When iTunes was released, it was a simple music player designed for Apple’s operating system designed to let users import music to their computer and put it on their iPod.
Eventually, Apple announced the iTunes music store, which was the first truly successful means of digital music distribution to hit the market. Keeping up with the times meant eventually adding movies, TV Shows, Podcasts, games, books and Apps to the storefront, as well giving people a means of consuming said media. iTunes had to accommodate the evolution of Apple’s devices, and eventually things became somewhat cluttered.
Now you will see everything from a social network to a radio and various playlists and types of media. It does what it has to do for syncing your devices, but it seems that in this move to keep up with new technology, iTunes lost what made it a great music player. In short, iTunes has become a pretty beefy application. That said, it’s very much worth checking out applications made for playing your iTunes music with a much more streamlined interface.
Here’s why it’s worth checking out Ecoute 2.0, a sweet iTunes alternative. It’s $10, but definitely worth it for those who want something on their Mac other than iTunes:
1) You Can Still Access Your Movies and Podcasts
In all fairness, we don’t care for using Ecoute for movies and podcasts, but users will be happy to know that they can still access those extra features if they so choose. At the very least, they will appreciate the minimalistic interface provided by the application, which is something that has been on the decline with iTunes and its various updated throughout the years.
2) It’s Really About the Music
This is what these applications are all about. As we mentioned earlier, you can use those other features such as movies and Podcasts, but applications like this one are about eliminating the clutter and making it easy for you to listen to your music without having to launch iTunes.
3) Lighter Load on Your Computer
We’ve mentioned before that iTunes is a resource heavy compared to much of the other stuff the average user runs on their computer. Why bother when you can use an application that does what you want it to do with a much lighter load? It’s easy to forget that many of us just want a music player, and that’s what this is.
What’s more is the fact that Ecoute does not need to have iTunes running in the background. We are sure that some of the iTunes users out there have run into widgets that allow for iTunes control while the actual application runs in the background.
4) Familiar Interface
The Ecoute 2.0 UI looks similar to what users have on the iPhone and iPod Touch (which we’ve said iTunes should look into). It’s nothing more than a small window with a playlist and your basic music player controls. It’s snappy, and easy to use, but you can also link it to your social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It ends up being the best of both worlds.
5) Works With Apple Remote
Ecoute 2.0 works with Apple Remote, which many iTunes users with iOS devices should definitely check out. We’ve written about it before, and it’s wonderful for use with Apple TV and iTunes. While you can always use your mouse adjust the controls, it’s nice to be able to control things remotely from across the room.
6) The Mac App Store is Coming Soon, Will it Open the Floodgates?
The Mac App Store is launching on January 6th. When that happens, we can be sure that a wealth of applications will become available for Mac OS X. When applications like this one make their way to the Mac App Store, it will be easy for developers to issue updates and developers will have a great way to distribute their Apps. It’s easier as an end user to download the applications because we know that the transaction is being made through Apple, who many of us have been buying digital content from for 10 years.
Do You Hate iTunes?
With all of our write ups about iTunes, and many of them sounding negative most of the time, you’d probably think we hate the software. We definitely don’t hate it, but we think it’s become a bit sloppy compared to what it used to be. That’s okay, we find ways to work around those limitations and look for applications like Ecoute to make managing our music more pleasurable.
Check out Ecoute 2.0: here.