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Ask Slashdot: Best FLOSS iTunes Replacement In 2013? 317

First time accepted submitter cs80 writes "I've been looking high and low for a decent, open-source, cross-platform audio player that can import an existing iTunes library and sort my files based on their ID3 tags. Nightingale, with its iTunes-like interface, would have been the obvious answer, but its file organization feature was pulled for being too buggy. What open-source audio player did you migrate to after dumping iTunes?"
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Ask Slashdot: Best FLOSS iTunes Replacement In 2013?

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  • Foobar 2000 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06, 2013 @10:36PM (#45624145)

    It's annoying, and a bit weird, but it works and can play FLAC. It's also gotten better than it used to be, I don't worry nearly as much about losing all my playlists now. Which is good because there's not really a central "library" where you can just look at everything : (

    Honestly though, I'm not sure there's such a thing as truly "good" music software. Just one you know how to use so you stick with it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You've never used foobar2000, have you? I have used it for years and wouldn't imagine using anything else. It is completely user customizable and I have never "lost" a playlist. And yes, there is a central, user sortable media library in foobar2000. It's one of the core features.

      Nice troll though.

      • Foobar2000. The only piece of software I really miss after moving to Linux. Simple but effective GUI, crazily customizable and low on resources, Clementine which I use now is a good replacement but still there are times when I miss Foobar.
      • I have never "lost" a playlist.

        Lucky you.
        I made the same experience as GP. Some times (I haven't found any cause) some of my playlists have a filesize of 0.

        Also (and this is independent from the above mentioned lost playlists) foobar only saves changes on playlists on close. So if I rearrange stuff in playlists and then keep using foobar and it later crashes those changes are gone.

    • IIRC the library function is a plug-in. At least, that's what I remember from setting it up. Besides that, it has worked pretty well for me (I'm a new user, though).

      Other than that, it is a fine audio player.

    • by mspohr ( 589790 )

      Which part of "cross-platform" don't you understand?

  • iTunes (Score:3, Funny)

    by issicus ( 2031176 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @10:36PM (#45624149)
    just give up, like the rest of us...
  • best solution (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06, 2013 @10:38PM (#45624155)

    fuck your iTunes library. Set up mpd with a decent client like ncmpcpp. Light years ahead of Apple bloatware.

    • Since browsing this conversation, I had to give mpd a try with Cantata client. Almost perfect! I just want to have ratings and tags for mood/tempo/setting and so forth, preferably built into the server.

      • You and everyone else's pet feature. MPD is a real Unix Philosophy tool. It does one thing, does it well, and doesn't try to be Emacs. (Couldn't resist that last bit...)
  • Clementine Player (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cl0secall ( 449952 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @10:38PM (#45624157) Homepage

    ... is what I went to after ditching iTunes. In addition to getting the podcast(s) I subscribe to, it plays Grooveshark and Digitally Imported in the same playlists as my local files.

    • Bummer, I was all excited to try it on debian and all I get is a blank screen and a never-ending stream of:

      X Error: BadShmSeg (invalid shared segment parameter) 128
      unknown Extension: 129 (MIT-SHM)

      So, it won't work on remote X, or VNC, or xpra, etc.

      • So, it won't work on remote X, or VNC, or xpra, etc.

        I just stared it under VNC (Fedora 19/KDE). Not sure about the others.

    • I agree. Clementine just works, and stays out of your way otherwise. It responds quickly to external changes to the library (using inotify).
      For me, my music collection is a set of well-ordered files/directories, each with a .m3u playlist and appropriate tags. (The Unix "everything is a file" approach works well here). Then the music player is just for playback, for playing them, and not for editing tags (use easytag), ripping CDs (a shell-script), nor for buying music (CD store).

    • I actually quite like Amarok. The sorting, searching and filtering work really well, and I like the Lyrics display as well. The only thing I'm having trouble with is getting it to work as a DAAP client. It sees the source and songs, but won;t play them.

    • Yeah, and the latest build finally adds support for ID3 ratings tags, so you can truly go cross-player with your ratings.

      Now I just need to re-rate 16,000 songs for the eleventh time...

