Best alternatives to iTunes for Mac | Best music players for macOS

Even the staunchest Apple fan has difficulty defending iTunes, but it does so much that it’s hard to live without for Mac users. As well as playing music, it also manages movies, TV shows, and home videos; and books; and the apps for your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch; and the photos; and podcasts; and iTunes U episodes. It’s also the store so you can buy more of these things. And it acts as the device backup, update and restore tool for iOS devices. So, what other options do desperate Mac fans have? Here’s some of the best alternatives to iTunes for Mac.

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  • ae fidelia Fidelia
  • spotify Spotify
  • google play music Google Play Music
  • tomahawk player Tomahawk
  • vox 578x500 Vox Player
  • clementine 0 7 4 Clementine
  • quod libet Quod Libet
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Fidelia

If you’re really into audio, then Fidelia will be a great step up from the beginner vibes you’ll get from iTunes. It leans towards the high-def market with a range of optional AU plug-ins, processing and resampling features. It even looks like classic audio systems, which is great if you hate the ‘artistic design’ of iTunes’ Album Flow. With a price of £28.99 on the Mac App Store, it’s great for audio geeks.

Read next: How to see your iTunes purchase history

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Next Prev ae fidelia

If you’re really into audio, then Fidelia will be a great step up from the beginner vibes you’ll get from iTunes. It leans towards the high-def market with a range of optional AU plug-ins, processing and resampling features. It even looks like classic audio systems, which is great if you hate the ‘artistic design’ of iTunes’ Album Flow. With a price of £28.99 on the Mac App Store, it’s great for audio geeks.

Read next: How to see your iTunes purchase history

 

Spotify

  • RRP: Free (with ads), £9.99 per month (without ads),
  • Buy from Spotify

Everybody knows Spotify, but it’s worth re-iterating that a great alternative to managing an iTunes library, or indeed any music library, is to simply abandon buying music in favour of streaming it. While Apple Music and iTunes come hand-in-hand, there’s another great music streaming option available for those that require it.

 

Google Play Music

Google Play Music is a web-based service that provides a good alternative to iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify. Its free service enables you to download all your music into Google’s cloud servers, where you can search and access it online. The web-based interface is nicer than iTunes, but not as clean as something like Spotify, and it does feel like it’s trying to direct you via the store an awful lot. But it’s a free way to get your music in the cloud and you can access it from anywhere; and a premium service offers Spotify-like all-the-music-you-can-eat functionality.

 

Tomahawk music player

Tomahawk is a multi-platform media player available for Linux and macOS that’s feature packed without being overwhelming or confusing to use like iTunes. The biggest draw to Tomahawk is that it wants to be the all-in-one solution for the various music services available online. It allows users to add accounts including Spotify, YouTube, Google Play Music, Deezer and even Amazon Music, allowing for universal playback from a single source. The best part? It’s completely free.

 

Vox music player

  • RRP: Free
  • Buy from Vox

If you’re looking for a minimalist media player for macOS, then look no further than Vox Player. It’s simple to use with a rather attractive UI, and comes with everything you’d expect – it even supports FLAC playback and other high-resolution audio files. It also boasts built-in radio with options to connect to SoundCloud and Last.FM, along with cloud-syncing between Vox for iOS, although only a 14-day trial to a paid service.

 

Clementine music player

While Clementine may look like a lightweight media player, it’s actually incredibly feature packed. The main draw to Clementine? Music management. It comes not only with a cover manager but a queue manager, playlist management tools, a music format transcoder with FLAC support, CD ripping tool and an advanced tag editor for batch editing music files. Impressive, right? Like Tomahawk, it offers integration with services like Spotify, SoundCloud and others, along with cloud storage solutions like Dropbox. The only downside is that the player isn’t that good looking, and with once-a-year updates, that’s not going to change any time soon.

 

Quod Libet

Despite translating from Latin to “whatever you wish”, Quod Libet is a media player that has been around since 2004 and still receives updates to this day. While not many people have heard of the media player, it’s a simple piece of software that’s incredibly simple to use and practical – the exact opposite of what iTunes provides. It features support for various media formats including FLAC, along with smart replay gain, ratings-weighted random playback, Unicode tags, built-in Internet radio, a configurable UI and more.

You might also like: Complete guide to iTunes syncing | How to change or reset your Apple ID | Two-factor authentication vs two-step verification

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