Streaming AAC players for OS X besides VLC?
July 2, 2008 9:36 AM   Subscribe

Is there a streaming audio player (i.e., internet radio) that will play AAC streams under OS X, and isn't VLC?

I have a subscription to Digitally Imported, a collection of Internet radio stations that I adore; since my bandwidth is a tad limited and subject to the odd congestion issue, I prefer to use the AAC streams (16 Kb/s) rather than the MP3 streams (24 Kb/s). Thing is, I run OS X; I haven't been able to find a single audio player that supports AAC streams besides VLC, and, frankly, VLC is one of the worst damned applications I've ever used. (I say this as a computer geek / programmer, mind you.) I'd even be fine with a command line player, if the interface was halfway decent (i.e., something that would let me switch between several streams ... a curses interface, perhaps?). Ideas, hive mind?
posted by korpios to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Perhaps this is too obvious: iTunes?
posted by zsazsa at 9:52 AM on July 2, 2008

I believe Quicktime supports it. I'm not sure whether the OSX version of Realplayer (quite usable, and nothing like the PC version) supports it, but it could be worth a shot.
posted by Magnakai at 9:54 AM on July 2, 2008

There's a port of mplayer with an OSX native interface. Though to some eyes, mplayer's UI makes VLC look good.

But when combined with some playlists, switching around between streams in just about any format, including AAC, should be pretty easy.
posted by toxic at 10:29 AM on July 2, 2008

I just downloaded a .pls for a stream at that link and it plays perfectly in iTunes.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:54 AM on July 2, 2008

And, according to their own website, their premium AAC streams work in iTunes.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:57 AM on July 2, 2008

XBMC for OSX might work with streamed AAC.
posted by robofunk at 5:08 PM on July 2, 2008

Response by poster: Yeah, iTunes would be my first choice, but it doesn't support AAC streams (only AAC files) ... which is odd, considering that Apple is so AAC-happy.

Thorzdad: Where on the site are you seeing a statement that the AAC streams work in iTunes? I just tried again, just to be certain, and they don't. :-/

More on the topic from the forums
posted by korpios at 8:48 AM on July 3, 2008

Best answer: I think all AAC streams use the AAC+ (or AACplus) codec.

So it looks like only VLC, FStream, Songbird, and beta Audacious Media Player support it on OSX.
posted by robofunk at 9:23 AM on July 3, 2008

Response by poster: robofunk: The premium AAC streams at use plain AAC (non-AAC+/HE) streaming. But anyway — FStream is perfect! (It has a slightly strange UI, but is nicely unobtrusive for the sole task of playing net radio.)

Songbird seemed okay, if heavyweight; as for Audacious, I found references in some screenshots to an OS X build, but couldn't actually locate it. (I suppose I could take a crack at building it from source, but GTK+ for Quartz seems flaky, and I don't want to run X11 on here.)

Thanks! ^_^
posted by korpios at 3:34 PM on July 3, 2008

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