Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Songbird -- My New Love

So, it happens that once in a while I stumble upon a new program and try it out.  Sometimes I fall in love with it.  Other times, I hear of a program and simply refuse to try it out for one reason or another.

And sometimes, I hear about a program, refuse to try it but finally do, and fall in love with it asking why I never tried it earlier.

Enter Songbird.  This is, in my mind, undoubtedly better than iTunes.  As a media player, it does everything I have ever wanted, and so much more than iTunes.  Some of the great features that swung me include:
  1. Global Shortcuts.  Now, just like in Linux and OS X, you can hit some keys and have the music go to the next track, previous track, or pause, without actually going back to the application.
  2. Launchy/Quicksilver functionality.  While it isn't perfect, I can choose my next tracks without going back to Songbird because it too has a global shortcut.
  3. Add-ons!  Songbird is made by Mozilla, the same people who make Firefox.  So, of course, there are many addons which add important functionality to the Media Player.  One of my favorite is the automatic Lyric finder.  Anyone sing?
  4. Built in web browser.  While I still use Firefox, the built in web browser is very useful for installing addons and finding music.  Since it is essentially Firefox, perhaps I may stop using the two different applications entirely.
  5. Open Source.  'Nuff said.
There are a few things lacking in this program which I would like to see in the future.  I would like to see better "Launchy" integration, which could come in the form of an addon.  Having it be a little more streamlined and effective would be excellent.  Also, better iPod support.  While there is an addon for iPod's, it only works on the older models, the one's that allow "Disk Usage."  My iPod touch is not supported, which means I will need to keep iTunes around.... for now.

No comments: