Songbird 0.2

Get SongbirdI’ve been using Songbird 0.2 all day long. The first thing I noticed was how slow Songbird is at parsing ID3 tags. I’ve only got 1,276 songs in my library and it took 5+ minutes to scan all those mp3 files and figure out the artists/albums.

The volume seems flaky too. I’ll set the volume and go work on something else, and I swear it sounds like the volume is rising and falling slightly as I work with other applications.

I really like the interface, it’s very quick and responsive, and it looks pretty too. I really can’t believe how responsive it is. I sort of expected it to be on par with iTunes, slow as hell.

If you’re going to give Songbird a try, the minimize to tray plugin is a must. Well, it is for me, I hate clutter on my taskbar. Songbird 0.2 has been very stable for me so far, it hasn’t crashed or died unexpectedly once. I will probably end up sticking with Songbird as my main music player, mostly because it’s cross-platform.

[via Download Squad]

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Gmail For Your Domain

Hosted Gmail, or “Gmail for your domain”, is sweet. It provides the ability to use the Gmail interface with your domains email. So, I go to my hosted Gmail and I can send/receive email at the longren.org domain.

I had to change my MX records at DreamHost over to Google’s, naturally. I didn’t include a priority when switching them over though, stupid. I guess I was expecting a seperate form field for those. Didn’t cause much of a delay though.
dreamhostMX

I really like the idea of “Gmail for your domain.” It serves it’s purpose very well. I could go for a few more features in the administration area. The “Advanced Tools” in the picture is really a “tool” for editing your accounts in bulk. Under “Domain Settings” you’ll have the opportunity to set a custom logo, edit the sign-in page, and enable/disable chat. The only thing you can currently edit on the sign-in page is the color of the username/password boxes. Click for a bigger picture.
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I expect a whole slew of new customizable settings as the beta progresses. I believe the chat feature was just added today, although standard Gmail has had that for some time now. I’d really like to be able to edit the title used on pages. It seems to just use the domain as the title right now.

I noticed they’ve got an “Account Plan” indicator on the administration dashboard. Google will probably start charging for this service once it’s out of beta, which could be in like 15 years. I mean, Gmail itself is still in beta. They might even charge per user, I’ve got “Up to 200 users for free.” I’d actually expect a pricing schema very similar to that seen today in web hosting. But probably cheaper.

Hopefully that screenshot isn’t against the TOS or anything. I’m not gonna bother reading that 50 page psycho-babble though. Maybe I’ll post more screenshots later.

On a somewhat related note, Garett Rogers (at ZDNet blogs) is speculating about “Google Music“. It’s not news though, just hardcore speculation.

Information gathered at the Digital Hollywood pre-show suggests Google is holding an invitation only event for twenty top music industry executives this Thursday. This may suggest that Google is moving forward plans to compete with Apple and others in the downloadable music space.

The topic of this meeting isn’t known, but we can speculate that Google may be showing an early stage product that is in the making or trying to form partnerships like they have with CBS.

UPDATE: Science Addiction has a nice review of Gmail for your domain, along with screenshots. Site may be slow as it got slashdotted earlier today, seems to be recovering now.

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