Colibri is a native mac lossless audio player built from scratch on top of the award-winning BASS technology

A native Mac lossless player that supports crystal-clear bit-perfect playback of all popular lossless and lossy audio formats, uses only a tiny amount of computing power and offers a clean and intuitive user experience. The ideal solution if you are looking for a Mac FLAC lossless player that only ‘does what it says on the can’.

a refreshingly new addition to the audio player scene

Mac lossless audio player - available from the Mac App Store

  • Saves your battery

    A Mac lossless audio player that uses a barely noticable amount of computing power. The application is built using state-of-the-art Swift programming language, the BASS audio engine is bundled as machine code and the interface uses built-in components by Apple. This was done in order to achieve a tiny footprint and to be as native to macOS as humanly possible.

  • Plays your audio

    Colibri is able to playback the most widely used range of file formats in terms of lossless audio: FLAC, ALAC, WAV, AIFF, APE, TTA, DSD and WavPack – along with these popular lossy formats: Ogg Vorbis, MP1/MP2/MP3 and AAC/M4A. For your undisturbed listening pleasure, Colibri supports Exclusive/Hog mode as well. A Mac lossless player at heart but with love to other popular formats as well.

  • Handles CUE Sheets

    A Mac audio player with complete Cue sheet support. Malformed and disordered content is reprocessed during loading along with a painless and quick way to add your whole collection – Colibri will analyze and decide whether to load the Cue sheet of a folder or queue every song one by one for every added/dragged folder recursively.

  • Supports gapless playback

    A lossless audio player extensively designed from the ground-up to provide a true gapless listening experience. Colibri prepares the upcoming song for playback in the background to further eliminate gaps for (slower) external drives or network shares without pushing the entire song into memory, meaning that no extra CPU or RAM usage is needed!

“I was on a lookout for a player that doesn’t send the cooling fans of my MacBook into a spinning frenzy while playing. This just does that.”

Thomas

  • Picks up where you left off

    A macOS lossless player that saves your current playlist upon quitting and re-opens your songs when you start it up again. Furthermore, Colibri can also save and load its’ current playlist to a custom format that can even be appended to an already existing playlist. Loading and appending is also available for M3U and M3u8 playlist files.

  • Avoids most problems

    Colibri does its’ best to avoid most problems before, during and even after playback. Loading unsupported files show up as an error message and files that have disappeared since loading are automatically removed and skipped upon being reached in the playlist. A Mac lossless player developed with flexibility and error correction in mind.

  • Understands your language

    A mac osx lossless audio player capable of rendering the song information as it was intended to be shown: of all the tried metadata it had no problem with displaying Cyrillic or kanji/katakana/hiragana characters mixed with ASCII. All known metadata types readable by the BASS engine are supported by Colibri.

  • Respects your privacy

    Colibri does not phone home, collect usage data or modify files in any way. The only data it remembers are your playlist and the user settings such as loop mode state, status bar text and the playlist column style. Colibri is a mac lossless player that respects your privacy to the fullest.

“You won’t realize you’ve been missing this unless you take the bird for a spin. How would I sum it up? An effortless, transparent piece of software designed with day to day usability in mind. I was totally not bribed into saying this.”

Yong

  • Displays album art

    A Mac FLAC player that displays embedded cover art for FLAC files and ID3 / iTunes artwork metadata (mainly for ALAC / M4A and MP3 files). When that yields no visible results then Colibri looks around the folder where the current song resides for a cover art image and shows that. See the FAQ for details on the exact files Colibri looks for. FLAC files with embedded picture data or supplied album art images are displayed automatically.

  • Resides in your Menu Bar

    A Mac lossless audio player that can place an unobtrusively small icon in the Menu Bar for easy access and playlist control: you can either start/pause the playback, skip to the next track or go back to the previous one. It also displays the info and cover art image of the current song. Control Colibri from even multiple Spaces desktops away with the MenuBar Controller!

  • Integrates with Finder and your Keyboard

    Colibri conforms all of Apple’s strict requirements – which means that it shows up in Finder as an option in “Open With” when a supported file is selected. Which in turn also makes it an available suggested file association option. The Previous/Play/Next media keys are supported by default – and to disable iTunes from opening when you press the Play button, read this.

  • Adjusts to your Display

    Colibri’s interface elements scale themselves nicely on every screen resolution and pixel density, while Colibri also offers a wide range of usage modes from small condensed to fullscreen complete with multiple types of column layouts so that everyone can find their most comfortable usage preference.

