There are times when dining out is a negative experience, but not due to poor service, or unsightly ambiance. It’s the menu. Too many choices (and not enough photos; we really have to trust the waiter at a fine dining establishment).
What? Choice is good, right? Yes. But there are times when managing choices becomes a cumbersome experience. Here’s an example. Almost every Mac user I know uses iTunes. And Spotify. And Pandora. And others get Rdio, Vox, and others. How does a Mac user manage all those choices?
I was treated to the writings of Henry David Thoreau while in college. See if you can see yourself in these words:
Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!
You can see what’s coming, right?
I do believe in simplicity. It is astonishing as well as sad, how many trivial affairs even the wisest thinks he must attend to in a day; how singular an affair he thinks he must omit.
Obviously, Thoreau was not talking about the Mac app Simplify, but the idea is similar; we have too much going on in our lives to manage them all as effectively as we wish. Simplify for Mac tries to help by bringing to a single control most of the world’s popular music sources.
One control, multiple music sources. Anyway, that’s the idea behind Simplify. The reality is a bit different but moving in the right direction. Simplify brings you control over multiple, disparate entities, but in a more manageable, intuitive way.
Control iTunes from your Menubar, the Mac Desktop, the keyboard, or Apple Remote. Simplify features a simple player switcher which lets you move quickly between SoundCloud, Spotify, iTunes, and Rdio
For all the simplicity of managing a number of music services from one location, Simplify is not without bells and whistles. There’s a Preference Pane to control players via the keyboard. The mini-players makes it easy to see what’s playing now. Even the current playing track gets album covers.
As if that’s not enough to justify the nominal price tag, there are some experimental features built in, too, including support of Pandora and other services.
Simplify may sound simple, but there’s a lot going on, including options to share music, control music playback over your home network, Apple Remote, auto pause when a Skype call comes in, Last.fm scribbling, and more. The experimental support requires extensions to Safari or Chrome to manage Pandora, Deezer and other music services.
When it gets right down to it, Simplify tries to simplify managing multiple music sources, so that’s a plus, and while it’s not expensive as music player management apps go, there’s no try-before-you-buy option, either. Mac App Store reviewers are split into two camps; one group loves it, another group has had all kinds of problems with it and voiced opinions accordingly, hence the need for a trial version.