For a while, it has seemed that iTunes is simply something that Mac users tolerate. It can be annoying, doesn’t play all the file formats you own, and doesn’t quite let you do what you want, but finding an alternative is also daunting.
And, it looks like we haven’t all swapped completely to streaming services either, and we still want a dedicated music player.
If you are looking for a simpler, more intuitive way to organize and play your music library from your desktop, here we have some excellent suggestions.
You might need to test a few out see what suits your needs, but we think these are the best music players for Mac.
This is a fantastic player that squarely seeks to be the replacement of iTunes. It is super basic when you first open the program, but incredibly customizable. If you enjoy customization, you will have fun with the dizzying array of options to choose from. Its open component architecture makes it easy for third-party developers to extend the functionality of the player.
It has gapless playback, advanced tagging capabilities, and customizable keyboard shortcuts. It also supports a huge array of audio format, including- MP3, MP4, AAC, CD Audio, WMA, Vorbis, Opus, FLAC, WavPack, WAV, AIFF, Musepack, Speex, AU, SND, and more with additional components. Plus, you can rip Audio CDs as well as transcode all supported audio formats using the Converter component.
Foobar2000 is free and available for all iOS devices such as the iPhone, iPad, Android, and even Windows phone and tablets.
Clementine is a powerful full-featured, cross-platform, open source music application. It doesn’t feel like a Mac program, but it will do everything you need. Its impressive features include ripping, library management, tag editing, music playback (audio CDs, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, and more), album cover artwork, an equalizer, visualizations, lyrics, and podcast support.
Clementine also will work with your music player like iPhone, iPod, and other mass storage devices, easily letting you transcode and transfer your music files.
It can be set up to search and play music from your local library or your cloud storage like Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Box, and it supports a number of Internet radio streaming services, including Spotify, SoundCloud, and Grooveshark.
Clementine is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
VOX Music Player for Mac
VOX has a desktop player, as well as an app for your iPhone. It has a minimal, stylish aesthetic, but is a powerful player with a lot of features, and lets you control your music playback nicely. It is a straightforward, compact interface to use – get it installed, drag your tracks from the Finder into the playlist panel, and you’re set to go.
It also offers seamless integration with LastFM and SoundCloud so you can easily access more music and discover new tracks. Vox can play back common formats, including- FLAC, MP3, CUE, APE & M4A, and can also playback Hi-Res Audio (HD Audio) with up to 24bit/192kHz so you’ll enjoy your HQ tracks and a top quality listening experience.
There are some premium options available for purchase – like access to 30,000 radio stations for $10, or a premium account, LOOP Music Cloud Storage ($5 a month), which gives you the unlimited storage you can use to upload as many files as you want and listen from wherever you are.
It also allows you to sync music and playlists between different devices, access more advanced audio settings to hear your tunes at the maximum resolution, and get the music player to work with your Sonos speakers.
Recent versions of Vox promote LOOP heavily, but you can avoid this by using an old version of the player.
Nightingale is a simple, lightweight open-source iTunes alternative, that isn’t going to hog space on your hard drive.
This program is all about being simple – it will do the basics you need well. It is great at playing your music and organizing it into a library complete with artwork and tags. Nightingale plays the most essential audio file formats: MP3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, Apple Lossless, and WMA. It can play video files too, but that is about it.
Though it does offer a built-in web browser, so you can easily get integrated with certain web services, without leaving your main music app.
Now having emphasized its simplicity, Nightingale is open source, so naturally, there is a huge catalog of options you can add on to it if you want to few more features. These include equalizers, file ratings, tagging tools, playlist extensions, and Last.fm integration. Skinning options – called ‘feathers’ also adjust the look of the player.
Nightingale is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
VLC Media Player for Mac
VLC is well-known as a great video player, but it is also an awesome audio player for Mac with full music-playing features. It will play virtually every file format in existence, and let you build up and manage a full music library, as well as create simple playlists (no smart playlists though), download cover art, and edit tags.
