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Replacement for itunes on osx?

offline fleetmouse from Horny for Truth on 2009-12-14 19:47 [#02351320]
Points: 18042 Status: Lurker

There has to be something better.


offline lupus yonderboy from 1970. (United Kingdom) on 2009-12-14 20:01 [#02351328]
Points: 1985 Status: Lurker

you could try songbird.


offline Terence Hill from Germany on 2009-12-14 20:09 [#02351336]
Points: 2070 Status: Lurker

didn't try Songbird cause it looks fugly, but maybe it's

what is it that annoys you about itunes? if it' just the
sluggishness, its slow awkward way to browse music... there
are music browsers like Coversutra, Sizzlingkeys, .. and
some other i forgot the name of... dunno i've tried them but
something was lacking with them too. now i'm using Launchbar
for most computer tasks... including browsing music. with
all these solutions itunes is still running as a player, you
just control it with a better interface.
personally i think itunes is good for archiving music,
putting cover art etc... just the browsing sucks a lot...


offline fleetmouse from Horny for Truth on 2009-12-14 20:12 [#02351338]
Points: 18042 Status: Lurker

I just want something non shitty that gives me a tree view
of the filesystem so I can play things from where they are
easily. On Windows I like Mediamonkey, but there's no OSX


offline Terence Hill from Germany on 2009-12-14 20:31 [#02351349]
Points: 2070 Status: Lurker

so you want to move around files on your drive manually?

i'd try LaunchBar, or Quicksilver of course but it's buggy,
hard to set up and it's questionable if it will ever be
fixed properly.
LaunchBar costs a few bucks but is excellent. CoverSutra
also costs a few bucks and looks shiny but is not as great
as LaunchBar.

when i want to listen to, say, shitWebVer4bHosbn32.fuckbench
by AphexPusher from the album Cockwrenchaccelerator, i press
cmd+space from anywhere, type "apshi32" or another
abbreviation of the above and press enter. if i want to
browse that album, i type "cwrea" then browse with cursor
keys etc.. you basically have a global shortcut for all
sorts of things, it's much faster and more convenient then
mousing.... LAZY_TITLE


offline fleetmouse from Horny for Truth on 2009-12-14 20:57 [#02351362]
Points: 18042 Status: Lurker

Jesus Christ the Mac solution is either "throw money at it"
or "do it our way". I want to right click on a folder and
choose "play in winamp" but it looks like I'm going to have
to install XP on this big aluminum frying pan to do that.


offline Terence Hill from Germany on 2009-12-14 21:03 [#02351364]
Points: 2070 Status: Lurker


Google QuickSearchBox does it for free


offline hedphukkerr from mathbotton (United States) on 2009-12-14 21:38 [#02351369]
Points: 8827 Status: Lurker

oh dear lord use songbird. it kicks ass!

for one, if you find it ugly, thats because it's like foobar
in that you need to customize it to your liking. there are
hundreds of skins online. on top of that are extensions as
well (im pretty sure it's actually built on the mozilla
engine) - alarm clock, now playing list, details window
pane, quicktime support, deleting duplicate files (!!!),
ipod support, and yes, explore your music from within the
file structure and not the library, pretty much anything you
want songbird to do, it can, thanks to open architecture.

also it syncs automatically with your itunes library if you
like, can manage your music into an organized file system
(or leave it alone it if you like) just like itunes. it uses
less memory than itunes as well.

plus my favorite feature is that you can set it to watch a
folder on your computer and automatically add new mp3s. mine
is set to my torrent download folder, and it easily adds all
my files without any problem (i also don't use any kind of
file structure) and when i want to go through all my new
music i just organize my library by date added.


offline horsefactory from 💠 (United Kingdom) on 2009-12-15 05:24 [#02351409]
Points: 14865 Status: Lurker

i don't see what's so bad about using the itunes library to
browse/serach, just don't let it organise or copy stuff and
you can keep whatever underlying file structure you like.
you can easily create a folder action to let you right click
> import into itunes, too


offline horsefactory from 💠 (United Kingdom) on 2009-12-15 05:32 [#02351411]
Points: 14865 Status: Lurker

sorry, i mean automator script for finder context menu, not
folder action


offline pantalaimon from Winterfell (United Kingdom) on 2009-12-15 06:03 [#02351412]
Points: 7090 Status: Lurker | Show recordbag

itunes isn't that bad, you can browse and play your music
just fine. Installing a new operating system just to play
music that software already does is just stupid.


