No matter what operating system you use, you may want to consider the XMBC project it is a great way to keep up with your media. We use it for the Microsoft and the Linux platforms.
Another program I like is ATUNES on the Microsoft platform for listening to Itunes, Firefly, and other daap based servers. Linux has plenty of players installed by default or easily installed from the distribution repository.
One last thing for sure you want to have VLC for viewing the most content.