Q

Windows 8 open source media player provides alternative for users

Although the open source Songbird music player was discontinued, there are Windows 8 open source alternatives, such as Nightingale.

Since Songbird isn't yet available for Windows 8, are there any open source options?

The cross-platform, open source music player Songbird was discontinued in June 2013. However, Nightingale is an application that was created from the same source code -- i.e., a forked application -- so it's essentially the same as Songbird but with some fixes and improvements.

You can run Nightingale on 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows XP and higher, Linux, and Mac OS X v10.5 (Leopard). When you first open Nightingale, you're prompted to let the application scan your computer for media files and add them to a local library.

Nightingale lets you listen to music, watch videos, and create and sync your own playlists. This versatile application lets you play a variety of audio formats, such as Advanced Audio Coding, Apple Lossless, Free Lossless Audio Codec, MP3, Ogg Vorbis and Windows Media Audio, and it hooks into Apple iTunes.

You have direct access to radio programming like SoundCloud and SHOUTcast from the left navigation pane. You can also store media files online and manage them in the main pane of the Nightingale interface -- just click and play.

Additional features include mini-player mode, metadata tagging, watch folders and the ability to subscribe to MP3 blogs.

Nightingale also supports a wealth of add-ons and plug-ins to provide even more functionality to the media player. For example, you can publish your playback history to Last.fm, use Last.fm album art and listen to Last.fm Radio.

Windows users can install the Songbird/Nightingale remote plugin to control the music that's playing on a computer from an iPhone or Android device. And there's a lot more.

To install Windows 8 open source and Windows Media Player alternative, download it for free from the Nightingale website.

About the author:
Kim Lindros is a full-time writer, content developer and project manager who has worked around IT since the early 1990s. She co-authored MTA Microsoft Technology Associate Exam 98-349 Windows Operating System Fundamentals (Wiley, 2012) and PC Basics with Windows 7 and Office 2010 (Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2010), among other textbooks. Lindros has also has developed numerous college and corporate courses focused on IT security, Microsoft technologies and Microsoft Office.

This was first published in April 2014

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