What digital music formats will Songbird play?

  • Question
  • Updated 1 year ago
  • Answered
What music formats does Songbird support?
Photo of Songbird FAQ

Songbird FAQ

  • 35 Posts
  • 3 Likes

Posted 7 years ago

  • 37
Photo of

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Likes
XP User
Songbird looks as though it will be good one day. All my files are .wav and i want to keep them that way til compression improves. Songbird can't see them. Tragedy. I've just had a terrible time with I-tunes - I have a 500 gig usb drive which I store my music on together with photos and a backup file. My backup program found the I-tunes Init data file corrupted and turned itself off. I thought I'd delete the backup file and start again but no I wasn't allowed to delete it because I wasn't allowed access to the corrupt file. So there was a 46gig backup file sitting on my hard drive of no use to anyone. Taking the warning I moved my photos, videos to the c: drive and attempted to move my music. I found I was only allowed to move 1 album before I would get a message which would tell me 1 - the files were corrupted, or 2 - the files could not be found, or 3 most worryingly - the device could not be found. If I safely disconnected the USB drive and reconnected it the device could be found, the files could be found and what's more I could copy another album. I uninstalled I-tunes (the latest version by the way). When I rebooted there was a warning from Nero saying my cd drivers were incorrect and Nero had replaced them but I should reboot again. I did so and had no problem copying my entire music library from my USB drive to drive C: in one hit. I-tunes has gone security mad - anyone who can offer a decent music management program which covers all the formats, and there are still a lot of minidisc users out there, could make it the industry standard.
Photo of

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Likes
What about mp3 PRO as offered by Live365 radio stations?
Their player for Mac is very old and unstable (on my Mac).
Would be fine to have an alternative.
Photo of Raptor007

Raptor007

  • 6 Posts
  • 0 Likes
Theo, there's an old Mac MP3 player called Audion that will handle MP3 Pro. If your current player is unreliable, try Audion until Songbird supports it.

http://www.panic.com/audion/
Photo of

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Likes
It is very badly that the Songbird does not play APE format!!!
It is very important for classical music!!!
Photo of

  • 5 Posts
  • 1 Like
I just tried to bring some flac files recorded in 24/96 into Songbird, but they were dimmed out in the import dialog box. I tried changing the file extension from .flac to .fla, but that did not work. Are 24/96 FLAC files supported? I am running Mac OS X 10.5.4.
Photo of

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Likes
Is it me, or is there just no option to play apple lossless formats? I want to migrate from iTunes to Songbirg since I love the features and im using mozialla products all the way and never have been disappointed. Couldnt get songbirg to play my audio tho. Apple lossless and .aiff support would be much appreciated and would make it easier for ppl to switch from itunes to songbird.
Photo of

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Likes
Another one surprised and saddened that I can't play a CD with Songbird. Yes, lots of players will but we are trying to find one big happy player so this is a big too bad!
Photo of Kaishi Axon

Kaishi Axon

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Likes
I want a complete format list to be on the site somewhere, updated as the application evolves. It seems ridiculous to me to have a media player application and not specifically list which formats the player can use. I assume that .MP3, .OGG, and .MP4 work, but what about more obscure formats like FLAC, Monkey'sAudio, or MusePack?
Photo of stevel

stevel

  • 192 Posts
  • 116 Likes
Kaishi, we don't post an exhaustive list because it partly depends on what your system has installed. Out of the box, the only codecs we ship support for are FLAC & MP3. If you're on Windows and have the Windows Media add-on installed, it will play whatever codecs you have installed on your system. If you have a .ogg codec installed, then it'll support .ogg. So we can't post a complete list since it depends entirely on what you have installed.
Photo of Laura Thomas

Laura Thomas

  • 2203 Posts
  • 240 Likes
You lost me (and 2 people that sit next to me) on Monkey's Audio, so I'm guessing nope, we don't do that one. We do support your assumptions and FLAC, but support for MusePack went away when we went live with GStreamer. See this bug for more info: http://bugzilla.songbirdnest.com/show...
Photo of

