SongBird is an open source music player built on Mozilla’s technology. After being in development for 2 years, SongBird just reached version 1.0 and is looking greater than ever.
One great feature of SongBird is that it is extensible with community developed add-ons just like Mozilla’s Firefox and Thunderbird. This lets us add functionality via SongBird extensions and change skins – feathers via SongBird feathers.
Quick SongBird Features
- Import media from your filesystem
- Import media from iTunes – even plays iTunes purchased music
- Smart dynamic playlists that automatically updates
- Multi-language support
- Supports multiple media formats – MP3, FLAC, Vorbis on all platforms. WMA & WMA DRM on Windows, AAC & Fairplay on Win & Mac.
- Integrated web browser with bookmarking, tabbed browsing, etc
- Library management
- Uses GStreamer for media playback
Features in Beta
- Limited Device Support. Apple iPhones, iPod Touch & Zune, etc not supported yet.
- Subscribe to music blogs and download music to your Library
- Metadata management – yet to support fetching additional metadata from online sources
- Displays Album art for current playing track
Features Coming Soon
- CD Ripping
- Watch folder for auto adding tracks
- Video playback support
Let’s look at some of the fun things you can do with SongBird Add-ons
- mashTape – discover Flickr Photos, Youtube videos, Last.fm bio, Google news, etc for the current playing artist
- SHOUTcast Radio – stream online music using SHOUTcast Radio directory
- Last.fm – Scrobble, love and ban your tracks
- Concerts – Discover upcoming shows in your area for artists playing in your library
- MediaFlow – just like iTunes CoverFlow
- QuickTime Playback – allows you to play iTunes purchased music
- iPod Device Support – support for iPod devices (no iPhone or iPod Touch support yet)
- Mac Remote Control Support – Support for the use of Apple Remote Control
And that’s just a sampling of add-ons available and as time progresses the add-ons ecosystem will grow just like Firefox’s and sky is the limit. And of course with add-ons, comes the performance trade-off so be frugal in the add-ons you add to it to keep it zipping along.
With the media player market being so crowded as it is, SongBird faces a stiff competition. Yet, it could be appealing to the massive Firefox user base who have learnt to love (or hate) the Mozilla’s interface and will find SongBird easy to navigate and use.
What do you think of SongBird?