Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Applications > iTunes replacement?

iTunes replacement?
Thread Tools
cruciarius
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 4, 2009, 01:51 PM
 
Ok so I used to use iTunes a lot, but that was way back before the updates that added the iTunes store, podcasts, etc. After those updates, iTunes uses too many system resources to do much other than play iTunes, on my little 800MHz iMac.

I'm getting tired of changing my embedded play lists on sites, so I want to know if theirs a software alternative to iTunes that someone can recommend.

Preferably, I'd like the replacement to make use of Growl and a menu bar controller.
     
Veltliner
Mac Elite
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: here
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 5, 2009, 02:04 AM
 
You can switch off that iTunes store and the parental controls and the genius thing.

Nobody forces you to upgrade. You just click "skip this version" or "no, thanks" or whatever shows up on your screen.

iTunes is a very good application and I can hardly imagine you'd find something better.

Instead, have you maxed out the RAM in your old machine? If not, it must be dirt cheap and increase performance.

And regarding the updating of your online playlists, just don't upgrade.
     
cruciarius  (op)
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 5, 2009, 02:25 AM
 
I've already disabled the iTunes store, podcasts and everything I can, leaving just my MP3 library. It's still a major resource hog. Browsing sites and even the Finder become a pain, with iTunes playing.

It's hard to skip an update, when I have the latest iTunes. If I could revert back to an iTunes before the iTunes store and all that extra stuff, I would. I haven't looked, but I doubt Apple has old iTunes versions available on their site.

When I bought this iMac, it came with 256 MB RAM. I've since upgraded to 768 MB RAM, which helped a lot at the time, but iTunes is still painful on my system. I could upgrade the RAM a bit more, but it's the internal slot, which I'm told would mean I'd need to leave my Mac at an Apple store for a week. It involves special tools and glue, from what I've read.
     
Andy8
Mac Elite
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hong Kong
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 5, 2009, 04:49 AM
 
Which OS are you running on your 800Mhz iMac?

The ram on that model iMac is user installable (one slot at least), you don't need to take it to the store just for that. Max ram is 1GB.
     
Spheric Harlot
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: 888500128, C3, 2nd soft.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 5, 2009, 06:09 AM
 
     
SpaceMonkey
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Washington, DC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 5, 2009, 10:35 AM
 
Unless it's been left on for days, iTunes 8 still uses less than 50 MB of RAM for me (~3,500 song library), with nothing really disabled except for the Genius sidebar (Genius itself is still on) and the MiniStore.

As far as alternatives, there's Songbird, but that's even more of a resource hog than iTunes.

There is also Play, which is still a beta.
( Last edited by SpaceMonkey; Mar 5, 2009 at 11:40 AM. )

"One ticket to Washington, please. I have a date with destiny."
     
cruciarius  (op)
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 5, 2009, 10:57 AM
 
Andy8 - I'm running 10.4.11 on this Mac. Even in 10.3.x I had issues with iTunes.

The RAM I added went into the slot accessible to me. I know their is another slot, but as I said, it requires special tools and glue, from what I read.

Spheric Harlot - Thank you. I'll see if iTunes 4.6 runs better for me.

SpaceMonkey - I can normally leave my Mac on for more than a week, without any noticeable issues. Though iTunes acts like this even right after a restart.
     
cruciarius  (op)
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 5, 2009, 12:21 PM
 
Sorry for the double post, but...

Running iTunes 4.6 right now and I can actually browse FF again, without it slowing down. Awesome.

ByteController (menu bar controller app I use) works with it iTunes 4.6, though for some reason if I press the pause button, it stays a pause button. Used to turn into a play button, when paused.

Also, Growl notifications aren't coming up anymore. ByteController is supposed to notify Growl of track changes. Doesn't seem to be happening.
     
IronPen
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Midwest, USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 5, 2009, 03:04 PM
 
I think he has a very valid issue. I haven't monitored iTunes's RAM usage as much as its CPU usage. It constantly eats CPU. There are other players out there, but I don't know how they compare in terms of their efficiency versus iTunes. One that I saw recently that got good press was SongBird
MacBook C2D 2.0GHz/Combo/2GB RAM
     
SpaceMonkey
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Washington, DC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 5, 2009, 03:11 PM
 
I don't know why I would be the odd man out, but whenever I look, iTunes really only vacillates between using 5-10% of CPU on my 1.67 GHz PowerBook G4. The only exceptions would be running Genius updates and that sort of thing. RAM usage is minimal, as I mentioned, but I only have a few thousand songs.

As I alluded to above, Songbird's reputation (I haven't used it firsthand) is that it uses even more RAM and CPU than iTunes (all that Gecko rendering, web integration, and whatnot).

The "light" audio players I've seen on OS X tend to be WinAmp clones.
( Last edited by SpaceMonkey; Mar 5, 2009 at 03:24 PM. )

"One ticket to Washington, please. I have a date with destiny."
     
cruciarius  (op)
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 5, 2009, 03:47 PM
 
To be honest, I never actually monitored the RAM or CPU usage of iTunes. I just know with the later versions, my entire system slows down.

