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Mozilla-based iTunes rival "Songbird" takes flight - Page 2

post #41 of 70
Seems like a violation of the trademark Apple has in the look and feel of iTunes. Possibly also a copyright violation as well. Not sure Apple will sue, but it could if Mozilla tries to make money off the deal at the expense of iTunes.



Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A multi-year effort to deliver an open-source and customizable iTunes rival came to fruition this week with the release of Songbird 1.0, but whether it will sway some users from the Apple jukebox software remains to be seen.

The cross-platform player is available as a free download for Intel-based Macs, Windows and Linux. It's based on the same Gecko rendering engine that drives Mozilla's Firefox browser but comes wrapped in an extensible user interface that could easily be mistaken for iTunes.

Unlike the Apple media software, whose features are governed by the iPod maker and its licensing agreements, Songbird prides itself on extensibility through add-ons that allow you to customize the media player experience through collapsable panels and gain new functionality.

In addition to support for QuickTime playback and a variety of iPods, the inaugural release includes four other add-ons by default. Among them are SHOUTcast radio streaming, Last.fm Scrobbling, and Songkick integration for discovering and acquiring concert tickets related to artists in your library.

Another highly touted add-on is mashTape, which displays Flickr photos, YouTube videos, artist biographies, news items and other web content related to the artist currently playing. Dozens of other add-ons can be downloaded from Songbird's website.

For file formats, Songbird currently supports MP3, FLAC, and Vorbis on all platforms; WMA on Windows; and AAC on Windows and Mac. It's quick to import full iTunes libraries -- including DRM-wrapped tracks -- and maintains their associated metadata. For playback, the software uses the high-performance and open-source GStreamer multimedia framework.

Songbird's user interface was designed to be familiar to Apple iTunes users.

Still, there are a number of limitations and potential roadblocks that may combine to slow adoption of the new player, which also features a built-in web browser.

For example, Songbird 1.0 lacks CD ripping capabilities, and its list of compatible devices omits the most recent generation of iPods and all of Apple's Mac OS-based handhelds, including the iPhone and iPod touch. Zune is also unsupported, though support for all these devices, CD ripping, broader video support, and others are all on the software's roadmap.

A mashTape add-on displays related web content as songs play.

Another big question mark is what, if any, measures Apple will take to prevent Songbird compatibility with its software and media players going forward. The company has recently moved to squash efforts from open-source competitors aiming to develop products compatible with its iPod+iTunes ecosystem.
post #42 of 70
Actually, I think that deal between Apple and Microsoft was only for five years, and it has since expired. It is possible they quietly renewed the deal, but we would have heard about that. Moreover, if it were still in place Apple could use Exchange outright instead of licensing from Microsoft. Microsoft probably could have reversed engineered Fair Play as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kvocal View Post

I downloaded it and imported my entire iTunes Lib. It is a 98% copy of the iTunes interface. If you did not know better you could easily think you were using iTunes. If I was in intellectual property Lawyer I could have fun with this one. I know that Apple and MS have a deal where that can freely copy each others Ideas yet they do not do it this blatantly.

A lazy man would comment on something that they have yet to use. Did you use the product before commenting on it? We all want to know
post #43 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

Creative, true. But creativity is not the standard for a good name.

Apple's iNaming system may not have creativity but it has helped them build a brand that is recognized around the world.

Quite true, it's just too bad that it begins to sound retarded after a while.
post #44 of 70
While I'm happy to see there is an alternative, I don't understand what good this application is to those of us (I would suspect a great many) who sync with iPhone and/or iPod Touch and other recent handhelds that are not supported by Songbird? Why would I want to install and use Songbird in place of iTunes when iTunes works? Can I buy applications, rent/buy movies, applications for my iPhone or otherwise download from the iTunes Store with it? What good is it if it only "looks" like iTunes if it doesn't at least do what iTunes does and then more? I guess I'm missing something here . . .
post #45 of 70
...
the only question that should be asked.
...
post #46 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Quite true, it's just too bad that it begins to sound retarded after a while.

Yeah. Not to mention that it is an easy target for haters to mock.
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post #47 of 70
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post #48 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post

At first glance it LOOKS similar to iTunes... they probably want people to feel at home... but this is a completely different product. Just read the frikken feature list before stating it's a copy. Lazy, lazy people!!!

