Looks like there’s a new media player riding on into town. So what? There’s millions of perfectly good ones around. Well, Songbird has a few tricks up it’s sleeve.

  • It’s creators have previously worked on Winamp 5 and Yahoo’s Y! Music Engine.
  • It’s user interface appears to be that of iTunes – but on steroids. I’m not sure how good this is – iTunes has a very clean interface, whereas this one looks a bit cluttered and dark.
  • It’s based on the same core technologies as Firefox and Thunderbird (XUL and CSS), meaning that if you don’t really like the front end, you can probably come up with a new skin for it.
  • The same software runs on Windows, MacOS and Linux, which is always nice.
  • It’s got that mysterious ‘Devices’ menu, which leads me to think they’ll have some support for portable hardware. Which ones exactly remains to be seen.

My main hope is that they support just about every audio and video codec known to man. For me, iTunes’ major flaw is it’s inability to natively handle much in the way of non-Apple audio and video formats. Don’t want much, do I? Anyway, it’s one to watch…

5 Responses to “Songbird”

1. Owen

It just looks like they’ve done Apple’s trick of taking something successful and releasing it in black.

2. Simon

Is a request for a media player to play several formats, such a big request… hmm I think you’ve been using iTunes too much.

Lets see if they manage to make this good, or as Owen says, just a black version of something thats already out there.

For now I am happy with VLC and WinAmp.

3. matt

Maybe they can make it work one of those Sony things you want, Olly.

I am going off itunes, but I am currently stuck in a “too low an operation system” to get the software a I really want to use. Mainly for podcast aggregation I’d like to change.

4. Simon

Sony are working on an update to make their software work, in fact there is one out already. Just like Apple and Microsoft it seems they rushed things a bit too quickly without properly testing.

5. Olly

To be honest, loads of music formats isn’t an issue – most of my stuff is MP3 or AAC. It’s just the videos that annoy me. I have to keep Windows Media player lying around because there’s certain formats that it seems nothing else can play – even if the codec is correctly installed.

I believe that Songbird incorporates VLC in some way or another, so hopefully it’ll play just almost everything. On the other hand it might be a pile of crap ;-)