If you longingly remember the heyday of digital albums, you’re the person for whom Turntable for Mac. It’s a “real album” app for Mac OS X and is available at the Mac App Store for US$14.99. (A demo is available at the product web site.)
It’s touted as the first desktop music player ever to present real albums as you have in a physical collection. And to an extent, that’s true. Albums and album art play full-screen and wide-screen on your Mac. However, Turntable doesn’t replace iTunes; it simply provides a new, colorful interface.
The interface is fun to use. It uses Albums as the main navigation medium. You can scroll through a matte collection of tiled album art. A slider lets you adjust the size of the tiles. If you have a 27-inch iMac, you may want ’em big. If you’re on an 11-inch MacBook Air, you’ll probably prefer smaller icons.
You can also choose to display your music by Records. This lets you scroll/thumb through full screen records covers as if you’re flipping through physical vinyl albums in a box.
A third Turntable option is browsing by Artist. Choose this option and a list of all the artists appears with their discography (well, the ones you’ve purchased on iTunes) appearing their names.
Turntable is fun to use but has limitations. Obviously, there are no liner notes or lyrics like in an album from back in the day. And the display of your music by Album, Record or Artist seems haphazard. They’re not in alphabetical order, nor could I find any method of arranging them that way.
Turntable doesn’t play particularly nice with playlists in iTunes. That’s not surprising as playlists are comprised of a collection of album cuts and singles you’ve purchased.
What is surprising is that the search field in the app didn’t always work. Usually, it performed its duties, but occasionally it refused to let me enter text.
Is Turntable for you? If you have mainly albums in your iTunes music library, you’ll probably appreciate it. If you want a fun new addition for iTunes, you’ll appreciate it.
However, some folks will appreciate it a bit more when a bug or two is worked out.