I'm getting frustrated with iTunes for many reasons. Are there some good iTunes alternatives for Windows and Linux users?
Alternatives to iTunes
If you're into portable digital music, you have an iPod and an Apple computer, read no further. iTunes works great on Macs and is nicely integrated with both the iTunes store and your iPod. But if you run Windows or Linux, it's a different story. Many people complain that iTunes is buggy, difficult to use, and a memory hog on non-Apple platforms.
Part of the problem may be perception -- instead of being a Windows version of iTunes, it's really just a Mac application running on Windows. So the interface is not as intuitive for Windows users. But there are also complaints about excessive resource usage, non-essential software that runs in the background, and compatibility issues with Vista, causing crashes or freeze ups. And then there's the DRM problem. If you change computers often, or run on multiple operating system platforms, the "protected" music you download from the iTunes store is hard to transfer between computers and portable devices.
Even if you're basically happy with iTunes, you might want to check out this collection of alternative music players that offer multi-platform compatibility, and advanced tools to organize and manage your digital music.
- Foobar 2000 - A digital music management program for Windows users. It works with Windows 2000, Windows Vista, Windows XP and Windows XP 64 bit edition. To use this program you will need 32 MB of RAM and a display with at least an 800 X 600 resolution. This program is compatible with MP1-4, MPC, AAC, WAV, SND, WMA, Ogg Valis, WavPack, AIFF, CDDA, FIAC/Ogs FLAC and AU. It also supports full Unicode and Replay Gain. Other great features include third party development potential and keyboard shortcut that are fully customizable.
- Songbird - Built on the Firefox platform and works with iPods and other media players. In addition to many great features, Songbird has a plenty of add-ons, and because it's open source, clever programmers will be adding more as time goes on.
- YamiPod An interesting iTunes alternative, because you don't have to install it on your computer at all. Just copy it to your iPod's hard disk and then you can manage your songs from any computer running Mac OS X, Windows or Linux.
- Winamp - Sometimes called the grandfather of Windows music players, Winamp is a full featured music manager, with integrated iPod support and will even play iTunes protected files if QuickTime is installed.
- Amarok - A great iTunes alternative for Linux and Unix users. It works with a wide variety of portable music players including: iPod, Creative Zen players, iRiver iFP and T players, Nomad players, generic MTP players and generic USB players. Some of the features that this program has that you are going to love include: album covers, wikipedia integration, last.fm integration, superior visual effects, lyrics support and music tracking capabilities.
- Banshee - Linux users are going to enjoy what Banshee has to offer. This free download allows you to do everything that you want to do with your digital music. You can import music, organize music, play it back, share it and rip it on a CD. This is a great program for people who love their music and who want to actively manage it.
- Cog - Most people using Mac OSX feel that iTunes is the best option because it was designed for this platform. However, Cog is worth a look for Mac users, because it addresses many of the limitations that iTunes has. It can be used with the following file types: Ogg vorbis, Monkeys Audio, MP3, Wavpack, Apple Lossless, FLAC, Musepack, AAC and WAV/AIFF. Some of the features that make it a worthy alternative to iTunes include: gapless playback, auto updating, preferences, Growl support, global hot keys, seeking, feedback forms, last.fm support, and smart shuffle.
If you're unhappy with what iTunes has to offer you don't have to settle -- there are dozens of free alternatives to iTunes. When shopping around for a new digital music management program make sure that it's designed for your operating system, that it has the plugins and features that you want, and that it supports the types of music files you use.
Are you using one of these iTunes alternatives, or some other one that you've found? Post a comment and tell us about your experience with it.
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 21 Nov 2007
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- iTunes Alternatives (Posted: 21 Nov 2007)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved