Take flight my pretty
Songbird V1. Love it (sort of). Love the interface. Love the functionality. Love the speed. Do not love the instability. I’m very excited about Songbird, but my excitement is going to have to wait until some fixes are taken care of. It integrates seamlessly into last.fm and brings me a world of information as I play my music. So much so, I don’t even know what to do with. It’s like information overload and I love it.
Unfortunately, the iPod support is unstable, and I found Songbird crashing a lot. I found a work around for some of the problems, but I shouldn’t have to with an alpha release. Once the syncing is down, the iPod support will surpass both Amarok and iTunes. Actually, as it stands now, with crashes and all I would pick Songbird over iTunes any day (call me a hater if you will but is really a no brain’er once you open Songbird for the first time and are greeted with a very friendly setup wizard). Because of the interface and speed of Songbird I feel in complete control over the player and that alone trumps iTunes. The user is never in the dark about what is going on in the player and background. Therefore it has no excuse to hang on simple tasks like iTunes does.
But, this isn’t supposed to be an apple hate piece so I digress. Because of the instability, I will have to go back to Amarok for the time being. Not that it’s a bad thing and I look forward to seeing Amarok 2 in a stable condition.
The iPod support in the current release of Amarok is phenomenal. Songbird could learn from a few things that Amarok really nailed. One of the features I find very important, is the automatic temp conversion of file formats to that are unsupported for an iPods simply for the sync. It’s amazingly refreshing having all of my flac files seamlessly get sync’ed with my iPod without having to manually convert file formats and have to deal with duplicates. Although Songbird may not be ready for stable everyday use, it’s a step in the right direction and a snapshot of what can happen when music buffs speak up and make a product for themselves.