What's the best iTunes alternative?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by bollweevil, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. bollweevil macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2008
    iTunes is really annoying me. How can I fix the following problems in iTunes, or, what alternative piece of software can I use to accomplish these goals?:

    Features I want:

    1. I want two user accounts on my MacBook to both use the same iTunes Library. I can't figure out how to fudge the permissions so that it works, I have followed internet tutorials.

    2. I want to tell iTunes what song to play next WITHOUT interrupting what is playing now. I am listening to The Beatles, I want to hear The Who next, I am not already in "iTunes DJ" (formerly "Party Shuffle"). Even if I create a new playlist, I will be playing the current song (The Beatles) from a different 'screen' in iTunes, so it will not go to The Who next, it will go to The Bebbles, or whatever was underneath The Beatles in the same screen where I initially clicked on it.

    3. I want to move all these playcounts from the 64kbps version of 'Ave Maria' onto the better 256kbps version, so that I can see that I have listened to 'Ave Maria' 40 times even though it was the older, crappier version.

    4. I want to tag songs with arbitrary and unlimited tags. I am talking about 'tags' as in blog post tags, not ID3 tags. These tags would be stored in the iTunes Library, not the music file. They would be things like 'Joe recommended', 'guitar solo', and 'from old computer'. Then I would be able to sort by them.

    Techniques I would like to learn:

    1. How can I make iTunes import an XML file formatted just like the library it exports, and use that as the iTunes Library? This would allow some simple XML-modding scripts to accomplish several of the above goals. Sadly, iTunes exports XML, and it keeps the XML library up to date, but it really only imports that proprietary binary file format of the Library.

    2. What is an easy way to save playlists forever, without them cluttering up my iTunes left menu bar and without making them terribly inaccessible (exporting them and then being forced to import them just to browse is annoying). I thought playlist folders would solve this, but sadly, there are so many views where iTunes automatically expands all the folders so it really doesn't cut down on clutter. The 'add to playlist' menu item, and the iTunes 'music' sync settings, for instance, expand all the folders no matter what.

    Also annoying:

    My iPod classic, iPhone, and iTunes all use different rules for alphabetizing. Dammit! I can't add '@' or 'z' to the beginning of a playlist name and guarantee that it will go to the beginning or end in all cases, because my three devices alphabetize by different rules. What the hell? iTunes uses ASCIIbetical order, but the iPhone puts '@' and numerals at the bottom, and I don't have my iPod in front of me but it is also different.

    What the hell order do the iPod and iPhone use to sort the tracks of an album? They seem to randomly select from: Track Number, Track Name, and Date Added.

    Why the hell doesn't the iPhone have the little alphabet printed along the right side anymore? That was so useful for fast scrolling.

    Thank God 'Search' on the iPhone actually works.

    My suspicion:

    Should I be using SongBird? Should I jailbreak my iPhone, thus fixing numerous problems outside the music player capability, as well as the music player?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    These aren't problems. Some are your lack of understanding how iTunes works. Some are you wanting features that iTunes doesn't have. That doesn't make them problems; just limitations for your needs.
    Easily done. Move your iTunes Library into the Shared folder, so both accounts can access it. Instructions are on Apple's support site.
    There are ways do accomplish this with Smart Folders, and using checked and unchecked songs. I do this all the time and it works great.
    iTunes treats two songs separately, as far as playcounts. There's no way to combine playcounts for all versions of a song under one of those songs. It's not very practical, anyway.
    As far as iTunes, you can add sort options to make songs sort the way you expect. For example, I want the song "17" to sort as "Seventeen". Easy to add to the sorting tab in the tags. I can't speak for the iPod or iPhone, since I use neither.
  3. bollweevil thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2008
    I have followed that tutorial, and others, and improvised. I have put the Library file in the Shared folder, and made sure that the file and all the folders above it had permissions set to "Everyone: Read/Write" and all sorts of other permutations. It just doesn't work, I get a few different error messages in different setups which I can list exhaustively if you like, but I think I am too fed up with iTunes to do this, I think I will just look for something that can modify the Library file.

    Okay, what are all the ways to do this? What are Smart Folders, do you mean Smart Playlists? I want some specifics, because I am creative and I haven't found the way.

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