Everyone knows that iTunes can be a resource hog, and if you just want to play a song, why should you have to clog up your system with a heavy client? These alternatives will allow you to browse your music library without any hassle, if you’re willing to sacrifice some functionality.
Instinctiv is very light weight, but still manages to have an excellent set of features. You can view and purchace local concert tickets, which is great for those who love to hear their favorite artists in person. It has an “Instinctiv Shuffle” mode which plays similar songs based on your mood. The app opens quickly and the user interface is gorgeous and unobtrusive. It can sync with pretty much anything except iDevices, but that is a limitation imposed by Apple. You can post your current song to Facebook and Twitter with one click, and it supports Last.fm scrobbling. It is still in the beta stages, but the developers are very active and constantly updating it with new features, and it looks like their are working on apps for a variety of devices. This is my personal favorite out of the three.
Cog is a folder-based player, so you don’t mess around with silly things like playlists or album art. It supports pretty much every file format, and has Growl support for you notification fans. It’s not the prettiest, but it gets the job done without any hassle. It supports Last.fm if you have the scrobbler installed, and can work with the Apple remote. It seems that development has come to a halt, which is a shame, but the application is still fully functionally and ready to use.
Everplay aims to combine Last.fm and iTunes into one lightweight client. Unlike Instinctiv or Cog, Everplay depends entirely on the existing iTunes library, and plugs into your playlists and other iTunes media. It’s essentially a mini iTunes, and it is perfect if you’re planning to switch off between the two. It also has Growl support, and features a mini-player that stays on you desktop for easy access. It can post to Twitter, so you can share your current song with the world. The full version is $19.99, which a bit excessive considering that the other options are free. It crashed on me a few times, and couldn’t find my new music until iTunes imported it first. If you’re looking for a complete replacement for iTunes, look elsewhere; but if you’re looking to browse your iTunes library with a lightweight client, then Everplay may be the app for you.
If you have any other alternatives, let us know in the comments!