Friday , 24 October 2014

Songbird: The iTunes alternative

Songbird is an advanced media player that offers both audio and video playback, a built-in browser, tons of features and a vibrant developer community that contributes to the program constantly. There are lots of add-ons, skins and other customization options available for Songbird, everything is kept up to date and of course, with no cost.

Songbird - Main

Songbird – Main

Installation & Requirements

Songbird is a freeware media player that comes with no adware or useless features. It’s very easy to install and  you can run the program without having to worry about paying for a license or having to deal with any ads.
Songbird is very flexible at its core, making it available on both Windows and Mac. There is also a different version that can be downloaded and used on some of the latest Android devices on the market.

The system requirements for Windows are: Windows XP SP3/Vista/7, 1.5 GHz Pentium 4 or equivalent, a minimum of 512 MB of RAM and at least 150 MB of free HDD space.

The system requirements for Mac are: Mac OS X 10.5 or newer, a Macintosh machine with an Intel x86 CPU, a minimum of 512 MB of RAM and 100 MB available space on your HDD.

Interface

The Songbird user interface is self-explanatory, easy to use and the best part about it is that it’s highly customizable, not only through the use of skins (which come in huge numbers) but also via add-ons.

The internet browser is one of the key features of Songbird, allowing the user to easily browse for music or watch videos on streaming sites like YouTube,  search for skins or buy concert tickets. Some add-ons give you the ability to listen to radio-stations, watch podcasts and buy music from online stores. It’s also vital to mention that the built-in browser supports tabbed browsing, something that clearly separates Songbird from iTunes.

Managing your playlists, media library, song metadata and album artwork cam be easily accomplished and it shows how user friendly the interface can be. Songbird offers great multi-language support and also benefits from a helpful setup Assistant which will make it easier for you to get started.

Pros

– Very stable
– The program receives constant improvements thanks to its supportive community
– Highly customizable in both looks and features via skins and add-ons
– Great support
– Easy to use and self-explanatory user interface
– Available on multiple platforms
– Tabbed browsing

Cons

– If you are expecting to be able to play a great deal of video formats from your computer then you will be disappointed

Songbird Alternatives

There are quite a few well known Songbird alternatives out there, one of which is iTunes, offering pretty much the same thing as Songbird but with some differences. For one, although the interface is not ugly in the least, some users might find it a bit old and boring. On the other hand, iTunes is well known for its great, powerful playlist that comes with a few extra features compared to the one found on Songbird. One of these loved and well-known features is of course the automated song assigner that will automatically keep your playlist very well organized.

If both Songbird and iTunes are not what you’re looking for then you might give Winamp a try. Winamp has been around for years and it has grown in popularity due to the fact that it’s a powerful and easy to use media player. Although playing movies or browsing the internet on Winamp is not the best experience, Winamp is a friendly and customizable music player, with tons of skins and a decent support from the developers.

Conclusion

Songbird is a great media player and it offers so many advantages that makes its flaws are almost invisible. It’s very customizable, it has a great developer community and it’s constantly updated mainly because it’s supported by the giant Mozilla. The huge number of add-ons allow users to personalize Songbird to a great extent and the built-in Mozilla browser might deliver the best experience in media player browsing yet.

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  • Botswana Jones

    When will a high resolution streaming music service become reality?

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