Best Player Music For Mac



Read definitive guide by audio software developer Yuri Korzunov about free and commercial hi res audio player software apps on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and other computers, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, online for audiophiles, F.A.Q., what is the best music player. I recently decided to set up my Mac in this way, to deliver hi-res throughout the signal chain-from my music library, to the player, to the DAC, to my preamp, amp, and loudspeakers (or preamp to.

Read definitive guide by audio software developer Yuri Korzunov about:
• free and commercial hi res audio player software apps on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and other [computers, laptops, mobile phones, tablets],
• online for audiophiles,
• Frequently Answered Questions,
• what is the best music player app,
• supported formats (WAV, FLAC, DSD [DSF, DFF, SACD ISO], MQA, m4a, ....) and others.

HD audio file conversion


Watch and share: Hi Res Audio [How it works. Sound quality. 7 Myths]

High-resolution audio player software

Hi res music player software for audiophiles (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, online) for WAV, FLAC, DSD (DSF, DFF, SACD ISO, DoP), MQA, m4a, ....

WARNING: This table can contain errors. It is not an offer or advertising. We are not affiliated with listed products. We guarantee nothing. If you found wrong information, contact us, please. To get exact information, contact with the software developers and/or vendors.
Supported sample rate and bit depth may depend on a file format.

Audio playerOperation systemLicenseSupported file typesSample rateDAC interfaceDescription

Audio players Windows, Mac, Linux

AIMP Windows FreeCDA, AAC, ac3, APE, DTS, FLAC, m4a, ogg, mp3, WAV, WMA, WavPack, DSF, DFF, other, web radio DirectSound, ASIO, WASAPI
Album Player Windows Free WAV, FLAC, APE, WavPack, ALAC, AIFF, TAK, MP3, MP4, OGG, CD, DSD, DVD-A, otherASIO, Kernel Streaming, WASAPI
Amarok Linux, Unix, Windows, Mac Free
Amarra Luxe Windows, Mac CommercialDSF, mp3, AAC, MQA, WAV, AIFF, FLAC, ALAC, streaming service, otherDSD to PCM
Audiogate Windows, MacDSF, DFF, WAV, FLAC, BWF, WMA, ALAC, mp3, other up to DSD128 DAC limitation for the software activation
Audirvana Mac, Windows Commercial DSF, DFF (including DST), SACD ISO, WAV, FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, WavPack, APE, MQA, streaming service, otherDoP, DSD to PCM Windows 10 compatible
Audacious Linux, BSD, Windows Free
Channel-D Pure Music Mac Commercial up to 384 kHz / 24 bit, up to DSD128DSD to PCM, DoP, streamingGapless and memory playback
Daphile Run as firmware (Linux based) from flash stick memory Free DSF, PCM up to 384 kHz / 24 bit, up to DSD512 Music server. Stereo only
Foobar2000(with sacd input plugin) Windows Free DSF, DFF (including DST), SACD ISO, FLAC, WAV, mp3, ALAC, WavPack, AAC, other up to DSD512ASIO, DSD to PCM
Fostex Audio Player Windows, Mac Free DSF, DFF, WAV, FLAC, mp3, AIFF, ALAC up to DSD128, up to 192 kHz / 24 bitASIO, DoP Demands certain playback hardware
Gom Audio Windows Free cda, MPL, mp3, ogg, WMA, APE, FLAC, WAV, m4a, WavPack, AIFF, DSF, DFF
iTunes Mac, Windows FreeWAV, ALAC, AAC, mp3, AIFF, CD-audio
JRiver Windows, Mac, Linux CommercialDSF, DFF (including DST), SACD ISO, mp3, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, otherASIO, DoP, DSD over DLNA, DSD to PCM, PCM to DSD Gapless playback
Hi-Res Audio Player Windows DSD, PCM Require certain hardware
HQ Player Windows, Mac, Linux Commercial DSF, DFF (non-compressed DSDIFF), CD-audio, FLAC, AIFF, other up to DSD1024DSD to PCM, PCM to DSD, ASIO, DoP
Hysolid Windows Free DSF, WAV, FLAC up to DSD256, up to 384 kHzASIO, DoPWASAPI To work on music server PC with smartphone app control
Logitech Media Server Windows, Mac, Linux PCM, DoP PCM files Bit-perfect PCM output of DoP Need additional hardware and pre-conversion DSD files to PCM DoP files. How to adjust and use the software.
Media Player Classic Windows Free PCM, DSF, DFF
MusicBee Windows FreeASIO, WASAPI
moOde audio player To run on Raspberry Pi Free Here information about DSD settings
Pine Player Mac Free mp3, FLAC, APE, AAC, m4a, WAV, AIFF, ogg, WMA, DSD, SACD ISO, other up to 768 kHz / 32 bit
Resonic Player Windows Free, Commercial WAV, AIFF, FLAC, WMA, mp3, ALAC, WavPack, MID, DSF, DFF, other up to DSD512
Roon Windows, Mac;
the server on Windows, Mac, Linux
Commercial Audio files and streaming serviceBit-perfect, DSD to PCM The server may be installed on network area storage (NAS)
TEAC HR Audio Player Windows, Mac Free DSF, DFF, PCM up to DSD256, up to 384 kHz / 32 bitASIO, DoP
Technics Audio Player Windows, Mac DSF, DFF, WAV, FLAC, mp3, ALAC, AIFF

