Strawberry is all that's left among music players, here's why... And here's why to consider developing it further...
jonas last edited by
Apple Music is primarily a music streaming service. There are no incentives for large companies to make software anymore, there is too little money in it for them.
As for Strawberry, the information about macOS support on the website is not outdated, it's more relevant than ever.
Strawberry depends on volunteers, and there are very few, almost none, and no-one helping with macOS issues.
Users should not consider the macOS releases release quality, but for some users it's better than not having any support for macOS at all.
The only reason we have them at all is because in 2018 I borrowed a mac and put a lot of work and effort into getting the macOS releases going with the thought that it would trigger community interest, but there is still no-one so the situation is that I'm stuck with it along with everything else.
Making Windows releases is a lot of work on it's own, which includes maintaining the build infrastructure with circa 50 libraries Strawberry depends on.
There have been almost no-one committed to helping out with anything related to macOS for almost 5 years with the exception of some minor things like the dmg installer and the global shortcuts, but that was years ago.
I've ended up doing everything, and I don't even have a mac which of course makes it very difficult.
I guess it is understandable, very few are willing to work for mostly for free on their spare time, and fewer and fewer users actually care about music players anymore, most use streaming services these days.
On Windows, there is foobar2000. Nothing comes even close to that, though it requires a bit more fiddling as it comes with a basic configuration by default and relies heavily on installable components/extensions.
@khagaroth Maybe that's the problem with Foobar2000, the fact the community is more dedicated with the code than the developers themselves.
@jonas I apologize for not having replied sooner. I've only just now seen your note. What you said is sad, and very surprising, and yet not so surprising.
I wish I had the kind of mind that was capable of programming, etc., otherwise it would be something I would try to do. I've been disabled these past 12 years and have chunks of time I could apply to things. And even though I am limited due to nerve damage in the head that gets in the way of such things, there are times when I would give it a try and see how long I could go. But I haven't the mind (or short term memory) anymore to even imagine learning how to code or understand computer programming. I was once pretty good at working my way around a GUI, but anything beyond that, and I'm worthless.
What I find disappointing to hear is how despite the large number of users within the Apple world, perhaps the most there have ever been, that there is no interest from anyone with the talent and knowledge to get involved. It almost seems as if users are quite happy to simply pay and pay and pay whatever is asked of them for what is becoming less than usable. Are we really that content to just pay a subscription for every little piece of content these days? There is something rather lazy sounding about this.
What is also disappointing is that Strawberry is a pretty awesome application. It seems to provide so much more ability for a user to work with their music files the way they wish. When I think of the sheer number of users out there with Macs, it is hard to fathom that no one else has either felt artificially blocked in some way or being unfairly pushed into some subscription streaming service they don't want. Yet in trying to find alternatives and in doing so came across Strawberry and not wanted to try to bring it back to life in the Mac world. But I will tell you, In these past few months, Strawberry is not alone in this problem. There are a number of other applications along the same lines as Strawberry, and they've pretty much either been abandoned years ago, or have not been updated in the past three to ten years or more. And from what you said, now I understand why. It's one thing to put a lot of effort into a piece of software, but it's another to do it and see no interest or even reward in it.
I've been well aware of the issue of people doing just that with software, then trusting in the good will of those who download their work, not willing to drop a few dollars for a donation. And when you think in terms of the thousands that may be using that piece of application, yet won't give a cent… It makes me want to ask to stop the world, ask for a transfer, and get off. Even I will give money when I find a piece of software that fills a void and does so reliably.
So, here I sit still. I've been struggling with Music and hating it more and more with each month that goes by. The damn thing is just utterly lousy with maintaining a large library. To the point of stripping tag information, or deleting files randomly. And yes, I know I'm on a machine stuck in Catalina land. But I'm not financially at the point where I can just run out to buy another computer because Apple no longer wishes to support it. It's bad enough the thing is kept going by what amounts to electronic bubble gum and band-aids these days. But this whole affair has made me stop and think about Apple's place in my future all together. As even if I had the cash, I am hard-pressed for committing such a large sum of money for a machine from a company that I have quickly grown to despise these past five years. And that is quite a leap, considering I was one of the great lovers of all things Apple. But it is not as if I am ready to take on Windows either. Yes there is Linus, but then with that would I be setting myself up for similar issues when it came to application availability?
And let me just say one last thing about Strawberry. In comparison to Apple's horror show, Music… the sound of Strawberry is by far much superior to Music. Considering all the fanfare, Apple should be utterly ashamed. But then again, I don't think they give a damn.