offline oscillik from the fires of orc on 2009-12-15 06:09 [#02351413]
Points: 7746 Status: Regular | Followup to fleetmouse: #02351362

Welcome to the Apple Macintosh.

you'd be COMPLETELY fucked if you were trying to use a
Macintosh before OS X - at least you have a lot more open
source options at your disposal.

back in the OS 9 days, you either paid through the nose for
your software or you didn't have software. come to think of
it, back in those days you also paid for the hardware with
an arm and a leg.

nowadays you just pay an arm.


offline pantalaimon from Winterfell (United Kingdom) on 2009-12-15 06:19 [#02351415]
Points: 7090 Status: Lurker | Followup to oscillik: #02351413 | Show recordbag

and your foot


offline goDel from ɐpʎǝx (Seychelles) on 2009-12-15 08:26 [#02351430]
Points: 10225 Status: Lurker

your need for a treeview tells me you've been indoctrinated
and brainwashed by windows for way too long. now that you
have an aluminum frying pan, perhaps it's time another, dare
i say more productive way of using a computer.


offline goDel from ɐpʎǝx (Seychelles) on 2009-12-15 08:36 [#02351432]
Points: 10225 Status: Lurker

you could also select all tracks from the directory and
press space. (long live quickview!)


offline fleetmouse from Horny for Truth on 2009-12-15 18:55 [#02351649]
Points: 18042 Status: Lurker

I'm checking out songbird. It's nice. I like the
extensibility and the tree view.

Itunes wants to think every track in 5 years of hyperdub is
a separate album and I can't convince it otherwise. Maybe I
can write my script to make it learn to know that this is an

My first week using a mac has taught me that it's a very
powerful machine and OS but the apple stores, the bundled
software and the entire experience are designed to turn you
into Steve's cows and milk you as often and as deeply as
possible. I'm probably losing them money by just buying the
computer and no extra warranty, software, or lessons on how
the mouse is not a thing to put in your mouth.

The thing I like about a tree is it's universal. I can take
an external drive with a bunch of folders, attach it to a
Windows machine, a Mac or a Linux box and my library is
organized the same way no matter which media player I'm
using. Well, except iTunes.


offline hedphukkerr from mathbotton (United States) on 2009-12-15 23:17 [#02351727]
Points: 8827 Status: Lurker

yeah, mac is certainly now about taking advantage of all the
free/open source options. currently the programs i use most
often are adium, firefox, utorrent, songbird, audacity, vlc,
unrarx... all available for free. i don't think i actually
use any of the branded apple apps beyond spotlight.


offline Terence Hill from Germany on 2009-12-16 03:44 [#02351748]
Points: 2070 Status: Lurker | Followup to fleetmouse: #02351649

hmm i feel it's more like... you can turn a mac into your
cow and customize the interface to your liking *without* the
fear of destroying your OS installation and/or needing to be
some 733t linux haxx0r.
Apple software is incredibly easy to steal and they don't
bother protecting it... sure they try to milk you but...
google serialbox.

fix the HyperDub issue: select all tracks in itunes, press
cmd+i, click options, check "part of a compilation". you can
also edit "album artist" under the "info" and "sorting" tabs
if you want it to well... sort it differently...

trees were good in DOS times, when you had folders with like
10 files in it and used to happily browse floppy disks imo.
nowadays it's tags, dude.
Does it really feel that good to browse a folder with like
500 artists, sorted alphabetically?

imo, really try something like LaunchBar or Quicksilver, it
might blow your computer usage mind.LAZY_TITLE


offline hedphukkerr from mathbotton (United States) on 2009-12-16 06:08 [#02351752]
Points: 8827 Status: Lurker | Followup to Terence Hill: #02351748

are third party launchers really necessary now that
spotlight is fully fleshed out?


offline Terence Hill from Germany on 2009-12-16 06:40 [#02351758]
Points: 2070 Status: Lurker

these launchers are so much more than launchers... spotlight
compared to launchbar is like MS Paint compared to After

