Good mp3/music player *besides* iTunes?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by CubeHacker, Jan 10, 2004.

  1. CubeHacker macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    Don't get me wrong, iTunes is great for listening to all my ripped albums. But its insistence in adding everything I listen to to its library gets annoying fast. Sometimes i just want to listen to something i downloaded off the net for 5 seconds, to see if I like it. Most of these don't even have proper ID3 tags, and i certainly don't want it added to my library, so i can go searching for it later to remove it. If there was some way to prevent iTunes from adding everything to its library, i'd love it, but I have not found a way.

    So, are there any good alternative players for OSX? Something comparable to Winamp for windows - a small, quick loading program that has a wide range of support (mp3, ogg, etc). So far i've tried Audion and Whamb, yet i'm not sure i like either too much. Whamb seems to want to stick everything in a playlist, and Audion's controls are unfriendly, even with skin changes. I'll probably stick with Audion, unless someone can recommend something better? Thanks.
  2. Balin64 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2002
    In a Mauve Dream
    I know of One: the OS X Finder

    If you want to hear an mp3/audio file, just view the folder it is in in column view. When you select the mp3, a preview will appear on the right. Just click the play button and decide if you want to keep the file.
  3. Waluigi macrumors 6502

    Apr 29, 2003
    Re: Good mp3/music player *besides* iTunes?

    Well, there is a way! Hit iTunes, then go to preferences, the the advanced tab, and uncheck the box that says 'Copy Files to iTunes Music Folder when Adding to Library'. So, now you can enjoy iTunes!

  4. CubeHacker thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    Re: Re: Good mp3/music player *besides* iTunes?

    Actually, thats not the same thing. Although unchecking this box keeps iTunes from physically moving the mp3 to its own iTunes folder, it still adds it to the main library, which is what I would like to prevent.

    While I know about the finder preview, its no where as convenient as double clicking a file and just listening to it.
  5. MacAztec macrumors 68040


    Oct 28, 2001
    San Luis Obispo, CA

    Yes, quicktime. Right click the MP3 you download, open with quicktime. Voila, no copying.
  6. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    I use quicktime as well. Make it the default application for opening mp3, m4a, aiff, wav, etc.
  7. CubeHacker thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003

    I suppose I can give quicktime a try, except that it doesn't support other formats like ogg. Don't tell me everyone in here uses only iTunes :)
  8. mainstreetmark macrumors 68020


    May 7, 2003
    Saint Augustine, FL
    Well, aren't you asking all the right quetions:
  9. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    Re: Good mp3/music player *besides* iTunes?

    Just sort songs in iTunes by date added. Newest are at the top. No need to go hunting.
  10. kubark42 macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2005
    Not to dig up an old thread, but I second the request. iTunes, as much as it doesn't suck, it sucks in the end. The fact that id3 tag changes are only done in the database, and not reflected in the files; the fact that it can't support oggs; its rigid insistancy to do things the "Mac way" and not my way; and its inability to show filenames along with all the song information in the main view makes it an utterly ridiculous program for the 21st century. I love the interface, I love all it can do, but what it can't do is far more important to me than what it can. I don't want all my music organized "a la Mac". I LIKE my "Candy-Ass Modern Rockers" File, and I don't want them wandering off elsewhere into directories based on other names. However, iTunes pretty much forces me to activate the "Let iTunes copy new songs" because so many things don't work right when you don't (e.g. oggs).

    Meh, I just want winamp. I want a music player, not a lifestyle change.
  11. mmmdreg macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    I'm guessing you either mean the file name doesn't change, or that the actual file's data isn't changed. In both cases, it is. Changes are not local to iTunes.

    If, on the other hand, you mean that the file name only contains the song title, and changing the artist or something else won't change the file name, that is true. But whether or not that is good is a subjective matter. I'm totally fine with it.
  12. TMA macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2003
    I feel like saying a few words in iTunes defense.

    iTunes is an extremely powerful music jukebox. I speak to customers every day at work about it and no matter how computer literate someone thinks they are I'm usually able to show them a trick or two in iTunes that makes them think "wow!"

    It's ability to organise music is outstanding. I recommend you let iTunes keep your music folder organised AND you let it copy files to your library. It forces you to make sure your ID3 tags are correct, but more often than not most downloaded MP3's are pretty much correct as they come.

    I love the way you can set up highly customisable Smart Playlists, and I love the browser feature. Click anywhere in the 'Artist' panel on the browser, type in the first letter of the artist you want and it goes straight there. Or use the search. So many more features and they all work together very nicely to provide everything I need.

