Songbird halts major support for linux

As many of you know we’re hard at work on NOFX and the release is looking really good – lots of cool improvements, including video playback. Some of you have noticed that the Linux version has fallen behind, leading to some heated, but healthy debate internally about how to prioritize the development hopper.

After careful consideration, we’ve come to the painful conclusion that we should discontinue support for the Linux version of Songbird. Some of you may wonder how a company with deep roots in Open Source could drop Linux and we want you to know it isn’t without heartache.? We have a small engineering team here at Songbird, and, more than ever, must stay very focused on a narrow set of priorities. Trying to deliver a raft of new features around all media types, and across a growing list of devices, we had to make some tough choices.

While our Linux users are some of the most passionate, do some killer development, and always provide tremendous input as to whether we’re on the right path or not, we simply can’t continue to support a Linux version as we have in the past.

And, like you, we can’t stand to see our Linux product be anything less than outstanding. Unfortunately, we can’t make that happen right now. Trade-offs are hard, and this is one of the most painful decisions in the history of the company.

We remain loyal to Linux and the ideology it represents, so we will maintain a version of the software for use by our Songbird engineers who develop on the Linux platform. We’ll make that version available to the community. We will keep Linux build bots and host the Linux builds on the developer wiki. That said, those builds will not be tested and may not pick up new features developed by Songbird’s team.

When we roll out NOFX for Windows and Mac at the end of the month, you’ll see video support – import, library management and full screen playback. We are also working on full compatibility with Windows 7 as well as support for a range of new handsets.

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28 Responses

  1. Kevin from Akron, Ohio says:

    How very sad!! Sad for you that is!! Linux is a continuing and growing community that will very soon pass Windows as the most widely used Operating System. Oh well, when that happens, you’ll be left alone in the dust that settles afterward. I’ve always been a die hard user of Linux and I also use Windows. But I always turn back to my Linux machine by the end of the day. I’ll have to find some other media player than Songbird to use.

  2. OVI says:

    Very very disappointing 🙁
    Why always Linux been neglected!

  3. Bala says:

    And here i was, hoping that Ubuntu will replace Rhythmbox with Songbird soon. Windows 7 compatibility a priority over Linux support! Very disappointing.

  4. David says:

    More than sad…shortsighted. I can’t see Linux market share diminishing but I can see it increasing…all be it slowly…so opting out of such a platform seems, to me, to be a poor decision.

  5. Patrick says:

    WOW! No Linux Native version for Songbird, and no more Songbird! Only awfull like Rythmbox and Amarok!
    Patrick K.R.

  6. Patrick says:

    Sorry, with native version I mean Spotiffy!

  7. onesojourner says:

    Guess I am looking for a new music player again.

  8. TW says:

    How do you expect more Linux users if it is always so far behind? You wanted people to use it on Linux but it was ALWAYS a second “step child”.
    You stated “We remain loyal to Linux and the ideology it represents” This is an out-right false statement if it was true the Linux version would have been on the same level as the others.
    Now that I stated that I am not mad in the least as a business owner I understand that all business need to make business decisions and almost everyone make some people mad. I really liked Songbird but have to look for something else since it is not gone.

  9. truck87bp says:

    I guess Open Source is not so open when you are forced to use DRM and Trusted Computing. Sad day for Linux.

  10. Omegared says:

    Very sad to see this. I used songbird on my Windows computer because I used it on my Linux computer. Guess I am looking for a new player on Linux and windows.

  11. Very sad development indeed. Songbird 1.4.3 right now is very functional, it represents a paradigm which out-distances it from the others. I enjoy how it works, its feathers, add-ins, features. You guys are making a big mistake here. Linux users are probably the most loyal, dependable, and passionate about things. This will come back to bite you and its a bad decision that will affect the Windows users down the road. Everything is tied together. Your decisions on one cause a ripple affect to the other.

    I would say shame on you but you have already said it in your post. Very sad news and you will see the error of your ways.

  12. lidex says:

    Have a look at Exaile and Listen.

  13. 35434535 says:

    I dont care.

  14. suave says:

    It’s not the end of the world, we still have imo the best mediaplayer around, Banshee.

  15. Dallas says:

    dallas@dallas-buntu:~$ sudo apt-get purge songbird
    [sudo] password for dallas:
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    The following packages will be REMOVED:
    0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 1 to remove and 36 not upgraded.
    After this operation, 119kB disk space will be freed.
    Do you want to continue [Y/n]? y
    (Reading database … 175810 files and directories currently installed.)
    Removing songbird …
    Processing triggers for python-gmenu …
    Rebuilding /usr/share/applications/desktop.en_US.utf8.cache…
    Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils …
    Processing triggers for python-support …

  16. crash says:

    While it definitely needed more kinks worked out with it, Songbird has been the best music player on Linux BY FAR, in my opinion. Here’s to hoping Songbird for Windows works well with Wine….

  17. {BBI}Nexus{BBI} says:

    I suppose you already knew you would incur the wrath of the GNU/Linux community regarding your decision.

    I also suspect truck87bp has hit the nail on the head judging by what I’ve been reading in the news.

    “All that glitters, is not GOLD!”

  18. Jim says:

    A linux user since 1994, no longer a Songbird user. –purge

  19. IcyJ says:

    I like Banshee better anyways. Songbird always seemed sluggish.

  20. Daniel Geer says:

    You honestly believe that your hard economic times will improve by developing just for Windows? Perhaps you all need a vision casting retreat! No, wait. You probably can’t afford to cast any vision.

  21. 2s4u says:

    Wow. Now Songbird is irrelevant on one platform less than before.

  22. Loyd says:

    Sad days. I was just moving over to Songbird in hopes that it would start doing more development on Linux. I have to agree with the others –purge

  23. I’m disappointed at the Songbird team dropping support for Linux. One of the things I really liked about Songbird was its cross-platform support. I may stop using Songbird for my Windows computers as well now. Anyone know of any good cross-platform alternatives with iTunes like library management functionality? How is aTunes?

  24. Stifu says:


    “Linux is a continuing and growing community that will very soon pass Windows as the most widely used Operating System”


  25. Trent says:

    There is hope in the wind, people, as this project already has a fork in the works.

    Now called Nightingale, it seeks to make a new and improved version of Songbird for Linux and later for other platforms. Their first version will (hopefully) be based on Songbird 1.8.

  26. ZK says:

    This is really too bad. I really liked the interface, but I did not like the fact it would not play CDs in any case. I still think it is a bad choice. I guess they are trying to increase their revenue by going more towards Microsoft. I use VLC mostly anyway since it plays CDs and I can add a skin to make it look more professional if I wish to.

    The fact is Linux is becoming more useful even for home users who don’t know a thing about Linux. I know Ubuntu is one the best distributions and is probably one of the easiest to install. Hopefully they will change their mind about supporting songbird on Linux as more users start using Linux.

  27. RND says:

    I trust Linux community… and I’m waiting for Nightingale ! Go for it!

  28. xowu says:

    sad sad l cant believe it. well l will just have to do it songbird – songbird. just move to the dark side

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