Admin’s Arsenal (personal edition): Songbird

I wasn’t exactly sure how to categorize this post, but I feel that it rightly belongs in the Admin’s Arsenal. Even the most nose to the grindstone SysAdmin needs some tunes. I have something playing in the background in my office pretty much all day.

Until recently I was a die hard Winamp fan (mostly because of its Llama whipping ways). As of late though Winamp has been getting more and more bloated. My copy now lags horribly when I first start it up, and it eats a ton of system resources.

Allow me to introduce you to Songbird, an open source media player based on the Firefox and VLC code. Songbird is currently in Beta, however I have been using Beta 1.0rc1 for a week or so and it is very close to being final.

Seeing the default interface, it is pretty obvious they are aimed squarely at dethroning iTunes (thank you for that, iTunes is just bloated crapware).


Now here is the really cool part; from it’s Firefox roots it has inherited what I believe is Firefox’s best feature: Add-ons. Even though this is beta software, I am really excited about this software. The potential here is epic, this could actually turn out to be the best media player on the market.

Even though it is in beta (and hence there are quite few Add-ons available for it), here is a screenshot of what Songbird now looks like on my computer:


Notice that I have a second tab open… yeah, it’s got a browser integrated right into it, and it’s FireFox code! Here is a list of some of the features this baby offers:

  • Add media to Songbird by importing from your file system or iTunes.
  • Songbird supports MP3, FLAC, and Vorbis on all platforms; WMA and WMA DRM on Windows; and AAC and Fairplay on Windows and Mac.
  • Browse, organize, sort and search your media.
  • Songbird includes an integrated web browser with features like bookmarking, tabbed browsing, and more.
  • Songbird runs on Windows, Linux and Mac.
  • Always stay up to date using Songbird’s built-in automatic updates.

The beta version that I am showing here adds several more features, including multiple additions to mp3 player support, and metadata management.

If you find that there are features that are missing that you want, the developers are maintaining a roadmap wiki showing the planned additions to the software, so that killer feature you want may be just around the corner!



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