After damning Songbird with some markedly faint praise back there, I started to feel guilty. I should at least point out that Songbird’s stated central mission has always been “playing the internet”. Thats a cool idea, and one at which even the current preview-grade software is very successful. Loading a music blog webpage into your music player and playing it like an album or a playlist is actually a bit of a head-bender. Do it once and you might start convincing yourself that the songbird folks are on to something big.
For me it’s almost the ideal music exploration model. Music blogs are awesome, but they require your focused attention, whether each track is interesting to you or not. You have to download the songs one by one, and either download them all and queue them all up into your player, or else read over the musicblogger’s post about each of the them to choose which you’ll download. Then choose which you’ll delete. It’s a more natural experience to load the site into Songbird’s hybrid browser/player and leave it playing in the background, then read the report for just those songs that catch your attention. Songbird turns a static music blog into a dynamic experience that combines the best of music blogs with the best of radio… high quality music, chosen to a purpose and theme, with skipping and replaying and pausing, and commentary that is both comprehensive–every song is contextualized–and also optional if you aren’t interested in reading it for that song. I’m in in in.
There are also features for integration with online music stores and I believe streaming and network music sites, which is probably cool too. So let’s get this thing out of alpha and into beta or something.