Songbird from Mozilla

Songbird is an open source media player from Mozilla. It’s still in it’s beta-stages so it’s too early to call it an “iTunes killer” but it won’t be long. It is a media player with an open approach to digital media network services like Odeo,, Skreemr, The Hype Machine, and more.


It’s built on the same platform as other Mozilla programs like Firefox and Thunderbird. It’s available on Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux. Currently at the time of this post the version out is 0.4. It’s a developer beta release but is still stable enough for you to trust with your entire music library, ipod, etc..

To sum it up – imagine if iTunes got together with Firefox and had babies. A sleek dark grey baby capable of playing/organizing all your music and displaying any website you want (with tabbed browsing). It has currently replaced my default browser (Firefox) for the time being because I like having my music library open in a tab right next to the tab containing this post I’m writing…Just like it’s sibling, Firefox, Songbird is open source which leaves it up for extension and skin (also known as “feathers”) development. There’s already a lengthy extension list growing including iPod support (now an option during installation), Wikipedia page for current artist, album art management, development tools, and a ton of other plugins that range from extra music stores to USB storage drive support.

Songbird Screenshot

So far it’s been able to open up any file I’ve thrown at it (WMA, Ogg, Flac, MP3…). A few minor nuances have been pressing the space-bar doesn’t play/stop like in itunes but instead simply hides the mouse cursor. The overall responsiveness of the program is that it flies!! The address bar has no typing lag whatsoever. When you want to quickly find Pearl Jam and hit the P key it doesn’t just scroll down to the P’s it flies to the P’s with no hesitation or delay.

It’s fast but still in Beta. There are plenty of bugs to be found and even a convenient “report bug” button in the top right. Give it a whirl if you’re interested in an alternative to iTunes…it’s open-sourcedness and skin-ability really give it a fresh feel and face to the old-hat style and feel and abilities of iTunes.

Songbird Fart

Just a side note – does anyone have idea idea why every single “songbird” logo they have has some kind of cloud that seems to be coming from the bird’s butt? Is it movement? air? gas? dust? Seriously…if he’s farting, just tell us…it’d be all the funnier…as of now it’s just confusing.


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