Author Topic: Goodbye iTunes..Hello MusicBee!  (Read 455 times)

Tardigrade

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Goodbye iTunes..Hello MusicBee!
« on: February 09, 2017, 05:38:48 PM »
I've had a long term love hate relationship with iTunes.  Since I moved to Windows 10, iTunes has had some issues that are annoying.  Updates haven't fixed the annoyances and have introduced more annoyances.

So after doing some research and trying a few media players, I have enthusiastically settled on MusicBee. 

http://getmusicbee.com/

I hadn't heard of MusicBee until yesterday.  It has no operational issues with Win10 and actually has more features than iTunes.  The GUI can be customized to infinity.  The crossfader has longer fade times and the fade curves it uses sound better.  It plays FLAC.  You can use WASAPI or ASIO drivers instead of the most basic Windows drivers.  This solved some playback issues I was having with iTunes.

iTunes probably works fine on a Mac.  However, It still has several updates to go before it's flawless with Windows 10.  I will happily delete the dysfunctional bloatware known as iTunes.


Tardigrade

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Re: Goodbye iTunes..Hello MusicBee!
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2017, 03:00:01 PM »
The verdict is MusicBee is the Truth.  Rock solid audio performance.  All the features I need and many I don't need.  The only issue I have encountered is running the visualizer while using the WASAPI driver causes the audio playback speed to double.  It works fine with the basic driver.  I don't use the visualizer anyway.

The following battery of actions is how to remove iTunes from a Windows computer:

Remove all of these items in the following order-

QuickTime           (if present)
(see this note on QuickTime below)

iTunes
(see note 1 below)

Apple Software Update
(if this will not uninstall try repairing it first)

Apple Mobile Device Support
(see note 1)

iCloud                  (if present)

MobileMe             (if present)
(see note 2)

Bonjour
(see note 1)

Apple Application Support
(see note 1)
 
Reboot your computer.
 
Delete any of the following folders should they exist:      (see note 3)

C:\Program Files\Bonjour
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple
C:\Program Files\iPod
C:\Program Files\iTunes

also potentially on 64-bit systems:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Bonjour
C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Apple
C:\Program Files (x86)\iPod
C:\Program Files (x86)\iTunes 

They make it so easy to delete!   ::)

Tardigrade

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Re: Goodbye iTunes..Hello MusicBee!
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2017, 03:05:37 PM »
Even the desktop icon is better than iTunes



I'm having a hard time curbing my enthusiasm for MusicBee.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 03:07:39 PM by Tardigrade »

chris23

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Re: Goodbye iTunes..Hello MusicBee!
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2017, 07:20:24 AM »
I find iTunes a bit limiting (doesn't play FLAC), but haven't explored other options because it is an obvious one-stop-shop for backing up my iPhone and loading music onto it. Is it safe to assume you're not an iPhone user? I'd be curious to learn more about how people manage music across their computers and mobile devices among Apple users.

Tardigrade

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Re: Goodbye iTunes..Hello MusicBee!
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2017, 09:34:47 AM »
The only piece of Apple hardware I have is an iPod.  I keep an older (completely functional) version of iTunes on an older computer to manage the iPod.


cvac

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Re: Goodbye iTunes..Hello MusicBee!
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2017, 03:33:09 PM »
I have had to use/deal with Apple products before in a work setting and I'm glad I don't have to deal with them anymore. Haven't used Itunes in years and dumped the Iphone when the map fiasco happened.

I've used Musicbee before but only for ripping CDs since it has Accuraterip. Still prefer EAC when I'm not in a hurry to do a rip.

For music player software Foobar is the best thing I've found. I use the DarkOne config along with some other components like the SoX resampler.

I'm not sure if there is anything like Foobar that's compatible with a Mac though. I think you can get a Foobar mobile app for Iphones though.

Most of the time I prefer to listen to physical CDs/LPs or even the occasional tape and still use traditional hardware to play those when I'm listening at home.

Tardigrade

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Re: Goodbye iTunes..Hello MusicBee!
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2017, 04:35:43 PM »
Foobar was on my list of things to try, but I didn't feel the need to try it after using MusicBee.

cvac

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Re: Goodbye iTunes..Hello MusicBee!
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2017, 09:18:51 AM »
Much of the appeal of Foobar is the customization and various components you can install. No other program comes close, period. It can be a PITA to set up, especially if you are trying to build your own config rather than start with someone else's. It really is great once you get it going.

Tardigrade

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Re: Goodbye iTunes..Hello MusicBee!
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2017, 12:51:43 PM »
Foobar schmoobar.  You can't rain on my MusicBee parade!

What features does Foobar have that MusicBee doesn't?  I probably don't need those features, but it would be good to know what they are if you know without having to do any research. 

cvac

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Re: Goodbye iTunes..Hello MusicBee!
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2017, 11:08:57 AM »
Foobar schmoobar.  You can't rain on my MusicBee parade!

