Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mac Gem Gets New Features, Lower Price




Snarbsoft has announced the immediate availability of Everplay 1.5, a major update to their light-weight alternative to iTunes. Rated five stars on MacUpdate, named a "Mac Gem" by Macworld magazine, Everplay is essentially a replacement for iTunes, but not your iTunes library. Instead of asking you to create a whole new library and start all over with arranging media or creating playlists, Everplay simply draws from your existing iTunes music, podcasts, movies, and playlists.

This means it is not really a library editing or management tool - when you're done organizing media or buying new music in iTunes, you can use Everplay as a compact, light-weight, more convenient player and social sharing tool throughout the rest of your day.

While Everplay has stripped out all non-essential stuff from iTunes, it also adds a lot of features not provided by iTunes, such as global hotkeys to control playback from any application, a mini controller on the desktop, visual player notifications and Twitter integration.

Everplay is also fully integrated with Last.fm, the web-based music listening and discovery service. You can "scrobble" your music (share a list of what you play to your Last.fm profile), love or ban tracks, share music with friends, look up bios and concerts, and much more. Last.fm paid subscribers can also listen to personalized radio.

Everplay used to be all about Cover Flow. In the new version, only library sources such as Music, Podcasts and Videos are browsed in Cover Flow mode. User playlists are displayed as a list of songs, just like in iTunes.

The new version also adds library editing capabilities. Although Everplay does not replace iTunes as your central library organizer, you can now perform basic tasks like renaming a song, correct or add missing tags, and (most importantly) set track ratings - without the need to launch iTunes.

To make sure your edits "stick" between sessions, Everplay now keeps a temporary copy of the modified iTunes library, until iTunes is launched and synced with Everplay. This ensures Everplay is always up to date, even if you don't launch iTunes for weeks, months, years...

Another feature in Everplay 1.5, is the new full screen mode. The old full screen was basically just a huge Cover Flow, like in iTunes. The new full screen is different. It presents you not only with a Cover Flow browser, but also the current playlist, upcoming songs, and all the controls of the windowed interface. It also features a Party Lock button, to prevent non-administrators from tampering with your music. When Party Lock is enabled, all player and interface controls are disabled (except for the Apple remote). You cannot quit the application, exit full screen, skip songs or adjust the sound volume. All you can do is browse playlists and add new songs to the current queue, making Everplay a true Jukebox.

The new version also adds a flip-open drawer to the browser window, displaying upcoming songs. You can add new songs to the queue by dragging songs from the browser window, delete upcoming songs by pressing the backspace key, and re-organize songs by dragging them up or down in the list. Playlists on the fly, easy as pie.

Everplay 1.5 also adds support for RegEx ("Regular Expressions") queries, meaning you can perform spotlight searches to find exactly the song or songs you are looking for. Using a simplified, intuitive form of the RegEx syntax, you can perform advanced search queries like "genre:pop name:love* -artists:abba,beatles".

Everplay now also supports lyrics. Lyrics are retrieved online from ChartLyrics, a user-driven community and one of the largest lyrics databases on the internet. Found lyrics can easily be added to iTunes - even if iTunes is not running at the time. If no lyrics are found, Everplay helps you google the lyrics and submit them to the ChartLyrics database.

The desktop mini controller got some improvements too. It now smoothly cross-fades between album artwork, and pops up on top of all windows on mouse-over. It also displays and lets you change the rating of the current song.

Everplay 1.5 adds a refined user interface and several new preferences. For example, you can now set Everplay to automatically max a song's rating in iTunes, when loving a track in your iTunes library. When banning a local track, you can set Everplay to automatically disable it in iTunes. Again, without launching iTunes.

Except for these and other new features, a lot of work has gone into improving performance and stability, making Everplay 1.5 a highly recommended update for all users.

Pricing and Availability:
Everplay 1.5 is available for download at the Snarbsoft website. A Single User License is $14.95 (USD) and may be installed on up to 3 user accounts. An extended Family License is $24.95 and may be installed on up to 10 user accounts. Registered users of Cover Stream, Snarbsoft's iTunes controller, can crossgrade to Everplay for $4.95 only.




*thanks iclarified*

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