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Songbird media player: the love child of Mozilla and WinAmp
Written by Daniel   
Wednesday, 16 April 2008 10:49

Songbird media player: the love child of Mozilla and WinAmp

By Ryan Paul | Published: April 16, 2008 - 05:04AM CT
ARS Technica

Ian McKellar gave a presentation on the Songbird media player at LugRadio Live this past weekend. The talk introduced some of the underlying goals behind the Songbird project and included a demonstration of some of the core technologies in the Songbird media player.

Songbird is an open source media client with tight web integration that is designed by Pioneers of the Inevitable, a San Francisco-based company whose previous efforts include WinAmp and the Yahoo Music Engine. Songbird is still in early stages of development, but is already quite usable on the desktop. Version 0.5 was released late last month with MTP device support and user interface improvements.

The Songbird developers aim to create an open ecosystem for media technologies that will liberate users from the closed end-to-end media solutions offered by Microsoft and Apple. The monolithic media architectures used by those companies, which tie music stores to specific software players and specific devices, have stifled creativity and innovation. Songbird gives users a way to escape from vendor lock-in and also creates the potential for more competition and innovation in media services and digital content distribution.

"There are a few major players in the market right now and the users are left out in the cold," said McKeller. "We need a way that we can build services to do exciting new media stuff, but built on open standards and built on open source—the stuff that empowers users and developers and builds better creativity."

New protocols like BitTorrent make it easier for independent content creators to distribute material. There are also increasingly popular labels like Matador which eschew RIAA membership and sell DRM-free music. These factors have led to the emergence of an independent, web-driven music ecosystem that exists outside of Apple's walled garden, but there is no equivalent of iTunes to bring all of the pieces together. That is where Songbird fits into the picture. "The missing piece is the user agent," McKellar told the audience. "We need a Mosaic or Mozilla for the media web."   [ARS Technica..]  [Comments...]

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