Songbird

Take the firefox source, add a music player and you’ve got songbird. So what’s so special about it ?

To begin with, it uses various sources on the internet to show information about the artist which is currently playing. It’s open source which is alway great and since it’s build on the  Firefox-source it’s ultimately extensible. You could actually use it instead of your current browser and have a browser with a built in music player. And a major plus of course is that it natively runs in linux. 🙂

Its basic skin has a I-tunes feel to it without the slow reaction time an huge resources.  (That is if you try to run I-tunes on anything but a mac.) The basic skin is quite okay, it gives you a good overview and did I already mention that I love the artist information shown in the bottom, I did, didn’t I. You can also show artist pictures there (taken from flickr.com), view concert info and watch video’s from the selected artist. If you want, you can add lastfm support to give you suggestions for other artists you might like. The media library is also good, just let it scan your music directory and you can just select any combination of ID3-tags to filter the list. (like genre, artist, album, bpm just name it)

I really think it brings something new to your music listening experience. It’s not completely bugfree at the moment. I have it running almost constantly and at random times, after being on for hours and hours it starts to stutter and if I don’t skip to the next song, it hangs completely. It’s not depending on the song, a song which normally plays perfectly can suddenly start to give problems. But killing the application with a maximum of once a day, is not a huge downer for me.

update: I just found out the crashes (not playing sound anymore) are a problem of my soundcard driver. Yesterday I experienced the same thing in firefox, while I was watching youtube. It’s probably just because I use songbird all the time, that I noticed this problem.

Go give it a try:http://getsongbird.com/

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