There's nothing quite like sitting back and letting the computer walk you through your audio library. AudioFinder (Mac OS X shareware, $35) from Iced Audio (www.icedaudio.com) offers a number of convenient features for browsing and collating your audio files. For example, you can copy or alias selected sound files to a Favorites folder. You can calculate a file's tempo from its length and beat count, or simply tap the tempo in. The program also includes classic-style pitch-shifting using an onscreen piano keyboard; this feature comes in handy if you're using AudioFinder to audition files in conjunction with other audio material. You can even run several instances of AudioFinder at once to hear how different files work together.
You select the sound files you want to audition in AudioFinder's Browser window. The Browser window is organized like the OS X Finder window in Columns mode, with horizontal and vertical scroll bars. The Browser window's Seeker mode displays all the files in the selected folder as well as any of its descendants. In Seeker mode, you can filter the display of files by name or directory path. For instance, you could instruct the program to display all files whose names contain the word loop. The Browser window is all that's needed to use AudioFinder, and all of its functions can be accessed with the mouse or a key command. Two other windows — BPM Tap Pad and MIDI Patch Changer — allow you to tap in the tempo of a loop as it plays and step through patches on any receiving MIDI device, respectively.
AudioFinder lets you step through the files in the selected folder using the arrow keys, and each selected file plays automatically. When you click the Auto button, AudioFinder automatically steps through the file list, starting at the selected file and playing each file in turn. If you activate the Shuffle-Play option, AudioFinder plays files from the list at random. In addition to copying or aliasing files to the Favorites folder, you can move them to any bookmarked folders you set up. That makes quick work of distributing files from a CD among several folders.
Currently, AudioFinder supports AIFC, AIFF, WAV, SDII, MP3, and some REX audio-file formats. If you're using Mac OS X and have a sample library, this is a must-have download. Some AudioFinder features are time-limited in the demo version. However, the application is well worth the shareware fee, and Iced Audio continues to release enhancements at a steady pace.