Songbird drops Linux support
The developers of Songbird, the open source and cross platform media player, have announced they are dropping Linux support. In an announcement on the company blog, VP of Engineering Georges Auberger said that "After careful consideration, we’ve come to the painful conclusion that we should discontinue support for the Linux version of Songbird". Auberger cited prioritisation issues for the small engineering team which have meant that the Linux version of Songbird has fallen behind the other versions on Windows and Mac. The company has therefore decided to focus on the Windows and Mac versions and delivering new features and device support on those versions.
"We can’t stand to see our Linux product be anything less than outstanding. Unfortunately, we can’t make that happen right now" said Auberger, "this is one of the most painful decisions in the history of the company". Songbird will keep the build infrastructure and developer wikis running for a Linux version but Linux versions that come from this will not be tested and may not get newly developed features. Initial reaction to the decision, in the comments to the blog posting, was overwhelmingly negative with some suggesting that Songbird's deal with Philips, announced in January, may be driving the developers' priorities.
Songbird plans to deliver the next version of the player, NOFX, at the end of the month. Songbird NOFX for Windows and Mac will add MPEG4 and WMV encoding, support for two more handsets and improved stability; Auberger says that future plans include full support for Windows 7.