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Songbird Flies Today

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the free-as-a-bird dept.

412

fr1kk writes to tell us that with the recent advent of a preview version for the new open source response to iTunes, Songbird, BoingBoing has taken a few minutes to interview team lead Rob Lord. While this program may be a great alternative to the DRM ridden iTunes and Windows Media Player platforms it is still only a Windows release. The good news is that by being open source that will (hopefully) not last very long. The Songbird site appears to be swamped right now, but there are several different mirrors available to download the client.

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More on Lord (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670621)

If you're interested in more of Robert Lord's [roblord.org] background and experiences, check out his resume [roblord.org] .

Although I dislike Winamp [slashdot.org] for it's complexity, I did thoroughly enjoy his simplistic (and very well designed) homepage called "smudges of wisdom."

He seems to be an interesting fellow with odd musical tastes:
Mostly sadcore (tm), not to be conflated with common ennuicore (tm).
Also interesting is that he goes through a list of decent books, some of which I'm familiar with. The best part about them is that they aren't at all the typical programming books [stanford.edu] you'd expect.

Re:More on Lord (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14670833)

Although I dislike Winamp for it's complexity

v1.82 [oldversion.com] man, v1.82.

Re:More on Lord (0, Offtopic)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 8 years ago | (#14671019)

WTF? Why is this off-topic? It's about the programmer (mentioned in the summary).

You may now mod this post off-topic, since it actually is.

Re:More on Lord (1)

donatj (815865) | more than 8 years ago | (#14671091)

Winamp you can choose to or not to install ANY component of it, making it as simple or complex as you desire.

Yes, 'cuz that's what teenaged music fans want... (4, Insightful)

Caspian (99221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670623)

Source code.

(Disclaimer: I'm pro-open-source. But, seriously, how many "music fans" (of the sorts who presently tote about iPods) would even know what source code is, much less give a crap about it? They Just Want It To Work(TM), man.

Re:Yes, 'cuz that's what teenaged music fans want. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14670678)

It's not just the source that's open. The program is also a convenient user interface to buy music online, not just from a single monopoly (e.g. iTunes music store) but from all sources. DRM-free. Note in the screenshot, they have an icon to buy MP3s from amazon.

Re:Yes, 'cuz that's what teenaged music fans want. (0, Troll)

nostabo (796736) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670748)

Open Source is a good start. But it appears that there is only a Windoze version...how open is that?

Re:Yes, 'cuz that's what teenaged music fans want. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14670800)

> Open Source is a good start. But it appears that there is only a Windoze version...how open is that?

It's called "Open Source" because you are allowed to see the code, it's not "Omni Source!"

Re:Yes, 'cuz that's what teenaged music fans want. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14671052)

You sir, are an idiot.

Re:Yes, 'cuz that's what teenaged music fans want. (3, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670920)

The program is also a convenient user interface to buy music online, not just from a single monopoly (e.g. iTunes music store) but from all sources.

Yet the market has held tightly to iTunes despite the numerous alternatives that have entered the market.

DRM-free.

I see no such assurances, nor do I see the ability to purchase unencumbered music from Amazon. The player merely connects to the store. It doesn't do anything else that I can see. And many of those stores are evil in of themselves. Using the BeatPort example, you MUST have Flash installed and enabled to use the site. How does that help Linux users and Windows users who want to use unencumbered software?

There's a lot of noise here, but very few facts, IMHO. Songbird would be a nice step in improving media players on Linux (assuming a version is ever produced), but as far as I can see, it's not the revolution that you're making it out to be.

Re:Yes, 'cuz that's what teenaged music fans want. (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670969)

P.S. Where's the BEEF?! I don't see any links to source code downloads, even in Google's cache of the homepage.

UseFree.org/drm -- list of DRM-free music sites (5, Informative)

UseFree.org (950344) | more than 8 years ago | (#14671047)

Here's a list of sites that sell DRM-free music by independent artists:

UseFree.org/drm [usefree.org]

Songbird works with most if not all of these sites, and thus makes it easier than ever to break our dependency [pledgebank.com] on RIAA's music [magnetbox.com] and the cancerous DRM technology [gnu.org] that it is pushing.

Re:Yes, 'cuz that's what teenaged music fans want. (5, Insightful)

tpgp (48001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670739)

Yes, 'cuz that's what teenaged music fans want...

Source code.


Well - thats pretty much answered in the article:
The opportunity to innovate is stymied by architecture.... ....Justin Frankel created a collaborative jamming service, and you can't do that inside any commercial media player now. You'll be able to do those kinds of things inside Songbird.
How many people write extensions for firefox? Not many, but how many people enjoy said extensions?

