iTunes Mac Music Player Replacement


We’ve been exploring software available for replacing iTunes.  Why are we searching for an iTunes alternative? We want better quality in the audio stream and more control options during distribution throughout our house.  Ideally, this would include automatic switching between different formats, resolutions, and bit rates.

Currently, iTunes converts everything to the bit rate set in “Audio MIDI Setup”.  We are now listening to more 88.2/96 Khz files in various formats like FLAC (which iTunes does not handle).  Our recent music is coming from HDTracks so the HD formats are manditory. We also want seamless syncing with our Apple devices.  So far we’ve not found that magic combination.

This post represents our quest for information and will be updated as new information is found.

The options found so far:

# Name License Cost Platform Source Updated Notes
1 Amarok GPL Free KDE 2013-08-13 Available via Macports.
2 Amarra* Proprietary $99 to $695 Mac OS X
3 aTunes GPL Free Java 2011-10-01
4 Audirvana* GPLv3 Free Mac OS X Objective-C 2012-03-01
5 Audirvana Plus* Proprietary $74 Mac OS X 2012-06-03
6 Banshee MIT Free X11 c# using Mono 2012-03-21
7 BitPerfect* Proprietary $9.99 Mac OS X 2014-03-22 Mac App Store. Works as add-on to iTunes.
8 Clementine GPLv3 Free C++ 2011-12-27
9 cmus GPLv2 Free Mac OS X C 2014-03-13 Available via Macports.
10 COG GPL Free Mac OS X Objective-C 2013-07-11
11 Decibel* Proprietary $33 Mac OS X 2012-01-05
12 Ecoute Proprietary $7.99 Mac OS X 2012-01-19 Mac App Store.
13 Everplay $14.95 2010-10-18 Web site is wierd & broken.
14 Fidelia* Proprietary $19.95 Mac OS X 2014-03-20
15 Fidelia Advanced* Proprietary $49.95 Mac OS X 2014-03-20
16 Instinctiv Proprietary Free Mac OS X 2011-11-18
17 iTunes Proprietary Free Mac OS X 2012-03-28
18 Jajuk GPL Free JRE 1.6+ Java 2012-02-20
19 Jukes Creative Commons Free JRE 1.6+ Java 2010-10-30
20 Miro GPL Free Mac OS X C, Python, Objective-C Focused on TV, Video HD, and Torrents
21 MPlayer* GPLv2 Free
22 Music Player Daemon GPLv2 Free C++ 2014-02-07 Available from Macports, Fink, Homebrew.
23 Neutrino Proprietary $29.95 Mac OS X 2011-04-15 Was named AudioCodex. AU Effects, Per Track settings.
24 Play GPLv2 Free Mac OS X Objective-C 2010-09-12 Not in active development.
25 Plex Proprietary Free Mac OS X 2012-02-27 Media Server
26 Pure Music* Proprietary $129 Mac OS X
27 Pure Vinyl Proprietary $229 Mac OS X
28 simple song Proprietary Free Applescript 2010-02-17 Simply a search bar where the name is typed and simple song finds the music on your hard drive and plays it.  No preferences. No browsing.
29 Swinsian Proprietary $19.95 Objective-C, C 2014-02-14
30 Logitech Media Server GPL Free Mac OS X Perl 2012-03-14 For use with squeezebox.
31 Songbird GPLv2 Free Mac OS X C++ 2012-01-25
32 Vox Creative Commons Free Mac OS X 2011-08-09
33 XMBC GPL Free Mac OS X C++ 2012-03-24

* Considered Audiophile, whatever that means.

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