I'm experiencing high frustration looking for a music player for OSX Catalina - can anyone please recommend one? Here's what I'm looking for:

  • Primarily plays local music files (MP3 / FLAC) - online library / radio features should not be the focus
  • Lets you organize music into any number of playlists, and sort the music in a playlist by title, album, or artist
  • Lets you play a playlist on shuffle-repeat
  • Some way to quickly find the currently playing track in a playlist, to reorder or remove
  • A single window for playlist management and player controls (forced multiple windows is a deal-breaker)
  • Playlists can be reduced to show only track, album, artist, and maybe art - no ads, no social features, no forced integrations. I'm happy to pay for this privilege.
  • Big bonus points for any features that alert or identify duplicates in a playlist
  • Streaming from UPnP (or any local network streaming supported by Synology) a plus, but not necessary

Desktop apps are preferred, but I have the skills to work with open-source and web-based packages if necessary.

What I've Tried So Far

Spotify Premium - I left because my favorite tracks were constantly being disabled, and many of their playlist management features were broken. Shift-selecting a group of songs resulted in a patchy random selection, and clicking on the current song took you to a random song in the playlist, not the currently playing one.

Plexamp / Plex - current solution. It plays my playlists, but Plexamp doesn't shuffle-repeat and doesn't let you manage playlists at all - and Plex's playlists are totally manual. Zero ability to sort, and painful to find the song currently playing in a playlist.

Apple Music - slow and clunky, playlist layout is bloated and cluttered, not a fan of the constant advertising and funnelling to their online features.

VOX, Musique, Elmedia Player and many others don't seem to deal in playlists at all - or only let you have a single playlist.

VLC - I have seen a lot of recommendations for this, but the latest version is constantly throwing errors - or constantly prompting me to upgrade when I downgrade to 3.0.8. I also cannot figure out how to create new playlists other than a single queue.

Thanks in advance!

2 Answers 2


Quod Libet has the ability to run on multiple platforms (MacOS, Linux, Windows,etc)

  • It is free and open source
  • It can play local files e.g. mp3, flac
  • Music can be organised by playlists, and drag and drop tracks easily. You can also import/export playlists.
  • It also has a powerful search facility, and can sort/filter by title, album, artist, year etc. You can see more details on Search here.
  • you can use a single window. But can also use multiple windows.
  • no ads, no social features, no forced integrations.
  • has a plugin for duplicates, and many other features which can be enabled.
  • See here for a full list of features
  • This is pretty close to what I was looking for - thanks!
    – CodeMoose
    Sep 14, 2020 at 2:33
  • Great! Glad it is close to what you need.
    – Z Z
    Sep 14, 2020 at 11:35

I would recommend cantata. It should do all the things you are looking for:

A graphical (Qt5) client for MPD, supporting the following features:

  1. Supports Linux, macOS, Windows, and Haiku. NOTE: Only Linux actively supported as of 2.3.3
  2. Multiple MPD collections.
  3. Highly customisable layout.
  4. Songs (optionally) grouped by album in play queue.
  5. Context view to show artist, album, and song information of current track.
  6. Simple tag editor.
  7. File organizer - use tags to organize files and folders.
  8. Ability to calculate ReplyGain tags. (Linux only, and if relevant libraries installed)
  9. Dynamic playlists.
  10. Smart Playlists.
  11. Online services; Jamendo, Magnatune, SoundCloud, and Podcasts.
  12. Radio stream support - with the ability to search for streams via TuneIn, ShoutCast, or Dirble.
  13. USB-Mass-Storage and MTP device support. (Linux only, and if relevant libraries installed)
  14. Audio CD ripping and playback. (Linux only, and if relevant libraries installed)
  15. Playback of non-MPD songs - via simple in-built HTTP server.
  16. MPRISv2 DBUS interface.
  17. Scrobbling.
  18. Ratings support.

While it really shines when using with Linux. It should still be much better than using VLC even in MacOS or Windows.

And since this is an open source project there wont be any ads or need to pay for anything.

  • I awarded the bounty to the other answer since it got me up and running out-of-the-box, but I'm intrigued by MPD and this player - I'll definitely tinker around with this. Thanks!
    – CodeMoose
    Sep 14, 2020 at 2:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.