Looking for a leightweight MP3 player that plays nicely with OS X.
September 8, 2009 4:20 PM   Subscribe

Is there a good lightweight, skinnable MP3/AIFF/FLAC/etc. player for the Mac?

As someone who finds iTunes to be overkill for my day to day use, I have been using Vox (previously Tool Player) for several years now. Unfortunately, Vox has issues with 10.6, is crashy when switching between formats, and has no real playlist support. I used to use Quintessential Player back in my Windows days and MacAst (previously MacAmp) back in my OS 8-9 days.

I'm looking for something with a feature set similar to these two media players as they did pretty much exactly what I wanted (playlists, no video playback, no library, skinning with alpha transparency, etc.). Ultimately, I'd like to be able to skin it to look like this, but I'd settle for something that's lightweight, with no library but some playlist support.

(Before anyone asks, VLC is out because it doesn't parse MP3 metadata in it's playlist. Cog is pretty close, but is lacking a few key features: repeat a single track and a mini player being the two big ones.)
posted by darainwa to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
posted by scruss at 5:20 PM on September 8, 2009

Songbird's hardly lightweight...

You could use iTunes with a controller like the excellent Bowtie. This interview with the developers mentions some nice themes. As far as I know, there's no library support, but it certainly could step through an iTunes playlist.

Personally, I use Google Quick Search Box (the spiritual successor to Quicksilver) to find and launch albums/songs. I still use iTunes though - the automatic directory organisation is pretty sweet IMO.

I can't think of any other decent mac MP3 players - it might be worth poking around on the MacThemes2 forum if you're intent on skinning - that seems to be the epicentre of Mac visual tweakery.
posted by Magnakai at 6:07 PM on September 8, 2009

Not sure if it’s practical in this day and age, but have you heard of Audion? At the very least, you may appreciate its true story.
posted by Garak at 7:14 PM on September 8, 2009

I use Audion too. Haven't tried it on 10.6 yet.
posted by iboxifoo at 7:49 PM on September 8, 2009

VLC isn't skinnable but it is the go-to player for me on my MacBook Pro. I understand your frustration; I use Winamp on my Windows box, and wish there was something comparable on the Mac. Unfortunately for most people iTunes works fine, and there isn't much demand for an alternate player. VLC is missing some features I'd like to see (library functions specifically - I'd like to see it able to store an index of my music, to make playback easier, and would really like to be able to bookmark audio streams to reopen them when desired) but all in all it works fine and doesn't take forever to open and start playing.
posted by caution live frogs at 5:16 AM on September 9, 2009

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