The source being available mightent directly benefit most people who use an open source program, but they sure as hell benefit from others having access to the source....

Re:Yes, 'cuz that's what teenaged music fans want. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14670813)

yes, because I want a music player that takes up 50Mb of RAM.. moron

Re:Yes, 'cuz that's what teenaged music fans want. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14670859)

Extensibility, as the part you quoted explicitly says, comes from architecture. It has nothing to do with whether source code is available or not. You don't write Firefox extensions by fiddling with the source code.

Re:Yes, 'cuz that's what teenaged music fans want. (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670959)

That or Sony rips that source code apart and uses it in their next illegal DRM schema.

I could care less whether software is open-source, tbh. If it's free (as in beer) and intuitive/functional, I don't particularly care if I can find their code comments. If other people use that open-source to make the app better, great, but I'm personally not going to bother with it. And I'd imagine this is true for most OSS users. Having the possibility for anyone being able to improve it is just a bonus to me.

Re:Yes, 'cuz that's what teenaged music fans want. (0, Flamebait)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#14671006)

Yes. But who gives a crap about teenaged (schlock) music fans? They're well served by their corporate masters. We're talking about people with real musical taste here who want more than they can get from the corporate teat. Live music can only go so far... There's nothing better than a really well done recording of an obscure and creative artist. And that is what Songbird promises.

Re:Yes, 'cuz that's what teenaged music fans want. (0)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#14671155)

Obviously we have some teenaged music fans with mod points. More mature mods, please fix my original post. For the "thick" mods in the audience, I was talking about teens who latch onto the most popular music with not a clue about what good music actually is. There are teens out there who have an ear for quality and do listen to music with a real message (other than "partay!!!") or artistic merit. My original post was not targetted at them. Hence the qualifier in the original post.

Haha (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14670624)

Should read, "The good news is that by being open source it will (hopefully) not last very long."

I predict... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14670626)

...the same overwhelming success as Ogg. And for the same reasons.

Ogg Vorbis wedge (2, Interesting)

Medievalist (16032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14671029)

I predict... the same overwhelming success as Ogg. And for the same reasons.
Actually, this could be an effective wedge to help Ogg Vorbis gain traction. Everyone knows Ogg is technically superior, and everyone gives it lip service, but lack of players means lack of incentive for recording artists to use it.

If songbird keeps a clean and easily understood interface - not descending into the usual "intuitive... if you're a psychotic fanboy!" interface hell that has claimed so many media players - it will grow marketshare, which in turn could help reduce the barriers to Ogg adoption by artists.

The iPod has a simple, easily learned interface. Thus iTunes prospers. From where I'm sitting, the iPod has no features that are as big a selling point as its sweet ergonomic UI - discounting the UI, my Pez MP3 player [pezmp3.com] is actually much cooler.

Let me pretend to be a mac fanboy for a second.... (0, Offtopic)

tpgp (48001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670632)

Waaaah! I'm going to dismiss this product out of hand without downloading it or even reading the review.

Re:Let me pretend to be a mac fanboy for a second. (1)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670766)

Were one a mac fanboy, one would have to accept or dismiss it without downloading it because it's windows only. Not exactly the best way to win over the fans.

MOD PARENT UP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14670769)

A pity you were modded down, because that's exactly what's happening right now.

There should be at least an "ironic" modifier, since now the mac fanboys are critisizing you for critisizing them.

Here's the thing (5, Insightful)

Spytap (143526) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670640)

Unless it syncs with my iPod, I really don't have much use for it. Honestly, that's where my music listening is done, not in my office at my computer...

Re:Here's the thing (5, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670956)

I see nothing wrong with iTunes. I take issue with the submission's "DRM ridden" phrase. iTunes is not "ridden" with DRM; you don't even have to buy any music from iTunes and have a completely DRM-free experience. iTunes functions just fine as the best music management software without you having to use anything with DRM. I used iTunes for a whole year that way. I imagine most people use it that way, actually.

However, if you do buy from iTunes, Apple provides the most lax DRM in the market. I have never, ever come across any limitation. I can burn as many CDs as I want, share the music with multiple computers, and copy them anywhere at will. When someone rattles on about iTunes DRM, it's clear to me they don't really use iTunes at all. If they did, they'd know the DRM is so invisible that most users don't even know it's there. I always forget it is.

