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iTunes alternative, What's good to use right now?
Bullit
post Nov 1 2010, 00:45
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What's a good alternative to iTunes. To organize and play music from?

Right now I'm using WMP to organize and play my files. FLAC, OGG, and some mp3. It's kind of flaky though, it doesn't like to update folders when I as it to.
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zipr
post Nov 1 2010, 01:20
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Mediamonkey (www.mediamonkey.com) is a good alternative -- especially if you have a large library.

Foobar2000 is another popular alternative.
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Bullit
post Nov 1 2010, 01:27
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Mediamonkey's got some nice features like folder organization, but when I was using it, I felt cheap. The application looks like it was put together on a weekend from pieces of better ones. I don't find it very user friendly.

Foobar is nice, I've used it before. I like the customization part. Does it do file transfers now, say for example if I want to send some mp3s to an ipod, or other mp3 player?
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mobyduck
post Nov 1 2010, 08:46
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QUOTE (Bullit @ Oct 31 2010, 17:27) *
Does it do file transfers now, say for example if I want to send some mp3s to an ipod, or other mp3 player?
For iPod support see here. Not sure if there's a plugin supporting other devices.

HTH.

Alessandro
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dhromed
post Nov 1 2010, 11:30
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I use Foobar for everyday needs, have tried iTunes but it didn't stick, and when I occasionally visit the ol' mothership, I use the latest version of WMP which really isn't bad at all for superficial usage, although library updates appear to be flaky indeed. I've had varying results with adding music to a folder and having it show up in the library immediately.

I guess the current Winamp sits somewhere in between WMP, iTunes and foobar, but what attracted me to foobar away from winamp is it's playlist-centric design with simply a set of playlists that you can manipulate, instead of ML-centric design, which feels hard and inflexible to me. Was on a friend's Mac the other day, clicked a song in iTunes and was unable to predict what song would play next. The concept of "playing from library" is foreign to me, and I prefer foobar's way where the ML is for organizing and finding, and playlists are for playing.

That, and the customizations, of course. I have a relatively compact layout compared to the full-screen "Advanced Music Player Master Control Room" that some people prefer, and bound several keys to be analogous with most video players' standards. I am a typical mega-playlist-as-library user due to the fact that a playlist is orderable and the ML is not. I rarely use the ML anyway.


Well, that turned into a dissertation, didn't it.
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FunnyFish
post Nov 1 2010, 13:45
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Well, I am a happy MediaMonkey user. I agree that MM doesn't have "the looks", but functionality is more important, isn't it?

In my opinion, these are MM's major advantages over other players (I must admit that I don't know Foobar) rolleyes.gif :

  1. Very adaptable by its scripting possibilities
  2. Very good tag management (for classical music lovers too!)
  3. FLAC support
  4. Decent performance, even with 30,000+ tracks

Of course, MM has its issues too sad.gif :

  1. The interface is somewhat complex for the average, casual user. There IS a help file, but what it offers is, though accurate, too concise.
  2. The scripting possibilities are endless, but can create problems. If you are not daunted by a little bit of programming, you probably won't get into trouble, but if so, the great amount and variety of ready-made scripts can be difficult to use, as documentation is mostly lacking. Sometimes you have to go through hundreds of forum posts to get the info you need. Examples: RegExp and MagicNodes, two of the most useful add-ons. Documentation for these is simply almost entirely absent. It must be said that this is not inherent to MM itself, but by the script developers, and if you are satisfied with the vanilla features, this is not a problem at all. But if you are somewaht of an organisational fanatic like me, you can end up with the situation that you are wondering "why doesn't the crying.gif program re-organise my tracks like I expect it to do?" Well, maybe you put one comma too many or too few in your mask or script!
  3. If you are changing a lot of tags (500+, let's say), database errors are likely to occur. These are never fatal, but add a sense of instability to the program.
  4. There is a possibility to automatically tag tracks from the Internet (Amazon.com etc.), but this feature is buggy and can screw up your tag info if you are not aware of its limitations.
In summary: MM is a very powerful library organiser and a good player: miles beyond Media Player, for example. I have used other tagging programs in the past, but these were always either buggy or too limited. I am curious to find out what other posters think of my reply and am open to -positive- criticism.

FunnyFish
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Bullit
post Nov 1 2010, 16:02
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It may be miles ahead of media player and many others but the interface is terrible for the user. I'm not a programmer, I'm a user who wants to organize, manage and play back audio files.

Media Monkey fails in this because it is far too "complex" and cruddy looking. It's an eyesore, but I can overlook that if the interface was at least organized in a logical manner. Things are thrown all over the place like its Windows 95. I like the foobar approach. Powerful features that are accessible but with a very simple interface. It's nice that it can be customized to make it do almost anything because the default is very spartan and not very inviting.

If the Media Monkey team want their audio player to be more powerful, they better simplify the interface in a logical manner. It doesn't need the minimalist one button approach that's very apple-esque, but it doesn't need to be that chaotic for just an audio player. It would be nice if it tied into the Windows operating system a little bit. It stands out far too much and not in a good way. It would be nice if it had a more aero, windows like look. At least as a default skin or something.

Yeah, the tagging features are nice and it's only redeeming feature in my opinion.

This is what I mean by bad user interface:



That's not even complex, it's just bad like it was designed by a 14 year old for a computer class project.