What features does Foobar have that MusicBee doesn't?  I probably don't need those features, but it would be good to know what they are if you know without having to do any research.

AFAIK with MB you get whatever is in the download and that is it. Not so with Foobar. Users built custom configs and skins and you can make it look like whatever you want. Tons of components with whatever you can imagine from tagging to playing weird formats to custom resamplers (I use the Sox resampler) are available.

See here:

http://www.foobar2000.org/components

More components are also available on other sites.

Here is one example of a config, it's what I use plus I installed more components:

http://tedgo.deviantart.com/art/DarkOne-v4-360862076

Note that you need to download and install the basic Foobar package before you can install config files or add components.

http://www.foobar2000.org/

A lot of this stuff is probably of interest if you are using an outboard DAC to play music from the computer. If you are just plugging into the headphone jack on a laptop then maybe you don't care that much...

Tardigrade

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Re: Goodbye iTunes..Hello MusicBee!
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2017, 03:05:06 PM »
MusicBee has many downloadable extras.  Not as many as Foobar.  I don't need extras for either program.  90% of the Foobar extras are pretty arcane.

I don't use headphones for recreational listening.  The sound from the computer gets connected to an amp.  The analog output of the computer is good enough to avoid using a DAC.  Upsampling sounds like a good idea, but it doesn't impress me enough to do it.  I could output 24bit and 192khz if I wanted to.  I don't want to.

     

Altus

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Re: Goodbye iTunes..Hello MusicBee!
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2017, 09:05:19 AM »
Thanks for the heads up on MusicBee. The best feature IMO is the gapless playback. Flawless.
Mike Carss -- Altus : aural journeys for the mind's eye
www.altusmusic.ca

Tardigrade

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Re: Goodbye iTunes..Hello MusicBee!
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2017, 12:53:03 PM »
Glad you like it.  The gapless does work very well especially in conjunction with the crossfader.  I was never happy with the 10 second maximum fade time with iTunes.

It would be nice if crossfade times could be set differently per playlist.  Ambient can sound great with long cross fades.  Jazz, not so much.

Ekstasis

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Re: Goodbye iTunes..Hello MusicBee!
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2017, 08:53:36 PM »
Have you tried plex ?
I guess it becomes most impressive if you buy the premium which have fingerprinting to catalogize your music collection.  I use this to stream local content from my computer to my smartphone, it is like you have your own spotify, It can also stream videos to your devices such as chromecast.

When I play music locally on my own computer with my high quality speakers I use  uLilith http://www.project9k.jp/download/uLilith/
I have tried a lot of music players and the difference is absolutely notable, I have tried many but uLilith sounds the best, and there is plenty of other people who can confirm if you read around.  It probably does not fit your way of listening to music, I do not make any fancy playlists, I simply drag and drop folders of albums I want to listen to. When I get serious about listening to grasp full audio quality uLilith is the only way. It plays audio only from your memory since it preload all audio into the memory, this is better since it has been proven it is bad to stream directly to your hardrive since it introduce jitter.




cvac

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Re: Goodbye iTunes..Hello MusicBee!
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2017, 09:21:49 PM »
Never heard of Ulilith, interesting concept (the play from memory).

RE: Plex, I tried that for about an hour and quickly uninstalled it. Not only did it transcode files but there were latency issues as well. Junk IMHO.

Ekstasis

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Re: Goodbye iTunes..Hello MusicBee!
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2017, 10:57:28 PM »
Never heard of Ulilith, interesting concept (the play from memory).

RE: Plex, I tried that for about an hour and quickly uninstalled it. Not only did it transcode files but there were latency issues as well. Junk IMHO.

Plex supports lossless audio it will not transcode, but you will need to set up a setting for it.

cvac

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Re: Goodbye iTunes..Hello MusicBee!
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2017, 07:05:47 AM »
Never heard of Ulilith, interesting concept (the play from memory).

RE: Plex, I tried that for about an hour and quickly uninstalled it. Not only did it transcode files but there were latency issues as well. Junk IMHO.

Plex supports lossless audio it will not transcode, but you will need to set up a setting for it.

I couldn't figure out how to not make it transcode. I did play around with the settings. From everything I was reading online, the software transcodes (sounded like it too). Even if I could solve that the latency issues were a dealbreaker for me.

My chain was this:

Windows 10 PC > WIFI > PS4 > Toslink > DAC > Integrated Amp

Honestly it was such a PITA I'm not going to bother trying it again. At some point when I can afford it, I will set up a NAS and a dedicated music PC or DAC/Network streamer device. Not exactly cheap so that's why I haven't done it yet.

For now it is simply easier to run Foobar on a secondary laptop, then output USB to DAC. That or just play physical media.