Songbird Beta Released (finally)!

We’re excited to announce that Songbird is now in public Beta! This update to Songbird includes a new default look and feel, several new features, performance gains, improvements to stability and additional playback capabilities.
New Features
A New Look
We’ve completely redesigned Songbird to make it simpler and more intuitive. We’ve improved drag-and-drop throughout the application and worked to optimize music management vs. web browsing experiences.
Smart Playlists
Create dynamic playlists that automatically update based on criteria you set.
Concert Tickets
Discover upcoming shows in your area based on the artists in your library. Event listings powered by Songkick.
Last.fm Scrobbling
Integrated Last.fm support allows you to scrobble, love, and ban your tracks.
Album Artwork
Display the currently playing track’s album art and write new artwork back to the file.
Note: If you are upgrading from an older version of Songbird, be sure to get the Concerts and Last.fm add-ons so you can enjoy all the new features we’re talking about!
Performance Enhancements
A lot of users have asked us to devote cycles to focusing on performance and stability improvements. We made substantial investments in this release and will continue to dedicate much of our next release to focusing on this area. In this release we:

 

  • Started our migration towards adopting GStreamer as our media core on all platforms. Starting with this release, GStreamer handles playback of FLAC files. In our next release, GStreamer will become our default media core and handle all codec playback and enable additional functionality, such as gapless playback.
  • Improved startup performance. Launching Songbird is now significantly faster than before, in some cases by several orders of magnitude.
  • Reduced memory usage on Windows and Linux by enabling jemalloc as Songbird’s memory allocator.
  • Reduced the time it takes to import media and scan metadata. On all platforms reading metadata is now twice as fast.
  • Improved search results and sort order by ignoring diacritics (like á, ö etc).

For Developers

Early Feedback on 0.7
“A marked improvement over the last release” – Jason Kincaid – TechCrunch
“Songbird’s new UI is also a major improvement” – Sarah Perez – ReadWriteWeb
What’s Next
As we march towards a 1.0 release, our goal is to improve existing features while continuing to focus on performance gains and stability issues. Stay tuned to the blog to keep up to date, or if you like to live dangerously check out one of our nightly builds and see the progress for yourself!