Beginning with Apple’s upcoming MacOS Catalina, iTunes will no longer be included with Macs and instead will be replaced with a trio of media apps. Don’t worry, you’re not just stuck with those apps. There are other options, and we’ve rounded-up the best iTunes alternatives to help you choose the best iTunes replacement app for you.
In fact, you might opt for our favorite iTunes alternative: The Vox MP3 and FLAC Music Player app. Its free version has many of the features you’d want in a music player and media manager: An elegant interface, Hi-Res audio, and support for a variety of audio sources and formats.
The staff at Digital Trends has published hundreds of reviews about all sorts of audio-related products, including speakers, music players, sound bases, and soundbars. If the Vox player app isn’t for you, feel free to check out our other picks as one of them might be a better fit for your needs.
At a glance
- Best Overall: VOX MP3 and FLAC Music Player
- Best Free Option: VLC Media Player
- Best Premium Audio Player: Fidelia
- Best for Streaming Media: Elmedia Player
- Best Simple Music Player: Musique
VOX MP3 and FLAC Music Player
The Vox MP3 and FLAC Music Player app is our “Best Overall” alternative to iTunes because the basic, free version of the app offers up a sleek interface, an ability to play a wide variety of audio formats (MP3, FLAC, M4A, APE, WAV, etc.), and features Hi-Res audio (with 192kHz sound resolution). In addition, the Vox player allows users to play music from a variety of sources, and not just from your old iTunes library. In fact, the Vox player supports audio from the following sources as well: Last.FM Scrobbling, SoundCloud, YouTube, and even online radio (for Vox Premium subscribers).
Speaking of the Vox Premium player service, users can access a host of premium Vox player features if they sign up for either a monthly or annual subscription. These features include support for SONOS wireless speakers systems, access to over 30,000 radio stations, advanced audio settings, and unlimited music cloud storage. The subscription rate is currently $5 per month or $50 per year.
VLC Media Player
VLC Media Player is a totally free to download and use open-source multimedia player. And while it’s known for having a less-than-pretty, utilitarian interface for its Windows version, that’s actually not the case for the Mac version of this player. While the Mac version of VLC Media Player still sports a minimalist design, it seems to fit in just fine with Apple’s aesthetic. At the very least, it doesn’t just have sad gray menus.
It’s also easy to use, and supports a laundry list of video and audio formats. For those concerned about privacy and security, the developers behind VLC Media Player also maintain that their media players don’t contain spyware, ads, or engage in user tracking.
While Fidelia does offer the option to try it for free, it is still primarily an audio player app that you have to purchase to download and use. But it might be worth the $30. Touted as an app for “sophisticated music lovers,” Fidelia offers a highly-customizable music player experience. The app includes features such as high-definition audio, an aesthetically pleasing interface that resembles “stereo systems of decades past,” support for 64-bit Audio Unit plug-ins, and the ability to AirPlay to external speakers. Fidelia player users can also download a separate iOS app that turns their iOS device into a remote control for the Fidelia Mac app. This iOS app, however is sold separately and costs $10 to download.
It’s also worth noting that while it’s described as being able to play a wide variety of audio formats (including FLAC), the Fidelia app “does not support DRM-protected AAC files.”
Whether you end up opting for the free version or the paid version of this media player Mac app, you’ll still end up with iTunes replacement capable of doing so much more than just playing audio and video files. The free version of the Elmedia Player app supports a wide-range of audio and video formats including FLV, MP3, FLAC, Blu-ray, and AVI. The free version also allows you to stream your files to other devices such as Apple TV, Chromecast, Smart TVs, and other devices that are DLNA and AirPlay-enabled. Another interesting streaming option included with Elmedia Player is the fact that it has a feature called Open Online Video that allows users to stream online videos from sites like YouTube and Dailymotion without ads.
The paid version of the Elmedia Player app, is offered through the Mac App Store. Frankly, it’s unclear what the difference is between the two versions, since many of the features listed for the paid version are also included in the listing for the free version. And since the paid version costs $10, it may be best to test out the free version first before committing to the paid version.
And if all you need is a quick, easy-to-use music player, the Musique app for Macs has you covered. This free to download and use music player app has a simple, clean interface that includes features like the ability to browse your music files by album cover, genre, folder, or artist photos, support for MacOS Mojave Dark Mode, and support for Last.fm scrobbling. Musique has even been translated into over 20 languages and so users are even able to customize that aspect of their digital music experience.