Some time ago I talked about Songbird, the media player I used when I got tired of Winamp over a year ago. Everything was fine with Songbird up to version 1.4.2, it had its annoyances but worked good enough for my needs. However, since 1.4.3 the Ipod Device Support plugin got ditched and whenever I tried syncing my iPod Nano 3rd Gen only around 200 files would be copied onto it.
I’ve been looking for a good alternative, I tried foobar2000 as I read it was a lightweight and made by some former Winamp developers. The interface was a bit confusing, and it didn’t feel natural, when your application takes over 10min to configure to have it in a decent state, you’ve lost me. Everyone should go with Philips’ motto: “Sense and simplicity”.
Then I came across MediaMonkey, and boy was I glad I found this! I heard about it before and saw screenshots but they threw me off because it looked like the inteface was overly complicated as well. But last week I decided to give it a try because I became sick and tired of having to listen to the same music over and over on my iPod (and I refuse to use iTunes). The default settings of MM were great, a little tweaking here and there and I was ready to go. Unfortunately Songbird doesn’t save ratings into the metadata (don’t ask me why) so I exported my Songbird playlists (had to use a plugin, Songbird doesn’t have native support for it…) and imported the playlists into MediaMonkey.
Comparing the memory footprint and performance of Songbird and MediaMonkey I can conclude that MediaMonkey is the way to go. Where Songbird takes around 60 to 100mb ram, MediaMonkey only takes around 30 to 40mb. Browsing through a large playlist (or your entire library for that matter) is very smooth compared to SB, so is searching (they have great search filters by the way).
In the end, it doesn’t matter if you want ipod support or not, MediaMonkey is superior to Songbird in almost every way. The only addition I had to download was the MiniLyrics Embedded application so I had my song lyrics in the MM sidebar.