So you read about the software and then realize, this thing is designed to connect to multiple online stores, so it will be just as DRM ridden as anything else! Looking at the screenshots, I suddenly recognize this as the iTunes clone that Mac fans were ripping on last year. The interface is a 100% brain-dead clone of the iTunes interface, widget for widget. They couldn't even come up with their own idea. This makes OSS look bad. I can certainly guarantee this software will never take off in this state, and making goofy claims that "FairPlay is the 8-track of our generation" (huh?) doesn't help any. The developer is very arrogant and claims shopping in one central location like the iTunes Music Store is some backwards idea, when in reality, we've already DONE the multiple stores thing for years, and people have gravitated to one central source (the majority choosing iTunes). It's been the natural progression of the market. That seamless vertical experience is needed to connect it all together. Steve Jobs has stated that relying on 3rd party support in the consumer hardware space doesn't work, and so far, he's been proven correct.

I have no experience with Windows Media Player's offerings, so I can't comment on its DRM. But I find most of the DRM commentary on Slashdot to be alarmist and inapplicable to the real world, and stuff like this just makes OSS look like kooky copycat artists fighting some unseen force that most users aren't even coming into contact with in their daily experiences.

The developers should probably expect a response from Apple's lawyers shortly. The iTunes interface is patented, and this is just blatant! Get an original idea, guys.

iTunes is overrated. (0, Flamebait)

soupdevil (587476) | more than 8 years ago | (#14671069)

There are plenty of things wrong with iTunes: The mp3 encoder is inferior to LAME. The Windows version autoloads iPod programs that steal system resources -- even if you don't have an iPod, and even if iTunes isn't running. The tagging system is nonstandard. There are no options (such as with Predixis MusicMagicMixer) to create playlists based on the audio itself, rather than id3 tags. There is no intelligent handling of files on servers or external hard drives. There is no intelligent handling of duplicate or missing files. I could go on and on...

Re:Here's the thing (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 8 years ago | (#14671158)

I see nothing wrong with iTunes. I take issue with the submission's "DRM ridden" phrase. iTunes is not "ridden" with DRM; you don't even have to buy any music from iTunes and have a completely DRM-free experience.

Thank you for pointing this out, because I was just about to.

My music is all MP3's ripped on FreeBSD using lame, mounted over a samba share, and managed by iTunes. iTunes then gets used to play from the computer, rip CDs, or populate my iPod shuffle.

DRM doesn't even factor in to the equation.

The iTunes software is nicely designed, works well, has a lot of features, and came free with my iPod. Why would I start looking for a v0.1 FOSS replacement for it?

Re:Here's the thing (0, Troll)

jwdeff (629221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14671225)

I'm posting this just in the off chance the parent wasn't being sarcastic. The iTunes interface is patented, and this is just blatant!
Have you used any office suite lately?

I can burn as many CDs as I want, share the music with multiple computers, and copy them anywhere at will.
There is a limit in iTunes to how many CD's you can burn, you can't copy iTunes music from a shared iTunes folder, and there's a limit to how many computers can be authorized to access your music.

we've already DONE the multiple stores thing for years
ITMS is just the first one RIAA let slide. MP3.com tried to do the closest thing they could, and got their asses sued. And you can't get music from multiple stores and play it all from the same player (without cracking it). That, capitan, is what we call a monopoly. Keep using us (the first one to market), and if you switch, you can't listen to all your old music.

I have never, ever come across any limitation.
Based on your statisical sample of 1, 100% of people never see a limitation. GOooooddd.

Re:Here's the thing (1)

gnud (934243) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670996)

Well, no reason why it shouldn't, at least under linux. Give it some time (you do know about libipoddevice [banshee-project.org] ?).

Not invented yet? (5, Funny)

mccalli (323026) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670654)

From the article: Songbird can connect to any a la carte media store -- downloadable music, radio, video, P2P networks, and classes of services that haven't been created yet.

It can connect to classes of service that haven't been invented yet? Impressive. I shall go away and ponder the transdimensional time-travelling inplications of this statement. Over a large brandy.

Cheers,
Ian

This has potential... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14670656)

But unless I am an idiot, which I may very well be, I could not sort by Name/Time/Album by clicking the column headers. I know it's a preview, but honestly.

Proof of concept, they have the concept down. This is beautiful and I am sure it will develop beautifully, but for now it leaves a lot to be desired.

iTunes, DRM-ridden?! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14670665)

Only on slashdot can iTunes be equalled to Windows Media Player...

Get your facts straight: files encoded from your own CDs do NOT have any DRM in them. Only tunes bought from the built-in on-line music store have DRM.

iTunes is a player/ripped/jukebox/music store program. You DO NOT NEED to buy DRM tunes online, you do not even need an internet connection (although it comes in handy for the CDDB feature when ripping your own CDs).

Re:iTunes, DRM-ridden?! (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670692)

Totally agree. I have 85+gigs of ripped music in iTunes, not one track purchased from the Music Store.

Re:iTunes, DRM-ridden?! (0, Troll)

ericdano (113424) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670885)

Exactly. Who wants to run a unstable Open Source Proof of concept program? Oh, probably all you geeks.

