Use Windows Media Player? iTunes? Rhapsody? Think those are the best?

Songbird is a free, open source, multi platform media player and beyond. It is still in it's beta form, but it is very advanced and well made program. It can brows the internet, play music and videos, and download any media on a site. It is based of Mozilla, so it will have a similar feel to songbird.

Good luck, the program is not completely stable!

I don't work for Songbird, the most I've done for them was reporting a bug...

Step 1: Download...

First you have to download songbird. Go to their website,, and download the link that is provided. If you are a tester like me, you can download a nightly build, which is at select you're operating system.

On a mac and pc this is easy to install, just like a normal program, but on linux a guide to install can be found here:

Although it is for ubuntu and with songbird .3, it should work with all versions of linux and songbird.

Step 2: LAUNCH

On the first launch of Songbird, it will ask to scan your computer for media. Just press ok, and let it work. Don't worry if you have a bunch of songs with no artists, it takes a while to find everything about each song. Also, if you have any wav files on your computer, it can play them but does not show the artist or album or anything.


Since Songbird is from the same platform as Firefox, both based off Mozilla, you can do many of the same things. If you have not seen my instructable about Firefox you should check it out...

Do this if you have high speed internet, it won't work as well if you are using dial-up.

In the address bar, type in about:config

Once you are there, in the filter bar, type in pipe. You will come out with 3 or 4 results, network.http.pipelining
just ignore that last one...

The first and the third should normally be set to false, and the middle one should say 2.

Double click the first and last one to set them to true, and double click the middle one to set it to 20 or 30. Try each out or even different numbers and post your results, because i did not really notice a different between 20 and 30, but then again I have satellite internet.

That 20 means it will make 20 requests at once, now you know why this is only for people with fast internet.

Also, to speed this up you should do this:

Right-click anywhere in the window, select new, then select integer. Name it nglayout.initialpaint.delay and set the value to 0. This is the delay to open a web page.


In songbird, themes are referred to as "feathers". To add new ones, because the old one is ugly, click view>all feathers>Get more feathers. You will then be directed to a new link, with lists of themes. To download them click download, and be patient it sometimes takes a little while for Songbird to confirm this. You then may have to restart Songbird. To use that feather, go to all feathers, then select the one you want, full size not mini player.


Like Firefox, Songbird has plugins. To add them, click tools>addons and there should be a little blue thing that says "get extensions". Click on that, and it will take you to something very much like the feathers page. Just press download to get it.

NOTE: There are some extensions that, last I checked, were not on the extension site. For instance, adblock plus, which you can just search adblock plus for songbird, and you will find a place to install it. Another good plugin is Fasterbird, very much like fasterfox. It may be on the extension site. Here is a list of my favorite tools and feathers:

Adblock Plus: Blocks adds.
Songbird Developer Tools: Let's you make extensions and feathers. Very good extension...
Sidecar: My favorite feather, it is the one in all of my screen shots.
Thats about it, post your favorite extensions and feathers!


The biggest thing in songbird for me is SkreemR, a music search engine. There should be a bookmark for it in your sidebar. With that, combined with Songbirds ablility to download media from a site, you can download free music. Just do a search, and be patient for a bar on the bottom of the screen to pop up...

Another thing to do is add more search engines. Click manage search engines, and find google, or anything you want.

The movie player does not work too well, as you can see in this picture... it still plays sound though.



    • Trash to Treasure

      Trash to Treasure
    • Tape Contest

      Tape Contest
    • Arduino Contest 2019

      Arduino Contest 2019

    19 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    just out of curiosity, how good is this compared to the Zune software?


    10 years ago on Introduction

    One problem with songbird as with itunes is the inability to monitor folders for new files or removed files. :(


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I love songbird and I use it instead of iTunes. I do have some problems with it. Mainly it is fairly buggy. They are working on it and it is getting better, but don't expect it to be perfect. Also, I personally, prefer to have this open with Firefox. I find that the internet browser on this is, for some reason harder to use. I think it is because the toolbar is not as long as in Firefox, and the tabs are shortened. It kind of feels like they made a music player with a Firefox pluggin. Still, I absolutely love it. I love the addons, I love the themes, and I love the integrated download feature. Lyrics pluggins are especially useful.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    haha if your lucky you should be able to! they say that they added ipod support, but I don't know how well it works, I don't have an ipod. try it and let me know!


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Songbird didn't work with my ipod, i just had to go to My Documents/My Music and drag and drop it into itunes. but thank you very much, i got alot of good songs tonight ;D

    thanks! any idea if the whole skreemr thing is legal tho, or at least inforced? i heard they scared a ton of people out of usin p2p things like limewire, but i dunno about things like this...


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I downloaded this yesterday and like it. It's like VLC with playlists. But the one feature I really need it lacks but promises (in the future I hope) is MTP support for my Zen, dang.

    1 reply

    do you use windows? if so i think they might have added it, have you tried? try a nightly build, they have some added features