What is aTunes
aTunes is an open source audio player and manager for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. The only requirement is Java. Windows version comes with ripping and encoding tools included. There are no other prerequisites, just install and use the program. For all other platforms you need to download and install several extra tools. For more information, visit FAQ - section "What else do I need?". You can use aTunes for playing many popular audio formats, edit tags, organize music collection, listen online radio stations or podcasts. Another feature is the ability to rip songs from audio CDs (for Mac OS X or Linux it needs extra packages (cdparanoia, cdda2wav, icedax) or optional encoders (oggenc, lame, flac). aTunes is an alternative to many other players such as Amarok, Clementine, foobar2000 or even iTunes.
Note: I test all the programs in Microsoft Windows. Therefore, the setup part is different for Mac OS X and Linux.
Installation: By default, aTunes use a custom installation type. It allows you to choose language, setup folder and most important what extra packages to install. I recommend you to leave the default configuration as it is. Even if you don't use several features such as encoders for FLAC for MP3 - the space needed for them is insignificant.
When you run aTunes for the first time, it will ask you to specify the location of your library. The time needed depends on how many files you have. On my computer, it needed several seconds to load almost 300 songs. The first step was to test this program as a player and I must say that it does a great job. It has all the features found at other popular audio players: support for different formats (flac, mp3, wma, wav, mp4, ogg, m4a, ra, rm, cue), online radios, karaoke, multimedia controls (volume control, equalizer, normalization, shuffle, repeat). The second step was to test the Radio feature. I went to "View" tab and from there I selected Radio. The Radio tab has a list of recommended stations. You can choose one from there or add your own radio station. Either way, the "Radio" works great. My third step was to copy songs (mp3) from aTunes on my MP3 player. To do this, go to "Device" tab, choose "Connect", navigate on your computer and select your MP3 device. From main interface, select desired files, perform a right-click with your mouse and select "Copy to device" option. In my last step I copied the content of a CD on a folder located in my computer. I went to "Tools" tab and selected the "Import CD" feature. A new window opened and I selected the destination folder. The program started to extract all tracks. You should see a small window that shows "Total Progress", "Encoding" and "Decoding" status. The software needed 5 minutes to extract 23 tracks from my CD. aTunes can be customized in many ways just go to "Edit" tab and select "Preferences". I tried to cover only several features that I use to see how well it works. aTunes has many other features that would require an entire tutorial. In conclusion, because aTunes is free, cross-platform software I would rate it as one of the best open source audio players. If you need more help try the Wiki section and read the FAQ and Documentation sections.