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Vox 1.0 makes beautiful music

The short version of this post: Vox is a music player with a beautiful interface and an elegant feature set. I love it.

Vox 1.0 was released today after being in public beta for a while. It's a free music player for Mac that was originally created as a developer's side project. While it became quite popular, it never reached its full potential. That changes today.

I've been using the beta for a couple of weeks now, and I'm loving it as an iTunes alternative for my local music. I'm a heavy Spotify user, so Simplify is still always open as well, but Vox has completely replaced iTunes for playing music from my local library.

Vox handles all popular lossless and lossy formats:

  • FLAC
  • MP3
  • AAC
  • Musepack
  • Monkey's Audio
  • OGG Vorbis
  • Apple Lossless
  • AIFF, WAV, IT, MOD, XM and others.

It works with its own playlists for files on your drive, your iTunes library (including playlists) and internet radio (premium feature). The audio quality is outstanding, and there's a built-in 10-band equalizer with presets. Headphone listening is a pleasure with Bauer Stereo, and it can even pause when headphones are unplugged.

Vox 10 makes beautiful musicThe interface is compact and elegant, with all of the controls you need in a small space. You can even close the window and use controls in your menu bar, either spread out with prev / play / pause / next in a row, or a single icon that drops down a menu for those. Further, you can display album artwork in the Dock instead of the application icon, and right-clicking provides all the controls in a standard OS X Dock popup.

There are subtle niceties such as gesture support for volume and playback position. Just put your cursor over the progress bar and scroll up and down or left and right to scrub through the track. Same for the volume button, which doubles as an output selector. Dragging an audio file over it overlays drop zones where you can add it to the current playlist, or clear the queue and play it immediately.

Speaking of outputs, it works perfectly with Airfoil Speakers and AirPlay devices.

The playback window can be "floated" to stay on top of other windows and easily assigned to appear on all spaces. Or not, your choice.

Vox also has some great system integration. It can pause your music when you get a Skype call, and it sends full album artwork to Growl for alert styles that support it. You can customize global shortcut keys for playback and volume control, and with an additional plugin, you can enable support for various remotes, headphone controls and keyboard media keys.

Last.fm scrobbling is built in, and there are more features on the way, including BowTie theme compatibility and a Take Five plugin.

At the price of zero dollars, I can't see any reason why any music lover wouldn't go check out Vox right now. Also, the developers are running a little promo over at my own site, so hop on by to see what's up!

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