Been trying to install Gentoo Linux (if that's the correct phrasing) on a PowerMac G4 recently, which has meant lots of downtime for my favorite jukebox. Okay, I admit it. When I'm at work, I do the bulk of my editing on Windows. The G4 sits over in the corner hooked up to my speakers, iTunes 3 blaring. But the Mac is so danged good at being a jukebox, right?

Anyhow, I'm installing gentoo in hopes that it will enhance the use of my Apple hardware. OS X is just too danged slow for developing on my iBook 500 MHz and 350 MHz G4. So I had to scramble and find a good mp3 player for my Windows workstation, for the time being. I believe my employer owes the Black Crowes about half again what he's paying me for the increases in productivity. So the best reviews on went to "Quintessential Player" and I grabbed it.

It's very good. Has the requisite equalizer, fancy smancy skins (the default and a few on the site are very good -- they initially look busy, but are easy to learn), etc. Some bits like mp3 searches and ordering aren't quite up to iTunes standards, but overall I'm impressed. Probably has some trojan app in there somewhere, but so far so good.

But most impressive is the strain it puts on the processor. Playing mp3s from a CD put it at 1-2% of my 1.8 P4's processor power. Compare that to iTunes 2, which, according to "top" takes 20-30% (varying) of my 500 MHz G3.

I hate to Macbash, as I enjoy using Macs, but let's just say mp3 playing ain't the same as Photoshop filters. Sheesh. MHz for MHz, the Mac still loses something awful. And no, the player on Windows isn't using some dll whose proc drain I'm missing. It's really just 2%. Wow.