05 Jan

Is Songbird a good Open-Source alternative to iTunes?

Using a MAC has a lot of benefits such as no antivirus software hogging RAM and having vast amount of audio program available for it. One of the nags I have about Apple though is it can be a close company. For instance technologies behind iTunes DAAP streaming have not been revealed. I guess their justification is to be able to compete with their competition. Anyway, to cut to the chase, I decided to attempt to get away from an Apple product and see if I can find an open-source alternative.

Another reason is that I cannot sync my Android device with iTunes. After trying various software such as doubleTwist I found them too slow for my large iTunes library. So I decided to give Songbird a try.

What is Songbird? Songbird is an open-source media player based on Mozilla technology. I discovered it three years ago but at that time it was lacking a lot of features and had quite a number of bugs. So I gave it some time until a few days ago when I installed it again. So far it has been fine. It come with really cool features too like viewing lyrics, band news, and tour dates. But most importantly it connects with my Android device.

A few things (SO FAR) I have discovered about Songbird that I don’t like are podcasting and keyboard shortcuts. Sure you can manually download the files from an RSS feed but it is not nicely implemented like iTunes. I have not been able to use my MAC keyboard media shortcuts with the latest version of Songbird. I know there are add-ons for it but for some reason it doesn’t install on my MAC version.

It has been only a few days that I have used Songbird so I will see if it continues to be smooth and keep you updated about how it goes. Songbird is a great initiative and I really hope that it remains stable so that I can fully switch to it and not use iTunes again.