Songbird, Anyone?

I have watched with interest over the last few years as developers have been building an open-source program to rival iTunes. When I first started paying attention, several key features (e.g., CD Ripping) were still under development. Enough of those are in place that I’m contemplating a move.

Do any of you use Songbird? Have any of you moved from iTunes to Songbird?

And just for fun, what do you use to play mp3s on your computer (if anything)? Vote in the poll below.

[polldaddy poll=2761888]


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21 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. I have several programs. Windows Media, ITunes, Goldwave, Audacity (the last two for editing), Easy Media Creator, etc. However, mostly I use Windows Media for playing and Easy Media for ripping. (Unless I am ripping to sync with my SanDisk in which case I stick with Windows Media.

    • I use Audacity constantly, and it’s a great music editor.

      Just so the discussion doesn’t go too far afield, I’m primarily curious about music players this morning. 🙂

  2. I use iTunes primarily. Sometimes Windows Media, but since I have an iPod, I pretty much stick with iTunes.

  3. VLC for the speed and versatility, MediaMonkey for the mix, and Audacity for the reasons you just mentioned.

  4. I use iTunes due to the facts that I like how it organizes my files in the folders, the column browser in the player, and the functionality of audiobooks and movies! It also helps that I own an iPod and iPhone as well!

    Before using iTunes, I used to use WinAmp. I liked being able to have a theme of my choice.

  5. OH man – Windows Media Player has to be the worst of all the MP3 players on a computer. I have no clue why anyone would want to use it.

    When I had and used a PC – I would often use WinAmp…

    • WMP upgraded itself and ate all my data once – after I’d spent untold hours determining who had a solo, entering songwriters etc. That’s when I switched to iTunes.

    • What I dislike about WMP and the Zune software (both Microsoft products) is that they will will update details like album art without consulting the user. The ZUNE software looks pretty cool on the screen, though, and WMP loads quicker than iTunes for me (probably because it’s inter-weaved with the OS).

      I’ve used WinAmp as well, but I don’t care much for it.

      • I believe Windows probably ensured WMP would load faster by tying it in and giving it preferential access . . . and Apple ensured iTunes would load slower by making it bloated! (At least for the Windows version.)

    • Something I really like about WMP is the “Play Favorites” option. When I’m at work and want some music in the background, I prefer a random selection of songs. In WMP, all I have to do is click Play Favorites. If I’ve pre-selected the Southern Gospel genre or a particular artist, it will limit the selections. Otherwise, it generates a list from the entire library.

      It can be done in other media players, but not with just one click.

      iTunes has the “Genius” option which will supposedly generate playlists based on similarity. I just tried to use it, and it told me I needed to “Upgrade Genius,” and if that didn’t work, to try a different song…how dumb is that? …and it takes tens of minutes to update.

      I just downloaded Songbird. It looks a lot like iTunes looked a couple of versions back. After playing with it for an hour or so, I can’t really see any compelling reason to switch, since iTunes is already free.

      I created a “Smart Playlist” in Songbird, limiting it to Southern Gospel and 25 songs. Rather than generating a random list of songs, it took all eleven songs I have by 3 For 1, all eleven songs I have by the Akins, one by Allegiance and two by Karen Peck & New River which, for some reason, don’t list her as the artist in the Artist field even though she’s listed as the artist for those songs in all my other media players.

      Not very smart…

      • Interesting, and thanks for the feedback!

  6. I use Zune media player, since I have a Zune HD Touch… I use itunes every now and then… I like Zune’s interface better… I may have to check out Songbird.

  7. I stick primarily with iTunes since I use my iPod so frequently.

  8. I didn’t vote because I use several programs including iTunes, Zune, Windows Media Player and MusicMatch.

  9. FYI guys, WMP for Windows 7 is much improved(in case you haven’t tried it yet.)

    As far as songbird, I installed it last night just to see what it was like, and it looks like iTunes, except not as polished…. why bother??

  10. I’ve used Audacity even for radio production…it’s that good, and I’m more used to using it than Adobe Audition/Cool Edit. It’s the only audio edition program most people will ever need to use, which is good, since it’s free.

    I intended to use Songbird a while back, since it was open source (Firefox-based) and was to incorporate the things I liked about iTunes and none of what I hated (which is why I don’t use iTunes). But this was well before even version 1.0. I haven’t even checked up on it in so long. Besides, I thought most people who’d switched from iTunes were using MediaMonkey these days for organization and playback and Amazon for downloading music (which I have used and not regretted).

    As for what I use, I organize my music myself in folders, highlight what I want to hear, and hit enter to throw it into Media Player 11, which I have no beefs with. Rusty Goodman sounds just as good over that as he does over VLC, iTunes, Sound Recorder, or Media Player Classic

  11. I’ve used Audacity even for radio production…it’s that good, and I’m more used to using it than Adobe Audition/Cool Edit. It’s the only audio edition program most people will ever need to use, which is good, since it’s free.

    I intended to use Songbird a while back, since it was open source (Firefox-based) and was to incorporate the things I liked about iTunes and none of what I hated (which is why I don’t use iTunes). But this was well before even version 1.0. I haven’t even checked up on it in so long. Besides, I thought most people who’d switched from iTunes were using MediaMonkey these days for organization and playback and Amazon for downloading music (which I have used and not regretted).

    As for what I use, I organize my music myself in folders, highlight what I want to hear, and hit enter to throw it into Media Player 11, which I have no beefs with. Rusty Goodman sounds just as good over that as he does over VLC, iTunes, Sound Recorder, or Media Player Classic.

  12. I use VLC, Windows Media and iTunes. I downloaded iTunes at the same time I got an iPod, so it’s just happened that iTunes gets only the cream of the crop from my collection. Windows Media has a lot more stuff. Did somebody say album art though? I HATE what WM does with album art. If I try to paste in an album cover for one album, it’ll automatically show that cover for all other albums lacking art. I hate that. With iTunes, I can paste in whatever I want, wherever I want.

    I don’t use the Genius feature though. I am a genius, so why bother? 😉