iTunes, Mozilla Vs. WMP, IE.
April 8, 2006 12:10 PM   Subscribe

iTunes and Mozilla. Slow? or fast?


I've always liked both iTunes for music (have a nano too), and Mozilla for browsing. I've even tried them.

But I've noticed them to be a little slow. I'm wanting to make a permanent switch to these softwares, and ditching WMP and IE.

I open iTunes, it hogs memory, and take a little time to load.
I open Mozilla, it takes atleast 1-3 seconds to launch. And seems to hog memory too.

Now, IE opens quickly unless I have too many IEs open. (Doesn't hog memory too much either.)
WMP opens quickly too, and for the 1-2 seconds it stalls because it's gathering all media info or something, so I'm cool with that.

All I need is advice now, or input.. what do you guys think? I'm looking for more features and less memory consumption, which is why I like iTunes and Mozilla.

posted by Devileyezz to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
How about using Winamp and Opera, or removing some of your Firefox extensions. There are a plethora of plug-ins for Winamp that can get it to do just about whatever you like.
posted by fatbobsmith at 12:57 PM on April 8, 2006

Response by poster: I considered Winamp. Infact, I was a fan of Winamp back in the Win98 days.

But with more favour for layouts, visual appeal, etc, I've moved to WMP.
Winamp doesn't impress me anymore with the way it looks.

Opera. Hmm, it's good, but then, there's so many websites I come across that have something going with Opera.

I was an Opera user the first day it got released, so it looekd good, esp with tabbed browsing.
posted by Devileyezz at 1:26 PM on April 8, 2006

While Winamp isn't as visually appealing as other programs, I find it better suited for the power user. Take a while to get used to it, the interface isn't ugly, just incredibly utilitarian. I didn't like iTunes because it appeared to be doing a lot of stuff in the background without asking me first. Winamp updates only manually, great for me but I could see why the majority of people don't wish to bother with it.
posted by geoff. at 2:10 PM on April 8, 2006

My audio library is 100K+ files. WMP will not even function with this, and swallows all available memory trying. iTunes just about manages it, but gets incredibly slow and memory usage seems to keep rising. Plus doing a resort on the tag list feels like I am working on an original LC back in the early 1990s - I could go away and make a curry while it is doing its thing.

Media Center, on the other hand, barely blinks an eyelid. I've served up seven clients (audio and video) from a single 700MHz P3, many doing transcoding of the audio on the fly, while synchronising ripping and/or tagging, and memory usage stays constant at around 55 MB for the server, and 70MB for the clients. Screen updates are fast., and redrawing trhe library after global tag resorts is fast (althoujgh not instant given the sheer number of files!). There really is no other media manager software that compares to it. Or if there is, please tell me! My one big complaint is that its threads are all single CPU-bound.
posted by meehawl at 2:26 PM on April 8, 2006

The lightest-weight and most powerful player is probably Foobar2000, but the interface is Byzantine. It's amazing once you understand it, and its resource usage is minimal. It's particularly good for masstagging of music files, which isn't something you'd expect from most players. The learning curve, though, is a bit steep.

I used iTunes for quite awhile, but I found it to be pretty bloated and CPU-hungry.... it's doing more than I want a player to do. I've ditched it in favor of Foobar.

Firefox, OTOH, is just about perfect from my standpoint. It has a fairly large memory footprint, but it's fast and has tons of features. I like it very much.
posted by Malor at 2:27 PM on April 8, 2006

Here's a link to foobar2000, which I wholeheartedly second. You might also want to try musikcube, which, like iTunes, is a library manager, but is much faster, much more powerful, and lacks the steep learning curve of FB2k.
posted by youarenothere at 2:40 PM on April 8, 2006

Response by poster: I've tried Foobar2000, and nah. That's not my thing. It's written by the same guy who started Winamp years ago.

So far, in iTunes, I like how there's stuff like Smart Playlists, and how it organizes a full folder of music, according to Artist name - Song name.mp3, etc.
And musikcube looks very appealing to me, and the best part is how it isn't a CPU-hog.