Checking iTunes 4.6...
CPU: 6-20%
Real Memory: around 24 MB
Virtual Memory: 240.48 MB

Not sure if library size would matter, but I currently have 1,663 songs in my iTunes and many more to add.
     
TETENAL
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: FFM
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 5, 2009, 04:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by IronPen View Post
I think he has a very valid issue. I haven't monitored iTunes's RAM usage as much as its CPU usage. It constantly eats CPU.


This is iTunes 8 idling. Maybe CPU usage is not as low as it could be, but you can't really say it's constantly "eating" CPU.



This is iTunes 8 playing an iTunes Plus song. Both on a MacBook with 1.82 GHz CoreDuo.

For reference, this is VLC playing the same song:

     
Spheric Harlot
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: 888500128, C3, 2nd soft.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 5, 2009, 04:20 PM
 
Though, of course, your MacBook is at least an order of magnitude away from an 800 MHz G4
     
TETENAL
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: FFM
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 5, 2009, 04:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Though, of course, your MacBook is at least an order of magnitude away from an 800 MHz G4
I have iTunes 8 running on an iBook G3 with 600 MHz, and I can play music without noticeable slowdown. It even plays the ½ SD podcasts in h.264 without stutter (when plugged into the power, so barely, but it does do it).

It's all relative anyway. VLC doesn't feature a store, coverflow, genius or anything for that matter, and it uses roughly the same resources.
     
cruciarius  (op)
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 5, 2009, 04:44 PM
 
If your iBook G3 can run iTunes 8 fine, then I'm confused as to why my iMac G4 struggles with it.

Could it be my 20+ GB of music? Though I don't have even half that in my iTunes, yet. I didn't before either. I think I had around 10 GB in my iTunes, before switching to iTunes 4.6, which I have to rebuild my library... tedious, but at least I can listen to my music again.

VLC is nice, but I've never tried making a playlist on it. I only use it for movies. Plus, VLC lacks menu bar controls, like iTunes (with help of 3rd party apps).
     
Spheric Harlot
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: 888500128, C3, 2nd soft.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 6, 2009, 02:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by cruciarius View Post
VLC lacks menu bar controls, like iTunes (with help of 3rd party apps).
You know, I wonder whether that might not have something to do with it...?
     
cruciarius  (op)
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 6, 2009, 10:51 AM
 
The iTunes menubar controller I use is called ByteController. I checked it in Activity Monitor, before I launched iTunes.

0.00% CPU
2 Thr
10.17 MB Real Memory
117.33 Virtual Memory

Then I launched iTunes, played a song. I also hit pause, play, skip back and skip forward, with ByteController. It's activity in Activity Monitor stayed the same as before I launched iTunes.
     
cruciarius  (op)
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 9, 2009, 05:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Sorry for the double post, but I've found out that in order to use Growl with a 3rd party menu bar controller, I need at least iTunes 4.7, which I can't seem to find a download for.
     
abbaZaba
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Pittsburgh
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 9, 2009, 06:33 PM
 
Cog is a really lightweight player. It supports Growl but I am not sure if it has a menubar controller.

http://cogx.org/
     
cruciarius  (op)
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 9, 2009, 06:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by abbaZaba View Post
Cog is a really lightweight player. It supports Growl but I am not sure if it has a menubar controller.

http://cogx.org/
I didn't see it listed as a feature. Though I did find a thread on their forums requesting the feature... back in 2007. Doesn't look like many were interested in it though.
     
Salty
Professional Poster
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Winnipeg, MB
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 10, 2009, 04:59 PM
 
wondering with all that music how much free space do you have? What I'm wondering is do you have enough hard drive space for virtual memory.
     
cruciarius  (op)
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 10, 2009, 05:08 PM
 
Uh... my HD is only a 60 GB drive. With OS X installed, it's a 55.89 GB HD... about 25 GB of which is music. Then programs, files, etc... I've got 5.16 GB free right now.

I should probably free up some space, but can't think of anything to get rid of. Maybe some music... but I love my music.
     
Chuckit
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 10, 2009, 05:37 PM
 
No need to get rid of anything. Stick most stuff on an external drive or a network disk. That's what I do.
Chuck
___
"Instead of either 'multi-talented' or 'multitalented' use 'bisexual'."
     
cruciarius  (op)
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 10, 2009, 05:54 PM
 
I wish I had an external drive to do so.
     
Salty
Professional Poster
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Winnipeg, MB
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 11, 2009, 02:05 PM
 
I'd free up another couple gigs and you might see an improvement.
     
Mac User #001
Mac Elite
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: WI, United States
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 12, 2009, 01:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by cruciarius View Post
I should probably free up some space, but can't think of anything to get rid of. Maybe some music... but I love my music.
Re-encode all of your music to something of lower quality. It's really easy to do using iTunes, and doesn't hurt too much if your not an audiophile. I did it on my 30GB iBook hard drive, and it frees up a surprising amount of space. It can take a while though.
I have returned... 2020 MacBook Air - 1.1 GHz Quad-Core i5 - 16 GB RAM
     
cruciarius  (op)
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 12, 2009, 02:17 PM
 
Good idea, but after converting about 10 tracks, I realized something. iTunes doesn't remove the originals. It's adding the converted tracks right to the playlist, giving me 2 of each track. Any way for iTunes to auto-trash the original, after it's converted it into a lower quality?
     
