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

Songbird, Page 4

Conclusions

I appreciate it's a new app and has taken a long time to create, but what am I expected to do? Not use CDs until they get around to it? It seems like Songbird 1.0 relies entirely on a symbiotic relationship with iTunes.

To call this product 1.0 is like throwing in the towel, accepting that it's just not possible to beat iTunes, or even Windows Media Player, or even support basic features - like playing a CD, that's been possible for around 16 years.

Songbird is a project that, given its limited resources, has to look toward the future first and pickup the past on the way. The time and effort spent in web-integration and add-in support is what makes Songbird a notable player. For if Songbird were without these two aspects of its design there would be absolutely no reason to live with what it's missing in lieu of what it has.

I believe that Songbird will succeed better in the Linux environment, which - dare I say it - has a more Unix-like software ecosystem that provides many smaller apps to achieve the tasks of one large homogeneous one. Linux distros all have their preferred CD-ripper / tagger / burner and video-player. In Mac OS X and Windows, maybe not so much the case.

Songbird is not an app I will be using anytime soon. It is an app however that covers its nakedness with its innovation. There may be hope, then, that its emperor's clothes approach to features will be seen as beautiful in the long run.

Pros
  • Portability across Windows / Mac / Linux and anywhere else someone manages to compile it
  • Decent mini player
Cons
  • No direct podcast support, can be "emulated" through subscribing to a website or RSS feed XML
  • No CD support
  • Vague privacy
  • Long road ahead to feature parity with iTunes
Sins
  • I encountered many bugs, big and small, just in my normal usage
  • No video support, no UX to acknowledge that
  • Second class citizen on OS X. Lacking theme polish. Poor non-standard behaviour
Table of contents
  1. Songbird, Page 1
  2. Songbird, Page 2
  3. Songbird, Page 3
  4. Songbird, Page 4
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