    • by SIGBUS ( 8236 )

      Have they fixed the lack of gapless playback? The last time I tried Clementine, there were playback gaps between FLAC files, which really shouldn't happen. Is gapless really that hard to do? The same applies for music players on Android, by the way.

  • Clementine (Score:5, Informative)

    by maugle ( 1369813 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @10:47PM (#45624203)
    I like Clementine, mostly because it seems to be the only music player in existence which displays the image embedded in a song's MP3 file. All the others I've tried insist on displaying the same single image (which they found in the first song they happened to scan) for every song in my entire playlist.

    Also, If anyone knows of a music player for Android which can do the same, I'd love to hear of it.
    • Re:Clementine (Score:4, Informative)

      by kevmeister ( 979231 ) on Saturday December 07, 2013 @12:06AM (#45624547) Homepage
      Rocket Player comes pretty close.It will allow my Android to do almost everything that an iPod will do including use the image from the file,though that has to be set in "Settings" or it will also use the image from the first song. The only place it fails is that it does not recognize the "Music Video" STIK.
    • by grege1 ( 1065244 )
      I also endorse Rocket Player. It has the simplest procedure for creating playlists and you can add more to an existing playlist any time. Or just play whole albums if that is your preference. I have tried many many Android music players and my Xperia Z has the Walkman app, but I always end up with Rocket Player.
    • Amarok does this as well.

  • Amarok/Clementine (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06, 2013 @10:51PM (#45624219)

    They both have the same library management mechanisms, and come from the same place. There are a bunch of differences though.

    Clementine is more old school and the development team seems to focus on online services (spotify, grooveshark and whatnot).
    The playlist management is pretty basic though

    Amarok is flashier and has much fewer online services, but is top notch for automatic playlists, both the automatic playlist generator and the dynamic mode are awesome.
    There was a GSoC this year that brought to Amarok the ability to import and export libraries from a bunch of other media player (including iTunes).
    There's no official mac port though, because no Amarok developer uses a mac.

    • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

      Amarok is what I used to play my iTunes music on Ubuntu, back when I was using it on my old Powerbook (main machine runs OS X and is the home of the library). Works pretty well, but I was only using it occasionally.

  • by tpstigers ( 1075021 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @10:56PM (#45624243)
    Wow. Replacing that is going to be a tall order.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      The OP's mistake was looking for something with the same iTunes style spreadsheet interface. Any half decent app will have a hierarchical display and powerful search facility, for a start.

      It was an absolute disaster when iTunes came out and everyone started to copy the interface. It held back advancements for years.

  • Shameless plug (Score:4, Informative)

    by gQuigs ( 913879 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @10:59PM (#45624251) Homepage

    Ubuntu 12.04 Overview: []
    (also has a stuck on Windows section)

  • by globaljustin ( 574257 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @11:13PM (#45624313) Journal

    iTunes is sort of like a stubborn will do everything else before the right thing...

    I use iTunes of course ;)

    One place iTunes still hasn't caught up to Winamp's late 90s releases..."playlist"

    See, if you never used Winap by default it had two windows that listed your music was a "library" which listed all your songs (in a file tree if you wanted IIRC). The other was you "playlist" which was...the songs you were playing in order.

    You could of course save a cool playlist, and open it...all your saved "playlists" were also listed in the "library" window. You could have two "playlist" windows open at the same time...resizing each as needed...

    I know iTunes tried w/ their little "up next" thing but it's 5 abstraction layers and 10 clicks too many...

    • You see, I used to use Winamp back in the day, and for my meager MP3 collection it was perfect, but I never really liked the management of playlists/library.

      I do remember sending an email to the "Development Team" in 1998 asking about what changes were going to occur with the Library/Playlist manager and I got an email back that basically was full of abuse that I would dare ask such a "Fucking stupid question" and that I should "Fuck off and die"

      Yeah, so I never used Winamp again. Sonique was pretty good,

  • Quodlibet (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    quodlibet has excellent searching and tag editing

  • I've also been searching for a new music player.

    Right now trying Exaile. It seems to work alright.

