Linked by Kroc Camen on Thu 4th Dec 2008 18:20 UTC
Editorial Songbird is a new open-source music player that has this week landed at 1.0. Songbird is described as a "web player"- a music player for this modern, connected era. It blends the web-rendering core of Firefox (Gecko), with the media capabilities of GStreamer- a cross-platform, open-source media playback engine.
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Okay, I'll just get into my time machine and hop back to 2001 and review Songbird 1.0 there.

Just playing music, Songbird was buggy and unpolished compared to iTunes. Now, I can choose to either live with those problems because my ideals lie with open music formats, or the web features, or I can continue to use the tool that already works for me.

If Songbird can provide a smooth playback experience in future versions, It'll get a much more glowing review from me.

I have many criticisms of iTunes. It was good at 4.9 when they added Podcasting. The problem with iTunes is that you get what you're lumped with and any flaws and bloat can't be fixed by a wider community.

Kinda boils down to you expecting far more from this music player than it said it had

I expected it to play music, and didn't do that all that smoothly.

I expected it to not import my videos, or somehow alert me clearly that video was not supported, but it didn't - instead giving a subpar experience that could have easily been cleaned up by simply not including video files in the library.

I didn't expect it to have an online store. I didn't even mention that in the article.

*When* Songbird is a better player, I'll give it better reception. But right now, I gave it a task to do and it didn't do too well. Potential, resources, community or not - I can't go recommend Songbird to my grandma based on the principle that it's a small project written by a small group of people and it doesn't work very well at the moment -- but it will later.

*When* 2.0, 3.0 &c. is a good player, I'll recommend it then.

We, the technical community understand audio formats, and are willing to contribute and put up with shortcomings -- the public are not. If Songbird doesn't work right, they go back to Windows Media Player or iTunes because Songbird "didn't seem to work".

addendum: Firefox 0.93 did everything better than IE for me.

Edited 2008-12-05 11:33 UTC

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