  • Colibri crashes upon start – even though I’ve just updated it!
    1. Open Finder
    2. Press CMD + Shift + G (or click on “Go -> Go to Folder” in the menu)
    3. Enter the following: ~/Library/Containers
    4. Delete the folder there named: gaborhargitai.colibri
  • How can I reorder / resize the playlist columns?
    It’s fairly easy! To reorder them, just click and hold the title of the column header (eg.: Title, Artist, Album) and start moving it either to the left or to the right. If you would like to resize them, you just have to grab onto the edge of said header – at this moment the mouse cursor will change, notifying you about the resizing possibility. If it is still not happening, here is a video tutorial of it in action:

  • Does Colibri have a demo version?
    Unfortunately I do not have means of offering a demo version as I’m against adding DRM (Digital Rights Management) to Colibri. Any added layer of cryptographic protection would also mean computing power usage overhead – something that is contrary to the core concept of Colibri’s existence! I’d rather spend time developing Colibri than deal with in-app purchase verification.
  • Aren’t people going to pirate it then?
    I’m honestly happy that people find Colibri useful – however, as you’ll soon see in the questions regarding Sandboxing – there is a reason why applications are strictly verified by Apple in the Mac App Store; it is most likely safe to assume that apps downloaded from the Mac App Store are thoroughly inspected and are highly unlikely to contain any piece of malicious code – which can not be firmly said about anything that originates from an unknown source.
  • What is Sandbox and why is there a window popping up about it? It’s annoying!
    Sandbox is Apple’s way of protecting the user (and the files) from any infection or ill intent that would originate from a downloaded app as regardless of programming with security in mind – all human-made software can be hacked/infected. Sandbox is a macOS protection layer provided by Apple (and is turned on by default) which does not allow an application to freely peek around the users’ files. To access anything outside of the app’s tight-shut container an explicit user permission must be granted – this is why any Mac App Store app would pop-up dialogs to open anything.
  • Sandbox is acceptable for music – but every time I open a Cue Sheet it still pops up! Why?
    When you Open a song (or drag it to Colibri’s playlist from the Finder) it is done via an action that originates from the user which means the user explicitly declares that he/she gives the app access to the specific file he/she drags/opens. However, .cue sheets are technically nothing more than detailed playlists telling Colibri where can it find the accompanying albums’ songs. Although the user drags the cue sheet to Colibri it does not grant further access to the files written within the Cue Sheet – access to those files must be asked for separately. This is the reason why the Sandbox pops up if you haven’t granted permission to that folder beforehand (or the folder containing said folder).
  • How can I prevent this? I mean c’mon this is downright frustrating!
    Colibri does not have a way of modifying files – it only asks for read-only permissions from the system so what I advise you is to give Colibri permission to access the top level of your music collection more so because if you have Album Art display turned on then it will also need permission to read the cover art files.
  • Aren’t covers embedded? Why use Sandbox dialogs here as well?
    Album art loading is currently only supported for FLAC files. If you load up something else (or if the FLAC file does not have an embedded album image) then Colibri tries its’ best and looks around the song containing folder for a cover image – and we’ve discussed looking around folders above.
  • What album art / cover images does Colibri look for?
    The following filenames with .jpg, .jpeg and .png extensions are looked for: “folder”, “albumart”, “front”, “cover” all in a case-insensitive way. Should this yield no result Colibri falls back to displaying its’ wonderful logo.
  • Media keys are conflicting with iTunes! Whenever I press Play on my Mac Keyboard iTunes suddenly opens!
    That’s because iTunes is the default application that responds to media key events. To modify this we have to manually disable this behavior – please see my step-by-step guide in this post over at my blog. Be advised, that starting from macOS Sierra 10.12.4 (16E195) disabling this behavior is significantly harder and requires additional steps!
  • I can’t switch sound output! Is AirPlay even supported?
    You can select your desired sound output device at the Settings – Output section. AirPlay support is currently under development – so it is currently not supported. A workaround could be to route all the system audio thru your speakers using “System Preferences -> Sound -> Output”. Recent versions of macOS have drastically changed how AirPlay is made available to apps to the point that it needs to be completely re-implemented – and this takes time.
  • What about Sonos?
    After I finish AirPlay sometime in the future, I’ll start looking into ways of bringing Sonos support to Colibri. This – just as AirPlay – requires a hefty amount of implementation.
  • Where can I choose the output frequency/bit depth?
    Colibri adjusts its’ output to match the audio format it currently plays – meaning this is done automatically every time a song starts to play.
  • Where can I download skins? Can I change the appearance? Are themes supported?
    Colibri has a Dark and a Light color tone switcher which is accessible from the Settings. Colibri is built using basic default system user interface components provided by Apple to save on resources – which in turn translates to very thin possibilities in terms of theming. Function over design is Colibri’s main principle – although color tinting might be implemented in the future.
  • Can Colibri burn discs?
    No and it will probably never will as there already are free and commercial products that offer disc burning for the Mac.
  • Can Colibri convert audio files?
    No. I’d advise You to use native macOS software that is specifically crafted to handle such tasks  – like the industry-standard (and also, free) XLD.
  • Can Colibri play network streams?
    As of version 1.8 it can! Please use File -> Open Network Stream (or use the hotkey: CMD + K) to add your network URL to Colibri. This has been tested with various M3U and PLS based streams that use the MP3/AAC codec for transmission.
  • Can Colibri download lyrics or missing album art/metadata?
    No. Colibri is not designed to search around the Internet for “third party” content – be it lyrics, album art or metadata in general and it is highly unlikely that this behaviour will change. Like everything mentioned here before – if it is requested then it might be considered.
  • Why should I pay for Colibri? Free, open source software do so much more!
    You are welcome to use any media playback software you like – that’s the beauty of it!
    Colibri does one thing: it plays back popular lossless audio files in a truly gapless way with or without cue sheets while using the least amount of power possible. What really makes Colibri stand out is the sanitizing method it uses to reprocess .cue sheets; many of you could have experienced how malformed/corrupt/disorganized these files can be and editing them by hand is not really an option. This is one of the main differences that distance Colibri from other available options, other than being completely native to Apple’s ecosystem and doing true gapless playback of lossless files.
  • I want my money back. What can I do about it?
    Apple has a strict and user-friendly policy on AppStore purchase refunds – please log in to your iCloud account and visit your recent purchase history, from where you can initiate the refund process. For a more detailed (and up to date) writeup, please refer to https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204084
  • I have a question not listed here, where can I contact the developer?
    Feel free to drop me a line via email using this address: info@colibri-lossless.com or reach out to me using social media.

