Songbird 1.0

Came home after a long day, checked my mail and was delighted to find that Songbird 1.0 had shipped. I’d been waiting for it for a while. You may remember I’d blogged about it two years ago. In between I’d been following the blog, checked out some intermediate versions but felt I could wait.

So today I read the notes and the licences, downloaded it and played around with it. And you know something? It was worth the wait.

  • An opensource music player.
  • Platform agnostic: Linux, Mac, Windows.
  • Format agnostic: MP3, FLAC, Vorbis on all; WMA, WMA DRM on Windows; AAC, Fairplay on Windows, Mac.
  • Integrated web browser
  • Scrobbles from
  • Provides a decent mashup of band/artist details
  • Community-based extensions and ecosystem
  • Good bunch of add-ons already, covering lyrics and album art amongst others
  • Tagging/folksonomy support

The device support, while rudimentary, looks promising. There’s no CD rip service as yet, and video is still some way off. I’ve taken a quick look at the licensing, and on the surface there doesn’t seem to be anything objectionable. Installation was a doddle. Importing music was even more of a doddle.

It’s still early days yet, but on the face of it, this is typically the kind of start I would want to see from an opensource music player, particularly one that is destined to evolve with and around community contribution and ecosystem development.

If there was one thing I would want quickly, it would be a variant of TwittyTunes. Explicitly for Songbird.


9 thoughts on “Songbird 1.0”

  1. Wow, I didn’t know that there was talk of Songbird back in 2006! I am also jazzed about this, it looks like it might become the kind of music player that everyone’s been dreaming of (but didn’t know they were)!

  2. Glad I stumbled on your post. I’m a loyal Mozilla user and I’m excited to this finally ready to use. I agree, it’s pretty basic right now. However, the few addons already in place already give a taste of what is to come.

  3. Thanks for your comments, everyone. I wish there was an easier way to find out about things opensource but for the present I do what you do. Which is to read the blogs of people who appear committed to opensource, and to surf the web from their perspective. Glad I could be of help.

    rs, I took a look at amarok, but I think songbird has more potential.

    BTW I’d love to know how any or all of you actually found your way to this blog, it would help me understand something about the flow of information on the web

  4. I really did not like Amarok and had been using Rhythembox,. so I was really pleased to see Songbird 1.0 was ready.

    It is “good enough” to be my default player now. The ipod support isn’t quite as nice as Rhythembox, but it will come I am sure. I also appreciate that it approaches music with an attitude of openness and sharing, much the way individuals approach it, as opposed to seeing it as a closed economic system, the way itunes does.

  5. JP – got here via Google Reader (subscribed to your blog directly). Reason I subscribed – well, that’s going back to DKIB days :)

  6. Maybe I’ll give it a try. I’m very, very partial to Amarok and generally not a fan of anything sporting an iTunes-style music library interface.

Let me know what you think

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