While it isn’t quite ready for prime time, Songbird is an excellent music player with the potential to be a one stop music application.
The biggest thing that differentiates Songbird from other library managers like iTunes is the built in browser. Based on the Mozilla engine, the browser works just like any other, only that when you surf to a music site, Songbird automatically searches the site for .mp3 files that can be downloaded and arranges them in a window at the bottom of the screen. This makes reading music blogs a whole lot cooler as you can immediately download the file you are reading about (if it has been posted to the site). Legal issues aside, it is a great way to find new music.
The initial download comes with a few bookmarks preloaded; there are a ton of music sites and blogs that are greatly enhanced by viewing them through Songbird. Some of my favorites are Muxtape, eMusic, and Gumdrop.
Songbird also recently added their own version of Coverflow, letting users scroll through their library by album cover, much like in iTunes. While this is very cool, there are still some issues – like getting all the album art – that need to be worked out.
Hopefully, too, future versions will add video support and better integration with the major music shopping sites as well as podcast management. For now though, Songbird is a decent player and library manager but it is not quite a replacement for iTunes. Yet.
*I’ve written about Songbird before, here.