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Open Music Player, Songbird, Releases 1.1

The Mozilla-based music player get an update with a number of improvements.

Since its initial 1.0 release in December last year, Songbird has been downloaded nearly 1,000,000 times. Now the open source, multi-platform music player has released version 1.1.1 with a broad number of improvements. If you’re looking for a vanilla music player, this really isn’t it — for that, you can seek out other options1. However, if you’re looking for something that attempts to stretch the definition of “music player” a bit, you might want to give Songbird a look.

One of the interesting things Songbird tries to do is pull together related information for a given song or artist that it finds on the web via an integrated service called mashTape. mashTape can attempt to fetch Flickr photos, YouTube videos, Google news, for the current artist. On top of this, Songbird can also grab live event info for an artist via Songkick, thus saving you trip to the browser (and Google) and maybe delivering you some info that you might not have thought to look up in the first place.

The live event info is something that I’ve come to really enjoy with the last.fm service and it’s nice to see it integrated where it makese perfect sense into a music app.

mashTape in Action
mashTape in Action

Songbird is built on top of Mozilla,2 making it, if you’re inclined, extremely customizable. The recipe book is a good place to start if you’re looking to dive right in.

The newest release cuts memory consumption by 40% (along with a “>host of additional performance fixes) and improves album sorting, fixes MTP device support and adds the 7digital music store.

Songbird Mascot
The Songbird mascot, who’s peculiarities have been discussed elsewhere.

1 “…in a manner of speaking iTunes is a spreadsheet that plays music.” –Ian C. Rogers

2 Is it just me, or does it seem like Mozilla & Firefox are inching in the direction of being serious platforms? Whether it’s full fledged apps or toys or tools, I get the sense that there might be a shift taking place and some really interesting stuff is taking place in and around the browser that simply wasn’t happening a couple of years ago.

Comments on "Open Music Player, Songbird, Releases 1.1"

dantrevino

The latest version is available for Ubuntu here: http://www.getdeb.net/app/Songbird if you dont mind non-supported repositories.

jgabler

Hats off to Mozilla! None of the other iTunes-wannabes for Linux are both as easy to use and as reliable as Songbird (and they certainly have nothing on Songbird’s GUI). Finally, I can load music onto my iPod Nano Video 3rd Gen without having to jump through all sorts of hoops or loading Windows.

With that said, there’s one huge flaw: Subscriptions (Mozilla’s code word for “podcasts”). The only way I’ve found that I can access my favorite podcasts, er oops subscriptions, through Songbird is to subscribe, then bring up the subscription in the Songbird web browser, watch the RSS XML appear raw and unprocessed, then choose to listen directly to a particular published audio file by clicking on its associated button. No RSS feed processing, no automatic updating, no syncing. No fun.

Its a great start, but just a start.

bugmenot

As above:

With that said, there’s one huge flaw: Subscriptions (Mozilla’s code word for “podcasts”). The only way I’ve found that I can access my favorite podcasts, er oops subscriptions, through Songbird is to subscribe, then bring up the subscription in the Songbird web browser, watch the RSS XML appear raw and unprocessed, then choose to listen directly to a particular published audio file by clicking on its associated button. No RSS feed processing, no automatic updating, no syncing. No fun.

This has been the case for over a year (that I’ve tried) – it goes through the painfully-slow download process, then gives an “error”. You can get around this by copying the file from the temporary directory to the destination directory. Why does this take a year to fix? It’s *almost* as good as iTunes — which is a pretty sad thing when you think about it for a few moments.

I’m over the Songbird hype — and just waiting for them to deliver.

ryall

Still no ‘Playing Now’ view. iTunes is _not_ the gold standard to be following.

What’s Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It positively useful and it has helped me out loads. I hope to contribute & aid other users like its helped me. Great job.

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