May 19

The Songbird’s last song

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.

MediaMonkey ; Songbird

Mar 06

Songbird, sing it right please

I recently reinstalled my computer and with that came installing the newest version of all the software I use. One of them is Songbird as my main media player / iPod syncing program. They’re currently at 1.4.3 but I wish I had stuck with 1.4.2, why you ask? The addon support is horrible for the newest version. I know the problem isn’t with Songbird but with its plugin developers but come on, we had to wait weeks for a compatible iPod Device Support plugin. I manually had to install a newer version because when I ‘checked for updates’ with Songbird it never even noticed there was a new version.

Unfortunately the current version ( of this plugin still has several issues. Not even half of my tracks get synced onto my ipod nano 3rd gen. I get this error “Transcoder not available” for a whole bunch of songs. Funny, because it worked perfectly with Songbird 1.4.2 and the old iPod Device Support add-on. I really wonder why it is so hard to make a working add-on for this as I’m sure there’s a ton of people with iPods wanting to use Songbird and sync their playlists with it.

Songbird has come a long way but it’s starting to feel somewhat like Firefox (performance-wise). I recently switched to Chrome because it’s considerably faster. I really want to hang on to Songbird but they  really need to stimulate their developers to update their add-ons and feathers.

Oh and please… make an export/import library function!