Windows/Mac/Linux (All platforms): The free, multi-platform iTunes assaulter (if not quite killer) Songbird busts out great improvements for a 1.1 version, including a one-click album art grabber, performance improvements, and loads o’ little tweaks. The killer new feature is a single menu option, under “Tools,” that scans your entire music collection and grabs the relevant album art from Last.fm’s web site. That alone makes the oft-improved, awesomely extensible music manager worth a look. But most of the big improvements in this release have been under the hood, so to speak:
We made some substantial gains this release:
* Reduced memory use with a large library by 40%
* Cut CPU usage during playback by half
* Fixed playback memory leaks
* Made library caching configurable
* Added batching to the media importer, reducing memory use by 60%
* Reduced Mac download size 45%
* Fewer Crashes: We’ve worked hard to identify and fix ten of the most common crashes in Songbird.
Songbird certainly doesn’t suffer from a little tighter operation—it’s competing, after all, with the 800-lb. gorilla named iTunes, so having a clearly distinct profile is a good stance. Songbird 1.1 is a free download for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.