While iTunes is far from perfect, its numerous features and deep integration with Mac OS X and iOS devices make it your best bet when playing and managing your music on Mac OS X.
While iTunes is far from perfect, its numerous features and deep integration with Mac OS X and iOS devices make it your best bet when playing and managing your music on Mac OS X. Clementine, iTunes, and IINA are probably your best bets out of the 16 options considered. 'Plays any file' is the primary reason people pick Clementine over the competition. This page is powered by a knowledgeable community that helps you make an informed decision. Here is a list of the top 5 music players for Mac that can be used as iTunes alternatives to listen to music and radio on your Mac. Some of them even have more functionality than the iTunes. Like almost everything out there, some of them are free software and the others are paid ones. Elmedia Player PRO is a real pro in downloading MP4 videos on Mac. It can download and then play pretty much any file type you may think of. MP4 files can be downloaded from YouTube, Facebook, DailyMotion, Vimeo, Instagram, Twitter, and many more. MacOS High Sierra is the latest operating system released by Apple, now there are more and more Mac users have updated their OS to the latest macOS High Sierra.
Platform: Mac OS X
- Manages all your media (assuming you use iTunes supported formats)
- Create and manage playlists with the ability to organize by folder
- Create smart playlists, which update dynamically based on criteria you set
- Burn standard audio CDs and MP3 CDs from your music library and playlists
- Sync your media with pretty much any Apple device
- Share your iTunes library with other computers running iTunes via the Home Sharing feature
- Create Genius Mixes, which take one song and put together a playlist of music with another like it
- Buy music, TV shows, movies, and more in the integrated iTunes store
- Share your music interests on Ping, iTunes' built-in social network
- Subscribe to, download, and manage podcasts
- Purchase and create custom ringtones from the iTunes store
- Listen to free web-based radio stations
- Use iTunes DJ to create a continuous, endless mix for your party that allows guests to make requests from their iDevices
- A few visual effect plug-ins are included to add a visual component to your music
- Easily fetch album artwork from music that's missing it
- Share photos with your Apple TV 2
- Integrates well with Audible audiobook content
- Browse your music using several different methods, including the visually appealing (but not necessarily practical) Cover Flow
- Stream media to AirPlay-compatible devices
- Built-in sound enhancer and equalizer
- Sound check feature that adjusts the volume of all tracks to similar levels
- Built-in song crossfading support
Where It Excels
iTunes does everything. It manages just about any type of media you can think of in a simple and intuitive interface. Like most of Apple's software, it's nice to look at and isn't hard to learn. iTunes also comes with an enormous amount of features (as you can see above). There really isn't much it can't do that Apple hasn't explicitly chosen to omit (more on this below).
Where It Falls Short
iTunes does everything. That is to say, it does far too much. While it was once an application designed to manage your music, it now manages your (Apple) mobile devices, video, books, ringtones, podcasts, apps, and a number of other things that aren't, well, tunes. On one hand this is useful, but on the other it makes for a big and bloated piece of software. This is more evident when syncing any device with iTunes, as the syncing process can be slow and tedious (not to mention archaic, as there's still no wireless option). While iTunes is very capable, it's often frustrating and slow.
Despite being so capable, iTunes only supports a handful of media file formats. Its technologies really only work with formats adhering to Apple's fairly strict specifications. So long as you're willing to do everything Apple's way, iTunes' lack of support for several file types isn't a drawback. However, that's not a description likely to fit anyone reading this post.
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And then there's Ping, the music-centric social network built in to iTunes. It's not so much that this feature needs work, but that it really shouldn't exist in the first place. It's an unnecessary feature that few people use and care about.
There are nearly no comparable alternatives on Mac OS X because iTunes is so deeply integrated into the Mac OS X experience. That said, there still is one particularly good alternative called Clementine. It matches many of the features of iTunes (including synchronization support for Apple and non-Apple music playing devices alike) and adds a number of new ones (Wiimote playback control, additional supported formats, tabbed playlists, and more). The primary downsides are the lack of a fair number of features that iTunes does have (as Clementine is pretty focused on music rather than all types of media) and the interface hasn't been thought out for each individual platform. Clementine looks almost identical on every platform, which is nice for consistency but prevents it from feeling like a truly native application. Nonetheless, it's still a very good alternative.
Best Mac Media Player
While it's not much in the way of competition, it is also worth mentioning Vox for those who don't have iDevices they need to sync and only want to play their music. Vox is a lightweight music player with plenty of features geared solely at making your music—in practically any format—sound its best. You'll find a built-in equalizer, effects, album art, gapless playback, and more. It's likely not going to be the first choice for many Mac users, as it's difficult to exist in the Apple ecosystem without using iTunes, but it's likely to be cherished by the niche group who aren't tied to the features only iTunes can provide.
UPDATE: Now that Miro 4 has become a fully-featured media managing and syncing powerhouse, it's a pretty worthy contender as well.
Lifehacker's App Directory is a new and growing directory of recommendations for the best applications and tools in a number of given categories. This week, we're focusing on music players.
The Kanex Group Inc., the folks behind such Mac OS products as Air Whisper and QuickPopup, are previewing their new MP3 player: the MP3 Dock that resides, as you might guess from the name, in the Mac OS X Dock.
With MP3 Dock you just click the program icon in the Dock, and you can select your favorite song from a popup menu. You can sort your music by album, artist or folder name and you can see the latest ID3 Tags in the Dock and play MP3 songs with any bitrate. And with MP3 Dock, it takes less than a minute to download, install the program, and play your favorite song, according to Paul Pen of the Kanex Group.
MP3 Dock provides a hierarchical menu in the album list and disk/folder selection via drag and drop. There are keyboard commands for playing tracks and volume adjustment. The player also includes support for: CBR (Constant Bit Rate) & VBR (Variable Bit Rate) playback; ID3 Tags v1.0, v1.1, v2.0, v2.2, v2.3, v2.4), long MP3 ID tags (up to 255 characters) and file names support; and multilingual ID3 tags.
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The preview beta version of the MP3 Dock is now available for download. The final version is slated to be released before Christmas. Pricing will be announced at that time. MP3 Dock requires Mac OS X 10.1 or later.
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This story, 'MP3 Player for Mac OS X Dock previewed' was originally published by PCWorld.