@CherryStraw Boy do I hear you. You are right, when it comes to Apple, the options for applications is still so much less than what is available for Windows. And considering that Apple has been a healed fruit now for almost twenty years or so. So why after all this time is the application selection so utterly disappointing?
I remember hearing of Winamp for Windows years ago and how well liked it was. But then it ceased to be for some reason, which I never really heard about. And Clementine and Amarock... it's unbelievable, they are essentially defunct in one way or another. I have to wonder when it comes to music and Apple users if maybe the millions who rely upon Apple's Music, if they just choose to deal with all the hiccups and stupidity as just something to accept as normal. That is the only thing I can come up with as to why there doesn't seem to be any real pushback amongst Apple users with mama Apple.
And that brings up another thing. Normally, it seems that you really have to watch what you say and how you say it with other Apple users. Criticism of Apple is too often not well received, almost blasphemy. Even in those instances where a problem has existed for quite some time, has been discussed for months or years with pleas for Apple to do something to fix this or that. They don't get mad. It is almost as if they're afraid that Apple is going to take their right to use their devices or something. It reminds me of that old Seinfeld episode and the Soup Nazi… “No more soup for you!” LOL. I'm sorry, this stuff is just way too expensive to not get upset when things don't work they way they were promised. Apple is a corporation, it isn't a deity or even another human, but to listen or read some people plea and whimper...
Hey, thanks for the recommendation. I've just downloaded it and will give it a try in the morning when I'm fresh. It looks remarkably similar to iTunes, yet in reading some of its notes it definitely is far more capable as far as what kind of editing you can do with track information. That and it works with Airplay and has smart play lists is a big plus too. I was trying to figure out how to get Strawberry to function with airplay, but didn't have any luck tonight. I know one thing I have to consider, which is that although for the time being I am stuck in Catalina due to having an old iMac that is no longer supported, it won't be that way forever. Whatever direction I head will perhaps make things a little easier regarding what applications may be available to me on a new machine. But I am serious when I say this, as a result of all this trouble I've been having with Apple's applications, its HomePod and being able to play my own library, my e-book collection which is now a mess thanks to Apple, etc., etc. I am now pretty untrusting and now all to jazzed about the direction Apple may be going in the future. Yes, I really do love the ecosystem, and it is essentially all I've used for years, but I have lost a lot of faith in Apple. I no longer believe that it's in any way concerned about its users in the way it once was. If there is anything I cannot tolerate is feeling like I'm being forced into a situation where the only answer to making a system work is to be locked into some monthly subscription service for this or that. And in Apple's case that would be paying for iCloud and well over 200 GB, their monthly Music service just to get HomePod to play my own personal library, and increase my iCloud level to 2 or more TB's for Apple Books to work with it all as well. That means having to pay Apple twenty to thirty dollars a month, if not more, forever. That is utterly ridiculous when it comes to home computing. Especially when the entire affair is artificially constructed to be that way. There was a time, when you could keep all your files where you wished (weather on the local HD or on an external), tag and file them as you wished, and access them via your home network as you wished. And now Apple is playing hardball, changing their systems both hard and soft to force its users into become monthly subscribers to this or that service. And that I find heinous, not to mention unforgivable.
@Gemini62167 You know what? I agree with you. I used to be an Apple's user in the end of the 2000's decade and beginnings of the 2010's decade; Mac OS X Mavericks was the last OS I used before selling my old iMac, if you're wondering. The thing here is, entering in the Apple world is almost entering in a sect. I don't think users fear Apple (The company itself I mean) but the rest of their companions instead. If you don't remember that era, people were really hyped with OS X Mavericks because it was the first system to be completely free in the App Store; Yes, before of getting freely the upgrades in your Mac, you needed to pay for the Operating Systems, which is a joke considering the copies of the OS were only functional in the Mac computers unlike Windows.
Anyway, returning back to the subject, yes. Entering to the Apple's world is like entering to a sect. The people there are completely silent about the problems in the hardware and software, even there's people who believed (And still believes) Apple's software are safer than the competency, just because there's no virus in those systems. When the reality is, hackers are simply not interested in hacking those OS because they're expensive and the people who owns Apple products are a minority. Any comment about flaws or problems in the system, or just negative commentaries about Apple gets hostile answers by the users, and sometimes, even censorship. I don't regret getting away of that world, honestly. Having experience of how the Apple's users move in the web, I'm not at all suprised how easily Apple pushed down to their throat the flawed Apple Music, when iTunes was an excellent alternative to play and buy your music without the tiresome streaming. There was literally zero need to delet iTunes from their future systems. iTunes wasn't a heavy software, and even if it was, the Macs always had at least 500GB of storage in the hard disk, isn't that space enough? Bruh. Even Windows still preserves WMP, though obsolete is still there. It's kind of miracle how Jon decided to support MacOS even if (I have understood) he doesn't have a Mac himself.
