Songbird 0.2.5 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Songbird

CNET Editors' review

If Firefox and iTunes hooked up, their hatchling could very well be Songbird. Although it's in beta and plenty buggy, it's also a very fun app that's part music player, part Web browser, and all about music discovery, management, and playback.

During installation, it'll ask if you want to load your iTunes music directory or another media directory, or perform the task later. Processing 5,000 songs took about 3 minutes, not a bad pace. It then asks you which of the pre-installed Songbird extensions you want to load. Most of these, like the iPod and USB device manager, only make the app stronger.

The left sidebar provides quick links to bookmarks, downloads, your music library in an iTunes-style interface, and several music discovery Web sites to get your started. When you're looking at any Web site with MP3s available for download, Songbird will open a new window at the bottom main browsing pane. Double-click on a song to play it, while links on the right let you purchase the track from Amazon, iTunes, eMusic, and Amie St. They also tell you the format of the track--MP3 or AAC, for example, and provide a blog link for more info.

Songbird has a growing library of extensions, and support is slowly growing for those written originally for Firefox. Many of the improvements from the last version make for a dramatic change, but Songbird is definitely a beta: caveat emptor. Still, it could really take flight for the music-loving, Web-surfing fanatic in all of us.

Songbird:

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    3.6 stars

    out of 180 votes

    • 5 star: 56
    • 4 star: 61
    • 3 star: 25
    • 2 star: 17
    • 1 star: 21
  • Current version:

    3.3 stars

    out of 17 votes

    • 5 star: 3
    • 4 star: 8
    • 3 star: 1
    • 2 star: 1
    • 1 star: 4
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 13

  • 4.0 stars

    "Awesome idea, very cool"

    December 13, 2007  |   By link48010

    Version: Songbird 0.2.5

    Pros

    It's like a Firefox/Winamp/Windows media player/iTunes mix up. I don't know what influenced the idea, but it was brilliant. It will even use external codecs like CCCP (www[DOT]cccp-project[DOT]net) and Klite. Excelent for beta software. It's on all my PC's for web music.

    Cons

    It's missing a few features, like the video said, CD ripping functionality, etc.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "great"

    August 26, 2007  |   By jis james

    Version: Songbird 0.2.5

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Songbird is a Beauty"

    August 24, 2007  |   By BMENON

    Version: Songbird 0.2.5

    Pros

    -It is a fine blend of Firefox and MediaPlyer with a built-in FirefoxSearch box.You can search and see most of the mediasites and also it gathers automatically songs from some of the sites and play for us.In BlueBird&Cardinal Skins(they call "Feathers") it is a beauty.It has lot of features even at this Beta stage:go to songbirdnest.com and play the 'screencast'.As told in the screencast, it will become a 'standalone media player'.It has also got one "CheezyVideoWindow" to play videos.;eventhough not functions well.

    Cons

    At the time of download it was a 12.11MB file,but on installation it consumed more than 56.7MB of disk-space.It increases as and when you add an extension or a media file,but it is ok considering the output. It has to accommodate more online/screaming sites from all over the world(now it plays online music from a limited number of sites only).The 'CheezyVideoWindow' appears and disappears without any user control and buffering is also not done properly, the video-play stops in the middle and rolls back even-in high-speed broadband.Replay facility is also to be provided.I think these can be fixed by its Developers(it is an open source free with support from Mozilla Firefox) in coming versions.(Anyway, greetings to all those involved in this venture.)

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  • 1.0 stars

    "hmmm"

    August 6, 2007  |   By glenmorangie

    Version: Songbird 0.2.5

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Difficult to subscribe to podcasts"

    May 28, 2007  |   By ladysherlockian

    Version: Songbird 0.2.5

    Pros

    The program has a lot of links to websites which can be used to download free songs as well as to online music shops; you can download add-ons which enhance its usefulness.

    Cons

    Downloading podcasts is not as easy as in iTunes.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Slow"

    May 21, 2007  |   By reidha

    Version: Songbird 0.2.5

    Pros

    Great logo

    Cons

    Interface is very tech centric, boring adn confusing

    Search is problematic and slow -- there are too many options.

    Downloading music from the web is trying

    Audio -- couldnt seem to get good sound quality

    Overall unimpressed.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Buggy beta software"

    May 20, 2007  |   By r95032115

    Version: Songbird 0.2.5

    Cons

    Kept crashing my machine

    Terrible interface

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Waiting for full version launch with full functions"

    April 13, 2007  |   By sadhappy

    Version: Songbird 0.2.5

    Pros

    My friend told me about songbird after I complained about my laziness to download mp3s from music blogs. Basically, songbird is much like itunes with a built in internet browser, but also auto-detects and downloads new mp3s on webpages you 'subscribe' to (much like how itunes can automatically download new podcasts), so you don't have to laboriously "right click/save as" each new song, each blog. Genious. This is the essential "WOW" value of the software.