up to DSD128,
up to 384 kHz / 32bit

USB driver Read the software license agreement about using limitations
Volumio

Run as firmware from flash stick memory on PC, Raspberry Pi, other

Free MP3, FLAC, WAV, AAC, ALAC, DSD UPNP DLNA, Airplay, DoP Open source music server
VLC Windows, Mac, Linux, other Free mp3, AAC, MLP / TrueHD, DTS, WMA, FLAC (including uncompressed), ALAC, ATRAC 3, WavPack, APE, WAV, other
Vox Mac Free DSF, WAV, AIFF, FLAC (including uncompressed), ALAC, mp3, other, network radio
XMMS Unix Free
Wtfplay Linux Free WAV, FLAC, DSF

up to DSD128; DSD256, DSD512 are experimental,
up to 384 kHz / 32 bit

DoP

Audio players Android and iOS (mobile applications)

AIMPAndroid Free APE, mp3, WAV, ogg, AAC, FLAC, mp4, m4a, WavPack, DSF, DFF, other
Amarra PlayiOS (iPhone, iPad) Free, In-App Purchases AIFF, AIFC, MP3, ALAC, FLAC, MQA MQA Decode up to 96 kHz with Amarra Luxe license No DSD. Amarra Luxe unlocks some features. Amarra Play must be running on the same wireless network as the computer
FiiO MusicAndroid, iOS Free DSD, PCM up to 384 kHz / 24 bit Raw DSD output Support HWA (LHDC) Bluetooth transmission
Foobar2000Android, iOS (iPhone, iPad) Free MP3, MP4, AAC, Vorbis, Opus, FLAC, WavPack, WAV, AIFF, Musepack Gapless playback, playback / downloading music from UPnP media servers
HibyMusicAndroid, iOS (iPhone, iPad) Free DSF, DFF (including DST), ISO, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, M4A, AAC, mp3, ogg up to DSD256,
up to 384 kHz / 32 bit
net driver (Dropbox / DLNA / LAN) native DSD, DoP, DSD to PCM
Hi-Res music player-NePLAYERiOS (iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch) Commercial ALAC, FLAC, WAV, mp3, AAC, HE-AAC, DSF, DFF up to DSD256, up to 384 kHz / 32 bitDSD to PCM, DoP Check DSD replay issues at the online store page
HYSOLIDAndroid, iOS Free WAC, FLAC, DSD up to DSD256, up to 384 kHz ASIO, WASAPI, DoP, native DSD Music server control application
Neutron Music PlayerAndroid, iOS (iPhone, iPad) Commercial mp3, ogg, FLAC, AC3, AAC, M4A, MP4, 3GP, 3G2, ALAC, APE, WavPack, WAV, AIFF, other, DSD UPnP / DLNA, USB DAC, DoP, native DSD, DSD to PCM There is evaluation version 'Neutron Music Player (Eval)' on Android
Onkyo HF PlayerAndroid, iOS Free, In-App Purchases DSF, DFF, mp3, ALAC, AAC, WAV, AIFF up to DSD256, up to 384 kHz AOA 2.0, DoP, DSD to PCM Some limitations of the free version. Sample rate depends on the format and In-App purchases.
TEAC HR Audio PlayerAndroid, iOS Free, In-App Purchases FLAC, ALAC, WAV, AIFF, ogg, DSF, DFF up to DSD256, up to 384 kHzDoP, DSD to PCM
USB Audio Player PROAndroid Commercial WAV, FLAC, ogg, mp3, AIFF, AAC, m4a, APE, DFF, DSF, other up to 384 kHz / 32 bitDoP, DSD to PCM, native DSD playback
VLCAndroid, iOS (iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch) Free ogg, FLAC, WavPack, AAC, other
Vox Free, In-App Purchases FLAC, ALAC, mp3, DSD, other