Nobody reads the features(or EULA). Ordinary user use IE because it just happens to come with WinDohs.
post #49 of 70
OH WHY DIDNT APPLE BUY OUT AUDION FROM panic instead. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN LESS EVIL!!!!!
post #50 of 70
I can hear it now


'MOZILLA !!!!! START YOUR PHOTOCOPIERS NOW !!!!!!!'


It may have many features that are different from iTunes but if it 'LOOKS' just like the iTunes layout then that's just stupidity on their part or maybe they have a whole new looking interface waiting in the corner but just want to stir the press up?
post #51 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

I can hear it now


'MOZILLA !!!!! START YOUR PHOTOCOPIERS NOW !!!!!!!'


It may have many features that are different from iTunes but if it 'LOOKS' just like the iTunes layout then that's just stupidity on their part or maybe they have a whole new looking interface waiting in the corner but just want to stir the press up?

So what if it looks like iTunes? That application is one of the most efficient, well laid-out applications I use on a daily basis (yes, depressed Windows user here \ ). Having given Songbird a test run today, it has a lot of potential. I already like the add-on that shows you lyrics right in the player, already a plus over iTunes. If they deliver CD ripping and iPhone support like they promise they will, I might have a new permanent music player.
post #52 of 70
The good thing I can see coming out of this is the openness of the application. Not even with open source aspect but the fact they use getsatisfaction.com for their feedback forum so you can depend on someone answering you, rather than just sending a message to Apple's feedback team which may or may not read it. On the other hand, unless Songbird can handle 95,500 plus songs, I will never switch.
post #53 of 70
Quote:
Another big question mark is what, if any, measures Apple will take to prevent Songbird compatibility with its software and media players going forward.

A note to the AppleInsider writers - what is the point of the last two words of that sentence? Take them out and nothing changes except that it sounds a lot more like English than some hideous 'business speak'.
post #54 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post

It also appears to be a carbon-copy of iTunes. Zero effort to improve or at least be different from iTunes.

Carbon copy in what aspect, the skin ?
post #55 of 70
Songbird is awesome. the killer feature for me is that it supports FLAC. I had a lot of FLAC files and I refused to convert to Apple's proprietary format.

The one killer feature if they could add it is downconverting lossless files for syncing. i.e. I have an entire lossless library, but when moving music to my ipod nano, I can choose to load those files for mobile listening as a lower bitrate.

It would also be sweet if it supported the shuffle fill with random songs feature but for the apple nano as well.
post #56 of 70
Yeah it does look a lot like iTunes, but then it can be skinned so you can make it look like media player if that floats your boat...
post #57 of 70
i would give this a try, but two major negatives - so far for me:

1) no cd ripping
2) no iPod touch support, why try it if i cannot use my mp3 player with it (yet)

will wait to see what's up with a later version, but to me iTunes works fine. don't understand some of the iTunes bashing here, no one is forcing anyone to use it - you can buy a non-Apple mp3 player and/or use another media depository program (rhapsody/real, etc.). some folks just love to complain, win $300,000 in Vegas and would still find a way to complain.
post #58 of 70
It's always fun to come here and see the Apple Defense Force attack anything that in any way competes against Apple. Oh no! Mozilla created a free media player that competes against Apple's free media player! Apple stock will surely plummet with all the lost sales of their free iTunes media player!

As others suggested, maybe the majority of you should actually give it a try before you attack it simply for being non-Apple. I did and it's pretty interesting. The mashTape feature is pretty cool the way it links you to videos, photos, etc. for the currently playing artist. As is the lyrics plug-in someone else already mentioned, especially how once it finds the lyrics, just one click will permanently add those lyrics to the file's metadata. Maybe they got a little cute with some things, like skins are called "feathers" instead.

Will it replace iTunes for me? Obviously not until it can rip CD's. I didn't see how it handles video (if it does at all), but iTunes is pretty spotty about anything that isn't from the iTunes Store itself. But I don't watch much video on my iMac anyway. Not sure how it handles iPod syncing either. I was a bit afraid to plug it in for fear it might compete with iTunes for control.

As for it looking like a copy of iTunes, well what do you expect? It's a media player. All media players are going to look pretty much the same. Just like word processing software, spreadsheet aps, etc. How long would you use a spreadsheet program if someone decided to be "clever" and make the cells hexagons instead of rectangles?
post #59 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by intlplby View Post

The one killer feature if they could add it is downconverting lossless files for syncing. i.e. I have an entire lossless library, but when moving music to my ipod nano, I can choose to load those files for mobile listening as a lower bitrate.

