For a while now, I’ve been tracking what’s happening with Songbird, and more recently I’ve started playing with it. It works. At least the parts of it that are meant to work, work.
Ross Karchner at Ross Notes puts it succinctly:
- Songbird looks like it is shaping up to be the cross-platform, open-source iTunes replacement Iâ€™m looking for, with some really great integration with the larger music webâ€“ Itâ€™s like taking iTunes, ripping out the music store, and replacing it with the rest of the internet.
- Browse to any web page with links to music, and it becomes a playlist. Songs play instantly, and saving them to your library becomes a single-click or drag-and-drop operation.
I love iPods, and will continue using them. Because they’re fantastic. In design and execution and usability and experience.
I’ve never bought anything from iTunes, though my children have. iTunes is nothing more than an elegant way for me to manage my music, music that I’ve paid for.
I love Macs. I still have fewer Macs than iPods, but the gap’s narrowing :-)
So why do I like what I see in Songbird? Because I don’t like lock-in. I want to be able to choose my device, choose my platform, choose my connection, choose my everything. I understand when that is technically impossible. I am less tolerant when it comes to creation of artificial scarcities and blocks. Just look at the garbage that is Region Coding on DVDs and you will see what I mean.
Songbird may not be the answer. We have to wait and see. But it has possibilities. And is “directionally” sound. [Pun intended].