Long time imaginary readers (IR's) are well aware that some time ago I started using Media Monkey as my media player, forsaking the Evil Empire because of apparent hardware conflicts with my mp3 player. I am still generally satisfied with MM, not overjoyed but satisfied. I noted, however, that MM still has a pretty big load time on it. I'm willing to sit through a load time if I'm going to be working with a program for a long time (like say setting up my next run mix) but if I just want to click on a .wav file and play it, I dislike having to pause while the computer scratches its head and says "Media what? Monkey? Doesn't sound familiear, but I'll check if you like, oh here it is!" and then loads. The fastest media player I ever used, hands down, was Winamp. The main reason I hadn't installed it when I went with MM was that it didn't look to have the feature set of some of the other players and seemed to be less actively developed. But today, following a tip from Tweakhound, I decided to put Winamp back on my machine for day to day quick play of files.
Winamp is still available, and still free (except for the "pro" version of course - all software has a pro version. My dissertation has a pro version you have to pay $20 to read). It installed fine, and as long as I leave it with the "Classic" interface it boots lightning fast and sounds great. I'll still use MM for my library management and so forth, but I'm happy with Winamp for the quickload stuff. I did have to tweak the settings a bit to get it to play .wav files, but they had directions for that on their forums. I'm pleased, quite pleased. Always nice when something works, eh?