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Play 0.3

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Play Editor's Review

Play is an audio player that has support for various audio formats.

With play you can listen to your music that uses compressions like FLAC, OGG, Musepack, WavPack, APE (Monkey's Audio), AAC, Apple Lossless, or the most popular audio format, MP3. It also supports other audio types.

Unlike VLC, Play has a gapless and accurate playing of the audio material. As an audio player it does a better job than VLC and it's comparable with iTunes regarding the audio quality. The only thing that's missing here is an equalizer. I searched for an equalizer in all the menus, but I couldn't find one.

Play has built in a replay gain, so you won't need to drag the volume slider when the songs have different loudness. This feature is great because the volume differences between the tracks can be annoying sometimes.

The player has a split interface that can manage the audio material. The top side manages the playlist while the bottom side manages the content that's placed by the browser. The browser is a side panel that can be opened when you need it and it can display the tracks that are selected by some filters like: Library, Most Popular, Highest Rated, Recently Added, Recently Played, Recently Skipped, Artists, Albums, Composers, Genres, Playlists, Smart Playlists, Watch Folders.

Play has built in a powerful metadata editor. This editor can give you the possibility to edit the meta tags of the audio files. These tags are required in order to display the tracks in the playlist and in the Library. They are also required in order to generate the playlist filters, and the Smart Playlists. It also supports multiple file editing, even if they are stored in different formats.

This metadata editor doesn't work as expected. Usually, you need to enter every information one by one, by clicking the 'OK' button after each addition. This is a bug of the editor and I think that it will be fixed anytime soon since the player is under active development. A feature that's missing and it's related to this metadata is the inability of this program to display at least the Artist and the Title of the song from the file name.

Another interesting feature is the integration of this application. The built in support makes the audio scrobbling very easy. It also features the support for Growl notifications.

You can find the hot-key configuration in the 'Preferences' panel. You can define custom hot-keys for actions like Play/Pause, Next Track, and Previous Track. Unfortunately 'Play' doesn't have support for Apple Remote, if your Macintosh has one, so the hot-key support is the only thing that gives you quick access to some basic playing features. The 'Output' tab of the 'Preferences' gives you the possibility to select the output, a feature that's useful if you have multiple sound interfaces, and the gain of the tracks.

Pluses: it is a quite complex audio player that features great support for various audio files. It also features advanced possibilities to sort your tracks, it has a gapless playing option, it has automatic volume gain based on some criteria, it has and Growl integration. 'Play' features an advanced metadata editor which supports multiple file editing, even though you select files that have different formats.

Drawbacks / flaws: the metadata editor is a little buggy, you don't have support for Apple Remote, it doesn't have a graphical equalizer, closing the application's window shuts down the player. A huge missing element is the support for the audio streams.

In conclusion: this is an immature product in its early times of development, but it has a great potential. This is a strong and free software (Open Source) alternative to any audio player for Mac OS X. It depends on the development team how the future versions of this player will look like. So far they did a very good job.

version reviewed: 0.11

Play Publisher's Description

Play is an application for playing and managing audio files.

Play currently supports playback of FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, Musepack, WavPack, Monkey's Audio, AAC, Apple Lossless, MP3 and various other audio file formats.

For lossless formats such as FLAC and WavPack, and for Ogg Vorbis and specially-tagged MP3 files, Play supports gapless playback

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