and his tone in these threads as long as I could get a good piece of software for myself. I also have Pocket Player, which is pretty good. But currently I mostly use Phantasm.


 Thank you for your

 Thank you for your chart... I´ll drop ConduitsPocket Player (that is very beautiful and finger friendly, and the lybrary is perfect)  and buy Core Player.

I´ve made my own tests here: battery lasts only 6 hours running pocket player but 10 hours on TCPMP!!! 


(Axim X51v @power save 208Mhz, blank screen, 1100mAh. Playing MP3 only)

Erickson Leon

Syndicate content