Managed to get this up earlier than I expected, as I realised that you don’t need to build it from source from the songbird website, I just needed to download it and run it.
So, to the new features:
The equaliser is quite interesting. It works reasonably well. It has sliders for 10 frequencies, and is quite nice. It isn’t the best equaliser I have ever said, it lacks a few features that are planned (either by the songbird team, or by addons), such as presets and the ability to remember equaliser settings for each song. That is something that would be immense, and I would really love.
- Automatically managed folders:
Well, now this is quite a cool, interesting feature now. It is quite useful. I’m sure most of you would know what it would do, but you can turn on what it calls “Managed Mode” on. This will allow you to choose the folder for your music, the folder heirarchy, and the file name, and when you change anything in the metadata, it will change them for you. Really useful I think. It works as well.
- 2-way sync with iTunes:
Very useful feature, not for me, but for a lot of people who love Songbird, but also love the iTunes music store. Does exactly what it says on the tin…syncs with iTunes both ways. Means you can buy music in the iTunes music store, and it will sync with songbird. Create playlists in songbird, and they will sync with itunes, and you can then sync them to your iPhone or iPod touch (which currently aren’t supported in songbird). I don’t know how to do this feature, and I don’t have iTunes so I can’t try it and tell you if it works, but it seems really cool.
This could also be used in conjunction with dropbox (or similar) to sync itunes on a mac, with linux or windows on another computer, or to sync several OS on 1 computer. It has huge potential.
I don’t get what is new with this. My Songbird 1.1.1 has last.fm on it, but maybe that is just an addon. I don’t know, it might be that it was an addon, and is now part of the core. But still, it allows you to do everything with last.fm that you can on the website, and also allows you to scrobble.
- Performance enhancements:
Not as many of these as there have been in previous releases, but lets try
- Faster searching. Definitely obvious. Searching is almost straight away in my library (its only about 1000 items just now though, not sure what it will be like with really large ones.
- Less CPU intensive. It seems to be less CPU intensive, but this isn’t an exact science
- Multiple files. Supposodly deleting and selecting multiple files is faster. I can vouch for the selecting, but I don’t see why I would ever need to delete lots of files at once, so I don’t feel like trying that, I’ll take their word for it.
- Fewer crashes. Obviously I can’t test this one until having it running for a while.
They have quite a few interesting ideas for the next few releases. The august one will have device firmware update, MSC device support, playback of AIFF MS-ADPCM, WMA 1 & 2 and AAC LC, editing metadata of ASF and M4A files, improvements to metadata editor and transcoding.
Other things they need to get done before it can surpass the likes of Amarok and Banshee, are podcasting support (it really doesn’t work just now) and cd ripping, which will be included in the October release.
To be honest, I love this release, it has a few cool features, and we are getting closer to a fantastic media player. It really needs to get into the repos for Ubuntu, in my opinion, and I’ve outlined what it needs to add in above there.
This release has gone from ~79M to ~90M of RAM with 20 addons and playing music. This is not bad, but we need to make sure it doesn’t keep going up, but this is the only bad thing I can find about this release apart from features that don’t exist yet. I love Songbird, and I really want it to be a fantastic and popular Media Player
p.s It seems I was beaten by Alan Lord to put a review out on Songbird, ach well.