I’m a few months into this exact same process for the exact same reason. Here’s where I’ve ended up…
VOX is now my daily player, and I bought a subscription to the VOX Cloud Library
• macOS -> VOX -> USB -> Schiit DAC Fulla -> Headphones
• macOS -> VOX -> AirPlay 2 -> ancient Airplay Express -> Schiit Modi 3 -> Stereo
• iPhone -> VOX -> AirBuds
No serious technical issues with any, sounds great.
I gave up on the iTunes sync pretty quickly. It works, but wasn’t worth the bother
Moved all my tunes to an external drive and unhooked Apple’s Music.app from my local files.
Added artist names & release year to all the album folders, then removed all the artist folders
Just a folder containing 2,500 album folders, ordered by artist. Weird at first, then love.
THE BIG ONE >> Found Meta on AppStore and use it exclusively to clean up my files. The $3 art search add on is well worth it.
Most everything I have is being slowly cleaned up and uploaded to VOX Cloud Library
To replace Smart Playlists, I’m tagging album folders with various things and saving Smart Searches (hacky, but it works)
I’m slowly deleting everything from Apple Music Cloud Library as I verify that my local copies are complete and get them uploaded to VOX Cloud.
For desk listening, I just drag an album folder on VOX’s local playlist:
For car / mobile, the iOS app works great.
I didn’t find a magic bullet to switch over, but once I got my feet on the ground and accepted it was going to take some time, I stopped missing Apple Music entirely. At this point, I only open Apple Music to stream and check out new stuff. Everything else is VOX, at my desk, in my car, out on a walk…
There are some occasional bugs, but I’m way, way, WAY less frustrated than I was in Apple’s Music.app.
And Meta is a really great app.
Hope some of that helped!