    I only listen to music as background noise while I'm programming, however. I had it load the entire /Media/Music directory and play on random.

  • On Linux, I prefer Amarok. On Windows, Winamp.
  • Never used iTunes (Score:4, Interesting)

    by __aaqvdr516 ( 975138 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @11:26PM (#45624379)

    I've never used iTunes. I just use folders and store everything by /Artist/Album. It's easy enough to right click the folder and select "play in VLC".

    • I've never used iTunes. I just use folders and store everything by /Artist/Album. It's easy enough to right click the folder and select "play in VLC".

      I do the same. I'm old so I actually own CDs and started ripping them all back in the '90s. I used CDex for that and it works really nicely. I use WinAmp to play my music and it works quite nicely as well.

      I tried using iTunes on some of my relatives' devices and it sucks really badly. I would say that just about anything would be better than iTunes.

    • I'd never though of adding such an option to the right-click menu on directories. Quite creative and extremely strightforward with Thunar! :)
      Thanks for the hint! ^_^

    • I tried that, but every time I got music from another source, it was arranged differently, making searching, indexing and even playing hard.

      If you'd have a player that would 1) Figure out the actual name of the album, the year it was released, give me a nice big picture of the cover so I could recognize that without having to read all the info, find the name and sequence of all the tracks 2)play gapless 3) rearrange my music in such a way that other players would be able to use that 4) able to export to mp

  • You seem to be asking for a player which will organize files. You don't have to choose one thing which does both.

    In my experience, iTunes does just fine for organizing files into a directory structure. Also free (as in beer, not libre), Mediamonkey is pretty flexible.

    For playback, have you looked at Subsonic? It's free (as in libre, not beer). Multi-platform client support, and a server architecture which lets you access your library from anywhere without having to carry it around. You just point it at th
    • The one thing that nothing seems to handle well are compilations - there's the dichotomy between "albums" as they are released vs. organizing based on artist, etc.

      which is my only serious gripe with Clemetine, sure there are some clunky ways to work around it it but they aren't pretty. That aside, I do find that Clemenitine do the job very well, and based on the few times I've encountered iTunes I'd that say anything is an improvement

  • by BringsApples ( 3418089 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @11:37PM (#45624417)
    You could probably go out and get a homeless person and just hand them all of your music. Just tell them to do whatever they want with it. It'll be a better interface, and at least someone will know where the hell all of your music is.
  • Logitech Mediaserver (Score:3, Informative)

    by m.hataj ( 1553191 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @11:38PM (#45624425)
    This was the one and only serving a TB-size musiccollection well.
    You can stream to different speakers, laptops, mobile phones in parallel.
    It's really good as DLNA server and you can have him on Linux, Mac, Windows, NAS, BSD. []

    I'm not sure on the FLOSS status, there are a lot parts from this development on sourceforge and github.
    And yes, it's running local as your server without any ties to Logitech.
    Give version 7.7 up to 7.8 a try, higher ones are crippled.
  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @11:46PM (#45624451) Journal

    A couple of months ago, I switched to AIMP. I hate iTunes like sin itself. Never liked anything about it. If I didn't have to use it to put files onto my wife's iPad, I wouldn't allow it anywhere in my house. I can't believe that in 2013 she can only use an iPad properly with one computer.

    AIMP even works with most Winamp plug-ins, has a clean interface and light footprint. The skin I'm using has some nice meters, a proper equalizer and everything I'd want in a player.

    I'd still be using Winamp, but I'm pissed that it's going away, so I just decided to uninstall it once and for all.

    • "I can't believe that in 2013 she can only use an iPad properly with one computer" - what do you mean by that statement?
      • Apple won't let you sync your media library to more than one computer at the time. If you try, it insists on erasing your media on the iPad and demotes the other computer to not being linked any more.
  • Try iTunes ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by psergiu ( 67614 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @11:47PM (#45624455)

    Try iTunes on OS X.
    It's much harder, better, faster and stronger that the Windows version.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Sorny ( 521429 )

      "Try iTunes on OS X.
      It's much harder, better, faster and stronger that the Windows version."