Changes your way of using a computer significantly... you
basically think of what you want to do beforehand, and a
couple keystrokes later you're at it.

open xltronic?
cmd+space, x, enter.

browse threads you've visited?
cmd+space, x, right arrow, choose thread with up/down

search isohunt, google, imdb, any site you want from where
ever you're at, with the browser not even open?
cmd+space, [abbreviation of site name, i.e. g for google, gi
for google images etc.], space, [search term], enter. (there
are ~50 sites predefined, but it's easy to add new ones)

want to open TextMate and you want to edit a file you've
been working on last night?
cmd+space, t, m, right arrow key (for recent files), choose
file with arrow up/down, enter.

make a zip file from a folder containing horsey porn inside
your documents folder, then send it as mail to Richard D
cmd+space, d, o, c, space, h, o, r, space, z, enter, tab,
rdj, enter.
mail opens, with a new mail addressed to Richard, the zip as
an attachment, cursor is at subject field.

it all works without ever touching the mouse, and becomes
second nature very fast...


offline hedphukkerr from mathbotton (United States) on 2009-12-16 06:58 [#02351761]
Points: 8827 Status: Lurker | Followup to Terence Hill: #02351758

wow, ive never used either of those, sounds pretty powerful.
i may give it a shot, but a lot of the features, like
keyword based web browsing, i already have worked into other
apps. i have pretty much every search site i use programmed
into firefox, so with a keystroke or two i can search google
(g s%), youtube (y s%), waffles (wf s%), what (wc s%), imdb
(i s%), google image (i s%), etc.

also, having a macbook (as opposed to imac), switching from
trackpad to keyboard is hardly an issue and flying around
with all my hot corners and tap clicking enabled is just as
second nature to me.

heh, open architecture is great. you can find so many ways
to do similar things.


offline Terence Hill from Germany on 2009-12-16 08:40 [#02351768]
Points: 2070 Status: Lurker


well the advantage of these launchers is, you don't need to
have a special application running to do stuff, instead
opening the right application or bringing it to focus (or
not if it's not needed) is part of the action. i.e. you
don't need mail running for the Mail stuff, or Firefox for
the searches in your case... so for example while you're
reading a pdf in Preview, or watching error code in your
console, or have a file selected in Finder, and want to
google for something you see, just select part of the text
(or the file name), press *and hold* cmd+space, the text
will be in LaunchBar... release, then *hold* g a little ->
it's a google search.

so no matter what you're doing, a web search or most other
actions is 2 seconds away.

etc. etc. bla


offline horsefactory from 💠 (United Kingdom) on 2009-12-16 10:53 [#02351793]
Points: 14865 Status: Lurker | Followup to fleetmouse: #02351649

I'm don't mean to come across as zealous but u r blaming
itunes for badly tagged files here :(


offline fleetmouse from Horny for Truth on 2009-12-16 20:33 [#02352092]
Points: 18042 Status: Lurker

terence - launchbar sounds awesome. I use launchy in Windows
which is like quicksilver but that sounds much fuller
featured. Thanks for the retagging itunees advice. Have you
ever looked at the OSX filesystem? I think you'd be
surprised at the forest of trees there. Why doesn't Apple
throw them all into one directory and let the OS find them
by tag? ;-)

hed - yeah I love the openness. Between the programs I own
that already have mac versions and the free stuff, I haven't
had to steal anything and I want to keep it that way.

hors - I honestly never paid a lick of attention to tags
before now. It's a different way of thinking that I'm not
used to. Also I am an deliberately being an asshole. ^_^


offline dave_g from United Kingdom on 2009-12-17 09:28 [#02352147]
Points: 3372 Status: Lurker

I'm going to resist the urge to bash apple.

Tags are not a good way of doing things.
Doing a filename or directory name search is considerably
faster and more universal than the tag version, which is:

look in directory
look at every mp3
read tag
is it what we want?
yes = stop
no = carry on

if you have directories for artists it becomes much easier.
find directory called "afx"

personally I think Itunes and the like are awful. We should
try to do things the unix way, plain text files, directory
structures, etc not fruity file formats and tags.

I find I enjoyed mp3s more when I used to use winamp 2.x on
win98 than now using Ryhthmbox (itunes clone) on linux.

