New bird on the block

Here’s something that’s sure to ruffle a few feathers (pun very much intended). Yesterday while searching for an open-source player for a particular music file format I stumbled across this tuneful Songbird. It’s basically half-iTunes, half-Firefox. Intrigued? I know I was, and not just by the great design and illustration of the site.

After installing the developer preview (it’s currently in alpha, not even beta yet) and taking a look around I found that when you navigate to a website it automatically scans the page and puts all the music files linked from the page into a playlist ready for listening and/or downloading. Fantastic, and not unlike my very own Greasemonkey script for playing MP3 files on 3Hive. Except better. Much, much better.

I think it looks pretty cool, and you get even more great illustration in the program itself (is that bird pooping?) as well as a load of configuration options – and even add-ons, just like the fantastic ‘Fox. It says it integrates with iPods as well, and while it certainly recognised my iPod and showed all the playlists on it, I couldn’t create or copy a playlist to the iPod itself. Hopefully there’ll be some decent documentation somewhere that will help me out.

So if you’re into the musical web, this could well be the most useful software you get this year.