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itunes alternative on a mac

thebovrilmonkeythebovrilmonkey Registered User regular
I've just made the switch from windows to mac and I'm currently trying to find software to do all the things I want to use the machine for.

I used foobar2000 in windows but as it doesn't work on a mac, I gave itunes a go and I'm really struggling with it - browsing through my music library just seems awkward in all the layouts that I've tried.

So, I'm after an alternative music player. I've had a play with songbird and audion3 but neither of them seemed that great - are there any others that come highly recommended?

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    mtheimthei Registered User new member
    edited July 2010
    I haven't seen it used outside of any Linux-based operating system yet, but Amarok does make a version for Mac, although it's not officially supported.
    While I don't use it myself, I have in the past and quite like the library layout, which is similar to that of Windows Media Player 8 or 9 (with bonus points for sorting several artists with the same album title under Various Artists which is more often the correct thing to do than not, and ignoring the "the" at the beginning of a band name).

    Hope that was of any help.

    mthei on
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    thebovrilmonkeythebovrilmonkey Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The amarok website saying that it's just for testing and needs extra software installed to run on a mac is kind of putting me off for now, but thanks regardless :)

    I'll probably give it a go when the mac doesn't seem so new and shiny and when I've been using it long enough to be confident that I'm not going to break something by mistake.

    I'm currently trying Cog at the moment, it seems to work well enough but doesn't really have a music library as such - it just uses the folder structure from whatever folder you point it at.

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    SeeksSeeks Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    You could give Songbird a try. I haven't used it for a while, but it was alright I think.

    Edit: Whoops, nevermind.

    Seeks on
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    Nimble CatNimble Cat Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    He already tried it.
    I tried used a few other programs, but I haven't liked any of them as much as I do iTunes.

    Nimble Cat on
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    darkphoenix22darkphoenix22 Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I'm a fan of Banshee.

    http://banshee.fm/

    darkphoenix22 on
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    AriviaArivia I Like A Challenge Earth-1Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Is there a particular issue with iTunes that we can help you solve?

    Arivia on
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    LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    On the Mac, iTunes is still by far the best. I usually just navigate by searching, but back when my library was smaller I would leave the column open that lists all the artists (in list view) and browse my library that way.

    Other than that, I'm not sure what there is to get (or not get) about iTunes. The only major difference from similar products (windows media player) is you can play music directly out of your library without making a playlist (and if you do, one is not created), which is kind of a mixed bag when you want to alter the songs that are upcoming, but that's just how it does things. I find the checkboxes and smart playlists to be nice features.

    LoneIgadzra on
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    thebovrilmonkeythebovrilmonkey Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I'll probably give Banshee a go this weekend - thanks :)

    I generally just don't like how the browser and playlists work (the exception being smart playlists, building custom ones rocks).

    This is the library browser in foobar2000..
    albumlist.png

    I like how I can skip down to an artist and pull a single track from an album just by expanding it.
    I've not found a way of doing that in itunes that I'm comfortable with - it seems that either I jump between 2 or 3 panes or I use a view that shows every track by every artist. Admittedly there are probably options that I've not found yet that open up new options for the browser, so they might work ok.

    Also, my music's on a network storage box and the itunes browser seems to have problems with that - it runs inconsistantly slowly and if I skip between views it sometimes resets back to the root folder.

    These are all things I'll end up getting used to eventually, so it's not the end of the world if I can't find anything that works how I want it to, but it'd certainly be nice not to have to spend the time getting used to it.

    thebovrilmonkey on
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    iTunesIsEviliTunesIsEvil Cornfield? Cornfield.Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Banshee felt slow, bloated and incomplete last time I used it. It had problems with embedded artwork, didn't want to edit tags ("Atoms") in AAC audio files, hell, it choked on an ID3v2 tag a few times.

    If it's improved though, definitely try it. Can't hurt, right? :)

    iTunesIsEvil on
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    KrisKris Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I'll probably give Banshee a go this weekend - thanks :)

    I generally just don't like how the browser and playlists work (the exception being smart playlists, building custom ones rocks).

    This is the library browser in foobar2000..
    albumlist.png

    I like how I can skip down to an artist and pull a single track from an album just by expanding it.
    I've not found a way of doing that in itunes that I'm comfortable with - it seems that either I jump between 2 or 3 panes or I use a view that shows every track by every artist. Admittedly there are probably options that I've not found yet that open up new options for the browser, so they might work ok.

    Also, my music's on a network storage box and the itunes browser seems to have problems with that - it runs inconsistantly slowly and if I skip between views it sometimes resets back to the root folder.

    These are all things I'll end up getting used to eventually, so it's not the end of the world if I can't find anything that works how I want it to, but it'd certainly be nice not to have to spend the time getting used to it.

    Here is my iTunes window:
    9sxxtc.jpg

    I wanted to listen to Shad, so with the focus being on the library, I typed "shad". It brings me down to all my Shad songs. Because the album name is right next to the artist, you can see where the album is that you want to listen to, and you don't have to feel like you're wading through aaaaall the songs by that artist.

