When I purchased an iPod, I found that it revolutionized my music experience.  The idea of having thousands of songs in your pocket is an amazing thing.  This isn't new, of course, but Apple has done it better than anyone else.  They dominate the market of portable music players.  The iPod has a very simple interface that makes it easy to use, even if your 'technologically challenged'.

But for a number of years I have been wanting to use my iPod with Linux, my OS of choice.  The problem comes because Apple doesn't make iTunes for Linux.  I can understand their reasoning.  There are different distributions out there and several of them have different ways of installing software.  You can't just use one type of package for all distributions (but that is something that I believe the community is working toward).  So I get it.  But that doesn't change the fact that I want to be able to listen to my music with my computer running Linux Mint 5.

There are a number of apps that will work with an iPod.  However, none of them does all that the iTunes app does.  Some work better than others but I haven't found any one of them that does it all.  But I was determined to find the best one.  In my quest, I stumbled across a web site that lists '10 Alternatives to iTunes'.  While the article is a year old, the links still work and the instructions are very easy to follow.  The app that had me the most intrigued is called 'Songbird'.  Now, I have played around with Songbird before but I found it too unstable to give it much thought.  Even though Songbird is still in development, I gave the latest version a try.  To my surprise, it was a lot more stable than the previous versions.

Songbird is based on the Mozilla project (the same group that does Firefox and Thunderbird).  It's an open source application that manages your music, videos, allows you to browse the web, and has a MediaFlow browser(similar to Cover Flow in iTunes). And just like the other Mozilla projects, it works with Linux, Mac, or Windows.

As you can see from the screen shots, it looks very similar to iTunes.

Here is a shot of my iPod mounted to it...

And here is a shot of Songbird syncing with my iPod.

Like I stated, Songbird is still in the development stages, but it is very promising.  If you are looking for an alternative for iTunes, I recommend giving Songbird a try.

Peace be with you.



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