If you just need to play an occasional track, anything will do. If you want your Mac to be your stereo, SoundJam MP is the way forward.
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QuickTime 4.0 can do it, Mac Amp can do it, and soon most Internet oriented apps will be playing MP3s. So what makes SoundJam MP so great? QuickTime fails to organize the MP3 files in a useful way. MacAmp is good, but essentially it’s a shareware application. Get the beta and take a look – it is not as professional as SoundJam MP. SoundJam MP has all you need to convert your Mac into your main sound system. To play your CDs, you just put them in your drive and you have instant access to them. If you don’t want to keep your CD in the drive, you can rip the contents into MP3 format. It will take up a tenth of the space of a normal CD, and I defy you to tell the difference. Another thing SoundJam has over its competitors is its ability to play streaming MP3s. Although you usually need a faster connection than RealAudio, the sound is higher quality, and less prone to pauses. An extra, albeit trivial, bonus is the live graphics options. Like an audio lava-lamp, you can watch trippy graphics as you chill to you favourite grooves. Well, not grooves exactly – but you get the picture.