There are several apps that you can use to manage your music library if you are using a Mac. However, you may have trouble deciding which one is best for you. If you've been looking for a free alternative to Apple Music, there are plenty of great apps to check out. Whether you're an audiophile with a thirst for feature-rich gamers or the casual listener looking for a no-frills option, we're sure you'll find something here that suits you.
More interested in streaming music? Check out our side-by-side comparison of Spotify and Apple Music to see how these services stack up. And if you are primarily interested in mobile music players, we have some killer iOS apps for you to try too.
Elmedia Video Player
This macOS media player has an incredibly smooth, elegant interface that offers something very different from Apple Music and yet looks like a part of your Mac. Playlists are easy to create and sort, and controls are very intuitive: We particularly like the Common Sense Broadcast button, which allows you to quickly connect to a connected device such as speakers, Apple TV or a Smart TV for can create different audio options. File support is strong too, with compatible formats like M4A, WMA, MP3, M4V, and dozens of others. There is also a strong focus on video, so it also works as an alternative film player.
IINA includes all of the latest features from macOS, including an interface theme designed for dark mode and picture-in-picture compatibility for playing video while you work on other things. It supports everything from the MacBook Pro Touch Bar to trackpad gestures for controls. There are some interesting new features under the hood too, including the ability to play online streams and YouTube playlists through IINA, as well as all of your local files. If you're looking for an interesting gamer who thinks outside the box, give IINA a try. Since the player is open source, you can expect additional interactivity in the future as the community grows.
Vox supports popular files like FLAC, MP3, CUE, and APE, as well as high-resolution audio files to support up to 5.1 channels – ideal if you've hooked your Mac to a larger speaker system and really want to use it. The Vox design isn't overly shabby either: the controls work for both Mac and iPhone, and you have plenty of options to tweak the playback.
If you choose to pay for the premium version, you get access to the Vox Music Cloud, which you can use to sync your music between your Mac and iPhone – a nice little bonus if you switch devices frequently. Premium also includes internet radio stations and much more.
At first glance, Swinsian looks like a very traditional Mac player that could be mistaken for a version of iTunes. Underneath that is an app with amazing depth in terms of customization and smart controls, making it one of the best music upgrades for the average Mac listener.
The user interface is fully customizable whether you want a graphic grid, custom columns, traditional playlist, or minimized player (and more). All of the major smart and organizational features are there, including auto fetching graphics, removing duplicates or replacing with better versions, editing tags, smart playlists, and more. All major file types are supported including Flac, MP3, AAC, ALAC, Ogg, WMA, WAV, Opus and more. It's a complete and efficient package. The only reason it's not on our list is because the free version is only available in a limited trial and you have to pay for the full version and all features.
If you are looking for a player that can handle playlists from almost anywhere and play high quality videos at the same time, then the free 5KPlayer is for you. It's specially designed to allow you to download your favorite songs or playlists from online players like YouTube, FaceBook, Vimeo, BlipTV, SoundCloud, and pretty much any major music sharing site. It can also convert online movie soundtracks to audio files for you. There is even a subsection with free satellite radio stations that you can listen to. It also supports unique Apple options such as: B. Switching playback from Mac to iPhone and moving iPhone photos to your Mac.