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

Colibri 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.

a refreshingly new addition to the audio player scene

  • Saves your battery

    Colibri uses a barely noticable amount of computing power during the playback of your music. The application is built using state-of-the-art Swift 3 programming language, the BASS audio engine is bundled as machine code while 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 and WavPack – along with these popular lossy formats: Ogg Vorbis, MP1/MP2/MP3 and AAC/M4A. Additional format support might be considered if requested.

  • Handles CUE Sheets

    Colibri reads, processes – and to some extent – sanitizes cue sheets. Malformed and disordered content is reprocessed during loading and should audio files written in the sheet be missing then Colibri makes a few educated guesses on the possible file name/extension. If the sheet does not contain artist, song title or album information then Colibri tries to extract the song info from the audio file header itself.

  • Supports gapless playback

    Colibri is extensively designed from the ground-up to provide a true gapless listening experience – with or without using a Cue Sheet.

“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

    Colibri saves your current playlist upon quitting and re-opens your songs when you start it up again, maintaining the song data between playback sessions, regardless of having them previously loaded from CUE sheets or single files. Apple’s Sandbox protection is fully supported.

  • Avoids most problems

    Colibri does its’ best to avoid most problems before, during and after playback – however there are situations where error checking and guessing indexes won’t suffice. Loading unsupported files show up as an error message in the status bar and files that have disappeared since loading are automatically removed and skipped upon being reached in the playlist.

  • Understands your language

    Colibri is 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.

  • 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 settings: the loop mode state, whether to show the menubar and which pieces of info text to display in the status bar – nothing else!

“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

    Colibri displays embedded cover art for FLAC files. When that yields not results then it looks in the folder where the current song resides for a cover art image. See the FAQ for details on the exact files Colibri looks for.

  • Resides in your Menu Bar

    Colibri 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.

  • 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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


  • 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
  • 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.
  • I can’t switch sound output! Is AirPlay even supported?
    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 I’ll start looking into ways of bringing Sonos support to Colibri.
  • 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 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?
    Currently it can’t. Perhaps if it is requested then it might be implemented at a later point in time as Colibri currently does not handle network connections at all.
  • 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 than 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 policy on app purchase refunds. For more info 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.

“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