YES please. Clearing my HDD of all my lower bitrate 'hidden' duplicates would be enough incentive for me to switch.
post #60 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by intlplby View Post

The one killer feature if they could add it is downconverting lossless files for syncing. i.e. I have an entire lossless library, but when moving music to my ipod nano, I can choose to load those files for mobile listening as a lower bitrate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adamthecarny View Post

YES please. Clearing my HDD of all my lower bitrate 'hidden' duplicates would be enough incentive for me to switch.

While this would be great, The iPod Shuffle came with this feature, and still has it, but the size of the original Shuffle was only 512MB. I don't see Apple doing it now as Flash capacities are increasing while the prices are dropping.
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post #61 of 70
By pure coincidence, the song playing on my Touch as I read this article was Fleetwood Mac's Songbird (frankly not one of their best efforts, actually). I wasn't thinking this was something I'd download, but the Gods of Music may be trying to tell me something.

I don't see any comments about how this product might spur innovation in iTunes. Whether you use Songbird or not, isn't that a good development?
post #62 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

Last I checked Linux + Windows marketshare > apple marketshare. I think it will fly just fine.

Let's see... Windows? 89.5% Windows + Linux? 90.4% Difference? 0.8% Yes, that's a ZERO, POINT, EIGHT. How nice of you to throw Linux in with Windows to make it look all tough. That's like saying Windows + Mac OS X = 98.5%

Lesson? Don't try to compare Linux market share to OS X. The ratio of Linux market share to OS X market share is as sad as OS X market share to Windows market share. Imagine what would happen if OS X was a free OS or if Linux had OS X's price tag. In either scenario, Linux would be dead. For now, it barely has a pulse.



I don't hate Linux like I do Windows, but Linux is in a really sad boat. The problem? Too many choices. People don't like to be confused, so that's your first problem. Second, the community needs to align behind one distro and put all their effort into it if it wants to gain any real market share. They need a single OS strategy. If you ask me, everyone should get behind Apple. They already use a lot of the best open source technology. Imagine how great the world of computing would be without Microsoft... It would be like a utopia of geekery. Microsoft has stifled the tech industry for far too long. For example, stagnant browser development until recently. Another example, Vista. Seven years of development down the fucking tubes.

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post #63 of 70
I hate how hostile the Mac community gets when things try competing with Apple.
post #64 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

It's 1.0... give it time. When iTunes first started it looked a lot like Sound Jam.

Look at all web browsers... they all look pretty similar from an interface that Netscape started 15 years ago.


noob Apple bought Sound Jam
post #65 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by caribbean_mac View Post

noob Apple bought Sound Jam

That was my whole point....... n00b.

 

 

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post #66 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

That was my whole point....... n00b.

It's a poor point then. Songbird wasn't derived from iTunes in terms of code base or the dev team, making the connection or comparison kind of tenuous at best.
post #67 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

It's a poor point then. Songbird wasn't derived from iTunes in terms of code base or the dev team, making the connection or comparison kind of tenuous at best.

The whole point was that someone else came up with the interface. The whole point was apple was sued over the interface. The whole point was that good interfaces are re-used over and over again. Far from a weak point.
http://news.cnet.com/Apple-sued-over...3-5755956.html

 

 

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post #68 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

The whole point was that someone else came up with the interface. The whole point was apple was sued over the interface. The whole point was that good interfaces are re-used over and over again. Far from a weak point.
http://news.cnet.com/Apple-sued-over...3-5755956.html

It was a weak point until you filled in a few details previously left unsaid but were somehow part of the original point.
post #69 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

It was a weak point until you filled in a few details previously left unsaid but were somehow part of the original point.

Did you not real all of my posts? I mentioned them all through out the thread. You were singling out that one post. I don't see any need to repeat myself.

 

 

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post #70 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

Did you not real all of my posts? I mentioned them all through out the thread. You were singling out that one post. I don't see any need to repeat myself.

I can't find a previous part of the thread where you mentioned Apple getting sued over the interface. The fact that someone else came up with the interface is pretty diluted as an IP issue if they bought the rights to the software with the similar interface.

The browser issue isn't as bad either, they might have all all their controls arranged similarly, I recall that they at least tried to change the look for each of the variants, the buttons might have meant the same thing, but they looked different, there's more than one way to draw a button. Here, the look is similar aside from moving part of the interface.
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