    If you sample alot of MP3's you might be best off opening the file in quicktime or just using Safari if you're getting mp3's directly from the web. Otherwise it really isn't that much of a chore to hit the backspace butten in iTunes.
  13. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    or even more than the first letter, and you can do this while in browse or not, very easy to get to the artist you are looking for

    iTunes is very powererful in my opinion and it works better than any other player i have ever used: MusicMatch, WMP, WinAmp, etc etc etc

    but to each their own
  14. nichos macrumors 6502


    Jul 17, 2004
    Jacksonville, Fl
    xine and vlc player should both do what you want. Check out wikipedia for a comparrison of players.
  15. swy32x macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2005
    Quick. Easy. Will handle ANYTHING you throw at it.

  16. kubark42 macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2005
    Don't get me wrong, iTunes does a really good job of doing what it does. I just don't like what it does. I like my system of managing music, it works for me. The database is fantastic and responds instantly like, well, a databse should be. But there are things about it that we should be wary of. For instance iTunes must be an absolute catastrophe when you start burning your music to DVD to make space. Does it have any way to know which song is on which DVD? Which regretable action does it take when your song is on another disc : A) It stops the music and waits for you to change discs, B) it skips the music and leaves you wondering where you put it. Because you know that once you stop looking at your music directories every day, you're going to quickly forget where you put which song.

    When I rip music, I want it to be compatible on all my machines and everyone else's, not just people who are using iTunes and can download my xml file. I use Windows, Linux, and now Mac, so the best way to deal with all three is to keep my music organized myself. Now, if Tiger is going to have a feature where it keeps a up-to-date database of my entire file structure, why can't iTunes just patch into that without wanting to rearrange everything else ?

    See, this is great if you like doing it that way. And Model-Ts were fantastic for people who licked black. But pity the fool who doesn't like proprietarty, vendor-lock in solutions. And sadly, I've noticed that most of the advice is, "Get used to it, it's better that way. Trust us." This is all too reminiscent of Microsoft ways of thinking.

    To ramble on a bit further, because that's really all I'm doing, I think it'd be really cool if someone figured out a way to patch into the Tiger Spotlight DB and used it to manage music instead of iTunes. Music files are easy to recognize, right ? Nothing but ogg, mp3, aac, etc... Then you just plug it into some audio player, like XMMS, and presto, instant iTunes DB features. Skin it to look like iTunes if you're really into that look (it is beautiful even if it is a screen hog), add all the missing functionality, and you'll have a really rockin' media player.
  17. decksnap macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003
    When you rip music, it IS compatible for everyone. I don't understand what problem you are having- all the info in my mp3s is recognized across other PCs and Macs. I don't understand your comment about burning DVDs either- there is no issue there. Strange issues you seem to have indeed, but you won't find a better or more full-featured player.
  18. XNine macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2005
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    Try audion. It's free now. Just google for it. There's also a slew of other players out there, go to and search for audio player. THERE IS an Ogg Vorbis plug-in for Quicktime and iTunes if you want that. But then again, Ogg is such an unstable format I don't know who in their right mind would have a big enough collection of ogg files to really say it's worth consideration.

    You MIGHT be able to find Mint audio player, but its been discontinued now for a while....
  19. stcanard macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2003

    What are you expecting?

    That iTunes will put the DVD in for you if the song is on another disk?

    That iTunes will be able to play the song when the DVD isn't in the computer?

    How does iTunes even know which songs are on which DVDs?
  20. kubark42 macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2005
    Well, I was expecting something more than a flamebait answer. Do you know ANYONE that would expect a computer program to sort through a CD wallet and pull out the proper DVD? No? Didn't think so. Let's stay on target.

    iTunes should know which songs you have because you've imported them into the database. That's a really cool feature. I love how iTunes lets me get to my files so easily. I just don't like how it's a little more than insistant about organizing them in its own way.

    A great leap forward would be not putting them into directories based on albums.

    So, what do you plan to do to find your songs when you have 80GB of music and 40GB of free space?

    I realise that iTunes can support ogg. What I don't understand is why it doesn't support them straight out of the box. Yes, I know that the iPod doesn't and can't play them, but that doesn't mean that my comptuer can't. It still smells more of marketing, and less of engineering.

    And I don't understand the comment about oggs and stability. At all. The only place I've ever seen ogg be anything less than a really great codec, one that seems to beat the others in comparison tests, is in iTunes. Why iTunes refuses to play them unless it has imported and sorted them in its own way, I cannot say. If anyone has advice, I'd love it.

    Sorry, I wasn't clear. By compatible, I don't just mean, "Can it play in my music player?" I mean, is what I've done in one system compatible with another. If I've organized music and made playlists in Windows, can they be read in exactly the same way in other systems, on other computers? In iTunes, that's not the case, as it does NOT change tags the way it should. I discovered this when I spent 4 hours cleaning all the file names up and then found much to my chagrin that it was all lost. ALL OF IT. iTunes had simply updated its internal database without updating the tags. The proof is in the pudding, as I now have to go change all my Magnetic Fields songs AGAIN. So all the work that I did to get this straight would never have been compatible with anyone else's system, as it meant nothing without the internal iTunes DB to go along with it.

