Mini Review: Songbird
Songbird, a powerful music player and manager based on the Firefox platform, was launched today. I just installed it and I must say the interface is top notch. Being an iTunes user, I immediately felt at home; everything was where I expected it to be and the menus were rather intuitive. There is even something called a remote playlist which, from the best of my knowledge right now, lets you stream or download music from a URL, perhaps a feed. I can't get my Songbird to do too much right now as it keeps trying to connect to the Songbird server, which has been down all day from excessive traffic. I forgot to mention, however, that the interface is a very sleek black (you can go to File > Alternate Skin for a red skin)! Songbird uses its Firefox platform to integrate an advanced services feature allowing you to browse content on many audio related sites such as Odeo, SHOUTcast, Amazon and others. Briefly playing around with this, I found out that it would detect all streams and display them for you to play whichever you choose. As expected, you can also browse regular websites through the integrated browser. There is also a feature to easily switch between languages quickly - there are already about 20 languages supported.
Like iTunes, Songbird has a mini-player which unlike iTunes' mini-player, looks great. Songbird has a lot going for it, but they still need to incorporate some key features that this preview leaves out. Things like an equalizer are absent in this preview. Once sufficient devices support, including iPod support, makes it into Songbird, Apple may need to watch their back - everyone loves the little open source app that makes it big, *cough* Firefox. Songbird may very well be THE music player/manager for all Linux users, beating out Amarok and RhthymBox. The preview released today is a "proof-of-concept" distribution, so it was only available for Windows. There is, however, a strong possibility of Songbird being released on Linux and Mac in the near future. I hope to hear more about Songbird in the future. Download the preview (from yousendit because Songbird's server is down) and let me know what you think.