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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
    William's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    Last Online
    19-05-2013 @ 06:37 AM
    In jail

    Free Download: Songbird

    The Internet-age music machine

    If you are a music person, Songbird may be the best thing that happens to you this week

    If you are a music person, as opposed to a radio-in-the-background person, Songbird may be the best thing that happens to you this week. And that includes both kinds of music people _ the ones who know what they like and want more, and the ones who shop around, looking for new, unheralded, experimental or up-and-coming artists and music.

    Trying to describe Songbird by comparing it with current software doesn't work. At first glance, it looks like Apple iTunes dressed in black, but it definitely isn't iTunes. It plays local and online music like Winamp, but that is all that Winamp does; Songbird does way more.

    In the course of researching this review, I was looking at a particular section of, the massive software resource, and I saw these categories under music: CD & DVD Production, Home Entertainment, Jukeboxes, MP3 Search Tools, Media Players, Music Management, Streaming Audio. At, each of those categories contains several or many programs that do the job described.

    And I thought, yep, that's Songbird.

    But let's start at the beginning. Songbird looks and feels a lot like an Internet browser. That's because it is built on the Firefox browser engine, an example of open source software that ends up going in a wildly different direction than the first inventor thought up.

    After installation, the first thing it does (at your command) is look around your computer and build a library of your music. That's kind of the same as what iTunes, JetAudio and other popular jukebox software does. You sort your music as you wish, play it with a double click on any song, put it into playlists, edit the tags and so on.

    Select the language you want Songbird to speak. It speaks Thai and ''New Zealand English'' among about 40 available.

    At this point, if you just want some background music, start up the mini-player. It's about the size of your program bar across the bottom of your Windows screen, and provides the necessary controls to play music. But no big deal; you can do something like that with pretty well any software.

    Pick a skin, which Songbird calls a ''feather''. Pick an artist in your library at the top left; on the top right are all her albums, and at the bottom is the complete list of every song you have with that artist. Again: Nice but no big deal compared with other jukeboxes.

    Now click Searches at the top right. Just to the left there is a drop down menu; select, oh, Singingfish. This is a music search site, with samples of all kinds of music. In that search box, put an artist you like. Or put a music type. Put, say, ''Mozart'' or ''folk'' or ''Lil Kim''.

    In the centre of the browser, you'll get a list (probably) of albums and songs and links to buy them. At the bottom, you get a list of samples, downloading as you watch. You can play these of course, but here's the delicious dessert: You can click, drag and put them in your personal library.

    In a 10-minute test to write this article, I collected Mozart's Horn Concerto No 2 in E, Lighters Up by Lil Kim and raw folk song, The Dying Californian, from the gold rush section of the WPA Folk Music Project of the US Library of Congress.

    Much of what this browser/player does is non-intuitive precisely because no one ever has done this before. Three days into my testing phase, I was still discovering features.

    There are going to be legal problems down the line which won't directly affect us in Thailand. Songbird does not break copyright, but it does break the business model of the 20th century American music industry. If it gets popular, the RIAA is going to get steamed.

    Songbird comes set up with several dozen sites and blogs which specialise in a wide range of music, something for everyone, really. Use their blogs. If you have already have favourite music blogs of your own, surf to them and add them to the Songbird feeds; it's a lot better surfing music blogs in Songbird than any other browser.

    The program records off Shoutcast-like specialised software, collects podcasts at your order like iTunes, scans for music ''like'' what you're listening to, finds new artists, displays entire free albums for download all-in-one or by cherry-picking tracks (there are thousands, of all music genre; one I liked just from the title: The Very Best of Go Pound Salt, Vol. 7).

    There is an awful lot more to Songbird: mixing music, custom extensions, automatic blog downloading, making playlists, and so on.

    Soon, but not yet, Songbird will rip and burn CDs and DVDs. That is a good place to tell you that Songbird is still a work in progress, and may have some bugs. For certain, it will not hurt your computer or your music, but it is up to you whether you want to wait a little longer to try it out.

    Because it is open source, Songbird is not just free, but works on all current platforms, provided only you've got the horsepower to handle multimedia, whether it is Windows, Mac or Linux.

    There is a full description and download section at | Songbird Media Player.
    SOURCE: Bangkok Post : Database

  2. #2
    Fag an bealac!
    flash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Last Online
    03-09-2017 @ 06:32 PM
    53 00 N, 8 00 W
    Cheers for that, seems cool although i don't see it lasting very long.

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