    What's missing? No hostility, just honestly curious. :)

    Kris on
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    lordswinglordswing Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I forget if it's default with iTunes, but I have the "search" bound to alt+apple+F, which is all I use to play songs/albums.

    lordswing on
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    thebovrilmonkeythebovrilmonkey Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Having all of the songs there by the artist bugs me a lot more than it should.

    I'd like to be able to scan through the albums without having the individual tracks there as well, so there's only 1 line per album, then find one I feel like listening to, then either queue up the whole album or open it up and pick out a few tracks.
    I don't typically know what I want to listen to before I see it in the list, so I rarely use a search function, instead just scanning through until I see something that takes my fancy.

    When it's listed at 1 album a line, it's not too much to scan through - just over a thousand albums.
    However, when all of the tracks are listed out too, the list becomes 15 thousand lines long and it's a pain in the arse to scan through it all.
    At the moment I'm using the list view with panes for genre, artists, albums and tracks turned on, which is kind of ok, but I'd like to get rid of the genre pane - is that possible? Unchecking the genre entry in the view options doesn't seem to do a great deal.

    If I'm in the list view, scrolling down through the artist pane and dumping songs into a playlist, is there any way of seeing what I've already put in the playlist without moving away from the list view?
    It seems that when I click on the playlist to have a look, then back into the list view of the music library, it resets the artists pane to the top - a pain in the arse if I'm currently browsing through the S section and have to scroll back down again after checking the playlist.

    Also, I've just noticed that sometimes itunes doesn't become the active window when I click on it, so the menu on the top left of the screen doesn't change to the itunes menu and if I start dragging the itunes window around, it just slides behind the other windows I have open - is that a default setting or something I've managed to turn on my accident while clicking random, interesting sounding buttons?

    Thanks a lot for humouring me by the way - this thread's already been remarkably helpful.

    thebovrilmonkey on
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    BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    http://www.theater-pro.com/content/images/itunes.jpg

    See that image? See the "browse" button in the top right?

    That is the button you want to press to sort you music by album, but not view every song in said album at the same time.

    Burtletoy on
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    KrisKris Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Where is that button on non-ancient copies of iTunes? :P

    Kris on
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    BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I dunno, the windows version still has it though. But I also never update my iTunes so I could still be wrong.

    Burtletoy on
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    KrisKris Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Having all of the songs there by the artist bugs me a lot more than it should.

    I'd like to be able to scan through the albums without having the individual tracks there as well, so there's only 1 line per album, then find one I feel like listening to, then either queue up the whole album or open it up and pick out a few tracks.
    I don't typically know what I want to listen to before I see it in the list, so I rarely use a search function, instead just scanning through until I see something that takes my fancy.

    When it's listed at 1 album a line, it's not too much to scan through - just over a thousand albums.
    However, when all of the tracks are listed out too, the list becomes 15 thousand lines long and it's a pain in the arse to scan through it all.
    At the moment I'm using the list view with panes for genre, artists, albums and tracks turned on, which is kind of ok, but I'd like to get rid of the genre pane - is that possible? Unchecking the genre entry in the view options doesn't seem to do a great deal.

    Would this work better for you?
    f4phjn.jpg

    Kris on
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    LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Okay, the thing that bugs the crap out of me about foobar is that, even after you've drilled down by clicking a bunch of tiny pluses next to artists and albums (what a pain) you are still stuck until you add the song you want to a playlist.

    Fortunately, iTunes supports a very similar browsing style - simply press command + b (in list view). I don't really see how it's more or less annoying, it's conceptually the same thing but with bigger targets to click on and you don't have to make a playlist to hear one song.

    The thing that's driving me nuts is I'm pretty sure there's a way to have an "Artists" column all down the left side of the screen, but I can't figure out how to get it. It might be more what you're looking for.

    LoneIgadzra on
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    SenjutsuSenjutsu thot enthusiast Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Okay, the thing that bugs the crap out of me about foobar is that, even after you've drilled down by clicking a bunch of tiny pluses next to artists and albums (what a pain) you are still stuck until you add the song you want to a playlist.

    Fortunately, iTunes supports a very similar browsing style - simply press command + b (in list view). I don't really see how it's more or less annoying, it's conceptually the same thing but with bigger targets to click on and you don't have to make a playlist to hear one song.

    The thing that's driving me nuts is I'm pretty sure there's a way to have an "Artists" column all down the left side of the screen, but I can't figure out how to get it. It might be more what you're looking for.

    View Menu-> Set the column browser to At Left and uncheck Genres and Albums

    Senjutsu on
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    thebovrilmonkeythebovrilmonkey Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The thing that's driving me nuts is I'm pretty sure there's a way to have an "Artists" column all down the left side of the screen, but I can't figure out how to get it. It might be more what you're looking for.
    Senjutsu wrote:
    View Menu-> Set the column browser to At Left and uncheck Genres and Albums

    That makes it significantly better for me. Still not perfect, but close enough that it doesn't bug me anymore - thanks a lot :)

    thebovrilmonkey on
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