Songbird drops Linux support. Did they just lose all their helpful user base?

Yesterday the Songbird Dev’s announced that they will no longer be developing Songbird for Linux.  Not being heavy on music being played from my dusty iPod, I’ve never really explored Songbird much.  I did know that it was very popular as the go to software as an iTunes replacement in the Linux world.  You can also tell that from most of the comments in their blog posting most others felt the same way.

I think we’re all wondering, “Why did they stop developing for Linux but Kept Mac support?”.  Why continue to develop a iTunes replacement on the two operating systems that run iTunes natively?

My guess is that if you are going to buy a Mac, you’re going to use iTunes and nothing else.  You just spent a couple extra thousand more for that Genius bar support, so why would you throw that way for Songbird?  Granted this doesn’t apply to all, but I would guess most.

Windows, windows, windows.  There are so many options, only a few being worth while though.  One that comes to mind is, MediaMonkey.  Probably the best feature it has that Songbird has yet to implement is CD-Burning/Ripping.

So Songbird, whats the deal?  Windows already has enough options as is and Mac just doesn’t need your software.  My first reaction to seeing this news was, “Most of your help came from the Linux Comunity.”  So I went on over to their bugzilla page and ran a few reports.  I first ran query’s instead of reports and found that I got different numbers for the results and I’m not sure why.  So the first portion is what I ran individually in searching for bugs.  The table below that is supposed to be the “Report” version of it.

Links I used to create this reports:

  • Advanced Query – Running each report per OS individually at a time.
  • Reports – Same options above but with graph’s.  It Allowed me to select all options at once to see them all together as a comparison.

Linux

  • 1187 Bug Reports.
    • 282 Fixed
    • 76 Invalid
    • 46 Wont Fix
    • 299 Duplicates
    • 313 Works For Me
  • 56 Enhancements

Windows

  • 3996 Bug Reports
    • 1262 Fixed
    • 251 Invalid
    • 135 Wont Fix
    • 806 Duplicate
    • 901 Works For Me
  • 196 Enhancements

Mac

  • 962 Bug Reports
    • 325 Fixed
    • 46 Invalid
    • 35 Wont Fix
    • 173 Duplicates
    • 240 Works For Me
  • 38 Enhancements

Report version of everything in a table

OS
Resolution
Windows (All) Windows (XP) Windows (Vista) Windows (7) Mac OS X (All) Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.x) Mac OS X Leopard (10.5.x) Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6.*) Linux (All) Linux (i686) Linux (x86_64) Other / Unsupported N/A Total
123 335 128 44 40 15 72 14 49 76 45 4 1 946
FIXED 665 352 120 21 68 182 53 . 74 145 41 4 6 1731
INVALID 50 63 32 6 8 9 15 . 16 37 12 . . 248
WONTFIX 34 36 13 . 3 16 10 . 12 18 6 3 . 151
DUPLICATE 135 280 123 11 12 45 51 . 40 121 40 1 . 859
WORKSFORME 145 356 200 7 20 91 87 . 50 155 46 4 . 1161
Total 1152 1422 616 89 151 358 288 14 241 552 190 16 7 5096

To get the Advanced Query results I selected the following:

  • Product:  Songbird
  • OS:  All OS options Per OS.  IE:  Windows(all)/(XP)/(VISTA)/(7).  “ALL”  Does not include all from what I could tell but is away to fill the void of anything windows that is not supported but may work, IE: Windows 2000.
  • Severity
    • Bugs – Blocker, Critical, Major, Minor
    • Enhancements, only selected Enhancements.  No resolutions were slected.
  • Resolutions – Selected on at a time with the “Bugs” severity selections

To get the Report results I selected the following:

  • Product:  Songbird
  • OS:  Everything but the “ALL” Option.
  • Severity:  blocker, critical, major, minor
  • Resolution:  fixed, invalid, wontfix, duplicate, worksforme
  • Vertical Axis:  Resolution
  • Plot Data Sets:  Stacked
  • Multiple Images:  None
  • Horizontal Axis:  OS
  • Vertical Labels:  Check Marked

Results summarized

I ran all the query’s and reports within the hour, so I would have figured that the numbers would be the same when trying to compare the two but it’s also possible that bug reports were fixed and/or reported during this time to cause the differences.  I took the results for INVALID, WONTFIX, DUPLICATE and WORKSFORME and added them all up together per OS.  These resolutions seemed to me to be the “time wasters” for the developers to have to look at and deal with due to most users jumping the gun on filing what they thing is a bug report.  I did the same thing for FIXED and TOTALS, then did a little math to get the following percentages(I used the Report Values).

