I see few threads here and there, also on other forums, where people are always asking for the best music player program that can natively play FLAC files on Mac OS X as well as being able to build a library. So I decided to give a solution, hopefully it helps. I also think that Clementine is not really popular, yet, with majority of people out there so just wanted to introduce this :)
iTunes doesn't support FLAC natively and while VLC does, it has few flaws such as lacking the ability for gapless playbacks and support for cue. files. I happened to find Clementine by fluke, when I had almost given up. After having used it for over 6 months now, I have to say that for MAC, this has overall been the best program I have used including VLC and iTunes. For Windows, there is Foobar2000 (which is really good) and you can run it on mac with parallel but still wanted to give a native option for MAC OS X. So just felt like creating a thread and hopefully giving people a proper answer/solution in this area. I'm pretty sure at least one person will find this helpful (hopefully).
Below I have listed some features and advantages of Clementine, followed with a link of a screenshot that I took for Clementine after setting up Clementine and then explaining the various details of it. (If the picture gets removed, let me know and I will re-upload it).
1) Plays Mp3's as well as any other lossless audio file including flac, wav, ogg, aiff etc.
2) The pleasing aesthetic design of this player is really pleasing, much more than iTunes and integrates all the information and cd covers much better, while enhancing finding the right music and just being able to operate the system quite intuitively.
3) Gapless Playback - VLC plays nicely, but doesn't have gapless playback. This feature really comes into play when I have a ripped cd that has tracks that flows into each other or a mix compilation. Vlc can play flac but doesn't have gapless playback so where its suppose to be a killer transition, turns out instead to be an awkward 1 sec break totally killing the rhythm. NO more problems now with Clementine in this area
4) Loading many CD/playlist at same time and queuing them - Double click icon of CD1 and it will load all the tracks in right order to the playlist and then if u want another cd, suppose CD2, to play right after it and also gaplessly, it will allow you to do that.
5) Support for cue. files - You can have one single big ripped file of a cd and have a cue.file in the same folder (total of 2 files). Click on the album in clementine and it will automatically show all the various tracks of that album in that one big file and also play it as individual tracks in the right order automatically queued properly. This is so much more easier than VLC or iTunes, trust me - also both don't have support for cue files.
6) Crossfading options - You can customize crossfading options in this such as the time taken to go into another. Going from one song to the next in a playlist naturally when a song has finished it will use gapless playback. However, when you're in the middle of a song and choose to go to another song, it will crossfade (if u allow for it, default is yes, but you can change it) into the next very beautifully. I have set it to 2 seconds I think, it was default, although you can change this and also play around with other options given. Having the ability to crossfade into another song or even from genre A to genre B helps keep the vibe for sure and makes it very entertaining throughout - plus you feel like a DJ .
7) Many Equalizer presets + name and make your own - In this player you can save as many equalizer settings as possible without replacing previous ones and also can name it, unlike iTunes, where you only have "Manual".
8) Adding playlists and CD's from an existing destination - In iTunes to add music, you would have to drag the music and then name the playlists and it took a long time. For just flac alone, at this moment I have over 200 cds ripped in flac which is over 100 GB. This is ignoring all the other random songs that I have downloaded. If you have to switch from one player to another music player, then cataloging such a huge library, especially in my case could take a REALLY LONG TIME. With clementine it took me about 30 seconds lol. I keep all my flac files in one big folder named FLAC on my desktop and within that there are many other folders broken down by artists. Then within each artist folder, lies all the album folders of that artists and within each of those album files lies all of the actual music files along with JPEG for cd covers, log and cue files.
So when I got Clementine, I clicked on the "Files" icon found on the left and it allowed to me specify the location(s) of the folders where the music is stored. In my case I just clicked the one huge FLAC folder on my desktop. For about and hour, it categorized all the music properly into two main methods: FILES and LIBRARY. When I click FILES icon, similar to when you hit browse when attaching something, you can see all the folders and files of the destination you have specified and can easily navigate between them up and down and add files manually. Or you can click on LIBRARY, this view contains all the music that can be organized either through albums, artists or songs. In my case, I have kept it to albums and also the cover art shows for each icon so it looks more pleasant and makes it easier to navigate. To categorize it the way I wanted actually took me quite some time to figure and at first was really annoying but after I figured it out - it was really clean. In the album mode, each icon arranged alphabetically contains the name of the cd as will as the cover art beside it. Click the icon once, you can see all the files/tracks underneath it. Double click it and all the files load up, in the right order to the playlist section. So no more need to drag files and add manually. Clementine in comparison to any other music library player, has easily been the easiest to operate with my existing collection of music.
9) Automatic Library Updating - Each time Clementine opens, it will automatically check all the existing folders that were specified to see if additional files have been added and it will incorporate it into both the FILES list as well as the LIBRARY list. Also, if you add other files during when the player is running, you can simply hit refresh and it will update automatically - found under "TOOLS".
NOTES: The first 2 days I used this, especially while categorizing all my files, this player crashed on me 2/3 times. Although this is probably because it was categorizing over 100 gb simultaneously and quite effectively. After that for the next six months, I think it crashed on me once....maybe. So don't give up on this program if it crashes at first, especially when cataloging. Trust me, once it is finished it will make your life so much easier and you won't have to worry about it from then. Also to fully learn how to properly organize the files I had took a lot longer than iTunes as many options are present, so hang in there. It will take max 1 hour of your time to fully organize it the way you want and after it you won't have to touch it - one time deal. The equalizer presets, just like any other music player are not that great, but you can simply eq it to your preference and name the setting and make it a preset, so no problem. I only use iTunes now to get my podcasts, but that's about it.
I think I covered it, well this is all I can think of at this time. Hopefully, this should put some insight into people's selection of music players for MAC OS X
Check out this link: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/59/dixpxv9o.jpg/
- Click the zoom button once you get there, this is a screenshot of clementine once it has been configured, in the screenshot it has been configured to ALBUM view.
- On the left are the different albums I have, as a list with the cover art beside it. Once you click on an album, it will show you the different songs within that album
- Cover art as well as album, artist, title of song and trackin info at the bottom.
- On the actual playlist, I have currently loaded Deadmau5 "4X4=12" to play first and then followed by Kanye West - 808's and Heartbreak to follow after it. I did this simply by double clicking the icons of each albums, respectively and voila. Also note that the tracks load up in the correct order for each album as I have cue. files to go with them, although even if you don't have them it should still be fine.
I'm pretty sure there might be other programs that can do all this and more for MAC, so feel free to give other suggestions. Hopefully, this helps at least one person