Today we continue our discussion of music except this time, we’re not going to look at iTunes but rather at an iTunes alternative. Some people find iTunes cumbersome, confusing and not very user friendly. Lucklily, there are alternatives.
One of these such alternatives is Ecoute, a standalone player that brings in music, movies, tv shows and even podcasts from your iTunes library, all in an intuitive minimalist interface. What surprised me, was that Ecoute even brought in my iTunes Smart Playlists, something which many other iTunes alternatives don’t do.
Ecoute doesn’t import your library, but rather accesses it – so any changes to your iTunes library is reflected in Ecoute the next time you open it – and vice-versa.
Once Ecoute is open, you then can sort your album display by Name, Rating or Release Date from the View menu. You can also sort artists by Name or Rating. Songs are automatically sorted ascending, in alphabetical order.
Ecoute has a Artwork View which you can toggle by pressing the ⌘T keystroke combination. Press F5 to quickly show or hide Ecoute. You can also view the next several songs in the queue by clicking the queue icon on the lower right-hand corner of the Ecoute window.
I find searching for songs in iTune to be unnecessairly complicated so I was delighted to discover how easy it is to search for files in Ecoute. Press the ⌘F keystroke combination and then type in your search term in the Search box. Items matching your search are automatically displayed as in the right pane as you type. You can also filter the display of your library items by using the relevant keystroke combination: ⌃ 1 for Music, ⌃ 2 for Podcasts, ⌃ 3 for Movies or ⌃ 4 TV Shows.
Another feature that is really like is the ability to customize shortcuts to control Ecoute. From the Preferences pane, you can customize shortcuts such as Play/Pause, Next Track or Previous Track, Increase or Decrease Music Volume, Increase or Decrease Rating, Shuffle and more. Many controls are also available to you from the Dock – right-click the Ecoute icon to access a mini control pop-up menu.
Ecoute is a FREE application and is available from the Pixiapps website at http://pixiapps.com/ecouteosx/. There is also an iOS version available. This has become my go-to music app to play songs from my iTunes library.
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