I suppose when Korea starts making Audi knock offs, you'd start driving those as well, even though they have like NONE of the performance or features. Whatever. Slashdot and it's articles are getting lame. A duplicate story would have been more interesting (probably one later knowing the "editors").

Re:iTunes, DRM-ridden?! (5, Informative)

LightningBolt! (664763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670887)

Only on slashdot can iTunes be equalled to Windows Media Player...

OK, here we go...

Get your facts straight:

A very good idea.

files encoded from your own CDs do NOT have any DRM in them. Only tunes bought from the built-in on-line music store have DRM.

True.

iTunes is a player/ripped/jukebox/music store program.

Windows Media Player is a player/ripper/jukebox/music store program.

You DO NOT NEED to buy DRM tunes online, you do not even need an internet connection (although it comes in handy for the CDDB feature when ripping your own CDs).

Also true of Windows Media Player. Like iTunes, Windows Media Player 10 will rip your CD's to mp3, with no DRM.

wonderful (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14670670)

it's always nice to see someone doing what's been done before, only prettier, with a GPL, no support and random crashes.

When will everyone get over it already? (1)

pezzonovante1 (788328) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670676)

it is still only a Windows release.

And Windows is used by the vast majority of computer users as well as music downloaders so being Windows only is not something small. If it was *nix or OSx only then 90% of people couldn't use it, but that's not the case here.

Open Source Music (1, Insightful)

inKubus (199753) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670681)

It's too bad more MUSIC isn't open source, where someone writes pieces of a tune and then releases to the public domain so others can enhance and build upon the original project...

Back in the early days of the internet, .MOD files and the whole Fasttracker scene was at it's peak. With a .MOD file, when you distribute your music you distribute all of the samples used to make the music and the charts itself. Anyone out on the internet could then edit or improve your music. A lot of the music I wrote early on was based on the works of others.

The amazing thing about iTunes is it's ability to make .99 per song, not really the search capabilities. Most of the time, I can't find the song I want on iTunes, unless it's some pop bullsh*t. How songbird intends to do the same (for the artists who list on there)--rather than turn into the next (insert Napster, Gnutella, etc here)--remains to be seen..

Re:Open Source Music (2, Insightful)

The NPS (899303) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670923)

"It's too bad more MUSIC isn't open source, where someone writes pieces of a tune and then releases to the public domain so others can enhance and build upon the original project..."

Definitely -- I wish I had musical ability, because I'd give it away free to everyone.

We Need an Extension (5, Funny)

jgbishop (861610) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670688)

Is there a SongSomething extension to rename this program? I prefer Songfox to Songbird...

Re:We Need an Extension (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670721)

Yeah, Bird just isn't powerful enough. How about 'SongHawk' or 'SongBadger' or some other respectable animal.

-Rick

Re:We Need an Extension (2, Funny)

Afrosheen (42464) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670931)

Yeah but you gotta love the icon choices. An egg for the installer and a feather for the Songbird player itself.

  Too bad he doesn't have one theme that's worth a shit. Black or dark red? What is this, the vinyl choices for the interior in a 57 Chevy? Give us the iTunes gray, or a glossy white theme, anything but these dark, hard-to-read interfaces.

Re:We Need an Extension (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 8 years ago | (#14671109)

I don't know, but 'SongBadger' makes me think of this madness: Badger Badger Badger [badgerbadgerbadger.com] .

Say what what? (3, Funny)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670705)

"a preview version for the new open source response to iTunes, Songbird, BoingBoing"

Which what what?

Re:Say what what? (2, Interesting)

fr1kk (810571) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670812)

The paragraphed version of my submission may have made it a bit obfuscated =\

Mozilla-based? (4, Informative)

eMartin (210973) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670708)

Right after I opened it, I noticed the column header control, and that the popup menus look more like the Firefox ones than the Windows native ones, so I checked Songbird's directory, and yes, it appears that it is Mozilla-based.

Now, maybe that's common knowledge, but it's the first I've heard of it, and I think it's worth mentioning. Especially since talk of cross platform porting is.

Re:Mozilla-based? (1)

eMartin (210973) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670736)

Of course, if I'd read the welcome page in its browser view, it would have been even more obvious.

Re:Mozilla-based? (1)

papadiablo (609676) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670747)

From the Welcome page, the first page shown when you launch the program:


Songbird is a media browser and Web player built from Firefox's browser engine.

First sentence of the third paragraph. RTFA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14670764)

Couldn't bother to read the article could ya?

Built on the same platform as Firefox, Songbird acts like a specialized web browser for music.

