Songbird 1.0 is out. Are iTunes days numbered?


From the “keep on rockin in the free world” files:

Songbird 1.0 the Mozilla powered open source customizable music player is out today and it could give iTunes a real run for Apple’s money (or maybe not).

What makes Songbird special in my view is the fact that even though it’s a decent music playing app – it really extends the whole music playing experience. For one it has something called mashTape which is this neat feature that lets you ‘mashup’ and pull in flickr photos, Google News, YouTube vids and more  – all contextually related to the tune you’re listening too.

Songbird developers are claiming the release is faster than previous development builds, with claims of up to 1000x faster for search, 70 percent RAM usage reduction and 4x speed improvement on media importing.

“We set out to build an open, customizable music player,” Songbird developer raffel blogged. “Today, we’re launching with dozens of integrated services, hundreds of add-ons, and a growing developer community. We’ll be the first to admit that there’s plenty left to do. And, while we’re not ready for everyone, 160k users a month are expressing their vote for an alternative music player.”

Songbird is built on top of the Mozilla Platform (mostly XUL) and is a good example showing how Mozilla technologies can be leveraged for more than just web browsing.

While Songbird is a powerful application, I’m not too sure that Apple has too much to worry about. Every iPod/iPhone user knows about iTunes – that’s tens of millions of users and a built-in user base. Songbird has no such distribution advantage. That said, Firefox doesn’t have the distribution advantage that IE has, so hey you never know…

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