IMO, all the Apple users are afraid of bothering their companions because any criticism against Apple, either good or destructive is received with hostility. And those who see the flaws in their systems, choose to remain away, because any Apple hardware is too expensive to endure obvious problems, including this one: The lack of music players in MacOS.
@CherryStraw Very true. I do remember and also have been painfully aware of the flashback that occurs when saying anything remotely negative about Apple. It drives me nuts, particularly for the fact that regardless what Apple produces, sells, and eventually fosters as an outward appearance, it is still a huge multinational corporation now. And corporations are in business for profit, not for touchy-feely friendship (although fostering an image of such really does help the bottom line profit wise).
I haven't had too much experience with experience outside of Apple's Community Support, and what little I have had has only been this past year or two. Mostly on Reddit and another site I've forgotten. Aside from one or two somewhat “sniffy” responses, the majority have been in agreement to my complaints. All of which haven't changed in their subject all that much these past two years.
What I have found over the past five years is that when using the Apple Community, you can forget saying anything remotely derogatory about the company itself, its business practices, and sometimes the wording used when explaining a problem. Apple takes a brute force hard line against allowing such things, as it guards its brand like a pit bull. In other words, it censors with a capital “C” and if the question is valuable enough, they will even strip it of all complaints towards the company, leaving only the question or concern giving the random reader the illusion that the OP wrote it that way.
Apple spent a lot of money and time building or rebuilding that lovey-dovey, “we're all just friends here”, atmosphere around their name some twenty years ago. It wasn't too difficult being that Apple always had that going for them when Steve Jobs was originally at the helm. But they jettisoned him, only to have to beg him to come back after the board trashed the company the way it did.
And during those years while Jobs was at the helm once more, the company flourished because he reinstated and firmly believed in the original premise of, “it just works”. But now he is gone and won't be coming back—at least by any normal means. The company is massive, and now acts pretty much like any other company of it's size YET, it recognizes and continues to foster that “Apple aura”, even though it isn't nearly as true as the years have passed on.
That is probably why within the Apple Community forum's we don't see the kind of honest commentary that we might see elsewhere. I've also stopped trying to find answers there, particularly for those issues that are long-standing and have been complained about for years. Yet no response or promises of a fix from Apple appears. As for any suggestions to correct an issue, I have found that most often those suggestions are no better than the kind you get from your internet provider when the service takes a nose dive.
“Did you restart your computer,
Did you unplug your modem and plug it back in,
Did you wash your hands after blowing your nose,
Did you make certain the Moon was in Capricorn before trying any of the above?”
As for suggestions from the minions in the Apple Community Support forum is a crap shoot. My not being so technically oriented when it comes to computers of any kind, it is hard to parse some of the techeese that gets thrown at me. Especially when it is presented in a way that assumes I actually know what I'm doing, lol.
Anywho. It does sadden me, because I still feel that the system is a brilliant one and always had been. Nothing is without fault, and those who criticize it as if it should be perfect are missing that point. No system runs perfectly, not as long as humans lie at the bottom of all that coding. There comes a time when one must weigh the good against the bad and decide with that in mind. For me, the issue of leaving Apple for something else is still slightly out of balance favoring Apple, but not by much these days. And the keywords in that sentence are “for me”. It could be very different for someone else based on their experience, their length of time with Apple, and whether they are more or less computer-literate than your average user.
When Apple switched to Unix in 2000, it made it that much more accessible to those who wanted to get beneath the hood of the GUI and tinker about the way you might expect with a PC. That and the implementation of Services, Scripts, and Automator with the OS itself for those of us much less so. Of course, I had given those only cursory investigation, but in those times I had I found them very useful and capable. I still use those scripts today, as they appear right in the general GUI and function just as readily as any of the other Finder functions you would expect to use.
