Audio for Mac is a new macOS app for organizing file-based music collections. As the consumer market is rapidly shifting to streaming services, and Apple announced the death of iTunes, collectors and industry professionals are wondering how to keep track of the audio files on their hard drives. The Audio app, which was just launched on Kickstarter, seeks to fill that void.
Although Apple has promised that its upcoming Music app will import existing iTunes libraries, it’s unlikely that it will be of much help to users with large file-based music collections. If anything, it will probably continue where iTunes left off, which means a cluttered folder structure and library files prone to getting corrupted. Let’s face it – Apple has a vital interest in guiding consumers away from downloaded files to streamed content. The file-based part of iTunes had started to feel like unwelcome baggage long before Apple finally axed the application.
But if you’re a collector, musician, producer, or DJ, you probably still have a good-sized collection of WAV, MP3, and/or FLAC files on your hard drive, and it won’t go away. Besides listening to them, you need to be able to organize, find, and convert those files. To make matters worse, many professional users are constantly dealing with multiple versions of the same tracks, something that iTunes was never particularly good at.
Organizing file-based music collections
With Audio for Mac, developer Ben Bowler has set out to create an app specifically for collectors and industry professionals who need to organize their music files. Audio stores files in native folders and forgoes the central library file, thereby avoiding one of the most frequently criticized issues with iTunes. This means that syncing your library across several computers can easily be achieved using iCloud, Dropbox, or another cloud service. As of now, Audio for Mac does not sync to mobile devices, but the developer says that he is envisioning iOS and iPad OS versions in the future.
Audio plays WAV, AIFF, MP3, and FLAC files and lets you create playlists. The developer claims that the app’s search function is “lightning fast”. Visually, the transition from iTunes should be smooth, as Audio clearly takes some design clues from Apple’s long-running app. There’s also a dark mode, in line with one of the new features in macOS Catalina.
If you think that Audio for Mac is for you, head over to Kickstarter, where you can support the development of the app. From the available donation options, it appears that the developer is planning a subscription-based payment plan, which is a bummer. Wait a minute, I’ll have to rent an app to manage the files that I own? Audio will have to be mighty good for me to consider that. But maybe I’m just old school.
What do you think? Is there a need for an application like Audio? How do you keep your music files organized? Let us know in the comments!