Are there any free alternatives to Sound Miner out there?
you can use the finder and spotlight to do a lot of databasing.
The idea would be to put your metadata in the spotlight comment window - which spotlight can read in its searches. There are automator scripts out there that can take metadata from spreadsheets and embed them into the spotlight comment fields as a batch process. I'd imagine you can get good results using waveagent to read the bwav description and moving metadata over that way as well.
If you search for photographer automator actions, you'll find a lot of automater based solutions that the photography community has come up with.
its pretty powerful.
deep in that first link is a link to this page, which has 7 file tagging applications for ya. http://mac.appstorm.net/roundups/utilities-roundups/7-file-tagging-applications-for-os-x/
I bought AudioFinder for the meagre price of $70. It appears to do most of what SM does and is far far cheaper. I've found most useful and would happily recommend it.
I'll be honest I have this on my Mac but never really used it haha. Found it randomly thought I'd give it a try, it works. Now I just need figure out how to add metadata to my recordings.
I know a few people who use Itunes to organize their sound library - not quite sound miner but it's free.
@stephen: You can use wave agent from sound devices to add metadata.