Clementine - After using clementine as my first music player for Mac OSX away from the standard iTunes, I was very pleased. Very easy to use, instant Album Cover searching, very good organization and notifications. However it has some flaws. Some things I miss from iTunes and other benefits that iTunes does not have. For example, iTunes allows lots of flexibility in renaming your collection. Simply double click or single click + enter and you can fill out the text field to whatever you want. Changing names, artists, song title, etc. are very easy. Clementine does not allow you to do that. You have to right click the album or selection and choose "Edit track information" and even then, it does not change some things. It made an Artist called "Various Artists" and put half my albums in there. I tried to rename some of them to the MAIN artist such as Betsie Larkin album to Artist "Betsie Larkin" so when I look for her material, it will be under the alphabet "B". Instead it remains with "Various Artists" up top as does many of my albums. I believe it's because these albums have various "featuring" artists and co-artists. Pretty annoying. I have to search through "Various Artists" by Album title on top of that, not by artist. A pretty annoying organization flaw but overall it organizes things every well.
I also like that you can access music very simply without having to wait a century like iTunes when you "drag and drop" into your library. It also auto updates so if you delete, move or add anything to your designated music folder, it will follow.
The BIGGEST gripe about itunes for me was that whenever my music was moved or deleted, it would drive me crazy that it wouldn't update on its own. I would have a bunch of songs with exclamation marks next to them and would have to go searching. Not to mention highlight and manually delete them all. Also, if i get a new album or song and want to first test listen and open it in iTunes, it will be jacked up when I move the song/album from my Desktop or "Downloads" folder to my Music folder should I decide I want to change its location. Organization for iTunes is seriously a F. Clementine also plays FLAC which was the main reason I was looking for another music player.
Songbird - I would have just stuck with Clementine but that problem of being unable to edit the song and artist information was bugging me so on my free time, I checked out Songbird since it was free. Painless install, took 10 seconds. I forgot to mention, the other thing that bothered me about Clementine was the interface of selecting and playing music. If you double click an album on the left in your library, it will add it to the playlist and then you have to double click again from the playlist to actually play it. This is fine, it's kind of nice. but it leads to problems. Sometimes right clicking an album will automatically add or start playing it, you have to manually add things to the playlist to play anything, whereas Songbird is more like iTunes where you choose directly from the library and it's instant play. It will play through your entire library if you leave it, which is what i like. I like listening and choosing directly from my library and having playlists for special situations, not the other way around.
Sound quality - Songbird is NOTICEABLY better in SQ. I was actually kind of shocked. I was somewhat satisfied by Clementine only because I didn't think a different music player software would actually change the SQ. I wasn't even using an amp or DAC, just using my onboard soundcard's headphone out. Clementine was good because everything I added was newly converted FLAC and lossless files from my previous 120-260kbps MP3s so the improvement there was good by itself. But I used the same files for Songbird and IMMEDIATELY I noticed a huge change. My jaws dropped. Everything is much clearer, detailed, and defined, including the bass. This makes the soundstage a bit better and makes the music much fuller. Both EQ were off. Kind of amazed that a software using the same files can make such a difference, I can't wait to try it with my amp and DAC. Songbird looks cooler IMO (the colors and interface), the library is very similar to iTunes in its organizations but also has the flexibility that Clementine offers. Allows for integration with Last.Fm and what not. I believe I will stick with Songbird for now.
If anyone's looking for some good FREE music player for OSX, I'd try Songbird. I also tried Fidelia but not my cup of tea having that large looking virtual receiver. Rather have music organization.
I'd like to hear if anyone tried Songbird and found something even BETTER. That'd be great, I'd like to try it but otherwise it's pretty damn good if you ask me.
Edited by pancakeplease - 12/10/11 at 2:50am