iTunes replacement?
April 12, 2012 11:46 AM   Subscribe

I need to replace iTunes. I have a very large (600 GB of only music) library and iTunes can't handle it anymore. All I want is something that will show me all of my music sortable by artist, album, or title. I sort all the music myself and don't want a program to do that for me. Playlists would be nice but are optional. That's literally all I need. (I'm on a Mac running OS 10.5.) Thanks MeFi!
posted by reductiondesign to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Check out Plex. It also does TV, Movies, and Photos. Can handle huge libraries. Support for Mac, PC, iPhone/iPad, Android, Roku, LG TVs, etc... lots of things...

Disclaimer I'm one of the original founders of the project.
posted by ill3 at 11:54 AM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Some alternatives here
posted by backwards guitar at 12:15 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Just out of curiosity, what do you mean by iTunes can't handle it anymore? Does the program crash on start-up, or is it just uselessly slow...? Interesting -- I didn't realize iTunes had a capacity "limit."
posted by lobbyist at 12:45 PM on April 12, 2012

Yeah, I'm wondering about that too. I've got a couple terabytes of music spread across a fairly antiquated WinXP desktop and an ancient-in-computer-terms home server, and iTunes seems to handle it okay (it's a RAM hog, but, hey, it's Windows iTunes).

What kinds of problems are you having?
posted by box at 12:49 PM on April 12, 2012

Response by poster: It takes five minutes to open, scrolling through the library makes it freeze... general sluggishness.
posted by reductiondesign at 12:55 PM on April 12, 2012

How much RAM do you have?
posted by leafwoman at 1:02 PM on April 12, 2012

Response by poster: 4 GB. And it does this even when it's the only program running.
posted by reductiondesign at 1:06 PM on April 12, 2012

Is the music on an external drive?
posted by Thorzdad at 1:12 PM on April 12, 2012

A file manager like the Finder + a simple player like VLC = hardcore music management for large collections without iTunes.
posted by quarterframer at 1:32 PM on April 12, 2012

I'd run a memory test using Remember on your Mac - you could have bad RAM, and that, rather than the tremendous size of your library, is to blame for random crashes and hangs.
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:46 PM on April 12, 2012

You should probably upgrade to Snow Leopard. I also have a lot of music and iTunes runs much more smoothly in 10.6.8.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 2:00 PM on April 12, 2012

FWIW, I have 4TB of music on external drives, and I'm on 10.6.8 and run the latest iTunes. Late 2009 iMac i7 2.8GHz, 8GB RAM.

The problems you describe don't happen to me. There are different problems that happen when you start going into TB of data spread across several external hard drives in various RAID configurations, but those are down to library handling and I have not come across any application that does that job better than iTunes (on OSX).

I would look into finding where your bottleneck is, as I suspect that the particular problems you describe are not down to iTunes as a piece of software, given what you listed as your requirements. I'd look to maybe up the RAM to 8GB and move on to at least Snow Leopard. Also you don't specify if your music files are on an external drive or not. If they are on an internal drive, and the drive is more than about 80% full, then the whole system is going to slow down. If it's an external drive, and it's more than about 80% full, you may experience search slowdown and the like, but in addition, many external drives do not play nice with OSX, and that's down to the drives, nothing to do with iTunes; one area especially prone to problems is the way many external drives go to sleep when not in use at that very moment - it can cause all sorts of slowdowns and freezes as they try to spin back up. So I'd investigate the drive issues as well. IOW, I don't think your issues are down to iTunes, IMHO.
posted by VikingSword at 2:55 PM on April 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

VLC is the best alternative media player for Mac OS. It's similar in style to Winamp, in that it doesn't make you "import" music to build an index file for you. I use it for playing albums of MP3s or playlists that I make in a directory. The downside is that it's not so great at the automatic management that iTunes gives you, but I prefer to manage my stuff on the filesystem, not in some weird encoded index file that syncs across devices. That sounds pretty similar to what you want.
posted by deathpanels at 6:29 PM on April 12, 2012

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