I’ve never been a fan of iTunes. There are various reasons behind this, but I think that it’s mostly due to the DRM controls that Apple has had to put in place to appease the music industry. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still a fan of the original product; SoundJam. SoundJam was a lightweight, full featured and extensible music player. Cassidy & Greene’s version of Winamp for the Mac was awesome, but therein lies the problem. It was so good that Apple decided to buy it than to try and compete with it. Of the two products that I loved back then, SoundJam and Audion, SoundJam was picked to become the world’s most recognizable music player of all time.
After the product was bought and development began by some of the original SoundJam developers and Apple’s own development team I had hopes. As it turned out the loyal fans of SoundJam realized that iTunes was a mere shadow of it’s original self and a complete disappointment for those of us who enjoyed the tweaking aspect of the previous version. Ever since, in my opinion, it has gotten worse… bigger, more feature laden, slower and harder to manage your music library. Now, don’t get me wrong, I can’t argue against its success and I can understand its mass market appeal, as well as some of the design choices that Apple made. After all, iTunes is so much more than just a mere mp3 player, but that’s the reason I ultimately abandoned the product and what it it looks like today.
If iTunes were a fighter, it would be overweight and out of shape and that’s sad. So many limitations and not enough time to talk about all of them… Needless to say I’ve been looking for a worthwhile replacement for a LONG time and… behold, I have finally found one. Enter Enqueue.
Now, before you start getting all rebuttals going, I’ll be the first to admit that Enqueue is not for everyone, and that’s okay. I was looking for some specific things and though Enqueue doesn’t have all the features I think it should have, it makes up for it in simplicity and power. The best part about Enqueue is that I can add multiple folders for it to “watch” and it supports most of the music file formats out there, including FLAC, which is the most important. You can create playlists and you can edit tags just like in iTunes, but this app is all about keeping all of your libraries under one roof and playing them without a hiccup.
No more worrying about adding things to iTunes and then removing them when I’m done. No more having to convert files from one format to another and compromising sound quality. I can work and rework my library at the Finder level and Enqueue continues to roll with the punches. This feature alone made a compelling argument due to the heavy rotation of music I trudge through on a weekly basis. I love this product so much that I actually paid for the app… yes, you heard me, ”paid” for it – and that’s a rare thing indeed.
I highly recommend Enqueue for those of you who are just looking for a great music player; not genius, not streaming audio, not the app store or managing an electronic device… Maybe you don’t even realize that you’re putting up with a lot just to hear some great music, so why not find out and see if that’s the case…
And for those of you who are obsessed with the best audio… give Audirvana Free a shot. This player is definitely the ugly step child of MP3 players but the best part about it is that it uses Apple’s Core Audio Engine and for the purest quality of sound, nothing beats Audirvana cranking out your favorite album (FLAC version of course) over a good pair of earphones. Believe me, it’s a difference you can hear and it will definitely put a smile on your face.