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Songbird, a nifty new Web browser and media player -- and iTunes killer?

songbird logo.bmp
Michael Arrington pointed out last night that Songbird, the new Web browser and media player, was about to launch. So we went and looked, downloaded it, and sure enough, it works really well. First we scanned our desktop for files, and Songbird listed them all nicely. Then we played some. This has the look of something pretty cool. Some are calling it the "Firefox for Music." It is open source, and built on...

Mozilla.

Since songbird is a web browser in addition to a media player, users can browse web sites and find music to play: If audio files are embedded in the site, they will be displayed separately and can be played, downloaded, included in playlists, etc

Here is some background on the company's founder, digital-music veteran Rob Lord. And judging from his interesting profile, his team, which numbered only five as recently as December, is based in Santa Cruz, just south of the hills cordoning off Silicon Valley.

Gee, will this thing really kill iTunes, as people are saying? The company's actual name is ambitious: Pioneers of the Inevitable. Songbird is the name of the product.

Click on the thumbnail below for example of screenshot you get when you first load it. And have fun!



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Comments

It's definitely slick but until it supports Ipod it'll never be a contender.

Ryan on February 8, 2006 10:46 AM
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Ryan, agreed that iPod support is key. But I will say that Songbird has the potential to be an iTunes-slayer for one reason, one word, three syllables: Ex-ten-sions. Imagine if something like Greasemonkey were ever developed for a competent, itunes-like client like Songbird. Think of all the functionality.

Mmmm...functionality. :::drool:::

Seriously, though, I feel like this could become something pretty big - at least as big a competitor to iTunes as Firefox is to IE.

Daniel A. Munz on February 8, 2006 11:08 AM
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Songbird is a truly remarkable effort in its own right, and so calling it an itunes killer (as I keep reading everywhere) has only managed to turn leagues of McUsers against the whole idea of Songbird. That is sad, in a way. There is no need to kill itunes in order to be an excellent development. Songbird by its very nature as an opensource project based on Mozilla sets it apart from itunes in so many ways, that i honestly don't see them as competing in the same ballpark. And songbird can only continue to get more and more birlliant, what with the extension system. It has already become my main audio media application, and it's not even quite at alpha 0.2!!
But then, for me itunes was (thankfully) dead the moment i discovered a working ipud shuffle plugin for winamp, and that nifty ipud database builder on sourceforge, so I am really approaching Songbird from a fresh perspective rather than looking to it for an itunes replacement. And it definitely seems that some people don't want itunes to be killed, judging by the ire of the McUsers' comments at Digg regarding the use of the 'itunes killer' term.
And that is perfecly fine, because if it works for them, great!
Can't wait to see how Songbird develops. Thanx for spreading the word.

gabriel on August 17, 2006 9:09 PM
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