I’m not one of those people who needs to knock iTunes. It’s never been the most streamlined program, but it serves its purpose well. Sometimes, though, its purpose isn’t your purpose. Sometimes you want to listen to audio in other formats, such as FLAC or OGG. Sometimes you want your music player to fade into your desktop instead of serve as a garish, buzzing neon sign to push album sales. In that case, VOX may be the way to go.
What is it?
VOX is a simple, streamlined program for opening and listening to your digital music files.
It has some excellent big features, such as the ability to read CUE and M3U playlists, last.fm integration, and support for online radio access via in-app purchase. It has some excellent little features, too, such as song control from the dock, easy playlist management, and Notification Center display (although you’ll likely shut that off very quickly).
How does it work?
Well, that’s the thing; Coppertino may well have streamlined the UI beyond the point of usability. The developers seem to have taken the approach that you know exactly what’s wrong with iTunes and how it should work, but most of us don’t. So, you’ll want to give yourself some time to mess around with the interface and learn the keyboard controls in order for the advanced functionality to actually save you hassle. A trip to the system preferences will help, since the ability to turn functionality on/off and to program your keystroke commands will help you see exactly what VOX can do.
The main reason you’d want VOX, though is for its advanced feature set. VOX can convert stereo audio in your headphones to binaural using Bauer DSP (BS2B) technology, for example. And while we’re talking about headphones, VOX can be set to automatically pause music when your headphones are removed from your Mac—an excellent feature for office use. VOX can also play audio from NAS devices and other network drives, and comes with full AirPlay support; no matter where your music is or where you want it to go, VOX has you covered.
Is it contagious?
VOX is more helpful than contagious. If you long for a time when iTunes was more about playing tunes and less about artist promotion and cloud syncing, then VOX is exactly what you need…especially if you prefer higher quality audio formats.
It’ll take some getting used to, and there are going to be some iTunes features that you’ll miss in VOX. But considering it’s free, you really ought to try it out and give it a week or two. It took me only a few days to abandon iTunes in favor of VOX as my default music program at the office. Now how will I ever know when the next Katy Perry single is coming out?