    Equally, I'll try to better explain my DVD comment. Basically, how do you plan to manage your music when there's too much of it? How will you go about finding it before burning it, and how will you go about listening to it once it's been burned to DVD and removed from the HD? I just burn it into the same categories I have on my HD, and then ask winamp to play a directory. Works like a charm, and works on Linux, Windows, and Mac. I fear for my collection when I try to listen to music under Linux. If you've got some experience with Linux, you'll understand why having all these files spread all over the system is my worst nightmare.

    Lastly, what do you guys think about using the Spotlight DB for music? Wouldn't that basically give us easy access to the best feature about iTunes? Just write a program to read the tags, an interface to show just music, and pipe it to a music player.
  21. decksnap macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003
    -Get a bigger hard drive. That will solve your DVD issues. You honestly want to manage your music collection across multiple DVDs? Kinda defeats the purpose of having it all right there on demand.

    -iTunes only puts files in directories based on albums if you tell it to. Your choice.

    -Meta data does indeed transfer to other's computers when I give them files. I still don't know why you're having this problem.

    "Lastly, what do you guys think about using the Spotlight DB for music? Wouldn't that basically give us easy access to the best feature about iTunes? Just write a program to read the tags, an interface to show just music, and pipe it to a music player."

    Sounds like iTunes.
  22. stcanard macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2003
    Well a flamebait question naturally leads to a flamebait answer, so let's stay on target...

    Precisely my point. That's why I don't understand your comment.

    There's your first mistake. You're using the filesystem. Don't. Use the metadata that iTunes nicely puts together for you, and the fact that the interface allows you to treat each song as if it were a file. I have never had to look at the file organization, even when transferring to Windows or Linux systems. That's what smart playlists are for, they are inifinitely better at organizing music to prepare for transfer.

    If you have 80GB of music that you are actively using you are either generating your own (musician) or a professional DJ. Then you buy a program that is suited for your job.

    Otherwise the first step is to admit that you have a problem and spend way too much time on limewire and kazaa. Then look at what you actually listen to, organize, label, and archive the rest. Occasionally throw one of those DVDs in the drive, look at the nice id3 tags to see what you have that you never listen to.

    Again, see? id3 tags. Metadata. Never need to touch the filesystem. There are better ways or organizing file like this.

    Now, if what you're talking about is something more reasonable ... 20GB of music and a 10GB iPod. Like where I am right now. Its pretty simple, and iTunes is the only way I've found of doing this. I've build a playlist that syncs all 4 & 5 star songs, then fills the rest with 3 star sorted by least recently listened to. Now I've got my favourites, and a nice rotating list of my background music. I don't even notice that my iPod can't fit my entire library.

    Were you changing id3 tags or filenames? I'm confused.

    I've spent lots of time patching id3 tags. Dragged them to other systems and never had a problem. The id3 tags were fine.

    Again, I hope you're not going behind iTunes back and going into the filesystem. If so you're asking for trouble. Make your lists. Select the tracks, drag and drop them onto the network share or wherever they are going.

    Well, I find it by queries (aka smart playlists).

    Later, when I put the DVD back in, I get a picture of a disc in my iTunes interface, and a list of title/arist/album/genre that's on the DVD. That's what I can't figure out -- what more are you looking for? I can plug a DVD into my drive then search for "Sisters of Mercy". I don't see what more you're looking for.
  23. Jigglelicious macrumors 6502


    Apr 25, 2004
    Holy back from the grave threads Batman! I started this thread well over a year ago (different name, same person).

    I still enjoy iTunes, but my basic complains still remain. I would like a small, lightweight program that can play anything I throw at it, and looks and work in a user friendly manner. Basically, i'm looking for winamp. I've found Mint Audio and I use that when I don't use iTunes, but its FAR from a Winamp replacement.

    Why hasn't XMMS been ported to OSX yet?
  24. stcanard macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2003
    Ahh, I hadn't noticed that Kubark resurrected an ancient thread.

    See, that I can understand, since iTunes only plays AAC/MP3. I keep VLC on hand as a "plays anything I throw at it" program.

    I get very confused when people try to claim that iTunes organizes music poorly. Short of a full RDBMS there isn't anything more flexible!

    Because we would run away screaming!

    Back in the days I used XMMS I could never get into the MP3 thing. Now I understand why, because it never let me organize my music, but insisted on playing directories or manually building lists of songs that I wanted.
  25. XNine macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2005
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    Not true. It plays AIFF, MP3, MP4/AAC, WAV, Lossless, etc. Ogg is OPTIONAL because its open-source, and if they were to take an open source plug-in, and completely steal it, then they'd be no better than MicroSoft. Then again, they also don't see Ogg being a viable format, since a fraction of music listeners, or even computer users even care about ogg.

    When O first heard about Ogg, I was like "hell yeah, that's awesome." But after using it for a while and finding that it was just a pain in the arse all the way around, I stopped using it.

    iTunes is gorgeous. It makes me feel.... Sexy. :D

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