This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on September 20th, 2011.
While I’ve used iTunes for the longest time, and it works pretty much as my media center; I have to come to terms with the fact that it isn’t as great as it could be. It’s heavy, slow, glitchy and at times I find it very annoying.
Ditching iTunes is especially enticing when you now have all these new options available: apps that go from streaming free music, to playing you a personalised radio with music that suit your musical tastes. iTunes is still my main music app, but it’s being quickly overtaken by some of these other options.
Most of my solo work time passes with music in the background. Sometimes I’m playing music from my iTunes library, and sometimes I’m streaming music from online radio stations or subscription services. Controlling it all can be a pain. Whether I’m writing a review for AppStorm or balancing Excel spreadsheets at work, I normally have to switch back to the music program to pause a song if someone walks in. If a song comes on that I’m not in the mood to listen to, then it’s even worse since I have to swap to the player to skip and then back to my work. Even this brief interruption can take me out of flow and require time to pick up where I left off.
Our weekly sponsor this week is Onde iTunes Converter, a great tool to help you convert your DRM protected audio files so you can listen to them anywhere, on any device.
If you’ve purchased music on your Mac in iTunes for many years, chances are you have plenty of songs in iTunes that are still protected by DRM. You could listen to the songs on your iPod, iPhone, or Mac, but you couldn’t just put them on a generic mp3 player or different smartphone. You could burn them to an audio CD and then rip them as mp3, but that’d be a lot of trouble.
That’s where Onde iTunes Converter comes in. It makes it simple to make new unlocked mp3 and AAC files from the DRMed music you own, so you can listen to it anywhere. You can convert at up to 16x in a variety of formats so you can listen just as you want. It can even rip audio from your iTunes videos! All you’ll have to do is sit back while Onde iTunes Converter works its magic.
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If you’d like to convert your DRMed iTunes music easily, you should give Onde iTunes Converter a try. It normally costs $39.95, but if you enter the coupon code *ondesoft50* at checkout, you’ll get 50% off for a limited time!
Pandora, the crazy popular internet radio webapp, already has a Mac application of its own, but it’s only for subscribers. With a Pandora subscription, you get lots of little perks, and you get those perks in the Mac app, too. However, the official Pandora app isn’t for the rest of us who use Pandora infrequently or who haven’t found the value there to invest in a subscription, yet.
That doesn’t mean we want to be tied to a browser window to listen to Pandora, either. Tiny menubar app Bandito has that all wrapped up, thankfully. Taking Pandora out of the browser and putting it on your desktop, Bandito’s bringing you the best of both worlds. (more…)
In the past few months, I’ve enjoyed using the popular music streaming service Rdio to listen to my favorite tunes on my Mac, in the car with my iPhone, and in coffee shops with my iPad. As I never wished to create a Facebook account just so I could use Spotify, Rdio seemed to be a great solution and it also included a much more decent user interface throughout all the apps – the designers worked hard to make sure the experience didn’t fall short in this area.
Last week, however, someone seems to have stumbled in a hole, for the service announced on it’s blog that they were refining the look of their web and Mac apps to be lighter, apparently both on the eyes and bandwidth. Sadly, it’s far from pleasing to my eyes. In fact, I’ve found it to be worse than Spotify. Please allow me to explain… (more…)
Like many among us, I am not accustomed to paying for a music player. I am happy with iTunes and Winamp in both Windows and Mac. Still, if you are looking forward to pushing the boundaries in playback quality and revolutionary user interfaces, there are a handful choices available in front of us.
Playback of popular lossy formats like MP3 has never been a problem. But when it comes to lossless formats like FLAC, Ogg Vorbis etc. the choices get limited. Decibel is an audio player tailored to the particular needs of audiophiles and promises no discrimination when it comes to lossy or lossless audio formats. Follow me after the fold to check out what’s in store.
Since being introduced in 2001, iTunes’ features have expanded well beyond its name. Once a simple music player, it has evolved beyond the realm of tunes and into a hub for just about all the media on our Macs. It also features an enormous digital content store, and is the program responsible for syncing all of that stuff to our iDevices. Many users, like myself, have complained for years that the expanding features of iTunes have let it become a bloated piece of software.
Tomahawk is an open-source media player that cuts out some unnecessary iTunes bloat, while trying to create some more relevant functionality in the important area of actually playing music. Do its features make it a viable iTunes replacement on your computer, or is it just another mundane addition to an already oversaturated market of iTunes alternatives?
For countless years the use of vinyl dominated the DJ market. In the late 90s the use of CDs became more widespread as Pioneer launched the very successful CDJ CD player which offered many of the advantages of vinyl without quite so many drawbacks. In recent years the use of digital DJ software has become much more prevalent as more and more of the CD faithful turn their backs on the format and embrace digital software.
There are many options out there, from Serato Scratch Live vinyl emulation software to Ableton Live down to open source alternatives such as Mixxx which I reviewed in a previous article. In this article however I will comparing two front runners of the digital DJ world – Atomix’s Virtual DJ Pro 7 and Native Instrument’s Traktor Pro 2. If you only choose one, which one should it be? Read on to find out.
Who here likes music? Yep, that’s what I thought, everybody. Some might go so far as to say, it’s what makes us — or at times perhaps keeps us — human.
Music tastes are as diverse as we ourselves. And we seem to be constantly on the prowl for more. Enterprising people noticed this fact, and decided to see what they could do in the world of web apps to help satisfy this constant need.
One such web app which appeared was Last.fm. And while its extensive feature set isn’t the topic of today’s article, one interesting feature of Last.fm is scrobbling. Scrobbling is a unique aspect to the Last.fm music streaming service, and for a lot of people, its best feature.
But this is 2012, a decade since Last.fm launched, and there are a myriad of music streaming services today. But none of them have tried to duplicate Last.fm’s scrobbling functionality, or the in-depth statistics that it generates. Why? Well, I suspect a big reason is that Last.fm has an API that allows developers to tie into Last.fm’s scrobbling service. Today we have for you seven Mac apps that support Last.fm’s scrobbling API.
When iTunes was first released, it quickly impressed users with its intuitive interface and extensive feature list, soon becoming the standard music app not only for Mac users, but many Windows users as well. Though it started out strong, the constant addition of new features and subsequent decreases in performance have left many dissatisfied users complaining of sluggishness and feature bloat.
Enqueue is one of several new apps attempting to offer an alternative to iTunes for frustrated Mac users, offering a simplified experience, better performance, and improved features. Let’s find out if it delivers!