If you want a winamp style program, I think there is/was
macamp? and xmms. To be honest, I've given up a bit on
computer software. I feel like everything is aimed at some
fucking moron or ipod person and not me.


offline goDel from ɐpʎǝx (Seychelles) on 2009-12-17 11:07 [#02352160]
Points: 10225 Status: Lurker | Followup to dave_g: #02352147

Doing a filename or directory name search is considerably

faster and more universal than the tag version, which is:

huh? a directory search faster? in what world do you live? a
search on tags in itunes is instantaneous. while you type
instantaneous, that is. can't see how it can be faster. by
predicting what you're going to type in the search box? or
do you still think mouse clicking through a tree is faster
than a system search through an indexed dataset?


offline dave_g from United Kingdom on 2009-12-17 11:40 [#02352164]
Points: 3372 Status: Lurker | Followup to goDel: #02352160

Indexed dataset has everything cached up in RAM, which makes
itunes into bloated hogzilla the RAM whore.

Here's a test I run on my computer to find wabby legs:

david@t60:~$ time locate wabby

real 0m0.638s
user 0m0.620s
sys 0m0.016s

so just over half a second, which from a human point of view
is "instant".
Also doesn't use up gobs or RAM.
So as you can see, searching directories is VERY fast as it
had just wizzed through my ENTIRE almost full 120GB disc.


offline goDel from ɐpʎǝx (Seychelles) on 2009-12-17 11:48 [#02352165]
Points: 10225 Status: Lurker

*rolling eyes*


offline Terence Hill from Germany on 2009-12-17 12:10 [#02352168]
Points: 2070 Status: Lurker | Followup to dave_g: #02352147

yes indeed. and let's finally get rid of graphical user
interfaces too, except they work like this. she
also seems to find the right file incredibly fast :D


offline Terence Hill from Germany on 2009-12-17 12:11 [#02352169]
Points: 2070 Status: Lurker



offline dave_g from United Kingdom on 2009-12-17 12:20 [#02352174]
Points: 3372 Status: Lurker

I'm not saying get rid of a GUI, but I'm not aware of a GUI
tool that will easily tell me how long it takes to locate a
file on my disc.
The command line is good for generating useful metrics.

Essentially, I'm just pointing out that doing a disc search
is very fast.


offline cx from Norway on 2009-12-17 14:14 [#02352214]
Points: 4537 Status: Regular | Followup to dave_g: #02352164

Locate works in the same way as tags in itunes or foobar or
winamp, all the tags are read and stored in a cache file,
which is then searchable instantaneously.
Locate does the same, it doesn't actually search the file
system directly.


offline cx from Norway on 2009-12-17 14:15 [#02352215]
Points: 4537 Status: Regular | Followup to cx: #02352214

oh and btw they are not stored in ram


offline Terence Hill from Germany on 2009-12-17 15:03 [#02352224]
Points: 2070 Status: Lurker | Followup to cx: #02352215

even if, i thought we're past the "omg ram is full" age of
personal computing... how much space will some index
database allocate? 100MB? it's nothing.


offline isnieZot from pooptown (Belgium) on 2009-12-18 03:26 [#02352353]
Points: 4949 Status: Lurker

I've bought an ipod touch recently and I'm kinda forced to
go to itunes. And I too feel the lack of a tree view is a
pain in the ass.

I used to have a sandisk sansa and I put rockbox on it. that
gave me a treeview of all the mp3's I had. very nice to

but now listening to music is somewhat less
why can't the ipod display my albums like:

artist name - trackname.

no right now it has the trackname in big and below in small
letters you've got the trackname - artist

and there is no way to change that.

totally not logical.

are there music player apps I can install for the ipod?


offline dave_g from United Kingdom on 2009-12-18 03:39 [#02352356]
Points: 3372 Status: Lurker

The unix locate command does indeed use a database file,
which is why it is necessary to do an updatedb periodically
as it is not a realtime disc sweep.
If Itunes uses the same method then why does my anecdotal
evidence suggest it is a bloated RAM hog?

Just because you have gazillions of bytes of RAM, it doesn't
mean a program should use as much as possible. Winamp 2.x
series was lean. Perhaps it doesn't matter to you, but some
people use older hardware, run RAM hungry jobs in the
background or perhaps think that software shouldn't use
masses of memory just because it can.

