Minor updates for Songbird, GIMP

Freeware favorites Songbird and the GIMP updated in the waning days of 2009, offering mostly minor changes that fans of those programs will appreciate.

Songbird updated to version 1.4.3 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The new version can rip music from audio CDs directly into the main Songbird library and introduces a new default feather, called Purple Rain. Feathers are Songbird-speak for skins or themes. Although an add-on is still required, the latest version also supports several... Read More &raquo

Topics: Mac Software

Tags: freeware , Windows software , Songbird , GIMP

Songbird 1.2 debuts new features

Browser and jukebox freeware mashup Songbird brings onstage four new features to help manage songs, communicate better with iTunes, customize volume, and expose more information from

Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, Songbird 1.2's biggest new feature is the ability to automatically organize files across multiple folders according to each track's metadata. This can be especially useful both if your music is scattered across disparate folders, as well as forcing naming conventions on inconsistent files.

There's also the... Read More &raquo

Topics: Mac Software

Tags: freeware , Windows software , Songbird

Music, now lyrics

If you're never exactly sure which words a singer screams, mumbles, or sighs throughout a song's stanza, a brand-new add-on released this week was meant for you. TuneWiki (review), a free plug-in for Microsoft's ubiquitous Windows Media Player, can stream lyrics in time to songs you play from your local library. You'll also be able to spool lyrics for the YouTube music videos you initiate within TuneWiki, watching them appear in a pane below the player.

The heart... Read More &raquo

Tags: Download Dispatch , Windows Newsletter , Songbird

Songbird adds art, watch folders, MTP devices

Music and Web surfing mashup Songbird is out with an impressive number of features that were missing from the last major update. For Windows, Mac, and Linux, version 1.1.1 introduces album art downloading, MTP device support, watch folders, improved sorting, and numerous other performance enhancements and bug fixes.

This version continues to push the more iTunes-esque feel of the jukebox/browser, but that's a change users will just have to get used to. Grabbing context-menu album art worked quickly,... Read More &raquo

Topics: Mac Software

Tags: freeware , Firefox , iPod , music , Windows software , MP3 , jukebox , Songbird , player

The best new Windows programs of 2008

There were a lot of high-profile updates in 2008, and the line between traditional software downloads and Web applications blurred significantly. The browser especially has become, for some people, the only program they need.

There were several stand out new applications, though, and here are six of what I think are the best ones. They range from traditional Web browsers and browser hybrids to communication tools and utilities that should help you work faster and help maintain your system.

Google Chrome... Read More &raquo

Tags: Google , Chrome , Windows software , Songbird , Digsby

Music and browsing take flight in Songbird

Music and browsing mashup Songbird has kicked the remnants of its shell to the curb. With the release of version 1.0.0 for Windows, Mac, and Linux, the program's main emphasis as a music browser couldn't be more clear.

If you looked at some of the earlier beta versions, Songbird's interface borrowed heavily from Firefox. More recent versions took their cue from iTunes, with Web browsing occurring in a second tab. Although toggling between your music library and... Read More &raquo

Topics: Mac Software

Tags: freeware , Firefox , iPod , music , Windows software , MP3 , jukebox , Songbird , player

Songbird taxis to the runway

Music jukebox and Web browser mash-up Songbird has begun to pull away from the beta gate. In its first release candidate for Windows, Mac, and Linux, the Gecko-powered browser aimed at audio junkies locks down a final list of features.

The improvements over the previous release, version 0.7, make changes both important and minor. Absolutely the most noticeable is that the program runs and feels faster. Responsiveness had been an issue, too, but this release candidate marks... Read More &raquo

Topics: Mac Software

Tags: freeware , Firefox , music , Windows software , MP3 , jukebox , Songbird

Featured Freeware: Songbird

Deciding to recommend the cross-platform Songbird as a Featured Freeware required a bit of an internal struggle. On the one hand, it's the lovechild of a boozy Firefox-and-iTunes hookup, from the music jukebox interface to the browsing behavior. What's not to love about that mashup? However close it hops to the edge of its nest, though, the app is still in beta and buggier than an Alaskan summer. When considering that not-significant drawback against the music-management, music-discovery, and Web-browsing... Read More &raquo

Topics: Mac Software

Tags: freeware , iPod , music , Windows software , MP3 , jukebox , Songbird , player

Open your jukebox: Open-source alternatives for music management

Not mere freeware, but open-source alternatives are well-known for nearly every major category of software. Firefox and Linux are probably the most famous, but OpenOffice, GIMP, Thunderbird, Pidgin, Miro, and others have made themselves known in practically every genre. Heck, there's even an open-source firmware for your portable MP3 player--Rockbox.

One area that's been notably lacking some open-source love has been music jukeboxes. Competing with iTunes takes serious chops, even for programs... Read More &raquo

Topics: Mac Software

Tags: freeware , music , open-source , Windows software , jukebox , Songbird

Songbird cracks 10,000 songs

As the Songbird-produced cartoon to the left shows, even though the browser is still in beta it's getting stronger all the time.

The latest update, version 0.6 for Windows, Power PC Macs, Intel Macs, and Linux, includes the ability to handle turkey-size music collections greater than 10,000 songs, improved memory management, a metadata editor, improved portable player syncing, support for SHOUTcast, and more.

The code improvements have allowed for smoother scrolling, faster filtering, and just overall better management of music... Read More &raquo

Topics: Mac Software

Tags: freeware , iPod , music , Windows software , MP3 , jukebox , Songbird , player