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Likes
So... if I download Songbird, would I be able to put songs on my 3rd Generation iPod Nano?
Photo of Daniel Michel

Daniel Michel

  • 19 Posts
  • 0 Likes
ud think that if enough people complained and some time passed by thered be ape support by now
Photo of

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Likes
I'm a spectator here, just discovered and installed SB 0.3.0, just upgraded to 0.7.0 and I joined mostly because I actually have heard about Monkeys Audio. Me, I've been using FOSS for over 10 years, and from the way you comment, I wonder if you are accustomed to the commercial software world as opposed to the FOSS community development paradigm. To answer: usually the most popular audio formats are implemented FIRST, so (if I were you), I'd be patiently waiting for CD/WAV support. Next along the way should be support for ogg/flac and (I'm guessing) possibly Monkeys. Personally, a few years ago was when I elected for FLAC over Monkeys because when I made the decision to commit, Monkeys was just announcing they even existed yet FLAC was already available with API support. In other words, FLAC was more matured when I decided to commit. I'm sure Songbird devs will eventually embrace .ape, if we are patient enough. Also, from what I've seen in Songirds satisfaction area, any support for any format depends more on what is installed external to Songbird.
Photo of Scipio

Scipio

  • 9 Posts
  • 0 Likes
Adding .ape would be very nice yes... Just wanted to play some .ape of Frederic Chopin but wasn't able to play it with Songbird.
Even looked for a add-on but without results.
Kinda strange that Songbird haven't included .ape support yet.
Keep up the good work for the rest ;)
Photo of Terry

Terry

  • 3 Posts
  • 0 Likes
The install button for the WMA addon is grayed out and will not let me install it. Anybody know why?
Photo of nando

nando

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Likes
Do you support WAV files? Also what is the best format to save your music files in regardless of formats you support? Have been copying CDs to my laptop and WAV was the default format.
Photo of

  • 5 Posts
  • 1 Like
I have been listening to AIFF files in SongBird 1.2 on my Mac for some time now. I rip them into iTunes and then import the entire iTunes library into Songbird. When I add new AIFF files to iTunes, I go to Songbird Preferences and re-import the entire library. It works fine. Last time I tried, using Songbird to pull in individual AIFF files, or folders with such files, did not work.

BTW, I find the sound to be superior through Songbird, compared with iTunes, at least on my system. That is the main reason that I use Songbird.
Photo of miesesM

mieses

  • 1 Post
  • 1 Like
-1 for APE support. Please continue supporting FLAC!
Photo of di7raD

di7ra

  • 9 Posts
  • 0 Likes
APE is main lossless format (over FLAC) for some countries so it should be suppoted for sure. And FLAC should be suppoted as well, of cause. We want to see Songbird a full-functional program, which could be installed for long-time use after such players like foobar2000, amarok. And without supporting as many formats as possible it just never will happen.
Photo of Daniel Michel

Daniel Michel

  • 19 Posts
  • 0 Likes
we should do a petition or something
Photo of Andrew Luecke

Andrew Luecke, Champion

  • 1395 Posts
  • 430 Likes
G'day,

Monkey audio has a few problems:
1) The official codec licencing is problematic
2) The only safe codec seems to be an unofficial one based on java.
3) APE files use a different tagging system.

So it could never be included with Songbird anyway (it would be best implemented as a third party plugin). Probably the best course of action is to simply convert your APE files to FLAC. There is no quality lost whilst doing so, and you will gain better compatibility with the rest of the world. Furthermore, portable media players such as the Sansa Clip's support FLAC playback.

Another course of action would be to find someone willing to code a plugin, or start a code bounty. Because my honest opinion is, from a cost/benefits point of view, I don't really see POTI implementing this (at least not for a very long time), because features such as Podcasting and Video are clearly more popular, and offer better benefits. Had APE been that popular, GS would have been a lot noisier. Whilst me, like anyone would like support for every single format, sacrifices need to be made, to implement the most requested features. Just my opinion..

Btw, which country are you based in? As I have never really come across APE files myself..
Photo of di7raD

di7ra

  • 9 Posts
  • 0 Likes
Good day, mr. Andrew Luecke.