    ************************************

    Since I'm not allowed to d/l mp3s onto my work computer, I decided to import my itunes library into songbird, and uninstall itunes for the last 5 weeks to see just how easy it could be to rely solely on songbird. Things I didn't use were any podcast downloading and using it to manage my ipod (although it will detect/play connected ipods). Here are my additional findings:

    ******************************************

    Other "wow" features

    1) Web library - as an alternative to downloading mp3's, it will auto detect mp3 links from your bookmarked 'subscribed' blog pages and play them directly from the internet. This is nice as long as you are on a fast enough server, otherwise it can lag during play and drag the rest of your computer down with it.

    2) Web playlist - adding songs from your web library to a playlist. Again, not having to download directly. Great feature.

    3) Selective downloading: if you use the Songbird webbrowser to go to an unsubscribed webpage with many mp3 links, it scans and lists all the mp3's on the bottom, so you can just double click which mp3's you want to download into your computer, or add to your web library.

    Songbird is much like itunes in the look, useabilty, features, etc. Anyone using itunes will not have a problem using songbird, but it will take some time to understand the current limitations of the developer preview version of Songbird (see con's for my short list of limitations).

    Cons

    Everything was going fine and dandy until I slid in a new CD to import songs onto my computer. No. Can. Do. Whaaaaaat?

    I'd been using Songbird for a month, things are generally good, playing imported tracks from my itunes library, and web library. But Songbird cannot (yet) import CD tracks into the library. What's a person to do? : I redownloaded itunes. This is a pretty major drawback, albiet temporary until the full version is released.

    Other limitations:

    1) Just not quite as strong as itunes. It's not bad, but itunes can be very powerful (people will argue with me on this). Overall.

    2) Webbrowsing in songbird is not very powerful, either. A little reminiscent of webbrowsing in AOL - ok in a pinch, but I couldn't spend an hour surfing using Songbird

    3) Not so much a limitation of the software, but some blogs are moving to off-server uploading to save on bandwith, which songbird does not detect (nor would I expect it to)

    4) Songs don't like to be deleted. They just keep coming back. Although this might only be an issue if you are running both itunes and songbird on the same computer and it is re-importing from itunes at startup.

    5) No able to change start/end time of an mp3 if you (like me) like to get rid of banter before/after songs (you know what i mean if you know what i mean)

    6) The leftbar can be confusing what should be sorted as bookmark, mp3 blog, searches when you first install. You just need to adjust the links, delete the defaults, etc.

    7) I don't buy music from itunes, but you do, songbird doesn't do it.

    Overall, this is a great software in development. It's cute and easy to use, but without being able to import CD tracks (yet), I can't get rid of itunes.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "It's a beta so it's a bit buggy, but..."

    April 2, 2007  |   By UKposter

    Version: Songbird 0.2.5

    Pros

    ...it's definitely the way to go as a combo media file library, download finder, streaming radio browser. Integrates with firefox well (you can add extensions just as you can with that browser), searches pretty fast [online, h/drive(s)and external devices], links with some paid for download sites well (if others follow those already here it's going to take some beating). You can add web results to a library just as you can the files on your drives. It searches websites/blogs for music files for you to listen to, a good way of finding new stuff to download.

    Cons

    There are a few functions that I can't get to work, like how it has options like burn to CD/copy to device, yet, maybe that's coming soon or is a bug that needs fixing. But it's a beta, it's a work in progress and I don't need songbird to do these functions as I have plenty of alternatives.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "WOW!!! (COULD THIS BE "TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE???")..."

    March 25, 2007  |   By Dareski-3D

    Version: Songbird 0.2.5

    Pros

    ...This "Tune-Browser" is so solid, so broad in its scope --- yet striking the balance between being stable and flexible --- I feel like I'm waiting for the "other shoe" to drop. I'm still playing this awesome little device after twelve continuous days, and "the shoe" hasn't dropped yet.I'm starting to feel that it's not going to...

    A sleek, user-friendly interface which bypasses the formerly requisite playlist download, pre-loaded links of sites which make complete sense, the usual "clunky glitches" totally non-existent... I do believe that this "Songbird" is on the verge of making me as "happy as a lark"!

    These are some sharp "Pioneers" here. For a change, someone's thinking. How refreshing...

    I have a funny feeling that this particular "Software-Snob" is about to walk (or fly?!) on air pretty soon (with that one shoe still on!)

    Cons

    1> I hope those PROMISED "Tabs" are coming

    REAL soon!

    2> Most Definitely needs to be "Skinable".

    QUICKLY. Impatient bird here...

    CHIRP-CHIRP!!!

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Results 1-10 of 13

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