Lobbying: Songbird is Amazing, Go Download!

Songbird

Songbird is an open-source music playing application developed by Mozilla and built from the source of Firefox. Songbird sets itself apart from most other music applications by acting not only as a music application, but offering full web browser capabilities and a set of tools used to stream, download, and catalog music from the web.

I first heard about Mozilla’s Songbird project back in late 2006 with the release of Songbird 0.2, and even back then I was impressed with the software’s capabilities and possibilities. Although, back then Songbird still hadn’t had a chance to spread it’s wings fully, and I deemed it buggy at best. I’ve since been using the software on and off for the past two years. Every-so-often I’ll download a new release and check out the changes, marvel at added stability, and then quickly move back to using iTunes or Amarok. This time, I’m sticking with Songbird.

Recently I purchased a new laptop and, as with setting up any new computer, I was forced to hunt down all the applications I use and install them. When it came time to install a media playing application, Songbird came to mind. It had been at least 5 months since I’ve used the application, and I was curious to see how it had changed in that time span.

The New & Good

Since my last encounter with the Songbird software, a couple of things have changed. For one, the installation process has a great addition which, I may be mistaken, was not in the release I had most recently given a ride – you are given the option to install popular and very useful addons, such as iPod support and Last.fm scrobbling.

Speaking of iPod support, I must say this was a feature/addon I have overlooked in the past. I would never have trusted any application other than iTunes interfacing with my iPod, but I decided to give Songbird a chance and I’m in love. It works beautifully and didn’t give me any issues syncing my library.

The Songbird team has also completely redesigned the default theme for Songbird. This was a huge plus for me, the old theme was. . . well, lame. The new theme is bald of color, but looks much cleaner and more professional than in previous releases in it’s grey attire. Of course, if you don’t like the new theme yourself, Songbird is themeable, just like it’s cousin, Firefox.

Okay, I’m rambling, the point of this post is that there’s a new media application in town – it’s stable, open source, and packed full of fun features. So DOWNLOAD IT!

Download: Songbird 1.0 RC3

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What is Open Source to You?

Open Source is a term familiar to anyone who has a good bit of technology know-how under their belt, but what does the term mean to the average person? Why would they even care about the concepts behind Open Source and Free Software?

These are a few questions I’m aiming to answer in a definition research paper I’m writing for my Expository Writing class. I’m not sure, yet, how I’m going to convey the definition of Open Source/Free Software in terms that would apply to the average person or make the definition of my term even matter to my audience (my classmates).

Maybe the economical advantages will be the key to having my audience understand Open Source, but in turn, I don’t want them to think of Open Source software as “Freeware”.

If you’re reading this, what does Open Source mean to you?