For those who aren’t Mac fanboys, undying reverence to the Apple brand comes hard. Even useful and fun programs and neat toys like Garage Band and the iPod are rife with problems. Yes, their interface is easy and smooth, but sometimes you wish there were another free option for music management outside of iTunes. (Yes, Windows Media Player is free, but even a Mac hater prefers iTunes.) ITunes is slick, but it sure would be nice to “damn the man” with a nice, easy to use, well designed piece of Open Source software for music management.
Well, friends, the time is now. There are more great programs just like that available in the Open Source community right now. Songbird is a program that most people describe as simple and well organized. It has a sleek interface that is easy to navigate and is perfect for someone looking just to organize a large music collection. MusikCube is a very fast manager that allows for user sorted playlists. It also recognizes listening habits and can customize a random playback tailored to your recent tastes. Banshee includes the ability to organize videos with your music. You can stay current on all your favorite podcasts easily with it. It also syncs well with your smartphone and iPod, making it easy to take your music wherever you go.
Perhaps one of the best players is Amarok. Not only does it have an intuitive and well designed interface, it makes discovering new music really easy. Share playlists with friends and watch as it seeks out music based on your likes and dislikes. Let it use your information to find the newest and oldest tunes that you have yet to discover, music that you will love. And you won’t even feel like you sold Steve Jobs your soul to get all that great music.