Online audio players (hi-resolution streaming services)

High Res Audio Free trial, Commercial up to 24 bit
Primephonic Free trial, Commercial up to 24 bit
PrimeSeat Free trial, Commercial PCM, DSD up to 11.2 MHz
Qobuz Free trial, Commercial up to 192 kHz / 24 bitstreaming and downloads according to purchased plan
Tidal PC/Mac, web-player, iOS, Android Free trial, Commercial FLAC 44.1 kHz / 16 bit, MQA supported with audio players (details)

Online audio players (streaming services)

Amazon Prime Music Free trial Allow listening online and offline
Apple Music Free trial Music platform
Datpiff Audio platform for musicians and music discovering
Google Play Music Free trial Music platform with the store. Offline listening is available
Jamendo Music Free trial Audio platform for musicians and music discovering. Free and paid stuff
Noisetrade Audio platform for musicians and music discovering
ReverbNation Audio platform for musicians and music discovering
SoundCloud Audio platform for musicians and music discovering
Spotify Music platform
Яндекс Музыка Free, Commercial Music site 'Yandex Music'. Offline listening is available

Read more:

What is the best hi-res audio player software

Which high-resolution audio player has the best sound quality is your personal choice rather. Some audio players may playback qualitative audio files without altering (bit-perfect). In general, there is no matter, that player is use for it, but some nuances are there. Below how to make the choice is discussed.

Sound quality

Playback modes

An audio player may works in 2 base modes (depend on the software abilities):

  1. bit-perfect (transmitting data from an audio file to DAC without altering);
  2. processing mode (resampling, room correction and other).

In bit-perfect mode, the sound quality is defined by DAC and next audio devices.
This mode consumes minimal computing resources and is desirable for non-powerful computers.

Processing mode sound quality depends on the player and/or processing plug-in.
This mode may consume many computing resources (more quality = more resources), and, sometimes, can't work at lower-performance computers. Also, this mode consumes more electrical energy for calculations and cooling, than a bit-perfect one.
When fans work in intensive mode, they cause more noise.

Read also: How to improve sound quality >

Gapless playback

Some albums (operas, live concerts, etc.) should be played back as a continuous stream.

Some players can begin the next song without DAC re-initialization.
This ability is called as Gapless playback.
It may be applied for as bit-perfect as processed modes (see 'Playback modes').

Also played back audio files may be pre-converted in gapless mode too.
This mode has a sense when audio files are resampled or DSD files are processed.
Gapless conversion has a sense, when the audio player works in gapless mode.

ASIO

ASIO is a kind of audio drivers by audio interface vendors, that provide low latency and use of specific properties of the audio interface. ASIO SDK (programming tools) is provided by Steingberg.

As rule, ASIO driver is provided together with a sound device. Specific functionality management is supported via a special software control panel.

There is universal ASIO-driver ASIO4All. But, as rule, DAC-vendor driver is more recommended.

Latest MacOS versions use their builtin drivers (Core Audio) instead ASIO. So, you no need special drivers to works with a DAC. However, audio device vendors may provide Mac's ASIO drivers for some devices.

Read more:

  • How to configure foobar2000 for DSD playback >

WASAPI

WASAPI is builtin Windows drivers to direct access to audio interface without operating system processings. May be used instead of ASIO.

