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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Don't forget the web integration!
by red_devel on Thu 4th Dec 2008 20:31 UTC
red_devel
Member since:
2006-03-30

Though you mentioned it in the beginning of the review, you never tried out or reviewed any of Songbird's abilities to navigate webpages with music embeded, and pull the music out for quick playback. It also allows you to download these songs and add them to your library. I suppose you ignored these cause you were comparing it to iTunes, but you're "Missing Features" at the end makes it seem like Songbird is simply an iTunes clone that doesn't do everything iTunes does. Would you say that those features are "Missing" from iTunes?

Those features, when used in conjunction with a site like Skreemr, are really sick and are really what sets Songbird apart. I think part of their mentality has been, why re-invent the wheel on something that every platform can already do easily with another app? Instead they focused on developing the stuff that is new and unique, but you completely ignored those things in your review!

Don't get me wrong, I do agree with you that they should get CD Playback working, and maybe eventually include CDDB Querying and ripping ability. I'm just saying don't throw Songbird out without giving those other features a try, they're great, and thats why I've been following and using Songbird for a while now!

Reply Score: 2

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Thank you, I think this is a very valid criticism.

In trying to slim down the review I left out a screenshot of this very feature. Indeed it does blend websites and player together in a much more natural and easy way.

I avoided going into it in detail because I was disappointing that despite this feature, there was no podcasting built in.

If anything, I'm one of the worse people to review something like Songbird. I don't use many web services until long after everybody else has discovered the privacy concerns. I don't use Last.fm, I've never in my life heard of Skreemr until I used Songbird - (and personally would have avoided links to such a site based entirely on the terrible name).

I am much more conservative about what I let the web do for me, than I do for it.

That said, I wanted to do this review because everything I had read so far from other sites regarding the Songbird release kind of felt empty and too much like a lengthy announcement than any critique. Ars Technica, who I had hoped would give it a thorough addressing failed to grill the software beyond acknowledging its existence and reading the spec sheet. Any complaints they had were forgiven in the wake of being indifferent about the whole thing.

Open source should not be given a free-ride - journalism / critique wise - just because it doesn’t have the same funding or whatever. Software is software and it either serves its users or it does not. It is down to spirit. I would have even harsher criticisms if I were reviewing Windows Media Player 11 - Songbird got off *very* lightly from me ;)


edit: wide -> wise

Edited 2008-12-04 21:58 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1