Posts Tagged

Music

I love iTunes. As Apple’s native music player and iOS powerhouse command station, it is unlikely that anything will ever wholly replace iTunes for me. It’s an integrated hub for surfing the iTunes music store, buying iOS apps, making playlists, the Ping network (even though it’s somewhat barren), managing the media and content on my iPhone and iPad, and more. But in spite of my love for iTunes, I will be the first to admit that with a music library the size of mine, it can be a bit slow, unwieldy, and bloated when all I want to do is play some tunes.

When I began reading up on Sonora, a beta-phase app coded by Indragie Karunaratne and designed by Tyler Murphy, I was impressed with the obvious target niche that Sonora was appealing to. At the risk of sounding “scoff-y”, independently developed music players rarely appeal to me because they so often claim to be an iTunes replacement–which, for the reasons listed in the above paragraph, is unlikely for me. Sonora, on the other hand, markets itself as a companion player, humbly leaving the heavy lifting of music purchases and iOS management to iTunes and providing a lightweight player for the express purpose of playing music. Hit the jump to read more about Sonora.

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Ecoute, created by PixiApps, has been a moderately popular alternative to iTunes for over a year now. With version 3, developer Louka Desroziers and interface designer Julien Sagot hope to catapult their audio player’s status from semi-popular indie app to major-league success. So is the latest version of Ecoute ready for the big time?

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Since the dawn of portable Apple devices, the personal computer has always been the hub we’ve used to manage and sync our media. We are accustomed to our iPods, iPhones, and iPads being bound to our computers by white cables. But when Steve announced iCloud last summer, he declared, “We’re going to move your hub, the center of your digital life, into the cloud.” His vision was that the personal computer would no longer be the middle man between your media and your devices.

Of all of the digital media that accumulates on our hard drives, our music collections are often guilty of robbing us of significant hard drive space. This is even more of a problem when it comes to the smaller storage space of our portable devices. Most of us have spent time trying to narrow down our music to fit on these devices, only to be away from home and crave a song or album that missed the cut. This is where iTunes Match comes in. Read on to learn what Match is all about, and find out if it’s right for you.
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Choosing a media player – a music player, to be precise – for a Mac is a no brainer. iTunes is the crowd favorite and has the chops to entertain both an audiophile and the casual listener. Despite becoming bloated and unduly heavy over the years, iTunes is more or less the default audio player for the Mac ecosystem. Even folks who are die hard Windows users and those who don’t own an iOS device also are fans of iTunes.

But as I just alluded to, iTunes is a tad bulky and lacks the advanced features of a full fledged media player. The choice of full blown music players for Mac are pretty thin when compared to any other vertical. Winamp hardly needs an introduction. For more than a decade, it ruled the roost as the popular media player for Windows.

Winamp for Mac is a free download and promises to offer the same powerful featureset it is known for. Is it awesome enough to replace iTunes? Read on to find out!

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There are a bunch of websites to allow you to share and discover new music, especially from artists that aren’t as big or popular as they deserve. Perhaps the most widely used of these is one called SoundCloud, which is used by many artists personally.

The app that we are reviewing today is a native SoundCloud client for Mac, made by the same folks behind the website. How good is it? Let’s find out.

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Once upon a time, physical media sales ruled the music landscape. Wal-Mart thoroughly enjoyed its reign as the largest seller of CDs on the planet. Then iTunes came along and took online music distribution from a niche to the most popular way for people to buy music.

Now a new breed of businesses are beginning to fill the landscape. Instead of offering single songs or albums, they give customers the freedom to listen to any combination of songs or albums they want, either completely free or with a low monthly fee. Are these services merely enjoying rapid but short-lived growth or do they represent the future of how we consume music?

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VirtualDJ was first released in 2003 and over the years has grown into a real success story for Atomix Productions, providing professional DJ’s and hobbyists with effective DJ software. Originally sold in shops, this multi-platform ‘Home’ version is now available for free in the Mac App Store and sees the developers adopt an innovative pricing model to offer a largely uncrippled and feature-packed app in the hope of enticing users to eventually upgrade, with the end result being a big win for the consumer.

Let’s take a closer look at this innovative App Store favourite.

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I’m the kind of person that likes things to be neat and organized, but I don’t like it enough to put a lot of effort into making it happen. I’m mostly content to be moderately irritated by things being out of order in exchange for not having to waste time organizing, alphabetizing, labeling or tagging. Since my recent hard drive failure, I’ve been dreading transferring music from my iPod back to my computer because I’d forgotten that all the hard work I did updating song metadata hadn’t been synced to my iPod.

I was naturally very intrigued by Little App Factory’s new app Tagalicious, which promises to clean up your iTunes library quickly and painlessly by auto-detecting track metadata and updating it in iTunes. Read on to find out if it succeeds!

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For those of you from the U.K. and other fortunate regions that have been enjoying Spotify for years, this is a non-event. However, for any readers from the U.S., this is huge news. Get ready to completely neglect Grooveshark, Pandora, Last.fm and any other Internet radio you listen to. Spotify is that good.

What is Spotify? How does it work? How do you get it? Keep reading, we’ve got the answers.

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Music, I think it is fair to say, is a large part of most people’s life. Many of us listen to music whilst we’re on the computer, and, being on Mac, this will probably be through iTunes. But if you want to change the song, pause it, or anything else, you don’t want to disrupt your workflow and open up the bulky musical hub that is iTunes. You could set up a few keyboard shortcuts, but what if you want more functionality?

That’s where Music Commander comes in. Music Commander is a menu bar app, available exclusively in the Mac App Store, which allows you to control certain elements of iTunes from your menu bar, so you can get back to work instantly.

Read on to see how it fares when put to the test.

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