WASAPI may use exclusive access to an audio interface to render sound stream directly to the DAC's audio buffer without mixing of audio streams from several applications. So, no operating system's audio processing is there.

Native DSD

Native DSD is sending DSD audio stream from audio file to DSD DAC without conversion to PCM.

ASIO drivers under Windows may support it. Under the latest MacOS version, DSD audio stream should be packed in DoP format. The packing is lossless. Also, DoP format may be used on Windows.

Read more:

  • How to configure foobar2000 for DSD playback >

DSD to PCM

DSD audio stream may not be played on PCM DAC. Before sending the stream to the DAC, this stream should be converted to PCM.

It consumes processing resources. In the general case, better sound quality depends on amount of computing resources.

Some computers may have a lack of computing power to realtime DSD to PCM conversion. It may be solved via offline DSD to PCM conversion. Also, it saves free space at hard disk (HDD) of an audio player (allow more songs on the disk). It may be very useful for portable/mobile devices.

Read more:

Functionality

One of the widespread demands to players are:

  • album artwork displaying;
  • text metadata displaying;
  • search in song database;
  • web radio/streaming playback.

Audio player software F.A.Q.

Can Windows Media Player play high-resolution audio?

Yes. Windows Media player is capable to play high resolution audio files. If your file iss not played back, you can try other players...

Do audio players have different sound quality?

It depends on the mode of playback. In bit-perfect mode, a music player app just transports audio data from a sound file to DAC without audio processing.

When audio player software process audio data (resample, alter bit depth, apply dithering, EQ, etc.), it causes different distortion levels. If consider psychoacoustics, distortions may have a different character, which also impacts the final perception of the distortions. Also, the interaction of the distortions with a playback system (DAC, amplifier, speakers) is matter.

EXAMPLE

Some apparatus can cause the audible level of intermodulation distortions, that generated by ultrasound components.

Practically it can cause audible noise.

You can:

  • try low sample rate 44.1 kHz, or
  • apply ultrasound cut in hi-res audio file.

Watch and share: How to remove noise into hi res audio file

General recommendation:

  • Do a sound check of different players in various modes and audio resolutions on your music equipment. Read details...

Does hi-res audio sound better? Is hi-res audio better than CD?

Hi res audio allowing solve some issues of analog filters of ADC or DAC. But actual result is matter of implementation of an audio equipment and software. Read definitive guide...

Read more:

What is the best music player for Windows 10?

As rule, it's personal choise.

  • Read common rules how to choose the best audio player...
  • Try and choose own player...

Where can I buy high resolution music?

See list of sites with high-resolution audio...


Does memory playback improve audio quality?

Memory playback doesn't improve 'transparency'. But the mode can get rid of pauses if file played from slow/overload network or album player in gapless mode.

Do gapless playback is helpful?

If an audio player re-initialize DAC, it can cause quiet clicks.

Mac

When files played back without re-initializing, there is no kind of clicks.

Do computer digital hardware interface (HDMI, USB, SPDIF, etc.), its cables impact sound quality?

Digital audio interfaces don't impact sound quality, which may be defined as 'sound transparency'.

Also, digital interfaces have sample rate and bit depth limitations.

Operating system built-in driver can additionally process sound and impact to sound quality.

But pauses, clicks, serial interruptions are possible when an audio interface doesn't work properly (poor cables, grounding, shielding; hardware issues, etc.).

General recommendations:

  • Buy thick cables in the mid or higher price range. It is fairly for longer cables especially.
  • Ferrite rings/barrels can give some advantages. But it's recommended, that measurement tools are used.

Read more:

Do analog audio cables impact to sound quality?

Analog inter-module cables (linear inputs and outputs) can impact the noise floor, crosstalk and frequency response.

General recommendation:

  • If you hear the hum at 50 Hz or multiple frequencies (power high voltage network), try to use other analog cables or use digital inter-module connection instead.

Is jitter a real issue for audio playback?

DAC clock source can impact to analog output jitter of a digital-to-analog converter . But all other factors, including memory playback, cables and interfaces - no. Read details...

