When we tested aTunes, the fast installation was followed by shockingly sluggish tree navigation, required to add our song library. Fortunately, the subsequent scan was flawless, handling 7,500 tracks in about 10 minutes. So in music terms, the show started off with some bad feedback, but then aTunes really got rockin'.
The tabbed interface keeps the various panes from getting too cluttered, managing both primary and secondary information elegantly. Icons just below the Menubar let users hide the AudioScrobbler, the Navigator, and the Song properties windows, which makes the UI far more customizable than it might seem. The impressively useful AudioScrobbler pane surfaces nearly all secondary song information, making it easier to discover an artist's biographical details, using tabs to prevent clutter and keep track lists and song lyrics organized. Built-in links encourage discovery of similar songs and related videos on YouTube.
aTunes comes with 27 skins, has built-in Last.fm and various other Internet radio station support, and has decent podcast-catching abilities. Customization via Preferences can change the layout to multiple windows, and Tooltips, Smart Sorting, and even the tabs themselves can be deactivated. Metatag editing and autotagging work well, and we liked the Favorites feature, which creates an automatic playlist of your songs, albums, and artists tagged as such.
There is room for improvement. MP3 player support exists, but only on portable devices that behave like external hard drives. Those that utilize fancy firmware--like the iPod--get ignored. Also, Linux and Mac users might find the installation to be too much work, with various components not bundled into the executable. aTunes would benefit from search-as-you-type, too. Even with those problems, though, aTunes doesn't miss a beat and is easily one of the best jukeboxes around.
aTunes is a fully-featured audio player and manager, with ripping and encoding tools included. aTunes is coded in Java programming language (Java 5), using Swing, making it a highly portable piece of software.