One of them is Google Play Music. It’s free to try, easy to use, multi-platform on smartphones, and priced right. All you need is a Google account. For Mac users there’s a problem. Google Music doesn’t fare well against all the bells and whistles in iTunes. For that you need Gear Player and it comes in different forms for different strokes for different folks.
Gears Are Boss
Gear Player is an inexpensive Mac app which acts a bit like iTunes– without the store– but eliminates the need to use a web browser or Flash player. If you’re a Mac user who listens to music on your Mac then there’s not much to not like about using Gear Player.
You get full Google Music All Access options, including search and radio. Use Gear to create mixes, playlists, and manage your music library. In fact, Gear Player looks and works much like the playlist and library options in iTunes. There’s even a built-in equalizer, standard transport controls in the toolbar, and search is almost instant.
Gear Player has two visual themes; Modern Dark and Cocoa, plus features you won’t find in iTunes, including Last.fm scribbling, ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ radio, and more.
Gear Player comes with plenty of options to rate songs, setup auto playlists, and pause if the Mac goes to sleep. All the standard Apple media keyboard controls work in Gear Player, too. Did I mention that you can upload up to 20,000 songs to the Google Play service?
Mac users have been relegated to the Google Play Music browser window but Gear Player brings a more polished and responsive control set to the Mac, and now there’s a try before you buy option for the Mac, but not for iPhone (there’s also a Windows version). Yes, you can play YouTube music, too, and it works great on AirPlay and ChromeCast, and there’s a built-in offline option so you don’t need to be connected to the internet.
What about iPhone? There’s also an iPhone version of Gear Player called Gearmusic and the price tag is lower than Gear Player which is already low.
Google Music is not iTunes. Gear Player and Gearmusic are not iTunes equivalents, either, but they are options and both make a good way to listen to music that does not come from Apple.