General recommendations:

  • Don't bother about jitter, when DAC is clocked by its internal source.
  • Don't use synchronization by SPDIF digital audio input.

What is the best audio format for sound quality?

To achieve maximal sound quality, lossless audio file formats are recommended: FLAC, WAV, AIFF, DSF, DFF, SACD ISO. Read details...

What is 24 bit / 192 kHz audio?

It is resolution audio with sample rate 192 kHz and bit depth 24 bit in PCM format (modulation). Read details...

Is WAV better than FLAC?

In audio resolution 384 kHz/32 bit and lesser, there is no difference between FLAC and WAV by the sound quality. Watch video...

If you need a higher resolution, WAV can provide it. When file size is more 4 GB, WAV RF64 format may be applied.

Read details about:

  • WAV;
  • FLAC.

Is DSD better than FLAC?

Both DSD and FLAC are high-resolution formats, that try solve issues of 44.1 kHz / 16 bit. But, actual result depend on implemengtation of your audio system. Read details...

Is MQA better than FLAC?

MQA is high qualitative lossy format, as the author know. FLAC is lossless format, providing output sound quality absolutely identical source. MQA provides better file-size comression ratio. Read details...

Can VLC play hi-res audio?

Yes, VLC can play hi-res audio. However, as the author know, VLC don't support DSD formats.


Read articles

October 10, 2020 updated | since December 7, 2018

If you are a music enthusiast as well as tech savvy, you may be familiar with M3U8 file extension. Nevertheless, most people do not understand this format or even have not heard of it. In fact, M3U8 is widely used on computers, websites and streaming services.

This post will share the basic knowledge about this audio format in detail. Then you will understand what is M3U8 and how to listen to it with the best M3U8 players on Windows 10/8.1/8/7 and Mac OS X.

M3U8 Players

Part 1: What is m3u8?

In brief, M3U8 is the file extension of audio playlist encoded with UTF-8. It uses plain text files to store the information of audio tracks and music, such as the absolute paths and relative paths of local audio files, as well as URLs. Both audio and video players are able to get where media files are located through the information.

As mentioned previously, M3U8 does not contain media content but the location information.

M3U8 files can be opened and edited by most text editors, such as Notepad on Windows. However, if you want to listen to it, you have to prepare a M3U8 player.

Part 2: Top 5 M3U8 players

Best Music Player For Mac 2020

Top 1: AnyMP4 Blu-ray Player

Key features:

  • • Read M3U8 files and let you to listen to music simply.
  • • Keep the original quality of audio tracks and music.
  • • Support almost all audio formats and media file extensions.
  • • Integrate an audio equalizer to get the desired audio effects.
  • • Compatible with Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP and Mac OS X.

Pros

  • • The interface is user friendly and easy to use.
  • • This M3U8 player is flexible and available to both average people and tech savvy.

Cons

  • • Since AnyMP4 Blu-ray Player is a professional media player you need to purchase it after the free-trial.

Top 2: VLC Media Player

Key features:

  • • Pack a wide range of video and audio codecs, such as MP3, M4V, WMA, M4A, etc.
  • • Get the information in M3U8 files and play audio tracks.
  • • Available to both local music files and online streaming.
  • • Convert M3U8 files to audio tracks for playing on any devices.
  • • Include several bonus tools, such as rip audio from CD, download online music, and more.

Pros

  • • This M3U8 player is open source and free of charge.
  • • It is an all-in-one media player with extensive features.

Cons

  • • It is not suitable to beginners since functionalities are hidden in the menu bar.
  • • There are too many custom options.

Top 3: iTunes

Key features:

  • • Import M3U8 files as well as the audio tracks in the playlists.
  • • Add music in the M3U8 playlist to iTunes library automatically.
  • • Create a playlist based on the M3U8 file in iTunes with the specified order.
  • • Sync the playlists to iOS devices through a USB cable or Wi-Fi network.

Pros

  • • This M3U8 player is completely free to download and use.
  • • It is available to both Windows and Mac.

Cons

  • • You have to update iTunes frequently.
  • • Some songs in the M3U8 file may be not available in iTunes due to copyright.

