Both independent media players, and those that work with your iTunes library, focus on making it easier to listen to your music. Free apps that you find in this regard are functional, but the interface is rarely good, and when you pay for such an app, you will get a few more features and a shinier interface. MUSIC Pub is a Mac app that is available in the Mac App Store for $4.99 (definitely on the pricier side) that is a music player built for your eyes. The app plays audio from music and video files in your iTunes library, and at the core, is an alternative controller for iTunes. Its interface, however, is what sells it. Unlike your typical player that rests in the Menu Bar or is a boring window, MUSIC Pub looks like a tall glass of foaming malt (or beer, or whatever). Shaped like a glass, the music player cleverly uses its aesthetics to incorporate its functions, which include a rating system, play/pause, next/previous song, volume, lyrics panel and Twitter controls.
When you first launch the app, the glass-shaped player appears at the bottom left of your screen and a window opens promoting additional apps by the same developer. The window can be disabled for all future starts. Drag the glass out to any part of the screen. The glass rim just below the foam has a line of stars that allow you to rate the currently playing track. Just below it, on the glass hand, you can see the name of the song playing. The ‘label’ on the glass reads MUSIC Pub, and double clicking it opens iTunes so you can select a different song/movie to play. The shuffle and repeat buttons are on either side of this label, and the music player controls and volume bar are below this label. At the very bottom of the glass and to the left, there is a cog wheel that lets you access MUSIC Pub’s preferences.
Along the bottom and to the left are buttons for tweeting which song you’re listening to, accessing playlists, opening the lyrics panel and accessing your songs list. In order to tweet which song you’re listening to, you will have to authorize the app to connect with your Twitter account.
Access MUSIC Pub’s preferences to customize its appearance and the tweet format. Use the Transparency slider and the options below it to manage what the app will look like when it is not selected, and when you hover you mouse over it.
From the Twitter section in preferences, select the syntax for the Tweet the app sends out when you share which song you’re listening to, and automate tweeting the song based on its rating, the number of times it’s been played or just to tweet all songs you listen to. You can authorize your Twitter account from here as well, and choose how soon the song should be tweeted, i.e., after what portion of it has played.
MUSIC Pub does what most music players for Mac do, but the interface is unique. If you don’t feel like splurging $4.99 for interface alone, consider that a reasonably good player might cost you more or less the same.