TETENAL
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: FFM
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 12, 2009, 02:23 PM
 
You could show duplicates and then sort by bitrate. That makes it rather painless to select and trash the ones you don't want.
     
cruciarius  (op)
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 12, 2009, 02:34 PM
 
Well that helps... sort of. Oddly it lists all remixed versions of songs as well, even though their titles and album are each different.
     
Wiskedjak
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Calgary
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 12, 2009, 02:51 PM
 
I can say that on the Windows Vista side of things, iTunes is a definite system hog. Photoshop runs smoother on my Windows Vista box than iTunes. In fact, for me, iTunes is the only painful part of using Vista.
     
Spheric Harlot
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: 888500128, C3, 2nd soft.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 12, 2009, 03:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by cruciarius View Post
Good idea, but after converting about 10 tracks, I realized something. iTunes doesn't remove the originals. It's adding the converted tracks right to the playlist, giving me 2 of each track. Any way for iTunes to auto-trash the original, after it's converted it into a lower quality?
Check Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes.
     
cruciarius  (op)
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 12, 2009, 03:37 PM
 
Who is Doug?
     
Spheric Harlot
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: 888500128, C3, 2nd soft.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 12, 2009, 03:49 PM
 
     
Big Mac
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Los Angeles
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 12, 2009, 03:56 PM
 
That's part of Apple's inducement scheme to get off of Windows.

I'll say that if you think iTunes takes up too many resources or performs poorly on the Mac side, it's past time for you to upgrade.
( Last edited by Big Mac; Mar 12, 2009 at 07:54 PM. )

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
cruciarius  (op)
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 12, 2009, 04:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I'll say that if you think iTunes takes up too many resources or performances poorly on the Mac side, it's past time for you to upgrade.
I'd love to upgrade my Mac to maybe a MacBook Pro, but with no car and living in a small town with barely any stores, it's very competitive when a place does hire, if they do.
     
cruciarius  (op)
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 12, 2009, 11:37 PM
 
Sorry about the double post, but I was thinking about the newer iTunes running poorly on my Mac, while I converted more tracks.

So... I've gotten the impression that if I free up more HD space, iTunes would run better. Is that true?

Also, I found the easiest way of removing tracks, after I convert them. Simply keep the tracks highlighted, when you select to convert them. When they're done converting, just delete the files that should still be highlighted.
     
SnowWhite
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Mar 2009
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 15, 2009, 04:28 AM
 
I have iTunes 8.0.2 running on a G3 iMac 400, running 10.4.11 with a measly 384MB RAM and a 10GB hard drive, as well as on a G3 iBook SE 466 with 576MB RAM and a 20GB hard drive, and it runs smoothly on both computers. I have not tried Genius, but there is no lag whatsoever, although it does bounce longer in the dock when opening than my other apps. I've been using iTunes from the first release (OS 9) until now.

I can vouch for keeping free space on the hard drive, it improves all aspects of speed for Macs. I read that 20% is the bare minimum to keep free before the computer slows down and/or acts wonky. The more room the better. My iBook has about 60% free, and recently I had 1250(!) tabs open in Safari before I got the spinning beachball. Even then, the beachball appeared as I closed tabs; switching was problem-free.

I found a link for iTunes 4.7, but I didn't test it to see if it works. http://www.tucows.com/preview/396191

I think it's essential to free up the hard drive, and it's easier to live without "clutter" than it seems.
     
cruciarius  (op)
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 15, 2009, 10:14 AM
 
I already found iTunes 4.7, but thanks for the link.

With redoing my music, so it's lower quality, I've cut my playlist size down from 10+ GB down to around 9 GB and I'm not even half way through. Haven't seen a speed improvement with anything yet, but that's only 1 GB freed anyway.
     
SpaceMonkey
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Washington, DC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 15, 2009, 11:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by SnowWhite View Post
I can vouch for keeping free space on the hard drive, it improves all aspects of speed for Macs. I read that 20% is the bare minimum to keep free before the computer slows down and/or acts wonky.
Those kinds of recommendations are meaningless, because 20% of a 100 GB drive is obviously a lot different than 20% of a 500 GB drive.

"One ticket to Washington, please. I have a date with destiny."
     
TETENAL
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: FFM
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 15, 2009, 11:39 AM
 
proportionality ≠ meaninglessness
     
SpaceMonkey
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Washington, DC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 15, 2009, 11:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by TETENAL View Post
proportionality ≠ meaninglessness
Are you saying that free space requirements are actually proportional to the size of the drive?

"One ticket to Washington, please. I have a date with destiny."
     
cruciarius  (op)
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 15, 2009, 11:54 AM
 
I've been told to try to keep about 10% of my HD free. 20% would be too much, for my little HD.
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:02 PM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,