Jacob Allred

I have recently become a huge fan of Songbird, a free multi-platform media player based on Mozilla’s XULRunner.

If you are anything like me, you may be asking yourself what makes Songbird special or worth your time. Why not just keep using iTunes, VLC, or Windows Media Player? Here are my reasons for choosing Songbird over the competition:

Okay, so now you are all stoked about Songbird. You want to load it up in Ubuntu 9.10 and get grooving to your awesome Vanilla Ice collection. “Oh no,” you say to yourself, “Songbird isn’t in the Ubuntu repository!” That is where GetDeb comes in.

GetDeb is a third-party, unofficial repository of Ubuntu packages. It allows you to get updated software for Ubuntu sooner than waiting for it to make it through the official channels, and saves you hours of trying to get random software to compile from source. I love it so much that Corban Works has become a ‚¬5/month supporter.

Installation of GetDeb is easy and well-documented. If you aren’t a current GetDeb user, please follow the installation instructions.

Once GetDeb is installed, pull up the terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install songbird

That’s it! You now have Songbird!

Unless you are using Windows. Or a Mac. Or Fedora. Or some other OS. If you are one of those people, you’ll have to go to Songbird’s site and download it straight from them.

I recommend a few addons to make your experience better (these work on any OS!):

If you want Songbird to save your ratings in your MP3 files, then you need to make one more tweak:

  1. Open a browser tab in Songbird, then go to about:config
  2. Click the I’ll be careful, I promise! button
  3. In the filter box, enter songbird.metadata.ratings.enableWriting
  4. Double-click false to change it to true
  5. Close the tab

Oh, almost forgot! If you want Flash to work in Songbird on Ubuntu 9.10, you can run this command in terminal:

sudo cp /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/* /usr/share/Songbird/plugins/

Do you have a Songbird tip I missed? Please leave it in the comments!