Vox – Another Excellent iTunes Alternative

The recent release of iTunes 12 was followed by a good amount of grumbling from users about how difficult the new interface is and how many more clicks it takes to perform tasks.  In light of this, we are going to continue our discussion on alternatives to iTunes.

Vox, put out by a company called Coppertino, is another excellent alternative to iTunes and has quickly become one of my favorites. Though its interface may at first appear simplistic and minimalistic, don’t be fooled. There’s plenty of power behind this impressive application.

Music Formats

What’s powerful about Vox is its ability to play your music, no matter what the format. Vox can play music in FLAC, MP3, AAC, AIF, WAV, ALAC and more. No more needing to convert music files because they don’t play in your music play application.

Playlists

But what if you don’t use iTunes? No problem. Vox allows you to add music from your computer’s hard drive or from an external drive to playlists. To do so, click the Playlist icon, click the + symbol and then navigate to the folder that contains the music you wish to add. You can also simply drag and drop folders directly onto the playlist window.

Vox playlist screenshot

To save a playlist to reuse another time, select File > Save Playlist from the menu. Use the File > Open Playlist command to load a saved playlist.

What about iTunes?

The Collections tab (under the first Music icon) lists all of your playlists from iTunes – and includes your Smart Playlists as well. You can either scroll through the list to find the playlist you want or use the Search bar on top of the window. The Search bar is also excellent for finding music, whether it be in a personal playlist or in iTunes.

Speaking of iTunes, under the iTunes icon you can find all of your music listed by album. This can come in handy for finding and playing specific albums.

Vox itunes album screenshot

You can see what music is next to be played by clicking on the Queue icon on top of the screen.  All upcoming songs are displayed as a list.

SoundCloud Integration

If you’re a fan of SoundCloud, then you should be delighted to know that you can access your favorite SoundCloud music from within the Vox application. Click the SoundCloud icon and your SoundCloud stream is displayed in the window. You can add SoundCloud songs to playlists or even to a collection by right-clicking in the SoundCloud window and choosing your desired options.

Vox SoundCloud integration screenshot

You can add your SoundCloud account from Vox Preferences window. If you have a Last.FM account, you can additionally enable Last.FM scrobbling.

Easy to Use Controls

The controls are visible on top of the Vox window and consist of a standard control set – Stop/Play, Previous Song, Next Song and Search. To minimize the Vox window, click the icon. You can control the Vox player from the main interface, from the Dock contextual menu or from the main menu controls.

Vox minimized window

From the main window, click on the Equalizer icon to display VOX’s smart equalizer, which contains many built-in presets.

Vox equalizer screenshot

You can further modify the controls from the Vox Preferences window. Here, you can set global hotkeys for each of the controls listed above, as well as increasing or decreasing the volume.

Vox controls preferences

Preferences Galore

The real power of this application lies within the ability to customize it and control its behavior. From the Preferences window (Vox ➪ Preferences), you can modify the Balance, Volume Limit, Crossfading, set playlist options and iTunes preferences, choose output devices, autoload songs from a “watched” folder and much, much more.

Verdict

If you’re looking for simple yet powerful alternative to iTunes, Vox is definitely a worth contender. When I’m not streaming from Spotify, I’m using either Vox or Ecoute as my go-to application for playing music from my iTunes library.

Vox is FREE in the App Store

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