I'm looking for the final word in Media player software for Mac

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Archetype

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Oct 16, 2017
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Hi Quadaholics.

I'm kind of at my wits end looking for a single media player for Mac that meets all of my requirements to be a total solution.

What I'm looking for is:

Hi-rez audio in all of the usual formats
Multi-channel capable
Gapless playback
Album cover art
Video file playback
Video disk playback (DVD & Bluray)
Audio output selectable

Jriver Media Center is close but doesn't support disk playback on a Mac (it does on a PC).
Nightingale doesn't support disk playback either. It does support album art but not in a Album page format...only in the lower corner. Any additional functions are with user Add-ons that I don't understand at all.
Audirvana seemed to loose out to Jriver in workflow and then I ran out of time before getting to any video testing
VCL - doesn't support disk playback, gap playback and wrong multi-channel outputs. Loopback can fix the channel thing but its expensive.

Any suggestions? For DVD playback, the built in (legacy) DVD Player works great except that it only outputs 5.1 if I send the audio to an external digital source...like my Oppo103. If I use internal audio...it plays in stereo.

A lot of the disk players I've tried have a weird jerkiness to them when the movie pans or zooms. The Mac DVD player doesn't do that.

Thanks for your input.

Cheers,
Archetype
 

Archetype

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I get the impression that actual disk playback is difficult to implement. Jriver told me that disk play is implemented on the PC version but, because of the way it is integrated in PC Jriver, it's REALLY difficult to adapt it to the Mac version.

Without disk play, the Nightingale is actual a great player - Multichannel capable, Gapless playback, proper audio output assignment and free. Video playback too, from files. I haven't tested all file formats that I have yet, but so far, it's been great.
 

LuvMyQuad

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Kodi is not on the list above, even though it meets all the criteria and includes a version for IOS.

The disc playback thing is iffy. I see mentions of it in the Kodi community site, but I've never worked with it at all. I never had any incentive to get into it because I don't play discs with the PC.

I thought part of the problem with disc playback from software media players is the copy protection and licensing involved. In my experience, VCL will play back some DVD's. Other times it throws out an error because of the copy protection. It wont play blue rays at all, again due to the copy protection.
 

Archetype

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Hmmm, I never thought about copyright protection and licensing fees.

I use VCL sometimes but it doesn't assign multichannel output properly...center is in the rear left, sub is in front right etc...They're kinda working on it for the last couple of years, from what I've read on their form. It also doesn't do gapless playback.

I'll definitely check out Kodi. I've never heard of it or seen it mentioned. I've seen Roon(?) mentioned but it's almost too much from what I see on their site.
 

LuvMyQuad

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I'll definitely check out Kodi. I've never heard of it or seen it mentioned. I've seen Roon(?) mentioned but it's almost too much from what I see on their site.
Here is a forum link for Kodi setup on PC. I don't think there is one for Apple IOS, but I'm sure you can get an IOS version of Kodi. Its one of the few media players that can be used on virtually all popular OSs: Windows, Linux, IOS and Android,
 

Archetype

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Hey LuvMyQaud.

I checked out Kodi on my Mac. It feels like a solid interface but, on my computer all least, it takes over my entire screen with no ability to access my desktop, dock or other apps. I have to quit Kodi to get back to my desktop. It does play disks but it has choppy rendering when the movie zooms or pans. I found the interface frustrating probably because I didn't see a basic empty playlist (like VCL, Jriver or Nightingale) that I could just drag and drop music I wanted to listen to. Perhaps this is because it's optimized for IOS.

Thanks for the suggestion LMQ.
 

LuvMyQuad

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Hey LuvMyQaud.

I checked out Kodi on my Mac. It feels like a solid interface but, on my computer all least, it takes over my entire screen with no ability to access my desktop, dock or other apps. I have to quit Kodi to get back to my desktop. It does play disks but it has choppy rendering when the movie zooms or pans. I found the interface frustrating probably because I didn't see a basic empty playlist (like VCL, Jriver or Nightingale) that I could just drag and drop music I wanted to listen to. Perhaps this is because it's optimized for IOS.

Thanks for the suggestion LMQ.
Anything I say here is from experience using Kodi on Windows, so IOS milage may vary.

There is a menu option to present the interface in full screen or windowed mode. I think its in "system Settings". There is also a shortcut key to toggle between FS and Windowed. A "/" I think, maybe CTRL /. Google is your friend.

I don't play discs via Kodi, but I know there are lots of options to set video properly. The answer is probably somewhere in there.

You cant drag and drop anything in the Kodi GUI. Try right clicking on things to get a context menu. With that you can build playlists. You should also be able to get a listed or playwall view of all music in the library.

What skin are you using? The default is pretty basic and boring (Estuary maybe?), but there are many others. Also, be sure to change the menu level to expert to be sure you see all menu options.
 
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