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Mac OS
FTP Clients
[RBrowser Lite] - free
[Transmit] - shareware

FTP Servers

Mac OS X comes preinstalled with its own FTP Server. To turn it on go to System Preferences > Sharing > and check FTP Access

A guide for setting up proftpd on MacOSX? can be found [here].

shntool and Shorten v3.4 for Mac OS X

Mark Domyancich's guide to using these two tools on OS X are now hosted [here].

GUI tools

[xACT] - Graphical frontend for Shorten, FLAC, Monkey's Audio, Shntool and more. This is pretty much the replacement for Shorten for Mac, FLACer and MacFlac? xACT does everything those apps did including flac metadata and CD ripping using CD Paranoia.

Download Queue Managers
Speed Download - written from scratch in Cocoa just for Mac OS X

Download Wizard - another app written from scratch in Cocoa just for Mac OS X

Download Accelerator Plus (DAP) - a port of the Windows app

An alternative to a standard FTP client is the download queue application [Monica]. It's relatively easy to set up and allows you to start a queue in the evening and let it run overnight. It's also the closest to

As of this writing on 15-08-2002, there are two versions of Monica available: a released v2.2 and a 3.0 public beta. The instructions below deal with v2.2. (This will save you from being autobanned if the pb doesn't obey the rules.)

To prepare Monica for use with etree servers:

1. Start up Monica.
2. Go to the Options menu and choose "Preferences..."
3. In the dialog that follows, go to the Transmission tab.
4. Set the Retry Delay to at least 120.
5. Set the Number of Retries to a reasonable number like 200. (With a retry delay of 120 seconds, 200 retries should get you through the night.)
6. Set the Max Downloads to 1.
7. Click the Save button. This will close the Preferences window.
8. Now load up your queue with URLs in the form of:

The last colon and port number are optional and should only be specified if the port is not 21 for ftp.

9. After the queue is loaded, click the Start Queue button and enjoy!

I find the fastest way to load up a queue for Monica is to use a server's "viewer" account to get all complete URLs for a show then save them to a text file with one file per line. When the file is complete, copy the contents of it and paste it into Monica's Paste/drop URL here: field.

Playback: PureMusic? Audio Player
YES! Finally we have a FLAC, SHN and APE player for Mac OS X. It's only in it's first release but supports playlists and you have spend hours installing X11 and a bunch of unix libraries (see XMMS) to play your files.

Playback: Mac Amp Lite
While it is no longer available, the binaries of beta of Mac Amp Lite 1.5 offered for download on June 21, 2003 can still be found using and they will happily play Flac and Shorten.

Playback: XMMS (Try PureMusic Audio Player before venturing into this headache)
XMMS is an open-source media player with many of features of Win Amp. It has been ported from Linux to OSX by the Fink project. It has plugins available to play Shorten and FLAC files. Since iTunes doesn't support lossless codecs, and Mac Amp Lite is no more, XMMS is a great alternative for OSX, but setting it up takes a bit of effort.

First, you'll need to install X11, available as a free download from [Apple's website]. Just follow the instructions in the README. Once this is installed, you'll be able to run X-windows programs right alongside Aqua apps. Pretty cool.

You also need to install Apple's X11 SDK found at [same site].

Next, you'll need to visit [the Fink project], which has ported a number of open-source UNIX programs to OSX, including xmms. Follow the directions on the site to install the core Fink packages. Then add the following packages: xmms, flac-xmms, flac (if you don't already have flac installed.)

Fink installation is not 100% robust, and you may run into some hitches, depending on how your system is set up. Most common problems are addressed on the website. If you get stuck, the folks on the mailing lists are very helpful.

Finally, you'll want to download the [Shorten plugin] for xmms. While there hasn't been an official "port" of this plugin to OSX, I was able to compile and install it with no difficulties, just following the directions for Linux.

If you only hear static with xmms-shn, right click on XMMS and go to Options > Preferences. Select the SHN Player Input Plugin and click Configure. Under the Miscellaneous Tab, select "Swap Audio Bytes".

That's it! Now fire up X11, and run XMMS from the command line. (Make sure to run it from the X11 console window. If you run it from a normal Aqua terminal window, it won't be able to find the display).

Now you can play Shorten and Flac files directly, along with wavs and (yuck) mp3s. Enjoy!

By the way, there are tons of great open-source toys available once you have Fink and X11 set up. Use OSX's UNIX core to its fullest!

Playback: Cog
Cog is an open source audio player developed for OS X. It supports most formats music come in and is always in development. Cog also supports Flac tags, Vorbis comments and ID3.

This Page Last Changed: Aug 26, 2008 09:37:54
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