An introduction to Songbird

by Ross McKillop on November 1, 2006

Linux Mac Windows

What? Songbird is a desktop Web player, a digital jukebox and Web browser mash-up. Like Winamp, it supports extensions and skins feathers. Like Firefox, it is built from Mozilla, cross-platform and open source. Keep reading for the Why and How :)

Why? Well, why not. If you spend a fair bit of time surfing the web for music, Songbird could be your new best friend. It makes browsing sites like Rock Music Daily, the Live Music Blog, Nugs and Here comes the flood, that much more enjoyable.

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How? Visit the Songbird homepage and download the version for your Operating System. One of the (many) great things about Songbird is that it’s available for Windows, OS X and Linux.

After the very straight forward installation, you’ll be prompted with a setup Wizard. If you use iTunes, I’d strongly suggest that you choose to install the iTunes Library Importer extension (see screenshot below). The others are worth installing as well.

songbird
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Assuming you did opt to import your iTunes Library, you’ll now be presented with a window similar to the one below. Find your iTunes Library file (you won’t need to do anything if you’ve installed iTunes to the default location) and then click Yes to import.

songbird
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That’s it! Before you go too much further, you may want to watch the screencast to get better acquainted with Songbird. Oh – and before you run off to play with Songbird, you might want to take a look at a few of these notes.

songbird
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Notes:

  1. Change the look of Songbird by selecting File -> Features -> Dove. There are only two included Feathers (which you might have known as “skins”) with Songbird, but just as you’d expect, you can create your own look and feel.
  2. songbird

  3. There are a few extensions (and more coming) available at http://www.songbirdnest.com/extensions.
  4. Last but not least, this is a very early version of Songbird. It might not work perfectly. At this point you might not want to make it your primary web browser, but for those times you find yourself looking for music, give it a shot.