Songbird Rocks!

Posted by jun auza On 9/19/2008
I'm not that picky when it comes to desktop audio player. Typically, I just use whatever audio player that comes with my Linux distro. As long as it plays all of my audio files (with the right plugins of course), I'm good. Until most recently, when I've tried those iTunes replacements that I wrote about a while ago, I've discovered Songbird, and it quickly became my favorite audio player.

Getting to know Songbird
As described on its project website, Songbird is an open-source customizable music player that's under active development. The project’s main aim is to create a non-proprietary, cross platform, extensible tool that will help enable new ways to playback, manage, and discover music.


Getting Songbird
If you are using Ubuntu or any other Debian based distro, you can download the .deb package HERE. You can also download Songbird directly from their website HERE.

Using Songbird
Songbird has an iTunes-like interface, so playing and managing audio files in it is completely trouble-free. If you don't like the default appearance of Songbird, you can customize it by getting some of the good-looking ready-made themes (called feathers), and then simply install it the way you do in Firefox.


The most promising thing about Songbird is the add-ons. Though some of the add-ons don’t exactly work as they should be, I have high hopes that they will be well-integrated in the near future. Some of my favorite working add-ons include:

Smart Playlist- lets you create dynamic playlists that automatically update based on criteria you set.

Last.fm Scrobbling- Last.fm integration which allows you to scrobble, love, and ban your tracks.

SHOUTcast Radio- ability to stream music through SHOUTcast Radio directory.


Because Songbird is still in beta, some of the features are experimental and need to be polished as pointed out by its developers.

Why Songbird Rocks
Songbird is my ideal audio player. It's light, fast, easy-to-use, and highly-customizable. Plus, it is fairly stable even though it is still in beta that I'm keeping it as my primary desktop audio player. If Songbird will continue to improve along the way, it won’t take time before it will become “the Firefox of media players”.

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