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First of all: Thanks for the news item that actually mentions that a community version still exists.
The other news items I've read about Songbird said all that there won't be any Linux version any longer.
That's simply not true. Songbird on Linux will now be treated like Songbird on FreeBSD: It'll work, but others have to create the packages.
What I fail to understand is why, it being based on open-source, portable components, they decided that the linux port will not be developed and some new features might not be implemented for linux. Am I wrong to thing that mozilla xul, gstreamer and all are easly portable? How much platform-specific code do they have? Why do they intend to add more platform-specific code (as apparent from their statement that some new features might not be there for linux at all)?
Support for external MP3 players is AFAIK completely platform-dependent.
But as you already wrote: The majority of the code is platform-agnostic anyway. So it will work in the future.
What is their business model? You know what they say: if you dont know what it is about, its about money. So who pays them?
MP3 player manufacturers that want a branded version of Songbird with some exclusive features. Songbird itself is GPL-only so addons have to be GPL-compatible as well, but POTI (the company behind Songbird) has the right to re-license which means that they can develop proprietary addons.
Couldn't agree more. It makes me want to create my own music player just to get a player which I could be happy with.
That's actually what I did.
Back in the KDE 4.2 days, I couldn't get Amarok 2.0 to work on my system due to a bug in 64-bit mysql. Songbird didn't work on my system (heh), and I didn't want to install a bunch of Gnome stuff for Rhtymbox or Banshee.
There were the minimal ones like Audacious, but I didn't really care for them. So I wrote my own music player using Qt4 and Phonon.
When Amarok finally did work, I didn't like it that much. And by then, I was too enamored by my own music player.