The open source iTunes killer has officially released preview version 0.1 today. The Songbird site is already overloaded but Boing Boing provides some alternative mirrors.
Songbird Official Site
2/9/2006, first impressions update:
So I've had an opportunity to try out Sonbird and I have some mixed opinions. First off, once you get it installed and take a look at the install directory you immediately notice that it is indeed Mozilla based! That's really cool. I mean from a technical standpoint the programming of Songbird is really quite a feat and is a really good step and contribution for the Mozilla camp.
Sadly, once I started using Songbird some issues immediately came to mind. The most crippling is ofcourse the speed of importing music. It's deeeaaddd.... slow. It's not that the music imports slowly, only that the metafile information such as music tags take the longest time. That really sucks for people with a lot of music that needs to be searched through. And if you don't have a lot of music then WinAmp is probably a better alternative. Another problem was the utter chaos of the GUI which is really just a web browser. There are a ton of online music services that you can't even remove from the GUI. I like to think these options are good for average users who sport an iPod and jog on sundays but for us early adopters who see little of the light of day these services are useless. I think the ball was really dropped on the simplicity portion.
The best part of Songbird isn't what it offers now but what will happen hopefully soon and that's Linux support. By and far this will be the best music type-manager for the linux OS and that'll be what I'll be using it for.