I fully accept your position that supporting of the APE format - like some other formats - could be (shout be) realized via pluggin(s) and not build-in. But, no doubt, it should be realized someway.

Let's look at APE format closer.

It's not so popular for Europe and American users, indeed. But it's very popular for about 1/7 part of the earth. The only one example: Torrents.ru. Most lossless audio files from there are in APE. And this is one of the largest torrent trackers in the world.

So if FLAC is most popular lossless format for one parth of the Earth, then APE is the most popular lossless format for another. We can't ignore that fact.

Now let's look at Songbird.

I'm a big Mozzila fan and i *really* like this player (thanks for it very much!). Still, i can't use it yet because of luck of suppoted formats. I can use any side converter, of cause. But why i would use Songbird then if i can do the same and much more with let's say foobar2000?

When i want to convert downloaded APE into Apple losses (.mp4 container) for my iPod, i can't do that with Songbird because it doesn't support APE+CUE. I need to use side converters. But the same operations i can do with other players: with additional pluggins but i can. Why it should be so?

We'r looking for a program which could to function not only as web radio station receiver (to be honest, birddy is a bit "fat" to do only that) but as full-functional audio player: and supporting formats is one of the main function for an audio player, sir.
Photo of Andrew Luecke

Andrew Luecke, Champion

  • 1395 Posts
  • 430 Likes
G'day,

I totally agree APE support should be available, however, there is a very good reason why Winamp, windows and most other players don't include APE by default, and that's because, as mentioned, technically APE has a lot of problems associated with it. APE is a format which could suddenly become officially unsupported without warning.

As mentioned, I simply couldn't see POTI pouring resources into Monkey directly. It takes a lot of time to do so, and none of the obvious feasible solutions available seem nice.

HOWEVER, one feasible solution which benefits a lot more then APE, is MediaFoundation/Directshow support. This framework allows Songbird to play any music which Windows Media player is capable of playing (Winamp and many other players support this already). I filed a bug for this previously: http://bugzilla.songbirdnest.com/show... but they are waiting for Windows 7 before implementing. It should be noted though that, directshow is a Windows only thing..

Directshow supports APE (if you install the correct filter), and this would allow the developers to support almost any format (even Wavpack), and it would allow QuickTime to be permanently dumped on Windows 7.

Its simply a much better solution overall, with enough benefits to justify its implementation.
Photo of di7raD

di7ra

  • 9 Posts
  • 0 Likes
I agree with you, sir. Here's filter to play APE with Directshow already [http://www.free-codecs.com/download/R.... But it's not about Songbird directly.

We haves 2 ways: application (plugin) support for format or filters for DirectX. Still SB could be used not only to play APE but also split up it on tracks (demands CUE support wich we don't have yet) and convert in some output format: mp3, wav. So SB needs plugins anyway.
Photo of Andrew Luecke

Andrew Luecke, Champion

  • 1395 Posts
  • 430 Likes
Apparently generic mediaFoundation wont work as well as I'd hoped due to the way Songbird is designed apparently..

Which gives me an idea for another idea...
Photo of Andrew Luecke

Andrew Luecke, Champion

  • 1395 Posts
  • 430 Likes
G'day,

I have posted another idea that doesn't directly fix your problem di7ra, but it does fix a few of the underlying problems, and eventually help solve your problem. You may be interested in it: http://getsatisfaction.com/songbird/t...
Photo of nicaultN

nicault

  • 4 Posts
  • 0 Likes
Hello,

I am a great fan of Classical, Jazz and Renaissance music. BUT 50% of this music is provided in APE format, so it's urgent that SongBird can manage this format otherwise I couldnt use it !!!!!!!
Finally, can you please plan this ?

Thanks in advance.
Photo of Andrew Luecke

Andrew Luecke, Champion

  • 1395 Posts
  • 430 Likes
G'day, As mentioned, there is probably next to 0 probability that songbird would support it officially (its a dodgy codec in sooo many ways). I would strongly urge you to consider switching codecs (Monkey audio is a codec which may one day disappear almost overnight).

