mp3 players (apps not devices)

So, I like to keep a library of mp3s rather than using streaming apps. For the last 20 years it’s been iTunes on my Mac, plus iPod/iPhone.

Now Apple have told me that they don’t want me buying their products anymore by deciding to totally fuck up the iTunes - iPhone integration, effectively trying to force people onto Apple Music.

Long story short: I need a system for managing, syncing and playing my music on my iPhone.

Is there anyone else who like me reckons that locally stored mp3 files sound much warmer than streamed music, and enjoys being able to pick up and hold their mp3s in their hands? Can you recommend a decent app? Happy to pay for it, if it works okay, though don’t want a subscription based one.

Downloaded Flacbox and couldn’t figure out how to add music to the library. I like to think that I’m not a complete idiot when it comes to IT, but this app defeated me.

Cs: Music Player sounds alright. Anyone use it?

I just use Samsung Music for this, pretty simple and does the job

Don’t know about iPhones sorry

Just drag the iTunes files onto your phone from the desktop iTunes application. Once it’s set up correctly it works.

I still use Winamp!


OP you can use a 3rd party app like CopyTrans or some other with a bit of googling to transfer music from your PC to iPod or whatever without having to have iTunes installed. I would never install that bloated crap so always go with an alternative.

For MP3 players though, you can get that Sandisk one that’s gone downhill quite a lot or spend a bit more to get a decent one from China/AliExpress but I recommend you go to Head-Fi forums to get recommendations as they’re always changing. The decent ones usually cos around $100-150 USD or more.

I use Apple Music for most things but I’ve also got Vox for occasional mp3s that aren’t available there. Seems to work ok on Apple.

I still use iTunes Match which works great.

I also still have an iPod Classic which is working fine when dragging files to it on (a Mac) desktop.

Sorry, should have been more specific with the OP. It’s with the new OSX (Ventura) that these changes take effect.

iTunes has been stripped back to a Music only app, which I would be extremely happy about if it weren’t for the fact that it is also no longer the interface for managing songs and playlists on the iPhone. The iPhone now mounts as a device in Finder, and you manage songs and playlists through a bastardised version of iTunes that opens in a Finder window.

You can sync as you could previously, but you can’t drag and drop songs and playlists. If you want to change a playlist or add music, you need to do a full sync. It prompts with “Are you sure you want to erase your library and sync”. I have close to 100 GB music on my phone, which will take a good hour or more for the first sync. If it’s going to want to do the same thing with subsequent syncs, that’s completely unfeasible.

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Vox is subscription, though, right? Or is there a free lite version that is more than adequate?

Thanks. I’ve got a Mac, and iTunes is/was standard out of the box (and also, from what I understand, nowhere near as bloated as the Windows version).

I never paid for it and the version I have is fine. I’m not a heavy user though - most of my listening is physical formats and I use Apple Music for streaming. I can’t really comment on how good it would be for keeping and managing a big collection, but it seems to work ok with iOS, which is not the case with other alternatives I’ve tried.

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Ah okay. I’ve not tried syncing my iPod since updating to Ventura, so I didn’t know they’d made that new restriction in the Finder sync. I mostly still rely on my iTunes Match / iPhone combo.

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Haven’t updated to Ventura yet on my personal MacBook but that sounds terrible. Not too different from the version I’m on but a full sync like that doesn’t make sense. Seems weird it wouldn’t just look for differences instead of deleting and then adding everything again.

Anyway even in the version I’m using I’ve grown very tired of the bad UX in iTunes. Inconsistent view options depending on what you’re browsing, terrible artwork management, etc. It was so much better 10 years ago.

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Okay, now I’m feeling stupid, because I went in again, and I’m now able to drag and drop songs/playlists from inside the Music app.

But it seems you can only add them. if you want to delete or edit playlists already on your device, you have to do it on the device, or via the Finder sync.

I’m with you on the increasingly bad UX. I have no idea why you can delete a playlist when you’ve chosen to view it “as Playlist” but you can’t when you view it “as Songs”. Im not really sure what advantage their is in the Playlist view over the Songs view anyway.

Gonna give Vox a go, I think. Cs sounds good but I’d like to be able to see it in action before buying.

Okay, Vox needs an account. Gonna have to try something else.

Been playing mp3s rather than streaming forever and ever, using Mediamonkey. The version that is free is pretty advanced and has enough features to be more than useable.

Ibroadcast - upload files from your computer to the cloud and then you can download or stream them onto your phone.

It’s free for standard quality (128 I think) or pay premium for higher

sounds perfect, but Windows only? ):

Have you tried Fidelia for Mac. It is a desktop Apple music player. It is paid for but it is excellent and plays FLAC also. Looks as good as it sounds also.

I haven’t! Thanks, I’ll give it a look.