I’ve been keeping an eye on the development of Songbird, because the idea of an open-source, free, web-integrated media player seemed very appealing. I didn’t want to download the very early versions, because they seemed to be having some teething problems, but this week i finally decided to check out version 0.4.
While the idea is great, i must say i’m pretty underwhelmed so far by its performance. I mean, this thing is SLOW. I didn’t place my whole collection in the library, but even with fewer than 5000 songs it takes ages to start, and to load the library. Scrolling too quickly through the library results in temporary stalling while the software responds, as does any use of the main left-hand menu. The Album Art Manager add-on is so slow as to be almost unusable, sometimes stalling the program so badly that it needs to be restarted.
Initially i thought that part of the problem might be my computer, but i really think it’s the program itself. Firstly, while my computer is over three years old, it’s specs (Pentium 4, 3.0GHz, 800MHz FSB, 2Gb RAM) should be more than sufficient to run any audio player. Also, i installed Songbird on a much newer laptop (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz processor, with 2Gb of RAM) and had almost identical problems. On both systems, Songbird typically uses over 200Mb of memory for basic music playing, which seems to me to be far too much.
I like the way that you can browse the web from within Songbird, and that the program recognizes audio file links in web pages and automatically loads the tag information, download link, etc. But, to be honest, that stuff is (for me, at least) secondary to a functioning music player.
Is anyone using this? Or tried it? Did you have similar problems, or are you finding that it works fine?
For me, so far, it’s an interesting experiment, but nowhere near ready to use as my primary music player.