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Over the past few years, I have built up a large electronic music collection, consisting of music I have created, personal copies of my CDs, free internet downloads and a lot of songs from emusic.com; software to organise and play my collection is essential.

At work, I have used Winamp for years. When I got my Mac last year, one of the things I was keen to try out was iTunes, the default Mac solution for keeping tabs on a media library. It works, with plenty of shiny eye-candy and some useful functions, but it is not without its frustrations. In particular, I keep the master copy of my collection on an external hard drive and I haven’t figured out a clever way to keep iTunes in sync. It gets confused if I try to access a track without plugging the drive in and, if I try re-adding the collection to include new entries, it fails to weed out duplicates.

Therefore, when I saw some buzz about the latest version of Songbird (the media playing tool from Mozilla, who produce the Firefox browser I rely on daily), I decided to download it. Rather than going for the front page download, I opted for version 0.7 RC1 (available from their nightly builds page), which includes the essential ability to scrobble the tracks I play to my last.fm account.

So far, it has certainly done a more impressive job of keeping in sync with my music library (deliberately weeding out duplicates) although the album artwork portion doesn’t seem to be updated to work with the new version yet (not essential although I will be pleased when it is available). I have not quite made up my mind whether I will stick with it but this songbird definitely sings sweetly.

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