Anyway, I think you might be able to run winamp on osx if
you use crossover mac, however that does cost monies. I've
used the linux version as they did a free download a while
back as USA budget had dropped or something.... anyway, it's
quite good. It's not an emulator, so runs fast (sometimes
faster than windows) as it re-maps windows API calls to the
host system APIs.

e.g. program says "windows create menu item blah." this gets
remapped via crossover to be "osx menu create: blah".


offline Terence Hill from Germany on 2009-12-18 05:59 [#02352377]
Points: 2070 Status: Lurker

srsly, why the crap would you want to do this? it's like
ripping out the driver's seat of a Porsche, replacing it
with the old seat from your broken down '84 Vauxhall Cadette
because you love its farty smell so much.

i'm not saying iTunes isn't crap. But i understand your
logic goes like:

itunes is slow, conclusion -> tag based search in general is

(While there are clearly other reasons why itunes is slow
and eating memory, the main one being album artwork imo.
Then there are really awful flaws in the UI which make it
very awkward to browse music, simple things like using
frigging shuffle mode is one thing i haven't figured out to
do how i want it. Apple need to rewrite itunes from scratch
to fix it imo, and they're hopefully doing that with version
10. so let's agree that itunes is shit okay?)

but think of it in this way: if you haven't manually put
your files (and i mean files in general - why would you want
to handle different kinds of file types in different ways?)
neatly in your stupid (and it is stupid) tree structure,
you're basically fucked. jeez, you'll have to manually move
files around to their right branch of a non-existant tree on
a disk... shriek!

even if they're neatly sorted - you're missing out on cool
stuff, brought to you by thedigital™. now it's getting
philosophical: digital and trees don't go together very
well. trees are metaphors from an analog world, think
drawers and folders and all that jazz, where you physically
put stuff into things, so you can take it out again later.
now if you've ever thought about what makes the internet so
special, it's hyperlinks (in the old fashioned internet we
know at least). you can make a wormhole from anywhere to
anywhere else, and it's neat! not a tree, but a rhizome, or
a mycelium, a neural network if you will, where any synapse
can be connected with any other.

now in art, back in the classic days, artists tried to
capture the "cosmic godliness" by trying to directly depict
esoteric fantasies (Sistine Chapel.


offline Terence Hill from Germany on 2009-12-18 06:24 [#02352382]
Points: 2070 Status: Lurker

..), while nowadays it's more about inner structure of
things... we've found out about molecules, and what they're
made of etc, and that bigger structures are the emergent
result of properties of smaller things, blah blah.. so now
we're using our knowledge about structures, and build
artificial eco-systems around them (modern video games,
facebook, it's often found in architecture, generative
music, ...).

the tree metaphor for files though defies natural structural
growth. it's like making a structure without really "getting
it", from the outside. it would be much more effective to
forget what a stem is, and what a branch is, and work with
the cells inside instead, the dna...

the point i want to make with this lengthy post is: it's
really good to see data on your computer not as stacks of
files, but as contextually linkable, fluid information. it
can take the form of audio, text, images, etc... so if you
do a search for David Bowie, why not show everything that is
related to this search, and why even limit it to your hard

btw yes, os x has tree structures and i think it's a pain to
move files around in finder... think that's easier in
explorer... but hey after all desktop operating systems are
facing a new generation of computing:

now listen to this :D

mobile computing hasn't really even started yet. But it will
soon become absolutely irrelevant what information is
locally saved on a device you hold in your hands... we're
going online, and thanks to that the combined knowledge of
mankind will be able to fit into a nothing.


offline Terence Hill from Germany on 2009-12-18 06:29 [#02352384]
Points: 2070 Status: Lurker

dang wrong link... this:


offline fleetmouse from Horny for Truth on 2009-12-18 07:13 [#02352389]
Points: 18042 Status: Lurker

Terence, the future you're pointing to is one in which end
users are disempowered and infantilized. They have no
knowledge of the technology they're using and they're
dependent on whatever the technology providers give them,
for whatever price they're charging.