But this is where I sit today. Although, I've finally given to testing Strawberry this very week, the idea of having to leave the Apple ecosystem is frightening and angers me. Once again, out of corporate greed and Apple's practice of taking a heavy hand at those who try to call them out for contradictory practices, Apple is becoming no different from Microsoft or any other multinational. And that pisses me off to no end. The fact that Tim Cook is using the longstanding reputation that Apple was built upon to foster and grow as a company. Even though in practice, Apple is nothing at all like it was after Jobs brought it back from the brink of death. And that is sickening, just from the sheer deception and dishonesty of it all. Yet here we are. Millions of Apple users who have this buddy buddy like feeling of camaraderie towards the company fail to recognize something so basic, so fundamental. That fact is that relationship is a deceptive one, because in truth it all comes down to money and power. That friendship only exists if there is money involved, or hopes for it to be involved. In the end, when the chips are down, Apple is going to do whatever it needs to keep it profitable. You cannot trust anyone, not a company or an individual whose lowest common denominator in life and for all their decision-making comes down to profit, money, power, blah blah. To think otherwise either suggests naïveté or having fallen victim to the years of social programming that instill within us the belief that capitalism is as important as democracy itself. In fact, the two are one and the same for many of us now, and that is sad.
But hey, Apple is not the only major corporation doing that these days. Many of the long-standing companies, and I mean the very long-standing companies, are all doing the same. They're cheapening the production practices of their products, substituting and using inferior materials, weakening their quality control standards, etc. This seems to be the way of corporate practices, beginning roughly within the past ten years. Which of course points to a much larger issue we all should be concerned with, which is the darker side of capitalism.
The vast majority of westerners, or at least Americans, have been programmed to think of capitalism as this infinitely beneficial economic system that can do no wrong. That would indeed be nice if it were true, however there are no such animals in existence in the physical world. All things have their cycles, their ups, their zenith, and then their downward spiral and eventual death. In this case, we've moved into a form of capitalism that is anything but product and service based, at least in the way most would think of it. Our economy is no longer supportive or encouraging towards entrepreneurship. Yes, we are told that it is and always has been and always will be, but when you look at what has changed in government these past forty or so years you see a different picture. Instead, our laws, regulations, tax system etc., are and have been slowly skewed increasingly toward the very top of the income brackets, towards the big and massive corporations owned and managed by those in those brackets and so on.
Now it is more about capital investments, shifting and pulling money about, buying companies not for their product emphasis, but to extract more wealth by either laying off everyone, selling off the hard goods and patents, and profiting on that. That would only be the tip of the iceberg. Then there is big money in making wealth from money itself. If anyone was cognizant as an adult or thereabouts about 15 to 20 years ago when the signs of an impending financial implosion was to occur (which actually did) they would recognize it for what it was. That was a text book case of over deregulation, allowing financial services to cross over into formerly hands off territory, etc., and eventually it all fell apart. And as a reason, and excuse for those too simple or too bigoted to know better, It killed me to hear people accept the excuse that it was the faul of all the minorities who were taking out loans they couldn't afford... WTF? As if you could just walk into any financial institution, take a loan of your liking off the shelf, bring it to the register and then walk out with it. It really baffles me that people couldn't use their brains with this.
When I studied business in school I was taught that it was the finanical institutions themselves who were responsible and entrusted with safe guarding with a heavy hand the monies entrusted to them. Instead by the early 2000s shortly after deregulations were being enacted, they were giving it all away, because they knew they were going to sell off those loans within a months time anyway so let someone else deal with collecting on them. Hell, I was offered five times more than I needed for a mortgage, no money down, and no mortgage loan costs by HSBC. When I told the loan officer I was putting half down, and I didn't need, nor could afford a loan of that size she gaped at me. Telling me she hadn't had anyone put any money down, let alone half! Everyone was rolling all of those things into the loans themselves!
Anyway, I've digressed. But here we are, on the brink of some oncoming societal melt-down of a sort and all I care about right now is how I can get this damn imac working worth its cost. And so far, I am indeed very impressed with Strawberry. I only hope that it can grow in its support, particularly with those of us using Apple products.
@Gemini62167 Thank you for bothering in writing such a long post about this Apple theme. I'm sad too about the fact things changed for worst since the decease of Steve Jobs; I always knew Tim Cook was making a deplorable job as the new CEO (Remember that iPhone X presentation for the 10th anniversay of the original iPhone which was more a spit to the face of the user than a real tribute to the original phone?) but I didn't knew things were this messed. Looks like you know Apple more than me so I don't have too much to add as a feedback, so I'll thank you again for writing all this for me, and for the rest of the people who's reading in this thread.
And thanks to Jonas for doing such an excellent Music Player, even for Mac users; I think Mac users needs a hero since the most recent OS systems doesn't have iTunes anymore and the number of music players is low.