However, there is the possibility that someone codes a Gstreamer plugin (this is definitely possible). Someone would simply need to accept the challenge ;)

I'm community too, but I'd rather see POTI spend their time on new features, rather then APE compatibility personally...
Photo of nicaultN

nicault

  • 4 Posts
  • 0 Likes
It's not possible for me to convert all the APE files I get from torrent or Emule in another format !
So I'm sorry you don't take into account my request ...
I agree with di7ra: "supporting formats is one of the main function for an audio player"?
APE can be managed by a Plugin if you want, the important is that SB can
play ALL my tracks.

Thanks in advance.
Photo of Andrew Luecke

Andrew Luecke, Champion

  • 1395 Posts
  • 430 Likes
G'day,
I understand what you mean, however, I don't think I explained my point of view well.

1) Monkey Audio support is dodgy everywhere. That's because you can't redistribute the codec legally, Never have found a player which included a decoder by default. And the only open source implementation currently is coded in java... You really want java as a dependency for Songbird?

2) Windows, foobar, itunes, Songbird, winamp, NOBODY seems to officially supports Monkey Audio anywhere. Winamp supports it indirectly using the windows media player codecs, so the fact it works with it, is a coincidence

3) Are the torrents you are downloading available in FLAC instead? Do you mind posting some examples? I've never seen any artist distribute their music exclusively as Monkey Audio. In fact, even pirated songs would be difficult to find in APE format vs FLAC...

4) The APE codec didn't even appear to make it into Gstreamer-plugins-ugly.

I'm not saying don't support it, however, media support isn't the ONLY purpose of a media player. Podcasting, and mechanisms to permit audio books are popular. You are correct if infinite resources are available. However, resources are severely limited, so prioritises must be made.

If 5000 people want podcasting, and only 200 want Monkey audio support, and Podcasting takes double the amount of time to code (and APE support isn't possible to support well), what would you develop?

It simply isn't possible for POTI to support it well. And, Songbird is designed to allow it to be added as a codec. My opinion is that it should be a community project (which would be great). And this is only my opinion, I'm not hired by POTI, not part of the songbird development team, I am 100% community (and don't get paid to say this). I would simply prefer resources to be allocated differently. And as mentioned, nothing is stopping the community developing a plugin for APE support..
Photo of di7raD

di7ra

  • 9 Posts
  • 0 Likes
@nicault
Mr. Andrew Luecke isn't Songbird developer, nor plugin developer: he's only trying to help ppl to find possible solution. And doing it his best.

@Andrew Luecke
What about podcasting vs. some formats, well, as i said it before: here'r players which can do everything that Songbird can (with additional plugins or not) and support much more formats. For doing only some of audio player's functions bird is too fat. So until here will be plugins for SB to supporting more formats it never will be any leading player. It's just a fact.

You say 5000 want podcasts and 200: actually, the proportions are different because you don't account ex-USSR countries and Russia itself and some Asian countries (APE is very popular in China as i know) - when it's a lot-a lot-a lot of ppl. But, anyway, they don't even need to choose. Just that will be not Songbird.
Photo of Andrew Luecke

Andrew Luecke, Champion

  • 1395 Posts
  • 430 Likes
G'day, Actually, the figures weren't exact.. It was just an example. And yes, I don't doubt there are players with a lot more formats available (winamp for instance), but its worth noting, nobody seems to officially supports APE out of the box.

Heres a list of players I know which does support Monkey out of the box
(NONE).

All players, you need to install plug-ins separately for APE (at least haven't found one that doesn't), and most don't offer direct support, only via directmedia (or whatever its called). So, Songbird certainly isn't the only one who isn't supportive of Monkey.

Either way, software development is like war. You win some users, you lose some users. It however, is impossible to satisfy every user. All that can be done is to decide if you want the maximum amount of users over a long period of time, or over a short amount of time. Every developer needs to sacrifice some users to win others. Its the harsh reality. It sucks, but its life. That being said, I wonder how difficult it would be to compile a copy of the APE plugin for Songbird, and release an Addon (might dig around for a copy of Visual studio I guess, if I have time)