Imx Fix in my experience
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July 15, 2002 11:12 AM

Audion is the dark horse of Mac OS MP3 players. SoundJam got more advertising than audion, and was then swallowed up by Apple and contorted into iTunes. Now, iTunes gets all the press, but Audion remains the superior player. Here's why...
The over all interface
iTunes gives you two interfaces, one big, one small (minimized). Many folks have lauded the big iTunes interface for allowing a single screen interaction architecture (you can do everything without going thru multiple screens). I agree, that's a good thing, but it forces the interface to be big, if forces a full screen of buttons, lists, and chrome elements.

Audio on the other hand is skinnable, tight and simple. The main interface is an MP3 player, and nothing more. It allows you to organize your playlist(s) and view info about the currently playing track. If you want to do other stuff, you bring up the console. While audio does not allow access to most/all functions from one screen, it doesn't bury those functions. Everything is still easily accessible and lets the main interface remain simple. simple is good. Simple = minimal interface.
User Centricity
Like I mentioned before, Audion is skinnable, iTunes is not. Score one for Audion. There are many good skins out there for Audion, and they are all free, so score another for audion. Also, because audion's main interface is simple, the skins can be uber small which is great when you keep the player up all day while you work.

Audio can link a playlist to a directory, so when you put new MP3's into a directory, the playlist updates. Very cool.

There's even a cross fading interface allowing you to mix tracks like a turntablist.

I could go on an on with this list, but Panic already has, so why repeat it here?
I wish I had real data for this, but all I can offer is anecdotal evidence. I've run both iTunes and audion for long periods of time, and Audion feels like it sucks up less CPU cycles than iTunes. I've done some quasi-scientific analysis in top in the Terminal, and my best guess is that Audion takes up about a third fewer cycles than iTunes. Panic claims the new 3.0 version now takes even less CPU time than the 2.x versions. Less is more.
ID3 tag editing.
Audion 2.x and iTunes both pale in comparison to MP3 Rage when it comes to editing ID3 tags in MP3s. End of story.
iTunes is free, but Audion is worth the cost, if you get my meaning. You get more flexibility and less brushed metal, plain and simple.
In completely unrelated news, the Dell guy got spanked by the Screen Actor's Guild. Bahahaahahahahaa!