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What are the weaknesses of iTunes and what are its alternatives?


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On another thread I made someone made this comment: 

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"There are really good apps for Mac. iTunes/Music is probably the worst." (From this thread):

 

 

What are weaknesses of iTunes/Music compared to other apps? What are the alternatives and their strengths
 
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13 minutes ago, lucretius said:

 

It still exists for Windows.

OMG! Thanks for letting me now. I had no idea. 

 

I would never use iTunes on Windows. Getting bit perfect output from iTunes on Windows can be challenging. 

Founder of Audiophile Style

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28 minutes ago, pionphil said:

On another thread I made someone made this comment: 

 

What are weaknesses of iTunes/Music compared to other apps? What are the alternatives and their strengths
 

 

For the Windows version, there is no direct support for sound drivers. It uses the default Windows driver in shared mode and uses digital volume control (stealing some bits?). And as Chris said, getting bit perfect output from iTunes on Windows can be challenging. 

 

Also, iTunes can only sort on a single field, cannot analyze sound files (for dynamic range, peaks, etc.), and is generally poor for editing Library entries.

 

Roon has the most capabilities (like the ability to group different versions of an album) and I can do some editing on albums or tracks that is not included in the file tag metadata. 

 

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12 minutes ago, pionphil said:

I only have Mac computers as of now. iMac and MacBook Pro. Maybe weakness of iTunes mainly comes from Windows environment?

 

My plan was using it with my iPhone and an LG phone with Quad DAC.

 

Oh no. The weaknesses are for macOS as well. It still doesn’t even switch sample rates with the music and doesn’t support streaming services other than Apple’s lossy Music. 

Founder of Audiophile Style

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12 hours ago, lucretius said:

 

For the Windows version, there is no direct support for sound drivers. It uses the default Windows driver in shared mode and uses digital volume control (stealing some bits?). And as Chris said, getting bit perfect output from iTunes on Windows can be challenging. 

 

Also, iTunes can only sort on a single field, cannot analyze sound files (for dynamic range, peaks, etc.), and is generally poor for editing Library entries.

 

Roon has the most capabilities (like the ability to group different versions of an album) and I can do some editing on albums or tracks that is not included in the file tag metadata. 

 

 Roon is $10 per month. I'm looking for a free solution. 

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1 hour ago, pionphil said:

 Roon is $10 per month. I'm looking for a free solution. 

 

For Mac - free:

https://vox.rocks/

https://www.clementine-player.org

https://mac.eltima.com/elmediaplayer.html

https://apps.apple.com/ca/app/pine-player/id1112075769?mt=12

https://www.videolan.org/vlc/

 

I don't have a Mac so I cannot attest to the above. 

 

For Android phone (free apps), I use:

  • USB Audio Player Pro
  • BubbleUPnP (for streaming)
  • TuneIn Radio (for internet radio)

 

And for those who are interested:

 

For Windows - free:

https://www.foobar2000.org/

https://getmusicbee.com/

https://www.mediamonkey.com/

http://www.aimp.ru/

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/search?q=Groove+Music

https://www.videolan.org/vlc/

 

I've used many of these at one time or another but I cannot remember the details. I still use foobar2000, not as a general music player, but instead for its technical abilities.

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I started with iTunes/Amarra years ago because it was virtually free ($50 for Amarra on any Mac).  Then (of course) I "needed" a USB decrapifier, then another, then another....Also (of course) I needed to upgrade to an SSD, and performer other tweaks.  And the whole thing was never really stable.  So I dropped $3K on a Naim after "investing" hundreds or a thou in the Mac.

 

Pretty much as soon as I knew I loved computer audio, the Mac was no longer a bargain.  If I was just starting today, I would buy a Bluesound Node for $500 or so.  If you already know you're in for a longer haul, or cost is not an issue, there are a bunch of higher end servers/streamers too.  

 

Good luck!

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iTunes now 'MUSIC' both suck although on Audirvana +3.5 I still have my 'legacy' iTunes library in AIFF/?FLAC

I transferred the majority of the iTunes library via Soundiiz to  to Qobuz and TIDAL and ROON/Audirvana+3.5 I really don't think you will find anything really good for 'free'

As Nelson Rockefeller said to the collective student body of SUNY Harpur College and the rest of SUNY in 1969/70 as he gave them all the finger(over tuition hikes)- "There is no FREE lunch"

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