Songbird

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While looking at some web page (I forget which, but it’s not really important) I was reminded about Songbird. I’d looked at it ages ago and while I liked the concept, the execution wasn’t worth spending time with. Things have certainly changed.

Downloading and installing was the usual Mozilla affair and it ran straight away. A nice little set of dialogs took me through the basic setup and a sensible choice of plugins was recommended for download. I quite like this approach, as it means I have the most up to date choice and versions straight away. Most importantly it also allows me to choose not to install things I have no interest in 🙂

The plugin to find images on flickr is interesting and shows the way that people are thinking around the app. Of course, if I could figure out how to view the images it would be even cooler…

It found the music on my laptop and created it’s library – exactly as you’d expect. The tabbed approach works well and shows the browser style origins.

It’s not perfect though.

  1. it really needs to get album art for me automatically.
  2. the concert plugin is good (and one I might well use) but it needs to store my location when I set it and allow me to change locations after showing me the search results. The display of search results is good and the opening of new pages with concert information inside the app works well.
  3. UPDATE: the plugin does store the location and will let you change locations, just it’s not obvious where to do this.
  4. where is the ability to stream from last.fm? If it’s there I don’t seem to be able to find it.
  5. podcast support seems non-existant at present

The plugin to find images on flickr is interesting and shows the way that people are thinking around the app. Of course, if I could figure out how to view the images it would be even cooler…

Having said all that, this is a product under development and the sheer quantity of plugins already available is testament to the support it has. I really hope they continue to develop the product and I hope it gets the features I really want (which aren’t many), namely

  1. proper podcast support (feeds, placing on ipod in podcast folder)
  2. album art work
  3. ability to listen to last.fm streams
  4. automatic adding of content to library when added to machine
  5. dlna client support for home streaming

I’ll keep an eye and follow releases, but it already seems as though it has enough to allow me to use it frequently.