This post has been edited by Bullit: Nov 1 2010, 16:08
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Teknojnky
post Nov 1 2010, 20:04
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UI looks fine to me, I use MM to manage a huge library and its the only app that is actually usable with it.


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Last.FM Nodes for your library @ http://build.last.fm/item/356
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Bullit
post Nov 1 2010, 20:13
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QUOTE (Teknojnky @ Nov 1 2010, 20:04) *
UI looks fine to me, I use MM to manage a huge library and its the only app that is actually usable with it.


What is huge?
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zipr
post Nov 1 2010, 21:07
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QUOTE (Bullit @ Nov 1 2010, 11:02) *
This is what I mean by bad user interface:

That's not even complex, it's just bad like it was designed by a 14 year old for a computer class project.


Mine looks a lot nicer than this -- and I did very little tweaking. Most of those windows can easily be hidden or turned off.
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Teknojnky
post Nov 1 2010, 23:17
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QUOTE (Bullit @ Nov 1 2010, 13:13) *
What is huge?


~2 tb

btw, if you don't like the default or any user skins, you can run MM unskinned (windows theme) as well.

This post has been edited by Teknojnky: Nov 1 2010, 23:26


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Last.FM Nodes for your library @ http://build.last.fm/item/356
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A_Day_Without_Me
post Nov 2 2010, 00:24
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I really like foobar2000.

I have used MediaMonkey but last I checked it doesn't have a true gapless playback with LAME MP3. That was the main reason I switched to foobar2000.

I wouldn't use any other program. It works really well for me, plays the music flawlessly, looks great, scrobbles with last.fm and so on.

This post has been edited by A_Day_Without_Me: Nov 2 2010, 00:41
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Bullit
post Nov 2 2010, 00:43
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QUOTE (A_Day_Without_Me @ Nov 2 2010, 00:24) *
I really like foobar2000.

I have used MediaMonkey but last I checked it doesn't have a true gapless playback with LAME MP3. That was the main reason I switched to foobar2000.

I wouldn't use any other program. It works really well for me, plays the music flawlessly, looks great, scrobbles with last.fm and so on.


Been trying to get it working. So far I've installed some nice themes but none of them have a proper library support. How am I supposed to organize and browse through my files on the thing?

Most themes are just a pretty playlist window, except for foobaero2010 v2 but its still a work in progress.
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A_Day_Without_Me
post Nov 2 2010, 00:48
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I use a autoplaylist that makes a playlist of all my files in my library.

I personally prefer the Default UI look.

This is how my foobar2000 setup looks: foobar2000 screenshot - 11-1-10

This post has been edited by A_Day_Without_Me: Nov 2 2010, 01:00
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Bullit
post Nov 2 2010, 01:48
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If I make a large playlist of my library, what about when I want a different playlist?
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A_Day_Without_Me
post Nov 2 2010, 01:50
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you make more. and you can switch between them.

if you enable the library viewer selection playlist, when you click on an item in the album list it shows up in that playlist.

This post has been edited by A_Day_Without_Me: Nov 2 2010, 01:54
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Bullit
post Nov 2 2010, 01:52
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Ughhh... maybe I'll just use WMP. At least I can play FLAC and OGG with tagging and album support.
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A_Day_Without_Me
post Nov 2 2010, 01:56
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I guess you could try Winamp, I know plenty of people who really like that. I think it is better than MediaMonkey. It supports OGG and FLAC with album art and tagging.

WMP is a piece of junk.

This post has been edited by A_Day_Without_Me: Nov 2 2010, 01:58
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Bullit
post Nov 2 2010, 02:04
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QUOTE (A_Day_Without_Me @ Nov 2 2010, 01:56) *
WMP is a piece of junk.


It's ok for audio. If the libray wasn't so flaky it would be a nice program. The WMP12 on windows 7 feels a bit more refined.

Not sure how well it runs under the hood though.

Video has been improved but the lack of video controls (like zoom) and filters is annoying.
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dhromed
post Nov 2 2010, 13:18
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QUOTE (Bullit @ Nov 2 2010, 01:52) *
Ughhh...


What's putting you off so much that you post this animalistic sign of frustration? smile.gif

If you "installed themes" for foobar, then you're missing the point. Screw themes. Play music. Maybe make a layout when you have a spare five minutes.

I'm not trying to recruit you into the foobar cult; different players serve different people's needs and preferences, but uninformed dislike is unnecessary and easily fixed, so that's why I ask.
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The Seeker
post Nov 2 2010, 17:47
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I've been using MusicBee for the last few months and am loving it. I've been a foobar2000 user since 0.8.3 but have now switched to MB. It handles my iPod Shuffle flawlessly and has other nice features such as automatic lyrics and artwork fetching. What got me to switch full time was its support of WASAPI.

Check it out smile.gif


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Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
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doctorcilantro
post Nov 3 2010, 15:48
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Just use J. River, it does it all more robustly than any other.
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Canar
post Nov 3 2010, 15:53
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QUOTE (The Seeker @ Nov 2 2010, 11:47) *
What got me to switch full time was its support of WASAPI.
I find this rationale hilarious, especially considering that foobar2000 was one of the first players to ever support WASAPI.


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greynol
post Nov 3 2010, 22:07
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QUOTE (doctorcilantro @ Nov 3 2010, 07:48) *
Just use J. River, it does it all more robustly than any other.

More robustly? Please, do tell!


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oohrayray
post Nov 3 2010, 22:31
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Another vote for Musicbee. Been using it for about a year now.
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