Re:Mozilla-based? (5, Informative)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 8 years ago | (#14671213)

It's actually a pretty significant milestone for Mozilla because Songbird (AFAIK) is the first major product released that is built on the XULRunner platform [mozilla.org] .

XULRunner is exactly what it sounds like -- a small runtime to allow deployment of XUL-based applications on machines that may not have Firefox installed. Think of it as a JRE for XUL.

Until XULRunner, there was no practical way to build full-fledged apps using Mozilla tech that didn't run inside one of their products (Firefox, Thunderbird, Sunbird, Seamonkey) because that was the only way to get access to a XUL interpreter. Songbird is an interesting demo of how XULRunner gets you beyond that.

Re:Mozilla-based? (3, Funny)

iabervon (1971) | more than 8 years ago | (#14671245)

You should know it's Mozilla-based because the name ends with "bird". Of course, they'll probably have to rename it to "Songfox", which should clarify things further. (For that matter, foxes are cuter than birds.)

DRM Ridden? (5, Insightful)

TheBigMacMan (938594) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670717)

As far as I know, and I may be wrong here, iTunes will play standard mp3's. At least mine does. So what would the "...a great alternative to the DRM ridden iTunes..." gain you? I would rather have a player that can play drm'd songs, if I were forced to play a few, and still be able to play standard mp3's.

Re:DRM Ridden? (4, Insightful)

tsa (15680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670790)

Good point. I was also a bit put off by the term "DRM ridden". I find the DRM that iTunes uses is not very restricting, and fair.

Re:DRM Ridden? (2, Interesting)

Afrosheen (42464) | more than 8 years ago | (#14671009)

DRM with iTunes may seem fair, but their policies are definitely not.

  One of my clients had an iPod and an Apple laptop. He got tired of lugging the laptop around with him and wanted something smaller and lighter. He purchased a tiny little Sony VAIO. When we got to plugging the iPod into it, we found that the battery was dead. Not only that, but iTunes on Windows said the iPod was unreadable and would do nothing until we formatted it. I tried using a variety of tools to get his songs off of the iPod but nothing worked. We ended up formatting it.

  So he lost all his music.

  Now, normally this wouldn't be so bad. You reformat the device then transfer..oh wait. There was no backup of his music since his Mac laptop was long gone. We both (stupidly I admit) assumed the iPod would just work and he wouldn't lose his music. He did. All of it.

  The nail in the coffin that had him steaming mad was that the iTunes store, being fully aware of the fact that you paid for your music already, wouldn't let you download your songs again without paying again. If you're logged in, why not let you re-download something you already bought? Does Apple really think their software and hardware is so perfect as to never lose data?

  Needless to say that iPod hit the trash can minutes after I left. I wanted to grab it from him, take it home and use a battery kit on it, but he was too pissed off to keep it. Turns out last Christmas he got the big black video iPod instead, so he turned it into an upgrade excuse. It's still bullshit that he had to pay twice for the same songs, but in an Apple world, that's how things work.

And that's that problem... (0, Troll)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 8 years ago | (#14671121)

Apple does not make it clear to the music renters that they are in fact RENTING the music. They tell the renters that they are buying the music, and this is simply not true.

Re:DRM Ridden? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14671189)

Well that's just misuse of an iPod. No one, Apple or otherwise, ever claimed that an iPod was a backup of your music. An iPod is a portable copy of your music, but it needs the "home base" of the computer it's "attached" to. Failure to back up your data before junking a computer isn't, by any stretch of the imagination, Apple's problem.

--
M

Re:DRM Ridden? (1)

SlamMan (221834) | more than 8 years ago | (#14671196)

The issue you have is that an iPod uses different files systems for the Windows and Mac version (used to, not quite sure how things stand now). To read the files from a Mac formatted on an XP machine, you need an additional piece of software.

This is really an issue of someone not checking out their backups.

The iTunes Music store thing is a legitimate grip. But none of that has anything to do with the iTunes app, which is what the article is about.

Re:DRM Ridden? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14671242)

We both (stupidly I admit)


You should've just stopped writing right there.

Isn't it fun to blame the big bad evil corporation for your own oversight?

Idiot.

Re:DRM Ridden? (1)

gnud (934243) | more than 8 years ago | (#14671028)

I've never used iTunes, but i don't think it plays ogg vorbis, flac and other open formats, do it? I don't have any mp3s, since all my music is self ripped, and I want it lossless. I use FLAC.

