Finally a company has the right idea. I picked up the latest copy of Maximum PC today. As I like to see new software that's being developed (even though for the most part it doesn't apply to me being a Ubuntu Linux user). I came across an interesting piece of software to my surprise. It's an open-source program called Songbird. Because it's open-source it's available for Linux, Mac OSX , and Windows. Finally a cross platform music player that has built in support for iPods. Needless to say I went ahead and installed it right away on the Mac. Lets start with installation. It was very easy. Might I add that it automatically picked up on all my iTunes music. But it didn't stop there. It actually checked all music while importing and removed the duplicates for me. All I have to say about that is it's about damn time. I often move music back and forth and in some cases I move music that was already there back. What happens in iTunes is I end up with 3 copies of the same song and I don't know which one to remove. After that I immediately started installation of this application for my Ubuntu machine. It was fairly easy to install on both systems. For Ubuntu installation see my Journey To Ubuntu blog. If your a Mac or PC user go to getsongbird.com. Now once installed he application as I mentioned automatically adds your music. Either by directory of by existing iTunes library. This application is jam packed with amazing features. So lets start from top to bottom (if you have he application you'll follow this along a lot easier).
It's pretty straighfoward when it comes to the library, you have your genre, then artist, album, and song. They also have a library search which comes in handy if you have alot of music. It's also very functional. It auto searches as you type and based off your library offere's a list of what it thinks your typing before you finish. The library is basically laid out like iTunes only with the actual player on the bottom instead of the top (that's what she said). I think the coolest part of the library is the option users have to get more media views. Wow it's about damn time we get to customize our media player to our liking. Also this application has a built in web browser so you don't have to switch around when surfiing the web for new songs or additional add-ons for this application. Also as a side note for you hard-core iTunes users they offer an iTunes skin or as they call it "feather".
Not really anything spectacular here. But I'll take this chance to mention the thousands of Add-ons offered by this application. Anything from song lyrics displayer to song tapper lets you tap the rhythm of a song and it will find it. They have everything and it doesn't come weighed down with all the crap it's just what the name says "ADD-ON" but it's free and fun.
Next is a new feature called Concerts:
This option allows a user to set his or her location and it will search your artists and find concerts in your area by your favorite bands.
Yes this application has radio support. But not the iTunes podcast type (although I'm sure those are offered as an Add-On) I'm talking the good radio that you find with Winamp. Shoutcast stuff like that.
Overall I give this application a 10 out of 10. I've read about users who have had issues with system performance... But no more than iTunes. My system isn't great by any means but this runs fine on it. I would highly recommend giving this application a try.