Songbird 0.7 Quick Review

I'm long time Songbird fan (also got one Songbird T-Shirt). I reviewed Songbird 0.1 and Songbird 0.4 a while ago. This time, Songbird 0.7, the "beta" release, is just out and this is my quick thought.

Good

  • The new interface is crisp. It's still follow iTunes footstep but now has own personality.
  • Songbird can read your iTunes Music Library. No cost or harm to try Songbird.
  • It seems that the Songbird team stabilize the infrastructure (Web API, Extension API) and now focus on the usability and features.
  • Smart playlist, period.
  • It can discover album arts!
  • It can do CoverFlow! (via Media Flow extension)
  • It can do metadata! (via Scrubz extension)
  • With the Mozilla engine inside, the extension installation is now seamless. You can install a new extension within Songbird window. No need to open Firefox and download extension again.
  • The concept of 'Media Pages' (or 'Views' of your music library) is intuitive.
  • It seems to play DRM musics via QuickTime. I have no DRM songs to try.

Bad

  • It's still a bit slow. Got some lags when clicking on some buttons.
  • No Dock only mode (I'm using Mac). Closing the application window via red button means quitting the program.
  • Need to restart every time after installing a new extension. That's mean your music will be interrupted.
  • It only import the iTunes music, not the playlists.
  • No "Party Shuffle" feature. Anyway, you can do manual shuffling.
  • Isn't uncompressed 164MB size too big for a media player?

This release is not perfect yet but it's a huge leap from older versions. Songbird is very promising. Not everyone want to be locked in the proprietary iTunes.

Comments

I think Songbird is quite cool, but becomes cooler next version with gstreamer replacing VLC. Now VLC is quite slow, start a song takes seconds, change the volume freezes a few seconds. On Linux it works good already.