Monday, September 10, 2007

Songbird


I am getting frustrated by iTunes, as I mentioned before.  I decided to look Songbird for playing music.  I am also planning on setting up a dual-boot laptop running Vista and Ubuntu.  Since Songbird is a cross platform application, I can use the same application across all my computers.


When you first start Songbird, it offers to download several helpful add-ons.  The iTunes library importer imports your iTunes library into Songbird.  The QuickTime Playback add-on allows you to play protected AAC files.  And the iPod Device Support add-on, lets you support, well..., iPods.





The implementation of the podcast support is very interesting.  For example, adding a new subscription, you enter the url to the blog itself, and not the feed url.  Then Songbird, while displaying the html, will find and load the rss feed


There are a few things that I would like to see fixed with Songbird's implementation:


  • Support an OPML file import.  Most podcatchers support both importing and exporting feeds in an OPML file.  This would make it very easy to transition to Songbird.

  • Support entering subscriptions with just the feed url.  Currently, on some feeds, if you enter the feed url, the xml window shows the xml, and the enclosures are not loaded

  • Enable a mode where loading the html is not required to play a podcast

  • Support removing (and not downloading again) podcast items.  Currently if you Remove an item from the downloaded enclosures list, the item will be removed, but will start to download again when Songbird is relaunched

  • Be able to specify the number of enclosures from each subscription to keep on the computer at once.