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A kingdom for a music player!

The quest for the my perfect music player continues. I won't go into the details, why iTunes sucks so much, others have done this already.

A long time ago, I started with Songbird. They were crazy enough to take Mozilla's XULRunner runtime and turned it into a music player. But it had the browser still built in and came with lots of features, making this thing quite bloated. Maintaining ~20k songs became very unpleasant, CPU usage was definitely too high for a music player.

Then there's Cog, which is neat, but was more of an ad-hoc player and not meant to maintain a music library.

Later on, Unixhaus suggested to use Clementine. Crossplatform, open-source, nice interface and a Nyanalyzer - what more could one ask for? Sticked with it for quite a while, but there were still 20k songs to manage and cpu usage was rather high. 15% CPU usage on a MacBook Pro just for playing music? And often enough CPU usage spiked for a few minutes, doing something and then dropped to 15% again. Very annoying.

OK, what else is out there? Winamp! No, seriously, there's Winamp for Mac. Yeah, I tried it, I admit. Again with the 20k songs, Winamp performed quite well...but: it feels kinda creepy having Winamp on a Mac. Try it and see feel for yourself :-\

Another contender was Ecoute. It's has a 15-day-free-trial version, then it's US$8 in the Mac App Store. It's got a very nice UI, but after a while it kept freezing again and again and became unusable. Good thing they offered a trial version!

I haven't tried Enqueue yet. It's US$ 10 in the Mac App Store but unfortunately there's no trial version. It looks a lot like iTunes, exactly what I'm trying to avoid.

Someone mentioned Vox - their tagline is "The Lightweight Music App for Mac OS X". OK, I haven't tried it yet, but from looking at their screenshots they seem to have a different understanding of lightweight.

So, what now? Clementine is the player I used most of the time, but gave up some months ago, trying out other alternatives.

A few days ago I thought "Hm, I wonder what happed to Songbird?". They are at version 2.x now and I felt like giving it another shot. They still have this browser stuff underneath, but the application feels a lot faster now, they cut down on bloated plugins in the initial installation (though there are plenty addons to choose from) and for now Songbird seems to have made it and it's very usable, for me. And, like Clementine, it's cross-platform and open-source (sans the Nyanalyzer) and for now it's working just fine.

I could end this entry with "Stay tuned for updates" but I hope that I won't need to update this post and that Songbird continues to stay usable.