Meehawl, it looks like Media Centre is a little too much for a normal user like me.

Youarenothere, will it (musikcube) be able to take on the syncing features like the iTunes-iPod?

Malor, yeah, that's why I wanna start using it. But it's a CPU-hog compared to IE. :-/
I'm not able to make up my mind if I should deal with CPU-hog or more features.

Same with the iTunes/WMP.
posted by Devileyezz at 3:03 PM on April 8, 2006

Meehawl, it looks like Media Centre is a little too much for a normal user like me.

Download and run the trial. Click the "Audio" icon. Then all you see is audio files (Video, TV, and images are hidden). Download the "miTunes" skin - you now have a functional iTunes clone virtually indistinguishable from Apple's product. One thing about MC is that you can configure the display in the Playing Now and the Library screens to show whatever you want, embedding maximal tags and info, or just go for the simplest option (Theater mode or Party Mode whatever it's called) and just display album art. The MC people have been at it a lot longer than Apple and have done a good job at smoothing the curve for what is admittedly an interface of impressive depth and configurability. There's even a web interface for very remote control. Given Foobar's rate of evolution it might take it couple of centuries to get past its current user-hostile approach.

Except for Foobar, which I use and find rather confusing but plain, the product with the least rational UI is for me WMP - it's too modal, too prone to switch into a particular device or context operation, and damn difficult to configure or personalise.

Probably the easiest browser/player combo is FoxyTunes, which runs from within your Mozilla/Firefox browser using the mode strip along the bottom. You can control iTunes, WMP, Foobar, and even MC. It's pretty cool, and kind of levels the interface playing field.
posted by meehawl at 3:24 PM on April 8, 2006

Unfortunately, musikCube doesn't yet support syncing with the iPod, though some searching through the forums will uncover some ongoing attempts to accomplish as much.

Also, If you're having problems with FF using too much memory (not CPU), you may want to check Reducing FF Memory Usage (Mozilla Knowledge Base). If it is the CPU usage that's going through the roof, though, you should scour the Mozilla Forums for an answer; sadly, it's not an umcommon problem. Good luck!
posted by youarenothere at 5:40 PM on April 8, 2006

Devil... there are a number of alternative browsers under Linux, but under Windows, there are really only three choices: IE, Firefox/Mozilla, and Opera. Of the three, Opera is the least CPU-hungry... if that's your big Firefox issue, you should try it. It's a very different interface, but it's _really_ quick at rendering.

I've looked at Media Center... if you want something iTunes-ish, with library management and the like, that looks like a pretty good solution. Pay attention to meehawl. :)
posted by Malor at 5:43 PM on April 8, 2006

Just to clarify, are you using Firefox or Mozilla (Seamonkey)? Firefox is far more modern and popular and faster, and unless you have a particular reason that you want to be using the Mozilla Suite (with browser, email client, and web page composer all in one), I highly recomend you download Firefox if you're not using it already (
posted by zachlipton at 6:02 PM on April 8, 2006

Other people have said it pretty clearly already, but anyway: on Windows, if you want more features and less memory consumption, you'd have a hard time doing better than Opera and Foobar2k (by the way, you might consider using older versions).

If, however, you've got other priorities--and, since you repeatedly mention iPod syncing, it sounds like you do--perhaps you'd be happier with something else.

Two other things--first, IE loads fast because it's so closely tied to the Windows shell, and large parts of the program are preloaded on startup. And second--have you considered buying more RAM? That might be the easiest solution.
posted by box at 10:24 PM on April 8, 2006

Response by poster: box: Buying more RAM _is_ on my mind. And it's should be happening soon. I currently have 512MB, but I wanna upgrade it to 1GB. But I dunno, if I have more cash then one day I might buy slightly more than 512MB.

zachlipton: I have Firefox, lol. Not the Mozilla.

Maylor: Does Opera have as many plugins as FF does? Does it have a good user community?

youarenothere: I found out the hard way. Installing/Uninstalling it, lol. :-(

Thanks guys.
posted by Devileyezz at 9:34 PM on April 9, 2006

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