Songbird 0.4

A while back I talked about Songbird. Well 0.4 is out and I decided to give it a test-run.

I would want to start by saying this is the greatest audio player ever created by mankind (even this developper version). So
it goes without saying this is now my standard audio player.

1. Install it
2. Features
3. Install Java support
4. Add Songbird to “applications -> sound and video”

1. Install it.

Installing it in ubuntu is simple. Just download the .tar.gz here, extract it and double click “songbird” in the extracted folder.

On installation you need to agree, I didn’t read the text file.

Then they ask you to install the recommended plugins, Iphone support and developper support.

songbird setup up

Press ok.

I pressed cancel on the pop-up.

You get an windows saying thank you for installing songbird.

2. Features

The build in browser (birdhouse) lets you search for music AND it lets you download them. It seems to use SkreemR for this service.


After finding the songs a bottom bar appears with download buttons.


The downloaded songs are added to your download folder.

The downloads aren’t super fast, but they are fast enough. It takes about 30 seconds to download a song. If you download multiple songs, the first one starts and the rest are queued untill the previous song is downloaded.

The quality is good (standard mp3 quality).

The downloaded songs are added to the library. Where you can also give ratings to the songs.

The mp3 files are found here “/home/username/.songbird1/y5vn3a3u.default/Cache”.

I copy them every now and then to another folder so I can put them on my mp3 player faster. The names of songs are scramble to things like this: 0114cv65qfb4d. So you will have to rename them.

With the “scan for media” option you can add entire folders with music to songbird (it’s very fast, 800 songs in 15 seconds added).

It wouldn’t be a mozilla product if they weren’t any add-ons available. This is still a developper version but there are already 30+ add-ons available.

Some of them:

– usb mass storage support
– wikipedia extention
– albumapplet (cover art in library (iphone/leopard like effects) it’s not without it’s faults)
– Arbum Art Manager
– dozens more


There are also downloadable “feathers”. Feathers are basicly skins for songbird.

Songbird supports Iphones but since I don’t own one (willingly) I can’t test this.

You can right-click any song in your library and search for lyrics for the songs wich is a nice feature (it opens up google or yahoo with a list of lyrics sites that link directly to the song).

There is also an “Hype Machine” button in the left sidebar that points to music blogs.


The webhistory options lets you download all the songs you searched for. So lets say you searched for “eminem” and only downloaded 1 song. This will the display the songs you didn’t download and let you still download them.


The build in browser is a full-featured browser. I think it’s based on firefox so you can browse the internet with the build in browser. This comes in handy for a quick search while listening to music and the browser is used for things like add-ons, lyrics, music search and download, …

3. Install Java support

This is really simple, just copy the contents of you firefox plugins directory to you songbird plugins directory.

The firefox plugins directory is located here : /usr/lib/firefox/plugins

You need to copy this to the folder that was created when you untarred the .tar.gz. Copy the files to the plugins folder.

Flash is installed by default if you have it installed in firefox.

4. Add Songbird to “applications -> sound and video”

First you need to right-click above applications in the panel and press “edit menus”. Press sound and video, select a random application there and
on the right sidebar press “new item”. Give in these entries:

– type : application
– name: songbird
– command: I have this -> /home/username/Documents/Songbird/songbird . You just have to point to the file “songbird” in the created folder (the one you untarred in the beginning.
– comment: audio player
– press on the icon and point it here: /whereever you put the folder/Songbird/chrome/icons/default/default.xpm

Now test this great audioplayer.

    • Dicey
    • January 18th, 2008

    Thanks for the tut. I had java problems , and copying worked like a charm. Now I just need to get album applet to work. Should it be automatic, or do I have to do something else?

    • linuxowns
    • January 18th, 2008

    It should be automatic.

    But it’s still a bit to buggy for me.

    • boyofford
    • January 30th, 2008

    copied plugins from firefox but no sign of working album applet! (have installed plugin) oh well roll on newer version

    • boyofford
    • January 30th, 2008

    Oh and good guide/review

    • anitha1234
    • October 25th, 2010

    Best Software Downloads and Reviews. the most comprehensive source for free-to-trysoftware downloads on the WebBEST 4 DOWNLOADS

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