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What program do you use to play your music? (itt: we debate itunes jk)

post #1 of 169
Thread Starter 

Because there isn't a pair of headphones in the world that will organize your songs for you.

 

So what do you use for that?  I assume most of you use digital means for that; though perhaps not.  A select few might prefer vinyl, or perhaps they just won't trust a PC with their CDs.  To each his own.  For me, the advantages of digital storage, organization and playback are just too great.  

 

Currently, I use iTunes for this.  This is solely because of smart playlists.  Maybe some of you feel the same way.  Nothing can quite match what you can do with those playlists.  On a basic level, I can tell itunes not to play any songs that I've already heard or already skipped in the last week.  I can exclude by genre, add date, rating....  Most notably, I can sort by comments.  This feature is deceptively useful.  It lets me exclude or include songs based on keywords I've placed in the comments field.  It lets me create my own set of associations and significances between songs.  For example, I have a comment labeling songs that include "adult content".  These songs can be excluded if I am in the company of someone who would rather not hear that.  I have a "top 40 September 2012" comment, and one for all corresponding months, listing the more common radio music.  One of my favourite uses of this feature is to have a comment for each of my friends.  I'll tack a friend's name onto a song if they say it's one of their  favourites, and include that comment in a playlist next time they're listening.  Alternatively, I can EXclude songs based on friends' preferences, and keep them from being played when they're around.  

 

Unfortunately, this system is still lacking.  For example, if I'm playing music from my phone with two friends, I'll want to exclude the music they dislike.  But what if another friend joins up?  I have to go back to my laptop and create another playlist with itunes.  If you think it would be possible to already have a playlist for every possible combination of comments, then you're misunderstanding how fully I use this feature.  The ideal way for this to work would be far more fluid.  More like a tagsorter than a preset playlist maker.  Unfortunately, I haven't found anything that will do this, not to mention sync it to my phone.  

 

I'm constantly looking for alternatives.... I've heard that Windows Media Player has some decent "auto playlist" settings, but I don't think it can quite match itunes.  I tried out DoubleTwist for a while as a way to get my music to my Android phone, but then I found iSyncr.  It lets me sync iTunes smart playlists and everything to android -and here's the kicker- syncs new ratings and playcount data BACK to iTunes.  Impressed me for only $3 or something.

 

So; what do you guys use to sort and play your music?  What's the consensus on iTunes; are you willing to put up with its obnoxious Apple-ness as long as it has some cool tricks?  Do you use just a stock player that has album / artist / song sort fields?  What's your favourite metadata editing program, or do you prefer a certain program for ripping your CDs?  I never really hear about these topics on Head-Fi, so I thought I'd ask.

post #2 of 169

Hmmm... looks like an idea for a new music software...patent it before someones else does! tongue_smile.gif

 

Me, I just use Foobar, on linux i use mpd + ncmpcpp.


Edited by proton007 - 10/4/12 at 12:12am
post #3 of 169
My headphone dealer suggest the J River. Not sure if it is free or not. But I do feel iTunes is very convenient, but can be annoying in ways like one iPod can sync with only with pc or Mac.
post #4 of 169

I've tried a few over the last 18 months.

 

Quod Libet

Amarok

Foobar 2000

Jriver Media Centre

Audirvana +

Pure Music

Fidelia

Amarra Symphony

 

Linux didn't play DSD (at the time), so that was out, Foobar I use today for convenience on my work Windows machine, J River wasn't stable, kept crashing at odd times. Audirvana+ is a solid perfomer, plays DSD native and .iso but needs a bit of time to settle down. Fidelia has the worst gui, can't live with super zoom, Pure Music is a standby, excellent quality of the players that work with iTunes.

 

Go to player of all of the players is Amarra Symphony, clarity, definition together with the robust database in iTunes works. Amarra can get upset at times, but for reasons that are understandable, and it comes good with a bit of hammering and sawing.

 

Of others not mentioned, Clementine, XBMC didn't output bitperfect to the sample rate of the track, Winamp and WMP were rock bottom for SQ. iTunes on Windows is not an angel, far as sound quality goes, just is lacking. On OSX, different animal. If it changed the sample rate by itself, it is a great standby, especially on Mountain Lion.

 

For the platforms I found that OSX and Linux have the better SQ compared to Windows, so the choice of player is limited to the OS and your preference for file storage, some are cross platform, JRiver announced a version for OSX in development, but not released as yet. I suppose you could cripple Windows enough so it wouldn't use so many resources it doesn't need to play audio, but it's a lot of work, and there's no gurantees of it working, and it didn't (for me).  Jplay I tried, but it crapped out on my notebook a Sony F127.

