Songbird 1.1 - The Review

I have had a wee bit of time to look at Songbird 1.1 and decide what I think about it. This may take a while, so I may blog some of it today, and some tomorrow. But the blog won’t go out until I finish this. So you might be reading this bit on Sunday, but I’m actually writing this on Saturday. Woop!

NOTE:I added no addons during this review, unless stated.

Ok, so this may not be a very revolutionary thing, but it is something that is essential in a mainstream full media centre. And now Songbird has it. I have tested this out…and I have to say…it works better than any media centre I have ever used. One thing that I know annoys a lot of people with iTunes…is that when you delete a file…iTunes doesn’t delete it. So when you go to play it iTunes goes “Ahhhhh…can’t find this”, and you go “Grrrrr”. Well…when you do it with Songbird, the song dissapears straight away. I moved a song away from my watched folder, switched straight to Songbird, and it was not in my library anymore. I then put the file back in, switched back to Songbird…and it was there again. That is IMMENSE! I would tell everyone you need to see this…it is immense.

So…not the best thing ever…but still a step in the right direction. The 7 Digital Music Store does what it says on the tin…sells music. It is in no way as good as the iTunes Store yet…as you can only get music (no TV shows, films, etc) but hey…its something isn’t it. Singles are normally 79p (familiar at all) and albums are 7.99. All (as far as I can see) are in mp3 format, so…its not gonna get me off CDs yet…I want me some lossless music. It also has a recommended section which takes your most played music and gives you some recommended stuff.

What I want is

  1. Integration of Amazon store
  2. Lossless downloads
  3. TV and film downloads.

Once we get that…Songbird will be able to compete with iTunes Store. Cause, although being a step in the right direction, it is not near being able to compete.

Now, I am going to bed…I need some sleep. I shall finish this off tomorrow after lunch time.
- Playback The playback is mostly really good. It sounds amazing, plays really well. I only have 1 problem with it…which I think is a problem to do with my computer rather than a problem to do with Songbird. It just takes a while to play a song. When it is playing a song, then straight onto the next, it is fine. But when I change the song myself, it takes a while. I think this is because my music is on a USB HDD. Also, there is no play queue, but i have found an add-on that fixes this – I haven’t tried it out myself, but someone on irc tried it out and told me it was good, but there are a few wee niggly issues with it. I can’t remember what they are though. - Podcasts Still as useless as every. This is where Songbird falls down. The podcasts just don’t work. At all. - CPU and Memory They say that their RAM usage is down by 40% and their CPU usage down by a huge amount. I say “Huzzah!”. They are correct. I am running firefox, songbird and a bunch of other things on my puny little laptop and only using 700MB of my 1GB of RAM, and my average CPU is about 40% just now. Songbird is playing as well. How cool is that! - Album art They have a nice way of searching for album art now. Its just Tools > Get album Artwork. Or Ctrl-shift-G. However…they don’t have the album art manager installed anymore, which means you can’t see which ones still don’t have album art. Not sure how to get around this so if anyone has any ideas…shoot. Last but not least - Concerts I still love this thing. It allows you to see what bands in your library are playing near you. You can even add a column into your library to see who is doing it at any time. It is immense. So yeah, all in all, Songbird 1.1 is a HUGE improvement…and is now well on the way to being a viable alternative to iTunes/WMP.