Introduction – or – isn’t iTunes enough?
First of all I have to mention that I love iTunes. It is a fantastic media player and organizer, with all the playlist options, the Genius feature, the iTunes store etc.
However there are certain occasions that I would like to play an mp3 with a player other than iTunes:
For example, before adding a new track on the iTunes library, I first have to quickly listen to it and evaluate it. Or if I plug-in an old disk with mp3 files, and want to play easily a selection of them.
When I used to be a PC, Winamp was the perfect solution for quickly playing mp3 files.
When I became a Mac, I tried using VLC for that matter.
VLC is an excellent video player, with lots of options, but as an mp3 player was pretty poor (at least on the Mac). I had occassionally skipping on tracks, and the interface isn’t specifically built for music files.
Thus I went through Google and some of my favorite Mac forums to find a decent free mp3 player.
The application that I liked most as you can figure out, is Vox.
Vox – Interface
Vox has an excellent minimal interface, which rapidly fires up and does its job, i.e. playing the music files.
The main window (as shown below) gives you the basic info of the track, as well as the default playback controls.
While playing an audio file, Vox automatically adds on the playlist all other audio files that can be found on the source folder. Therefore you can easily select another track without going back to the Finder.
By clicking on the i button on the top-right corner, you get some extended info about the audio file, as well as view the associated artwork (if present).
The Vox dock icon is pretty slick, and has an animated badge that shows the current track’s progress (position).
The equalizer window can be opened via the main window. You can select one of the preset equalizer settings, or customize them.
Vox – Extra features
Vox gives you the opportunity to add various music effects on the track that is currently played. As you can see on the screenshot below, you have options for Time Stretch, Pitch Shift, Chorus, Reverb/Distortion, Echo/Compressor, Flanger/Phaser.
With Vox you can also export an audio file into one of the other supported file formats with enabled effects.
Vox – Preferences
Preferences are well-organized and let you set Vox according to your needs.
You can enable/disable Growl notifications, change the interface, window behavior and much more.
Last.fm/Audio Scrobbling is also supported.
Vox is a simple and lightweight music player (not an iTunes alternative!) that provides quite a lot of options.
It supports a variety of music file formats including FLAC, MP3, AAC, Musepack, Monkey’s Audio, OGG Vorbis, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV, IT, MOD, XM and Games Music and it is completely free.