The wet dream of tech companies is to get users back to
being dumb consumers who use the systems like glorified
cable boxes, where you can charge them per use or per view,
and the user has no knowledge or control of where their data
is or how to copy it. The user will be charged for use,
charged for storage, told how to use the system or else, and
held hostage or cut off. We're seeing this in the xbox, for
example (it's not just apple who dreams this dream). I've
read that developers of alternative media players have a
hard time dealing with Apple and get no cooperation. I
wonder why?


offline dave_g from United Kingdom on 2009-12-18 08:58 [#02352394]
Points: 3372 Status: Lurker | Followup to fleetmouse: #02352389

Seeing as you use OSX, you should be able to run bash
scripts. Sounds like your music is organised like mine, you
might like a script to recursively work through your
directory removing nasty characters, making spaces
underscores, etc.

If so, copy the lines below the snips to a file, call it
something like and put in in your "music"
make it executable:
chmod +x

now when you double click your rename program it makes all
the mp3s have nice names :-) It also does this for the
directories and works through all sub directories too.

----8<-------SNIP SNIP----8<-------SNIP SNIP----8<-------


function unixifyname {
# space to underscore,
# removes { [ } ] , ! etc
# CAPS to lower case

ls | while read -r FILE
mv -v "$FILE" `echo $FILE | tr ' ' '_' | tr -d
'[{}(),\!]' | tr -d "\'" | tr '[A-Z]' '[a-z]'`


function recurse {
# recursively navigate a directory structure
# ignore symlinks ( -h ) as these screw it up

for a in `ls`
echo "found:" $a
if [ -d $a ]; then
if [ ! -h $a ]; then
echo $a "is a dir"
cd "$a"

# Do the recursive command here:

#Run the function again (aka recursion)
cd ..


# clear up start directory to stop it choking on spaces then
fire up recursion...


offline taking_the_piz on 2009-12-18 09:50 [#02352398]
Points: 795 Status: Lurker

and if you'd use tags *sigh* you could search on anything
you'd want: artist, album, year, bpm, rating, length, genre,

when are you boys going to learn


offline Terence Hill from Germany on 2009-12-18 10:42 [#02352415]
Points: 2070 Status: Lurker | Followup to fleetmouse: #02352389

hmm dunno... i'm trying to see it optimistic and i think
it's more a problem of generation conflicts.... your first
paragraph could be used for the automobile just as well.

there always was and always will be the not so bright
majority of zombie people used as drones for whatever shady
cause, no?... killing witches, killing Jews... bread and
circuses etc... well fuck em.

there's also the aspect of companies aggressively competing
for customers... a good thing! it drives innovation and
prevents prices from going up. also it's not like there's
one huge company controlling everything. nobody forces you
to use google, apple, nokia or microsoft products either.
there's a large variety of great open source software
(hardware not so much, sadly) for the overly cautious person
to use.


offline PORICK from fucking IRELAND on 2009-12-18 11:35 [#02352426]
Points: 1911 Status: Lurker

fooba-- fol ol de rol ol


offline fleetmouse from Horny for Truth on 2009-12-18 15:59 [#02352486]
Points: 18042 Status: Lurker

If there's something that's difficult or impossible to do on
a mac, apple bum boys say there's something wrong with doing


offline Falito from Balenciaga on 2009-12-18 16:04 [#02352488]
Points: 3973 Status: Lurker | Show recordbag

is cos the apple they got


offline isnieZot from pooptown (Belgium) on 2009-12-21 04:38 [#02353035]
Points: 4949 Status: Lurker

is there an alternative player application you can install
on the ipod for playing music?


offline jnasato from 777gogogo (Japan) on 2009-12-21 05:25 [#02353037]
Points: 3393 Status: Regular | Show recordbag



offline isnieZot from pooptown (Belgium) on 2009-12-21 05:43 [#02353042]
Points: 4949 Status: Lurker | Followup to jnasato: #02353037

yeah that I know of, but I'm more talking about and app I
can install on the ipod,without deleting the rest.


offline fleetmouse from Horny for Truth on 2009-12-21 13:57 [#02353126]
Points: 18042 Status: Lurker

I have decided to pronounce OS X as "osks".

Also, you need to give Apple a credit card number to turn on
"genius" thingy? hahahahahaha this itunes was made for
people who wear helmets and type with their face.

Big ups to lupus and hedphukker for recommending songburd.
It's not winamp but it'll do.


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