Re:DRM Ridden? (2, Informative)

TheBigMacMan (938594) | more than 8 years ago | (#14671181)

http://www.snappingturtle.net/jmc/tmblog/archives/ 003518.html [snappingturtle.net] explains, iTunes uses quicktime to play audio files. Since quicktime supports plug-ins, all you need to support flac or ogg is to get a plugin for quicktime. The link refers to a flac plugin (haven't searched around for the best one) and the following link has a ogg plugin. http://jsp.vs19.net/osx/oggtunes.php [vs19.net]

So??? (1)

pythas (75383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670718)

So the "open source" response to iTunes is just a knockoff of iTunes, that runs only on Windows, and connects to music stores that no one wants to buy from?

FANTASTIC!

So... (0, Troll)

scanfield (948760) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670730)

So they rip off the iTunes interface, and then take out the Music Store and replace it with the amazing free music scattered across the internet? This just seems ridiculous. Don't like FairPlay? Use Windows Media. Don't like that? Buy CD's from Amazon or some brick and mortar store. I'll pass on the free music I don't like.

DRM Ridden? (2, Insightful)

binaryDigit (557647) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670733)

While this program may be a great alternative to the DRM ridden iTunes and Windows Media Player platforms

So what, are they going to offer the same content without DRM? Think not. How does DRM play in here? If iTMS has DRM it's because the copyright holder has agreed to allow iTMS to distribute content based on the DRM. Being OS isn't going to help this new system out in that regard. Now they may cater to those who are searching for content that is not DRM'ed, but that's content.

Been waiting for this one... (1)

fak3r (917687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670737)

As much as I used to like Rhythmbox, and now like aMorak, the idea of a more 'iTunes' style player for Linux has been sorely needed. I hope this get's ported soon, until then, anyone have luck running this via Wine? I have the 9.5.0-pre version, and it's so fun to just have a simple shortcut now to run IE6 (installed easily with Wine Tools).

Re:Been waiting for this one... (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670819)

I wonder why Apple doesn't make iTunes for Linux. That must not be too hard for them, and may increase their profit by a (admittedly tiny) amount.

Re:Been waiting for this one... (1)

fak3r (917687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670834)

Dunno, one would just assume that they're afraid that ppl would then consider Linux over OSX as a desktop, but I can't think that would happen. Yeah, having it avail to Mac/Win/Lin would be a coup for them one would think, and don't think anyone would be swayed towards Linux just for iTunes. Also, looks like Songbird WILL be on linux:

Songbird is a media browser and Web player built from Firefox's browser engine. Songbird is open source, will run on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and supports user contributed, cross-platform extensions.

Re:Been waiting for this one... (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670955)

It was like pulling teeth to get them to release a windows version, iTunes was mac only for a while till they realized that the software they bundled in with the iPod on windows wasn't all that great. The real reason they don't support Linux? I'm sure slashdot users have some great conspiracy theories, but the long and short of it is that supporting Linux doesn't really make financial sense. You have to then port it, and then pay people to maintain/support it. Yeah, it might increase your user base a little, but it is probably not worth the extra cost/hassle.

Re:Been waiting for this one... (2, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670997)

Because the iTunes team doesn't want to sift through a bunch of feedback emails that say "Where's the Ogg support?" or "Why doesn't my random, esoteric GTK app magically work with some random archaic feature of iTunes?" or "RMS SAYS U R EVIL BECUZ U DONT RELEASE UR SOURCE CODES AS GEE PEE ELL."

Re:Been waiting for this one... (1)

Afrosheen (42464) | more than 8 years ago | (#14671038)

Sorry but I can't think of a single reason to run crapware like IE6 on Linux. You already have Firefox, Konqueror, Opera, lynx/links, and a few others. What's the point? To say you can or to visit all 3 sites that break under any browser except IE6?

allofmp3 (1)

lordkuri (514498) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670741)

I only want to know if it supports AllOfMP3 ^^

Their Explorer app is nice, but Access databases suck, especially when I haven't used it for a while, and have to wait 15 minutes for it to update.

Benefits (1)

gunpowda (825571) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670762)

Feature-wise, what does this offer that's superior to iTunes?

"DRM ridden iTunes and Windows Media Player" (4, Insightful)

joetheappleguy (865543) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670765)

...Nice troll.

Last I checked my .mp3's and CD rips are still DRM free in both iTunes or WMP.

The Lord Giveth (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670774)

"Songbird can connect to any a la carte media store -- downloadable music, radio, video, P2P networks, and classes of services that haven't been created yet."

Only the power of the Lord can make something that can connect to things that haven't even been created yet!

Seriously, this is a great idea whose time has come. I sing the praises of Songbird!

Proxy settings (5, Informative)

nullvector (694435) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670780)

I didnt see a menu for proxy settings in the app. Might be helpful for those who are at work right now.

