songbird.png
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Songbird is a media player that I’ve had a lot of faith in ever since I took a look at it back at version 0.2. The fact that users create extensions just like in Firefox gave the perception that it would become very successful, but for awhile development had slowed down considerably. I’m happy to say that the first Release Candidate of Songbird 0.7 was released, and it keeps on getting more powerful.

For the first time the developers have decided to depart from their black interface. As you can see in the screenshot above Songbird 0.7 will no longer have the dark skin enabled by default like it has had for years, which I’m sure some of you may not be happy about. Don’t worry though, you can still get back the old theme by going to View -> Feathers -> Rubberducky:

songbird black theme.png
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Songbird 0.7 also has numerous other features besides the new design:

  • New setup assistant: get up and running in Songbird with ease (requires a fresh profile)
  • Smart playlists: create dynamic playlists based on criteria you set
  • Concert calendar: find upcoming shows in your area based on the artists in your library
  • Last.fm support: scrobble the tracks you play and love or ban them
  • GStreamer on all platforms: this is our first cross platform release using GStreamer as our new media core, by default it handles all FLAC playback on Windows/Mac (or you can enable GStreamer to handle more codecs)
  • Zippier metadata reading: much faster media scanning
  • Reduced memory usage on Windows/Linux: we landed jemalloc as the applications memory allocator

Below are some screenshots from the new setup process, and one thing that should be noted is the third step that asks which add-ons the user would like to have installed. The list of extensions include iPod support (not iPod Touch or iPhone), QuickTime playback, SHOUTcast Radio, Last.fm support, and Windows Media playback.

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songbird setup 1.png songbird setup 2.png songbird setup 3.png songbird setup 4.png

My only concern with Songbird is the performance. The new version is supposed to have reduced memory usage on Windows and Linux, but it doesn’t seem to be any better than the previous version. On my Windows XP machine it’s still eating up about 120MB of RAM, but it does appear to be a little easier on the CPU than the current stable release.

Songbird is really turning into a powerful media player, and they will definitely have a strong future. There are currently 250 add-ons available for Songbird, which shows that the community has put their support behind the media player. Drop us a comment below with your thoughts Songbird 0.7.

Get Songbird 0.7 Release Candidate
Thanks Omar!

There Are 11 Comments

  1. “Allows you to play FairPlay Audio files in Songbird”. Wow, does that mean you can actually play songs bought in the iTMS if you have QuickTime installed? I think that’s a first for any media player, I thought those songs could only be played with iTunes or an iPod.

  2. Lashiec wrote:
    “Allows you to play FairPlay Audio files in Songbird”. Wow, does that mean you can actually play songs bought in the iTMS if you have QuickTime installed? I think that’s a first for any media player, I though those songs could only be played in iTunes or an iPod.

    I would assume that’s what it means.

  3. I always thought that the old theme did not go too well with XP or ubuntu. I am happy about the change.

  4. Tinhed wrote:
    I always thought that the old theme did not go too well with XP or ubuntu. I am happy about the change.

    It definitely didn’t mesh well with other applications visually, but I didn’t think they were going for uniformity. Most media players (Winamp, Windows Media Player, etc…) have a rather obscure interface that is unlike any other program.

  5. Rubberducky wasn’t included in the final release of SongBird 0.7, but it is still downloadable from their addon site here:

    [addons.songbirdnest.com]

  6. I can’t seem to find a way to get back the left hand sidebar though that was in the Rubberducky theme in 0.6.1

    It is visible in the picture on the theme’s addon page that I linked to above, but when installed in SongBird 0.7 I can’t seem to find a way to get that left sidebar back. Any ideas?

  7. curtissthompson wrote:
    Rubberducky wasn’t included in the final release of SongBird 0.7, but it is still downloadable from their addon site here:

    [addons.songbirdnest.com]

    Good to know. I’m a little surprised that they didn’t include it, but my guess is that they don’t have plans to keep it up-to-date.

    curtissthompson wrote:
    I can’t seem to find a way to get that left sidebar back. Any ideas?

    Huh, unfortunately I don’t see anything that seems to relate to that. How did it disappear for you?

  8. curtissthompson wrote:
    I can’t seem to find a way to get that left sidebar back. Any ideas?

    Huh, unfortunately I don’t see anything that seems to relate to that. How did it disappear for you?[/comment]

    It disappeared (or rather never appeared) when I downloaded and installed the addon for the old theme. It was there for the default theme, but when I switched to the Rubberducky downloaded skin it disappeared. I couldn’t find anything in the menu’s to turn on the left sidebar again… so I don’t know if their is a feature somewhere that allows you to enable/disable the left sidebar?

  9. Found it. It’s a small button located near the bottom-left corner:
    [i38.tinypic.com]

    I think it’s only in the default theme. If you’re not using the default theme you may need to switch to the default theme, expand the sidebar, and then switch back. They should really have an option under the View menu for that.

  10. Ryan wrote:
    Found it. It’s a small button located near the bottom-left corner:
    [i38.tinypic.com]

    I think it’s only in the default theme. If you’re not using the default theme you may need to switch to the default theme, expand the sidebar, and then switch back. They should really have an option under the View menu for that.

    That did it, thanks! I really hope they keep this theme updated, I’ve always preferred it and love using dark themes for my applications.

  11. I’m hoping they keep the dark theme updated as well. Normally I’m not a fan of the dark themes, but I like it better than their light one.

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