In a sad blog post, developers of Mozilla-based Songbird, announced they would be dropping the Linux version of its open source media player, so they can focus on the Windows and Mac OS X which accounts for about 90% of their user base.
Surprisingly, Songbird Linux user base is larger than its Mac OS X user base which prompted irked reactions that ranged from “I hope you, the developers, can hear the loud ‘whoosh’ of your userbase leaving.”, to “Microsoft payed to Songbird to get away from Linux so Banshee can get more popular.”
Four days later, a group of long time Songbird contributors has announced that they will continue its development for Linux platforms (initially) under the name Lyrebird, which has already been renamed to Nightingale.
So here we are, Songbird is no more supporting Linux platform, so we decided to create our own version, supporting Linux first, but also Windows and Mac OS X later… We had a long debate for the name of our project, and it’s now chosen : Nightingale.
Of course there’s not much to see there yet, but a wiki, a blog, and a forum is usually what projects need to take off and it’s all there. I really hope Mozilla will be able to hand some infrastructure support in the short term.
In the meantime, Songbird is currently working on its next version, code named NOFX, expected for later this month.
I’ve tried Songbird several times on Windows and Linux, and I must say I keep turning back to Winamp (on Windows at least), because of its slowness searching my 6,000 songs library. Dropping iPod support didn’t help either.
After four years in development, and its latest decisions (even considering it is business and all) I’m about to think there is no hope for Songbird.