iTunes now has several new features like capabilities for playing videos buying sound tracks, books and apps. Since these features have been added to iTunes, it no longer serves as a nice, simple and user-friendly music player. Although, iTunes makes it easy to synchronize your Apple iOS devices like your iphone, ipod, ipad and MacBook, many music lovers have found that it now drains the processing power of their devices. Here are some alternatives to itunes for those who love music.
Sonora was built with a simple and straightforward user interface but it has a very powerful engine working underneath. It allows you to view your iTunes library through album covers with a beautiful visual layout. You can browse music tracks on the sidebar on the left and Sonora will display your queue on the toolbar at the base of the player. You can easily compile your playlist by dragging albums or songs from various artists.
The most unique feature of this app is the ability to type in any part of the app and it will automatically display a search box. Once the search box appears, you can type the name of the album, press enter and it will start to play.
Enqueue derives its name from one of its main features – the sidebar that serves as a playlist. You can prepare and enjoy very long listening sessions by dragging albums and songs into the queue. Enqueue features a mini player view that shows only the playlist and the player controls. Since you can see the playlist in the queue, this app is more useful than the iTunes mini player.
The other sections of Enqueue’s user interface look like the traditional interface you find in common media applications. There are 4 tabs on top for playlists, library, history and preferences. The layout of the library tab can be changed from the default (with a search box at the top and displayed results below) setting. You can modify it in the view menu to show the list of artists on your left and results on your right.
A really unique feature of this app is its ability to display a bar graph showing your most frequently played songs or artists and how they can be related to each other. In addition, the app has iTunes sync and global shortcut commands that are configurable.
Ecoute for Mac is a free substitute for iTunes. The user interface bears a close resemblance to the older versions of iTunes. Immediately after installing it, Ecoute instantly searches for your iTunes library and syncs with it. The user interface is quite easy to use; you can arrange your songs alphabetically by album, artist, song, playlist, composer and genre. This interface is resizable and it allows you to decide whether you want a big screen with several columns or a mini version.
Ecoute has a tiny widget that remains glued to your desktop while you are playing your music. Besides, you can easily see a notification at the lower corner of the screen once a new song starts playing. Ecoute can also help you to connect to your Facebook, Twitter or Last.fm accounts on your PC or on any mobile device using iOS like your ipod, ipad or iphone.
Rdio is distinct among all the alternatives to iTunes because it works by streaming music rather than just playing previously downloaded files. This allows you to play any song with the huge selection of songs available on Rdio’s catalogue. You will also enjoy quick access to all fresh releases and recommendations from your friends on social media. Of course the downside is that you will always need to have a functional internet connection and you may not have direct access to artists whose work is not included on the Rdio database.
Although the Rdio app is essentially an interface that encloses a web app, you won’t notice easily unless you were told. The app loads its user interface very fast and you won’t have to wait endlessly for songs to buffer before playing.
Rdio has several social features built into it. So you can easily share your activities on Twitter, Facebook and Last.fm. Other users can view what you are listening to and follow you.
Rdio is free to use but access to songs carries a cost. Generally, the more you songs you listen to, the lower the cost.
Tomahawk is a free app that helps you to synchronize all your online accounts and your local or previously downloaded music collections into a single streamlined application. It works on Mac, Windows and several other mobile devices and operating systems. You can use Tomahawk to organize songs from online sources like Spotify, Soundcloud, Last.fm, Grooveshark, and different local devices and machines with authorized access.
After all your sources are synced, Tomahawk can search for a sound track and pick out the best version from all the sources where it can be found. It will also save your previous searches and provide information about listening history and it provides an option for a private listening session.
Tomahawk helps you to connect to Twitter, Google, and Jabber to check what’s in your friend’s collections. And you can use it to sync information about artists through Last.fm.
Vox is another good alternative to iTunes. It has a well streamlined user interface with a nice and clean design that is very easy to use. The player is basically a sidebar that can even be minimized further into a tiny compact music player.
You can use Vox to play songs from the iTunes library, to create a new Vox playlist or simply play from its radio. This app supports several audio formats like OGG and FLAC which are not currently supported by iTunes.
You may also use Vox to connect directly to your Last.fm account to play your music collection. While you are playing a song, a little icon will be displayed to show you the album, artist, and song title. It also has new song notifications on your desktop.