April 25th, 2006 by Keith

Puma 0.3.1 – New Media Player on the Block

Posted in Fun Stuff, Utilities, Windows


No, it does not belong to the cat family. The Puma that I am referring to here, belongs to a new breed of media player developed to show that complex features do not necessarily require a complex interface. I was informed of this new application from an author in Coolest-Gadgets, and was referred to review this piece of new toy.

Puma 0.3.1 is downloaded in a compressed .zip file. Unzip the files to a folders, and then double-click on puma.jar to run the software. In another word, Puma 0.3.1 does not require any messy installation setup to meddle with the registry.

The media player currently supports a few music formats, including mp3. On the graphical interface, the main tabs are fairly simple and straightforward to navigate, consisting of Library, Playlist and My Computer. You can see some of the screenshots here. In order to play any song, users just have to navigate through the folders and directories in My Computer and double-click to play. Also, there is a volume control on the right side, together with the play, skip and reverse buttons. Unfortunately, there is no fanciful equilizer embedded.

Despite limited features, the sound quality is excellent. Music playback is soothing to the ear, almost to crystal clear quality. With the volume control, users can easily adjust the volume level on the panel. However, I find that the volume control is, sometime, insensitive to the adjustment, and at other time, has a delay towards the volume adjustment.

Installation is…, well there isn’t any installation required, which essentially is a good thing, at least for me. I don’t particularly like applications that install onto the Windows registry, and thus having to use the Control Panel to remove them, if I want to uninstall them at a later date. With Puma, users don’t have such a problem. If you are unhappy with it, just delete the folder containing all the files you have just unzipped from the initial zip file.

Although this is trivial, I find that the source (compressed) file is a 9MB download, which seems slightly large for a standalone application like this.

Note that, this software requires user to install Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 5.0, in order to work. In addition, Puma 0.3.1 is available only in Windows.

In general, this media player is practically useful, and portable for all users, whether you like it or not. There is no harm in trying it, since removing it is just a breeze action of delete of the files. Furthermore, the crispy, clear audio quality is just made for music playback. I would only hope that a tray icon can be implemented as well, so that the application can be minimised to the tray.

If you are interested, the binary files are free to download here.

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