Colibri 1.8.1 Changelog

Thank you for using Colibri! This update contains a completely redone CUE sheet reading engine, introduces cover art support for ID3/iTunes metadata and fixes a handful of bugs while improving the overall stability and usage experience. Happy listening!

Album art support has been extended

  • all supported audio files with proper ID3 tags and/or iTunes metadata will have their album artwork shown
  • including, but not limited to: ALAC, AAC, M4A and MP3 files

Colibri has a brand-new CUE sheet reading engine

  • all file encoding types readable by macOS are now supported (UTF8/UTF16/Unicode/Shift-JIS and more)
  • further enhanced data separation detection

Enhanced multithreading for Colibri’s internals

  • playback has been rewritten to use asynchronous read-ahead
  • reduced lag/stuttering during network storage/high-latency playback
  • reduced playback lag/stuttering when your computer is under stress (high CPU load)

Sound Output settings

  • Selected output is properly saved and loaded
  • If the saved device is absent when Colibri is started the the default output will be used
  • The frequency allowed by CoreAudio is now visible under the Output select box

Exclusive/Hog mode

  • Enable Exclusive/Hog mode in Settings – Output to cancel any other sound sources on your Mac for a truly undisturbed listening experience

Further Enhancements

  • Added macOS Notification Center support, try it at the slightly revamped Settings panel
  • Added missing Retina display app icons
  • Pressing the return/enter key immediately starts the playback from the selected song in the playlist
  • Sandbox permission windows are now shown directly above Colibri’s main window
  • Due to popular request, an on/off switch for the volume, seeking and pause pop-up notifications has been added in the Settings menu

PLUGIN UPDATES

  • BASS FLAC updated to version 2.4.4
  • BASS MIXER updated to version 2.4.9

BUGS FIXED IN THIS UPDATE

  • The playlist would have floating and duplicating album titles upon column switching
  • The title and artist name would not properly center horizontally on switching to 2-column mode
  • Colibri would not load songs from Folders dragged and dropped on the Dock icon
  • Colibri Playlist files would not always load properly via drag and drop
  • Open Playlist would not always clear the whole playlist
  • The selection cursor would disappear on song change or when the playlist is reordered/modified
  • Switching loop modes directly before a song would end could cause the song details to not update properly
  • Right-clicking/Option-clicking on empty space the Playlist and selecting ‘Reveal in Finder’ could cause Colibri to crash
  • CUE sheet PERFORMER data was not being read correctly
  • Initial playlist style was not properly initialized after a fresh install
  • Sandbox permission granting could not always load the file the permission was asked for
  • Mass-deleting and quickly re-adding multiple files at the same time could cause Colibri to crash
  • In some cases corrupt/missing files would cause a bit of a chaos: titles and their respective songs would get mixed up
  • Songs originating from CUE sheets that were not in UTF-8 BOM format would have ‘Unknown Artist’ shown as their Performer after exiting and relaunching Colibri – even though they had been correctly read the first time they were added

“Nice and easy audio player. Very minimal GUI (which i like a lot, actually), and artfully light on memory and cpu!”

Dan D., MacUpdate

I’m a system architect / network admin / software engineer and avid drummer from Budapest, Hungary. Colibri was born as a result of me not being able to enjoy my lossless music collection on macOS flawlessly as varying inconveniences constantly hindered my playback experience (lack of audio codec, cue sheet or gapless playback support) to such an extent that I ended up writing my own audio player. I do really hope that your quest for an ideal playback software ends with Colibri as well.

Gabor Hargitai