I have been able to get the SWP to work effectively by setting it up with Parallels for the Mac. I had two of these drives, both returned now, that failed to function stably when set up directly for the Mac. Both of them incessantly hung - often causing a real challenge to shutdown. Since running them on my Mac using Parallels, I have had no issues with hanging. Hopefully, Seagate will get this drive stable for the Mac.
I also have found that 8Player works well with the drive, particularly with FLAC tracks - but, so far, I have not been able to get AIFF files to show-up with 8Player. I contacted the 8Player developer, and he suggested this is most likely an issue with the way Seagate addresses AIFF files. I have talked to Seagate, pointing out this challenge, and they have apparently escalated it to their software developer. Even Seagate's app, at least at this point, is irregular in supporting AIFF files.
It would be nice if 8Player did a better job of showing metadata, and particularly album art. It's a stable app for the iPad, but definitely lacks ascetics.
I also have found that dbpoweramp is the only way to go for thorough metadata and album art support - nothing that I have tried on the Mac - over a dozen apps - comes close (which is a shame).
Thanks also for your suggestion about converting to WAV files. While they may work well with 8Player, the prospect of converting and managing thousands of tracks simply for this device seems too overwhelming.
For those who might be interested, my set-up is:
SWP, iPad Retina, Apple Camera Connection Kit, USB cable out to ALO Audio International DAC/Amp, to Beyerdynamics DT990 headphones. This gives superb, 24 bit sound.