You can add the following lines into your config.js in the Songbird directory.

pref("network.proxy.http", "type proxy here in quotes");
pref("network.proxy.http_port", YOURPROXYPORT);
pref("network.proxy.type", 1);

Of course, replace the port and proxy values, and you're in. Its based on firefox, so I just got the settings from the Firefox config and changed from user_pref() to pref().

If I had mod points, you'd get'em (1)

FirstNoel (113932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670965)

Thank you...I was going nuts with this thing trying to figure it out.

Sean D.

Re:If I had mod points, you'd get'em (1)

nullvector (694435) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670995)

No prob. The file you'll need to edit is "songbird-prefs.js". Who knows why they didnt include that in the gui...

A solution to a need that doesn't exist (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14670785)

How exactly is iTunes "DRM ridden"? Here's my take on iTunes: it's free, it's got a decent feature set, and it's easy to use. Other than if you need to run it on an unsupported OS, what's the problem? The only DRM is for songs purchased from the iTunes Music Store, and even that DRM is pretty non-invasive. If you don't want Apple's DRM (queue whining about not being able to play iTMS music on non-iPod MP3 players), just get your music elsewhere. Rip it from CD into numerous formats with pretty solid codecs. Buy standard MP3s from some place like allofmp3.com. Download it (legally, of course) from the 'net.

Honestly, if the software "just works", doesn't force DRM on you, and has the features you need, why spend the time making a product that just attempts to do the same thing? Are there compelling new features in SongBird that iTunes doesn't provide? The way I see it, iTunes is a very nice, free digital audio player that also has the ability to sync with an iPod and use iTMS if you want to take advantage of those things. If you don't want to use iTMS music or an iPod, then just don't use those features.

That being said, hopefully SongBird will have some great innovations that'll push other software makers ahead as well... I'm just not sure there's any more to it than "we don't have DRM and you can see our sourcecode - yay!" and if the developers stick with that mindset it'll never go anywhere.

not related but still....Idea that can kill google (-1, Offtopic)

amit2030 (865878) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670795)

I have an idea that can kill google. When you search for something, most of the time s the resulting pages are more than 3-4 months old. We don't always need today's posting on the internet to satisfy our query. So, if I were to take the whole Internet snapshot once every six months and sell it, then people can search the Internet locally using any search tool. Hence, no need of google. This is quite another thing that the whole Internet will take huge amounts of storage and hence may be only corporates can buy the snapshots. This will save time of their employees who spend atleast 10%-20% time on google.

Great, iTunes doesn't install anymore (3, Interesting)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670796)

The recent 6.02 release of iTunes won't install anymore on my Windows machine and it corrupted my old version of iTunes. I am iTuneless as of this moment so I will give it a try....

But alas, Songbird is garish, slow, and overwrought with features. Trying to be everything to everyone by embedding web browsing and access to many alternative music stores and sponsored websites, Songbird misses out on the point of being an iTunes replacement, simplicity. Like most open source projects, people have to learn where to draw the line between duplicating someone else's success to doing too much to surpass it.

Perhaps being a proof-of-concept product they will tweak it and streamline it enough to be both usable and simple. But I don't think we need a Mozilla based web browser that builds multimedia playback into it. Nice try. Should have just made a FireFox extension.

I guess I am forced trying to get iTunes running again, in the short while at least.

quite a few pages regarding iTunes problems on... (2, Interesting)

ashpool7 (18172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670926)

Apple Support [apple.com] . They're pretty detailed.

FUD, FUD, FUD (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14670801)

While this program may be a great alternative to the DRM ridden iTunes...


I'm calling FUD and misinformation on this one. I've been using iTunes since it's inception, I've got well over 10,000 songs loaded, and *none* of them are encumbered with DRM. Why? Because I ripped them from CDs I own. And you know what? *You* can do that too! Look, no DRM!

It's just bad journalism to call iTunes "DRM ridden".

Go find yourself a new job, because accurate reporting is not your forte.

For someone not familiar with DRM downloads (2, Insightful)

dr_canak (593415) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670814)

I'm late to the game of personal MP3 players and what can and can't be played on any given device. The Songbird site is down, but i did read the article. So my main question is:

Can I use this new app to purchase music from any site that supports purchases (i.e. Apple, Napster, Rhapsody, Amazon, etc...), get a plain old MP3 file, which I can then play/burn onto any device I choose?

I had some experience with Rhapsody a few months back, but it seemed to be in some proprietary format, and I could only use their software to play/transfer/burn the file to my media. Will Songbird get around all of that?

thx in advance,
jeff

thx,
jeff

Re:For someone not familiar with DRM downloads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14671000)

No, it won't.

