Review: Enqueue music player for OSX

As regular readers will have noted, my preferred music encoding format is FLAC. My whole music library (>7,000 tracks) is FLAC at 16/44.1 or higher. I am a fussy listener and I do not want to even have any chance of compression artefacts interfere with my music listening.

This is problem for me now on Mac OSX as the standard music player is of course iTunes – and iTunes does not support FLAC. Now before all you geeks tell me I should be using Apple’s answer to FLAC – ALAC – I would but ALAC is not well supported by UPnP AV servers and clients – most notably my ONKYO network amplifier. Also I can convert from FLAC to anything – including MP3, AAC for portability.

So the search began for a music replacement for iTunes. Put simply, I wanted the library and user interface of iTunes and support for FLAC  but none of the “useless” iTunes bloat – video, apps, itunes store, genius, syncing etc.

For a while Vox was the best I could find. It supported FLAC but the user interface is a throw back to the Winamp days. We have moved on a bit since then.

Enqueue is the answer. It does all I want – music FLAC support (all resolutions) library scanning, album art and even bulk tag maintenance (with art). You can setup playlists and  it can show some graphs re your playing history.

The only gripe I have is that at higher bitrates (eg 24/96), it stutters. I suspect this may be more to do with my LAN than Enqueue but it would be good if it buffered a bit more like Vox obviously does (which never stutters). Music players should not assume they have local access to music on a local hard drive.

Other than that one gripe, Enqueue great value at A$10.49 from the AppStore.




2 comments to Review: Enqueue music player for OSX

  • dutz57

    I have recently discovered your blog. I too came across OSX about 18 months ago at the suggestion of a friend. I run Windows XP in Virtualbox for a few applications that require it. I have been extremely happy with this as it has simplified my computing experience and just works. Your comment about Flac is interesting. I have a very large Flac collection of about 20,000 songs. It is several hundred gigabytes and pretty unwieldily
    to manage. I truly believed that I could hear the difference between these Flacs and compressed music. More recently I have been converting my Flacs to mp4 (aac) using Max ( great application). I have selected my favourites and obviously can use iTunes to mange the converted files. I have decided that if I convert the Flacs to 224 kbps I cannot here any real difference between the Flacs and the aac files. Check out Hydrogen Audio website which is a community of audio tragics, many of whom are convinced that nobody can really identify differences between compressed and uncompressed music in double blind tests. I found this a bit of a revelation and actually agree with them. Of course Flac is fantastic for archiving your collection and storing away somewhere. I use a Squeezebox to listen to my music collection but also have an Apple TV and an Airport Express which come in handy for the iOS devices we own (iPad and iPod Touch).

    Anyway just a few random comments and I await your next post of comments about real world computing in the family home.
    Cheers dutz57 (from Sydney’s inner west)

    • dutz57

      Yes, I use Max to do bulk converts from Flac to other formats -usually to maintain my secondary MP3 library – and it is an excellent utility. And yes I have read the arguments on Hydrogen Audio. I think I have narrowed down my issues to my main home theatre setup and speakers (it might even be the room itself – it has a cement floor). Everywhere else music sounds great but in there on the biggest speakers and onkyo amp it all sounds a little washed out. Maybe if I focus on the speakers and the setup in that room rather than the source files, I might find the problem.

      I am tempted to move to AAC 224 bps since most things in my house now support it. Of course my car player is only mp3 so that would remain a bit of a pain. But maybe for the car I just need to convert and burn when required and let everything else point to the AAC library. Could be a project for this Summer….

      Nice to hear from you.


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