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Clementine – A Simple Cross Platform Alternative Music Player

Jeffry Thurana 29-09-2010

alternative music playerI started out with Winamp How To Make A Portable Version Of Winamp For Your USB Drive Read More , but I grew up with iTunes. I watched iTunes walk its simple and uncluttered baby steps and followed its growth until it became the giant it is today. But some people who just need a music player for their computer think that this giant is now too big to fill that position.


There are many alternative music players out there, but filling the gap left by iTunes is not a task that can be taken by just another alternative music player. Only a few actually have what it takes and if there’s an audition, I think Clementine would be one of the last apps standing at the final round.

Oh My Darling

The story goes that this app is the result of Amarok’s fans who tried to bring version 1.4 back to life. But instead of making it Linux only like the original Amarok, they made it multi platform with the help of Nokia’s Qt. The latest version of Clementine is available for Windows, Mac and Linux users.

The first time you open Clementine, you will be presented with a blank window. Click on the empty library list to start adding songs to your library. You can also take another route by going through “Preferences – Music Library“.

alternative music player

Add some tunes by clicking on the “Add new folder” button. Clementine allows you to add folders from external sources and update the library when the app starts. This is very useful if you are a notebook user with limited hard disk space because you can store most of your collection in your external storage(s) and play them only when your notebook is connected to it/them.


free music player

Browse and choose the folders that you want to add to your Clementine song library. To make your life easier, you could pick your existing iTunes library folder as one of the sources.

free music player

The rest is just about playing your songs collection. The playback control at the bottom of the window is another ordinary control, except for the existing “Love” button to tag the songs that you love.


free music player

There’s something special about the “Stop” button, though. Clementine give its users the ability to stop after the currently playing song hits its last beat.

music players free

Turn The Radio On & Other Features

Another feature that most users will love is the ability to connect and play internet radio. The big names are already on the list by default and you can add your own by right clicking on the “Your Radio streams” link and choose “Add another stream”


music players free

At the top of the list is Add the details of your account in the “Preferences-

music players free

Another pre-determined music source is SomaFM and Magnatune. The latter is a paid service but also accessible for free with some restrictions.


05d Clementine - Preferences - Magnatude.png

You will notice that your iTunes library collection’s cover art is not available from within Clementine. But fear not because you can easily add that album art using a tool called “Cover Manager“.

07a Clementine - Cover Manager.jpg

All you have to do is just click “Fetch Missing Covers“, located at the top right of the Cover Manager window.

07b Clementine -Cover Manager.jpg

Clementine will start the task of finding and applying cover art to your songs. It uses as the source. Even though I can’t say this feature works perfectly, it does deliver most cover art.

alternative music player

I’ve just used Clementine for a while and already I like it a lot. Even though it’s not the most beautiful music player out there for computers, it does what it promises to do: play music. Plus it’s relatively small (around 20 MB – Mac version). That’s tiny compared to the size of iTunes.

So have you tried this music player? I’m sure there are Clementine experts out there. Please share your tips, thoughts and opinions using the comments below.

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  1. thurana
    December 12, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Sorry. I don't really get your questions. Are you trying to bypass iTunes to transfer songs from computer to iPod? Clementine supports iPods (with some notes). Please refer to the wiki page for more information:

  2. Katabrontes
    December 12, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Can you add tunes from another iTunes file using Clementine? The problem is that the original tunes on the iPod came form a PC no longer in use but there are new tunes in an iTunes loaded onto a new laptop. I want to add the new stuff to the iPod without wiping off all the old stuff. NB not very techy so it needs to be simple. Help would be appreciated.

  3. Angela Alcorn
    October 14, 2010 at 6:04 am

    I'm liking the look of Clementine. Love Amarok, too. I hope Clementine can support the mad smart playlists I'm fond of. If it can do this and get music on to my iPod, I'll dump iTunes like a shot.

  4. timey
    October 10, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    I tried it, probably the best music player I have yet to try, buut, it's eating up all my RAM. 641 megs. ouch.

  5. malik
    October 2, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    may be you guys should try out banshee it work for macs as well and its great, i dont use a mac but i installed it for a friend of mine who uses a mac

  6. Mark O'Neill
    September 30, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Apologies. Editorial oversight :-)

    It's added now.

  7. Gus
    September 30, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    I just open with Prism and I'm good to go.

  8. Hector M.
    September 30, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    I been using foobar2000, been happy with it. Here's the link for Clementine

    • Aibek
      October 2, 2010 at 1:49 pm

      Another bold vote for foobar2000

  9. Randy Williams
    September 30, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Link to the program?

    • Mark O'Neill
      September 30, 2010 at 3:20 pm

      Apologies. Editorial oversight :-)

      It's added now.

  10. Bobjones
    September 30, 2010 at 10:20 am

    From your description, it seems worth trying out. Unfortunately, I can't get it to load any folders into my library. So far, I've only been able to add a single file to the playlist.

    • Anonymous
      September 30, 2010 at 7:21 pm

      Working just fine here. Maybe an uninstall-reinstall routine will help.

  11. Saikat Basu
    September 30, 2010 at 7:44 am

    I am definitely giving this one a shot. Really need something stable to copy music to my iPod. WinAmp is crashing on me sporadically. But have to check out how much CPU it consumes? Any feedback on that?

    • Anonymous
      September 30, 2010 at 7:19 pm

      A little bit hungry on resource on my Mac.

  12. FFXIV Gamer
    September 30, 2010 at 5:58 am

    I've pretty much relied on VLC Player for all my music needs. iTunes has gotten pretty bloated and cumbersome IMO, but Clementine seems worth exploring.

  13. Austin B
    September 30, 2010 at 2:22 am

    Yeah, I've known about it and used it off and on for a few months now. I really like it, and from all that I've used, it's my favorite player on Mac and Windows, and on Linux, it comes second only to Banshee (the -git version, anyways, that supports Amazon MP3 and iPod Touch/iPhone syncing).

  14. Versatile
    September 30, 2010 at 1:28 am

    Seems like a nice program, but I live by foobar2000 no matter what.

  15. Arieswarlock
    September 29, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    How is it on the resources?

    • Anonymous
      September 30, 2010 at 7:16 pm

      Clementine and iTunes eat up more or less the same resource on my Mac.

  16. sneakily1
    September 29, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    I've been using Clementine for about 3 weeks now, and I LOVE it! I was always a fan of the older Amarok that it mimics, and it's AMAZING!