The ‘best music player ever’ gets hardware

The following post is a QuickHit(tm) — an article or post I found online and thought was important enough to share directly with you. Of course, you’ll see my thoughts or opinions prepended or appended to this post, otherwise I’m just scraping content, and that’s not the intent.

TechCrunch is reporting that Songbird has a hardware deal with Philips – Bundled With Millions Of Portable MP3 Players

Don’t count Songbird out yet. The open source media player that’s increasingly positioning itself as an alternative to Apple’s iTunes has forged a deal with global electronics maker Philips. Under the agreement, which will be announced later today at CES, Songbird’s software will come bundled with the Philips line of GoGear portable music players, available worldwide.

Nice to see Songbird continue to grow…hey, where’d that cloud behind the bird’s butt go?

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Best music player ever gets an update

I caught Songbird‘s updated (back in June) but hadn’t paid attention to what was new with it. I wrote about the previous update here and loved the fact that Songbird finally got watched folders. Well, it seems that in this latest update there was one significant new feature (for me).

Songbird added an Equalizer. This is great especially when you’re working with ‘less than audiophile’ computer speakers at work 🙂

A couple of other new features to note:

  • Media Importing / Exporting
    Add media to Songbird by importing from your file system or iTunes. Export your tracks and playlists back into iTunes.
  • Library Files Organization
    Automatically organize the files contained in your library. Consolidate your media in one location. Customize the structure of the folder and file name based on metadata contained in every track.

Now Apple’s iTunes appears to be getting better (esp. with iTunes 9) …and I’ll soon be diving into it in a big way, but for me, currently, Songbird is the my player of choice.

Best music player ever. Songbird 1.1.1 now with watched folders.

I’ve written before about Songbird, the free, open-source music player based on the Mozilla / FireFox platform.

Basically Songbird rocks.

Well, now there’s extra-new-and-improved Songbird goodness as the update was released this evening, with the one significant feature it’s been lacking up ’till now — the ‘Watched Folder’ feature.

To quote from the songbird release email:

Watch Folders
You can choose to watch a folder hierarchy for changes and the content will auto-magically be imported in your library. If a file is removed from the watched folder, the corresponding track will be deleted from your Library.

Of course, this isn’t the only new feature in Songbird, but for me, it’s the most important.

If you’ve not tried Songbird as an iTunes replacement, give it a go…it’s really worth the investment, for Mac, PC and Linux.

Songbird solves my multi-multimedia player dilemma

Between home and work, I have various Windows, Linux and Macintosh computers. I centralize my media on a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device, accessible by all. As you can imagine, I use different media players on all.

My biggest hurdle has been consistency in user experience. I’ve had to run iTunes on the Mac, Winamp, FooBar2000 or VLC on my XP/Vista boxes, and VLC on the Linux machines.

But today, I discovered Songbird, a Mozilla based media browser, with versions for all my boxen (Mac, Linux and PC).

The experience is quite similar to Winamp. Simply point songbird at your music directory and let it build a catalogue.

Bonus feature, Songbird also talks to my iPods perfectly. Transfer music, build playlists…everything works.

From the developers:

We’re working on creating a non-proprietary, cross platform, extensible tool that will help enable new ways to playback, manage, and discover music.

Songbird is currently just out of beta; current version is 1.0. But it’s a pretty slick piece of work for being so new. I’m already a fan of the FireFox-like AddOn features — LiveTweeter (a Twitter plugin), ShoutCast Radio (streaming audio), and a whole host of visual customization addons.

If you’re looking for a nice, clean, Open Source media player, give Songbird a try.

*** UPDATE*** [Dec.25.08]
One major annoyance for many Songbird users is the lack of a Watched Folder. Simply put, this lets you point Songbird at a particular media folder and import any changes into the Songbird library automagically. Developers are aware of this, and appear to be considering adding this functionality in future. I certainly hope so, as now it’s a cumbersum process to remember to update my Songbird library on every computer.

*** UPDATE*** [Mar.13.09] Songbird 1.1.1 has been released. Among the updates you’ll find the much-awaited Watched Folder.