Hello Songbird…

songbird…goodbye Amarok 2!

So maybe I’m giving up too quickly on Amarok 2 or maybe Songbird instantly saw my whole collection and started playing music with no hassles. Maybe…just maybe that’s it.

Well Amarok, maybe we’ll meet again some day, but right now I’m hanging out with Songbird.

Songbird is built by Pioneers of the Inevitable using code by Mozilla, gstreamer and others. It’s simple, yet customizable with a ton of extras and add-ons. If you’re already familiar with iTunes and Firefox, then you’ll probably love it, or at least have no trouble figuring it out. Plus, the mascot is a fat bird wearing headphones. How can you resist? Anyway, that’s the least important of things here.

The default layout is a carbon copy of iTunes. Click in to have a closer look:

screenshot-songbird1

Yes, I like Frank Black. Moving on…

Just like Firefox gives you the ability to install add-ons with ease, so does Songbird. If you can think about it, someone has probably created one. I added iPod support (very important), as well as LyricMaster and BirdTabs. Yep, with BirdTabs you can have in-panel Guitar or Bass tablature while you listen to that song whose chord structure has been eluding you for so long. Songird also has a plugin that will tell you what concerts are coming to town based on your music collection. Pretty cool, no?

Initially, I was wondering why the active track playing was never highlighted in my playlist. I looked around and, you guessed it, there’s an add-on for that called FocusTrack. So far, Songbird looks very promising.

You can of course change the look if you’re not happy with the default. There are hundreds of ‘feathers’ (skins) available. Explore and enjoy.

Installation is simple on a Ubuntu system. This is how you do it:

First add the source:

echo “deb http://getdeb.masio.com.mx/ jaunty/” | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/getdeb.list && sudo apt-get update

then

sudo apt-get install songbird

You’re done. I’m in the process of seeing if Songbird can sync with my 3rd generation iPod. If it can, we’ll be saying goodbye to gtk pod as well.


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