posted by Kroc Camen on Thu 4th Dec 2008 18:20 UTC

Songbird, Page 3


Without effort I found a large number of bugs, here's some of the notable and easily reproduced ones

Preferences sometimes broken
Trying to open the app's preferences did not work - it was the first thing I tried when using the app for the first time. Then the app wouldn't close and had to be force-quitted. If I do get the preferences open, it often doesn't show some of the sections when I click on them.
Main window disappears when focus lost
For a long period, the Songbird window simply hid itself everytime I changed focus to another app
Web browser functions breaking library view
The "View > Page Style > No Style" menu, despite being for web pages, works in the library view and disables some of the CSS styling of the app
Default shortcuts for next / previous song...
...are Ctrl+Arrows, which are assigned to switching spaces in OS X. iTunes uses just plain left and right arrows when the list is in focus
Keyboard Shortcuts help bug
If using the mini-player, clicking the "Help > Keyboard Shortcuts" menu brings up an open-with dialog
Pressing the close button closes the whole app, entirely
In OS X, the red bead closes the current window but doesn't usually quit the entire app too, so that the app remains in memory and can be re-launched quickly, or can continue doing something in the background - like, I don't know - playing music, perhaps. Cmd+Q, or the menu item is the only thing that should quit the app entirely.
Cmd+W closes tab, won't close window
Cmd+W closes each browser tab, but then doesn't close the main window when only the library view is left. I'm used to pressing Cmd+W to dismiss iTunes (or any main Mac app), but leave it running

"Missing" Features

A feature is, of course, not missing if it was never meant to be there in the first place. However, as this is not a clean-room review of Songbird - whereby I review something by living in a closed box, unaware that it's no longer the year 2000 and other products have existed for a long time - I take the viewpoint that what Songbird doesn't have in parity with iTunes is therefore missing as far as a regular consumer is concerned (should they make use of that feature).

That is simply the harsh reality that open source developers must face, and that Songbird does want to face (given it's current iTunes importing ability), but falls short of in the following ways

No video support

None. This was not a goal of 1.0 and is something to be visited in later versions of Songbird, however what I found shoddy about this fact was that Songbird does nothing to acknowledge that it does not play video.

It could exclude videos from showing up in the library. It could warn me with a message when trying to play a video - instead you just get the sound. It could do something to better warn you that video is not currently an option - rather than hide this fact on the very bottom of their features page.

No True Podcast Support

You can emulate podcasting by subscribing to the podcast's website or RSS feed - however this is just a static pull of listed audio files. No video support. No auto-pruning. No tidy categorisation / management.

No CD Playing, Ripping, Burning

No, really.

Table of contents
  1. Songbird, Page 1
  2. Songbird, Page 2
  3. Songbird, Page 3
  4. Songbird, Page 4
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