Songbird

Songbird is a free and open source software audio player and web browser founded by Rob Lord and developed by Pioneers of the Inevitable.

Songbird utilizes the cross-platform frameworks, Mozilla’s XULRunner and GStreamer media framework, and is thus capable of running on Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X, Solaris and Linux.

All of the above facts were taken from the wiki page of Songbird. I have been using Songbird for few months now and I am pleasantly surprised by all the features it brings to the table. I have tried it on both Linux and Macintosh.

On Macintosh( may be on Windows too), It provides an option for Importing/Exporting play list from/to iTunes. So all you guys having iTunes installed on your machines can give this a try. Look at the screen shots provided.

Dialog for Importing/Exporting playlists

Best thing about this player, is the fact it not only plays the music but also fetches information about the artists. It fetches latest news, videos, photos and lyrics of the song being heard. Refer the images below.

Photos

Video

Latest News

Artist Information

Normally while using iTunes if I liked a song I would have had to search for lyrics on Google. But Songbird solved my problem by fetching the lyrics for me.

In the above photos you can see the lyrics on the right hand side. The lyrics can be saved. Once it is saved the lyrics won’t be fetched again. On Macintosh( and may be on Windows) the plugins for artist info, lyrics and photos have to be installed. Songbird would ask your permission for installing it. And only if it is installed these information would show up.

Alongside these, it is also a web-browser. I have used it to browse the web. But I don’t prefer it for https( secure) transactions, since I don’t know how reliable it is. So I won’t suggest it to you either.

It has fairly decent support for online radio. But for that you would have to create an account. Songbird can be used to manage ipod’s too. This is something I haven’t tried, but I have been told by few people that it is reliable and there are few other guys who say it is a little risky. So try or not trying this is your choice. Read How to use Songbird to manage your iPod.

I believe Songbird is as good as iTunes, as long as you don’t use iTunes stores.

A note of advice, don’t try using artist photo option in office if your office has bandwidth restricted for you guys. Because when this option is selected Songbird continuously previews images from web which your IT Manager might not like. So be careful.

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2 thoughts on “Songbird

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