      No kidding. I'm rolling with almost a half-TB library and it just screams.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by PayPaI ( 733999 )

        I've got about 1100 albums in a library of over 300GB (90% lossless), even running with the actual tracks on my NAS over WiFi to my MBP, it's very fast.
        I don't understand the people who say it's slow, maybe it's slow under WinXP on qemu on a raspberry pi?

      • Might want to turn the volume down then.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      The OP asks for a free, open music player and you suggest he buys a Mac. Someone else mods you insightful. Well done Slashdot.

      • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

        The OP asks for a free, open music player and you suggest he buys a Mac. Someone else mods you insightful. Well done Slashdot.

        It's the flip side of the coin of all those "iTunes music is DRM and your kids will go to jail" posts that are getting insightful mods. ;)

  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @11:59PM (#45624515)

    I vote you go with Nightingale, and fix the file organization feature. IT's clear from your FLOSS requirement that you are a fan of Open Source, so send patches: that's what you do with Open Source.

    If you don't want to do that because you're not a coder, then you might as well just with a closed source product, since it's not like you'll be looking at the code.

  • I need a player that will convert PCM files to DSD and send them via DoP to an outboard DAC that converts DSD files, only.

    On Linux, that means HQPlayer. It's expensive. The interface seems designed by someone who thinks about everything in a way that would never occur to me. But it does the job for now.

    When there's an add-on for MPD that will do PCM-to-DSD for all files, I'll migrate to that.

    If you're on Windows and have the same need as me and also need bit-perfect output via USB to your outboard DAC, y

    • You need an external DA converter that uses DSD to convert to analog, but that can accept PCM. The advantage of DSD (if any, purists sometimes come up with insane things) would be in the DA conversion part, not in the digital stream.

      Don't start the mumbo jumbo about "synchronized clocks" and PCM vs DSD since the only clock you want to synchronize to is the one used during recording and that's in the past. Just get a good and stable clock in your DA converter and you're set.

      Have you tried audio pebbles? If

    • Let me start with the fact that I don't use DSD. But I use mpd as my primary music player. If you are like me and don't check for updates or search for new features very often then perhaps you have not seen this and perhaps it is of no use. Apologies if I am wasting your time. []

  • For Linux users, is there any way to replace the iTunes functionality to get music and photos onto an iDevice, and have it properly recognise the library?
    I only use Linux, but have an iPad3. I have mediocre photo functionality[1] via a jailbreak, but am still stuck with only one folder and no sub-folders. As for getting music on there (especially .ogg), forget it.
    [1] []

  • The whole thing about big music programs like iTunes is that you don't have to care about where the files are actually kept and in which folders, your player just gives you sortable data that you can display and manipulate however you want. Personally I always go with Artist -> Albums Sorted By Date, but some people like genres and whatever and use playlists a lot. But it doesn't matter, you just throw your various folders of music in one big folder and point your player of choice at it and it goes and i

  • and then you can download the best iTunes Replacement in 2014.

  • I'm going for Clementine because it's bothered me the least. It still has some key features lacking. The smart playlists do not allow the inclusion of a song into another playlist as a criterion. If you sort by a column, no other columns will be sorted; sort by artists and album and track will be random. However, from what I've looked at in the source code, some modest changes to the commands it's sending to its SQL backend should be the answer.

    Why that's not top priority on their buglist over some damn

  • I stuck with the now sadly discontinued songbird.
  • Thanks for asking the question, I've been using VLC for a while, but it ain't great. Will try clementine

  • Works great. Searchable. Allows any hierarchy. Downside is a file can/should only exist in one folder, you could migate this using multiple playlists.

  • Where iTunes still has a dramatic advantage is the integration of it's online store and access to buying (*gasp* yes, paying for music) tracks.

    I've yet to find a better source of legit downloadable music, which for me, still makes iTunes the best choice out of all the choices mentioned thus far.

    Some of us people value "it just works so I'll happily pay for it" over "it's free and it shows".

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Saturday December 07, 2013 @11:41AM (#45626643) Homepage

    the ONLY reason to use itunes is that you own an iDevice or want to buy from the Apple store. If you are not doing that, why the hell are you using itunes?

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel