Guys, I am really technology challenged, and usually care not for fancy thingamabobs like iPhones and what have you. But when something pertinent to my daily life like listening to music comes into play, I pay attention. I have taken shoddy notes, and am here to share them with you about a new iTunes-alternative media player called Songbird.
Songbird has been under development for a few years, but has just announced its beta version ready for testing, and I am already enjoying it ten—nay, ten HUNDRED—times more than crappy crappy iTunes. In fact Songbird has shamelessly modeled itself after iTunes, easily allowing users to import their iTunes libraries into their player that maintains iTunes functions but is so much cooler!
Here's a few reasons why:
• Wikipedia links are attached to each artist in your library! No need to open separate browsers to get the deets on whoever you're listening to.
• Songbird can be customized. Granted I don't really care and haven't gone there yet, but you can add skins and the like to your media player.
• You can link directly to your Last.FM profile and listen to tracks through your Songbird browser.
• You can have your library scanned, and concert listings for artists in your library in your area will be bookmarked for your reference.
OK, I am too overwhelmed and non-savvy to give you a comprehensive report, so let it suffice to say that Songbird allows you to synthesize different musical interfaces—media players, blogs, concert listings—in one aesthetically pleasing application.
As for purchasing/downloading music: Instead of the iTunes store, Songbird links to 7Digital, and also has the capability to be linked to other sites. For example, I installed a Google search feature, then searched for the MP3 blog Said the Gramophone. The Songbird browser allowed me to download all of the (free) MP3s posted on the site directly to my library with extreme ease.
This is lovely. Thanks for everything iTunes, but ADIOS. Do yourself a favor and download Songbird here.