Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Songbird Music Player

I love software. Hardware is to me kinda like getting the minimum grades to get into college and so on, it's just annoying and can spoil something that should be fun. No, for me it's all about software, but I've never been a fan of using the same old software made by Microsoft or another big company, one because it's nice to support the smaller people, but also because they tend to make more of an effort with their software than big companies do. Songbird is a prime example of this.

When you boot up Songbird it looks like a slightly less pretty version of iTunes, but what's this? No iTunes store?! Already a vast improvement, but this can't be all that's good about it right? Right! Just like Firefox is to Explorer, Songbird is to iTunes in the sense that although in some areas it's lacking the facy bits (eg. a smooth album art juke box system, the one you can get on Songbird needs a LOT of work) but makes up for it in cool features like the ability to download pretty good plugins, and I don't just mean new codecs or a new skin, I mean stuff like what you can see in the right hand side of the screen shot for this tool, LyricMaster.

LyricMaster alone sold this to me (well, not so much sell as it's free), when you play a song in Songbird this tool quickly (and I mean VERY quickly) searches all of it's database for lyrics to the song playing and pops them up with the choice also to save the lyrics to your computer. No longer will you wonder what the hell the Scissor Sisters sing in Don't Feel Like Dancing, or if it's his first real sex dream or six string!

This isn't all that I like about Songbird, oh no. It uses a simple selection system allowing you to pick bands by genera, band, album, or some other options including Beats Per Minute. The built in web browser, although a little slow, is useful if your on a computer which takes a while to load up a new program (even if it is FireFox) and you wanna quickly check something. Also let's say you find a tune hosted on a website you like but you don't wanna clutter your hard drive with the mp3, why not just link it up to Songbird and stream it strait from the site though your player?

Little features like this have caused me to fall in love with Songbird and remove my copy of iTunes and only use Windows Media Player when VLC is on the frits (which as we all know, it always is)

I'd recommend picking this up even if it's just for a quick poke!

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