Thx,
P Diddy

In re: "from the free-as-a-bird dept." (4, Funny)

Caspian (99221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670843)

In re: 'from the free-as-a-bird dept."
Attn: Robert Commander Taco Malda, Jeff Hemos Bates

I represent the law firm of Dewey, Cheatham and Howe, on retainer for Apple Corps [wikipedia.org] d.b.a. Apple Records. Our clients hold international legal and commercial rights to the recording Free As A Bird [wikipedia.org] .

Your unauthorized distribution of lyrics to this performance constitute, at a minimum, a violation of U.S.C. 666-69-3117 and of the provisions on distribution laid out in the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). You are thus ordered to cease and desist the distribution of these and any other Apple Corps lyrics in your "dept" headings. Our firm has not ruled out further legal action to enforce our clients' Intellectual Property rights.

Signed,

Robert Cheatham, Esq.
Dewey, Cheatham and Howe

maturation of open source projects (1)

drDugan (219551) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670844)

Has anyone else noticed a significant maturation in the capabilities and professionalism of open source projects? Just over the last 6-12 months I'm seeing a steady stream now of major software classes all being copied rather well by open source teams. Before this, my general rule was that open source was buggy and alpha (with notable exceptions - kernel, apache, openof^H^H^...) -- but seeing this story, reminds me that maybe RMS's vision will come true.

Re:maturation of open source projects (1)

Tankko (911999) | more than 8 years ago | (#14671159)

>>I'm seeing a steady stream now of major software classes all being copied rather well

Copied! Copied! Is that all OpenSource is? Copying things other companies do? Why do I need this when iTunes is free and can play non-DRM .mp3 files?

Come-on OS people...start leading and quit following.

NOT "..still a Windows release" (1)

fak3r (917687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670851)

While this version is only available on Windows, the app's welcome screen tells you that:

"Songbird is a media browser and Web player built from Firefox's browser engine. Songbird is open source, will run on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and supports user contributed, cross-platform extensions."

I for one say, Bring it on!

"hopefully"? (1)

Hemi Rodner (570284) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670879)

The good news is that by being open source that will (hopefully) not last very long.

I didn't get this sentence. It seems incomplete. Why hopefully it won't last very long?

Re:"hopefully"? (1)

dwayner79 (880742) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670954)

'That' refers to the aformentioned Windows Only comment, not the app itself. Threw me for a minute as well.

Re:"hopefully"? (1)

stu42j (304634) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670999)

Refer to the sentence before it: "it is still only a Windows release".

Is that iTunes? (2, Funny)

jpsowin (325530) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670882)

Yes! Another open-source copy of a commercial app!

How is SongBird any different from musikCube? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14670939)

http://www.musikcube.com/ [musikcube.com]

Open source, and at Release Candidate 2.

How long until it's mature? (1)

eMartin (210973) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670977)

So far, it has a basic iTunes-like media library, it plays MP3s, and displays web pages.

How long until it becomes a mature media player with support for devices like iPods, offers playback features like crossfading and other effects (maybe through plug-ins like Winamp), visualization options, etc?

So far, it looks impressive for an 0.1 release, and they mention that people will be able to offer extensions for accessibility of music, but what are their plans for built-in support for common media player features?

Support for players (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14671056)

I own a player that uses proprietary sync methods and I don't know about open-source drivers.
I'd like to write one, as I have fairly good knowledge of the tecnology used.

But I don't have access to such tools as logic analyzers, can someone point me to a guide that explains how to sniff usb data (with linux)?

Disappointing + searching iTMS (1)

Hemi Rodner (570284) | more than 8 years ago | (#14671058)


I was under the impression I can connect to the iTunes music store using this program.. but I guess I can't.
Can I purchase MP3s with this program? Even if I'm not in the USA?

And another question - is it possible to search the itunes music store without installing itunes? (and without having a US IP address)

Microsoft should hire these guys! (4, Funny)

Deep Fried Geekboy (807607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14671078)

A clone of iTunes which doesn't interoperate with the iTunes store, play any of my DRM'd music, work on a Mac or under Linux, or interface with my iPod. Its only selling point being vaporware plugins.

Bzzt! Next!

Songbird looks awesome... (1)

ShadowNetworks (915967) | more than 8 years ago | (#14671094)

Looks awesome, but won't load my library. Perhaps because it's the preview version. I like the fact that I'll be able to connect to lastfm and such. I'd love for it to sync with my iPod as well.

Yeah, but how does it sound? (2, Insightful)

Maxim Kovalenko (764126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14671136)

An open source media player that organizes music and looks like Itunes is all well and good.... But how does it sound? Is the EQ any good? You can organize music with most players out there...whether it sounds good is a bit more important than whether it can use services that don't even exist yet.

features (1)

gigel (817544) | more than 8 years ago | (#14671166)

but where are the party shuffle or the srs wow effects?
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