In a word, no, Songbird is not an iTunes killer.

I am no iTunes hater, as some have suggested (or is it Apple that I hate? I can't tell.) In fact, I still use iTunes for a few things (once in a while it's just easier to burn a CD of iTunes-purchases songs. It's way quicker, too, if you bought an entire collection on iTunes).

However, I always look for "a better way." I like finding "better mousetraps."

You'll no doubt know that I'm a huge fan of Media Monkey. I love it. But in the interest of trying something new for the sake of finding something better, I thought I'd give Songbird a try.

And I like it. It's got some really cool add-ons, just like its browser-cousin, Firefox (which I love, too). Some of the neatest add-ons are LyricMaster and MediaFlow. There's SongTapper (rap the tune with your fingers like a drum and this add-on finds the tune! How cool is that?), Flickr Extension, and SHOUTcast Radio.

The music library is set up a lot like iTunes.

Songbird didn't crash my computer.

But the limited features crashed my enthusiasm. As previously mentioned in Is Songbird an iTunes Killer?, Songbird does not rip CDs, nor does it offer burn capabilities. It also cannot convert mp4 (protected) to DRM-free (I know, technically illegal but so much bullshit nobody will entertain the notion of prosecution. Plus, the economy is in such a crapper that nobody has any money and hence no reason to sue. Deep pockets are gone).

So my verdict is that while Songbird is cool, it really doesn't differentiate itself from iTunes enough to warrant further consideration until those "must-have" features are built-in. Of course, Songbird's project leaders claim that some of the missing functionality is on the "roadmap," so there's at least some hope.

It's a nice attempt. It's free, but so is iTunes. The add-ons make it compelling, but not compelling enough for me to switch from Media Monkey.

Like what you see here? Subscribe to The Computer Monkeys Newsletter, my free e-zine.


Post a Comment

Please leave comments!