 

These statements are all subjective, I'm the only one that listens to them, so I'm happy :)

post #5 of 169

umm i use mediamonkey with izotope advanced 5 dsp+eq and studiosound output.the ui is pretty cool and changeable and you can pretty much tell it what to do and it plays everthing...i think.

post #6 of 169
Thread Starter 

I have never even heard of most of these programs!  That's quite a list, one and a half.  So many to look into.  Tentatively, however... it looks like there are still none that do much in the way of auto playlists.  I am disappoint... 

 

I'll admit that I hadn't even considered that the program playing the file could have an effect on sound quality.  But then, my ear may not be tuned finely enough to recognize those mathematical errors.  For me, the right song coming on at the right time without my manual selection matters more than those songs sounding as good as they possibly could (within reason...).  

 

@Chawanwit: There are ways around Apple not liking to sync with non-apple products.  I use iSyncr, which is a really cheap Android app that syncs both ways with iTunes.  But I know what you mean; that's my main beef with iTunes.  It's just so reluctant to co-operate with anything not stamped by their corporate seal.  They make their money by inhibiting you from properly using the competition's products.  Part of why I'd like to move on.

post #7 of 169

In  windows, foobar. In mac songbird.

post #8 of 169

Well, bitperfect is bitperfect. Doesn't really matter what OS. I can't even notice the difference between bitperfect and non-bitperfect anyways. Media player is the least of your worries when it comes to sound quality in most cases.

 

I just switched from Winamp to Songbird myself. 

 

I wish they made Rhythmbox for Windows though. I liked that media player. 

post #9 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by DGriff0400 View Post

umm i use mediamonkey with izotope advanced 5 dsp+eq and studiosound output.the ui is pretty cool and changeable and you can pretty much tell it what to do and it plays everthing...i think.

 

+1 for MediaMonkey

 

Been using it for years. I find it makes managing uber large libraries (20,000+ songs) fairly easy. 

post #10 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy4 View Post

Well, bitperfect is bitperfect. Doesn't really matter what OS. I can't even notice the difference between bitperfect and non-bitperfect anyways.

 

Just to expand a little about bitperfect and the examples I gave about Clementine and XBMC. If a 96/24 FLAC runs in either player, the player would not switch a DAC to the same sample rate as the song, the player therefore either leaves bits out or interpolates them, thus mangling the sound.(coarse and undynamic). Adding to complications, the OS Audio "core" receives the same command, and if you are lucky, doesn't add to the complications by interpolating data on top of the player's mangled performance with its own sample rate converter.

 

Foobar rarely gets this wrong, Clementine is always wrong (so far).

 

Examples for iTunes on OSX with incorrect sample rate set

 

DCS Paper on OS and sampling rates (still valid)

post #11 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luminareo View Post

I have never even heard of most of these programs!  That's quite a list, one and a half.  So many to look into.  Tentatively, however... it looks like there are still none that do much in the way of auto playlists.  I am disappoint... 

ITunes has a comment section where you can add data like Top 40 September 2012, and then activate the column in the view. Problem is to remember what comments there are, but I think iTunes indexing should be good enough for that.

 

ITunes is not smart enough to : Show A - B, it can only A, or B, but can't  :NOT A, or NOT B.

post #12 of 169
I am currently using Musicbee with 159,379 items.

Have used:
Itunes
foobar
lillith
jriver
winamp
post #13 of 169

I use EAC to rip my cd's to flac and MP3 tag to add album art to songs.  I use foobar2000 as my music player simple and light weight program but very customizable and does exactly what I want to do.  I like the fact that I can quickly browse and select which music I play by the folder structure which I my preferred method of organizing and viewing music to play, I don't like using id3 tags although all my music has proper tags.  Also I don't use playlist I pick an album and and listen to it in the default order usually from start to finish if I can and then picking another one or just keep on listening to whatever is next in the list.


Edited by DJHeadshot - 10/6/12 at 6:32pm
post #14 of 169

Honestly, I just use iTunes because it's always open. It uses so much computer resources though to the point to where I don't understand why it's not secretly running Crysis in the background. Damned devious Appleconfused_face.gif

post #15 of 169

Someone once said foobar is great for two types of people; those wanting a ultra basic, fast, clutter free platform just to play music and those that want something more advanced and are able to put in the time and effort customise their foobar setup. I'm actually the former type.

My albums, hundreds of albums, are arranged in basic folder's on hard drives and that's how I play them. I don't need a massive playlist manager (I just listen to one album at a time), I don't bother with album art, lyrics, internet connections, streaming, fancy features. Actually, apart from using the asio4all and advanced control foobar plugins, I'm all done.   

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