There are a few neat visualizations to play with, and you get a number of filter and equalizer effects for audio output. VLC is another program which you can extend its functionality with various add-ons, including playlist parsers, music rating, and others. Finally, VLC offer some streaming radio options and podcast support and sharing files across a local network.
VLC is free for Windows, Mac, and Linux
This is a simple, stylish program that is great at doing the basics of organizing and playing your music. Musique will build its own library, which can easily be browsed by artist, album, or even by folders.
It loves to display images and album art and will download images of every artist, so if you like looking at that whilst your music plays, you’ll enjoy this player. It will also find and display lyrics in an information panel, along with background about the artist and album for the currently playing song.
Musique is free recently, but it does subtly promote their paid products, like Finetune.
If you prefer a better library management, Audirvana is probably not a good idea. And if you are rigid about the sound quality, you should not go with VLC either. So what’s your call?
Music sales don’t necessarily map exactly to how many of us are still using iTunes or an equivalent player, but it seems desktop music players aren’t quite dead yet, even while millions make the switch to Spotify or Google Play Music.
Dust off your digital MP3s, fire up one of these iTunes alternatives, and you might rediscover some hidden gems lurking at the corner of your hard drive. You might even be inspired to start seriously curating your music collection again, rather than settling for whatever the smart algorithms queue up for you.
Why it is so hard to find an audio player for Mac that plays music on my Mac in the way I want, handles the most majority audio formats: Flac, MP3, AAC, etc and possibly organizes my music file presentably so that I can easily locate the specific track I want to play?
Most people like Audirvana is because of its function of switches both the source’s sample rate and bit depth according to the song it plays. But this audio player for Mac sucks at library management.
If you are looking for a high-end software audio player for OS X and doesn’t care about it’s free or not, then this is it. This Mac audio player is able to play every high-resolution format that you want and it fairly distinguishes the sound experience if you try to compare it to iTunes.
If you are looking for an audio player that could work on both your Mac and iPhone like iTunes, VOX music player is it. But unlike iTunes that all you get is a small window, this audio player for Mac is quite comprehensive, the compact interface is so directive that you can control the audio player easily to do everything you need it to.
VOX offers you a large music database, it integrated with LastFM and SoundCloud which you can easily access the world’s music and discover new tracks!
Like Fidelia, Vox is also another great media player that plays the role of an iTunes alternative very well. It offers seamless and easy integration with SoundCloud, and Last.fm scrobbling without any issues. You will enjoy playing HQ tracks on Vox more often than anything else as Vox favors high-fidelity sounds.
- Seemingly warmer tones from your music over iTunes. · Easy, unobtrusive interface.
- Organizing albums in “record store” fashion is not possible.
Supported OS: Mac, iOS
Mac users who love a minimalist aesthetic are likely to be keen on Vox Music Player, a straightforward but stylish player for your desktop. Get it loaded up, drag some tracks from the Finder into the playlist panel, and you’re off and running.
If you want to go further with your music though, Vox can oblige—sign up for a Vox Premium account ($4.99 a month) and you can sync music and playlists between different devices, hear your tunes at the maximum resolution, get the music player working with your Sonos speakers, and access more advanced audio settings.
With support for playing SoundCloud files and YouTube videos from the web as well, it’s a great option if you do want some powerful music playback controls but doesn’t want all the extra clutter than iTunes brings with it. An iOS app is also available.
- Free for macOS
Vox finds its way onto many lists like this, and with good reason. By all appearances, Vox seems simple enough—with its mini interface almost reminiscent of Napster-era Winamp—but it’s really packed with scads of features. Top among these is the ability to import your iTunes and personal library, and integration with SoundCloud and YouTube. For a $10 in-app purchase, you can even get access to over 30,000 Internet radio stations (no, that’s not a misprint).
If that’s not enough to pull you in, Vox also includes an equalizer, gapless playback, and Sonos and Airplay support. It also lets you download playback control extensions, so you can listen to Vox with your Apple EarBuds, create playback shortcuts, or incorporate your Apple TV Remote.