Top 4: Windows Media Player

Key features:

  • • Open M3U8 files and add the audio tracks automatically.
  • • Keep the order of the M3U8 playlist.
  • • Support WMA, MP3 and popular audio formats.
  • • Offer multiple modes, such as listen to music by order or random.
  • • Expandable with extra plugins and codecs.

Pros

  • • This M3U8 player is pre-installed on Windows.
  • • It is able to play online streaming.

Cons

  • • You cannot find advanced settings in this media player.
  • • It only offers 4 levels of audio quality.

Top 5: Songbird

Key features:

  • • Compatible with Windows XP/Vista, Mac OS X 10.5 and Linux.
  • • Play popular audio formats, such as MP3, AAC, Ogg, Vorbis, FLAC and WMA.
  • • Able to open M3U8 files and import audio files automatically.
  • • Pack a customizable interface with various skins.
  • • Display basic information of audio tracks.

Pros

Best Music Player For Macbook Pro

  • • This M3U8 player is expandable with various addons and extensions.
  • • It allows you to control the audio playback with hotkeys.

Cons

  • • This audio player is large and takes up space.
  • • Some functionalities are difficult to use.

Part 3: Top 3 m3u8 players online

Top 1: Castr Player

https://castr.io/hlsplayer

Key features:

  • • Test your M3U8 streams online for free.
  • • Offer a video tutorial on the home page.
  • • Support HLS and MPEG-Dash.
  • • One-click to start the audio playback.
  • • No require to install or download anything on your computer

Pros

  • • This online M3U8 player responds fast.
  • • It gives you total control to access streaming services on your own.

Cons

  • • The free-trial is limited.
  • • It cannot get online audio tracks offline.

Top 2: HLSTester

https://www.hlstester.com/

Key features:

  • • Play and test your streams online without downloading anything.
  • • Support every stream type, such as M3U8, RTMP, MP4, etc.
  • • Test your music streams with a single click.
  • • Offer the plugin for web browsers for free.
  • • Load audio tracks quickly.

Pros

  • • The interface of this online M3U8 player is intuitive.
  • • There is no extra requirement, such as registration.

Cons

  • • It needs VPN to access in some regions.
  • • It may crash if your internet connection is not very good.

Top 3: HLSPlayer

https://www.hlsplayer.net/

Key features:

Best Music Player For Mac Reddit

  • • Play M3U8 and HLS playlists through the internet connection.
  • • Completely free to use without restrictions.
  • • Search for audio streams based on the M3U8 playlist automatically.
  • • Offer a RTMP player and a MP4 player as well.

Pros

  • • The interface is straightforward and easy to navigate.
  • • This M3U8 player is available in most popular web browsers.

Cons

  • • It does not offer extensions for Firefox or Chrome.

Part 4: FAQs of M3U8 player

How can I play M3U8 file in HTML?

HTML5 does not support M3U8 files playback. For opening the M3U8 videos on HTML5, you need to insert the following command:
<link href=“https://vjs.zencdn.net/6.6.3/video-js.css” rel=“stylesheet”>
<script src=“https://vjs.zencdn.net/6.6.3/video.js”></script>
<script src=“https://unpkg.com/videojs-flash/dist/videojs-flash.js”></script>
<script src=“https://unpkg.com/videojs-contrib-hls/dist/video js-contrib-hls.js”></script>
<video class=“video-js vjs-default-skin vjs-big-play-centered” data-setup=’{“controls”: true, “autoplay”: true }’>
<source src=“http://sample.vodobox.net/skate_phantom_flex_4k/skate_phantom_flex_4k.m3u8” type=“application/x-mpegURL”>
Your browser does not support HTML5 video.
</video>

How do I convert M3U8 to MP4?

For converting M3U8 to MP4, you will need the professional M3U8 converter software. VLC, M3U8 Loader App, etc. Learn the detailed steps of converting M3U8 to MP4 here.

Which browser supports M3U8 files playback?

Microsoft Edge plays M3U8 files but you must make sure your computer run on windows 8 or 10.

Conclusion

Best Mp3 Player For Mac

We have shared the best M3UP player software and online M3U8 players. Now, you should understand what is M3U8 file and how to listen to music with your M3U8 playlist on Windows and Mac.