Windows

  • Fixed:  37.6%
  • Wasted Time:  62.3%

Linux

  • Fixed:  27.7%
  • Wasted Time:  72.2%

Mac

  • Fixed:  40.1%
  • Wasted Time:  61%

Enhancement requests were an over all 5% for all OS’s.

As you can see, the percentages for Linux and Mac don’t add up right.  Could be a mistake on my part, bugzilla or just catching certain results before and then after a time of a bug submission or fix.  I don’t claim to have done this perfectly, I just wanted to see if I could find out the “why” Linux was dropped, and I think I have.  Mac seems to be more supported when looking at these numbers since they had the highest percentage of bugs fixed.  Linux is only about 10% less than windows but as you can see out of everything that was submitted only 27.7% got the attention of the dev’s to be fixed.

Final Thoughts

It appears that a good bunch of bug reporting came from every single OS.  Windows had the most bugs filed while Linux and Mac were fairly close into their totals.  More wasted time to filter out bugs or user error seems to have come more from the Linux end than Windows or Mac.  Now “Wasted Time” wasn’t all necessarily time wasted by the developers.  The “Fixed” bugs percentage isn’t the percentage of what they’ve chosen to fix but the overall percentage they HAVE fixed against the full TOTAL of submissions.

In my opinion, regardless of all this information, I still think it is a mistake for them to drop Linux.  Something else smells of funk as to really why they’re dropping it because it’s not going to save them that much time.  If they want time saved, drop Windows support.  But I wouldn’t agree with that either.  Users of the Linux community can only hope that someone takes it, forks it and in the end make it everything Songbird wasn’t.  In the mean time, there are a plethora of alternatives for Linux users.  Maybe with Songbird gone, you will start to use that application that just didn’t cut it again and with your help of filing bug/enhancement’s to them, it will become what you want.

What are your thoughts?

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Palm Pre gains flash ability with 10.1 beta while the iPhone is still left in the dark

Announced with the new Palm Pre WebOS 1.4.0, there will be a plugin available for Adobe Flash 10.1 beta support.  Said plugin is not available yet but will be in the near future.

Now I can wish, with the rest of you, and pray for a slow and painful death for adobe flash when html5 is finally released but I really doubt that it will happen.  More and more I’m seeing custom flash API’s being implemented and I doubt anyone is going to want to change that when HTML5 comes out.  Though I can’t read into the future and say one way or the other, I think we will see a good mix of HTML5 video and Flash on popular streaming video websites.

This is really disappointing for us iPhone users out there though.  I don’t want to be restricted to just YouTube content, I want to be able to view whatever with my phone.  Before you start to bash me saying “Duh it’s your own dumb fault for having an iPhone” etc. etc., I know.  And with this plugin for the Palm Pre it even surpasses the Android phones in supporting flash because only Android 2.1 can received the flash plugin.  The only phones to carry that software are the Nexus One and Motorola Droid.

So my conclusion is this, the iPhone will probably never receive flash due to AT&T and their 3G network being overloaded.  So I will just have to wait until my contract is up and switch back to T-Mobile and grab a Nexus One.

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Quit quitting on quitting google

Yes, that’s right.  Quit trying to quit Google.

I’ve been reading a few articles lately that are suggesting that you should quit Google, some that don’t give a good reason and others that give no reason at all.

Before I continue on there are a few things we must clear the air with.  I’m not trying to convince you to stay with Google.  If you want to leave, so be it!  I’m not against other options but some of these options just aren’t that great and you are probably worse off using them.  If you are wanting to quit Google because they are becoming “too large”, please put your tin foil hat on now and walk away.  You use the Internet for fsck sakes, it’s like spreading your seed where ever you go.

Search

I’ve seen lots of recommendations to Bing and Yahoo.  I haven’t used those sites for years, there’s a reason for that.  Google rocks their tubsocks off.  Granted I know Bing is new but it’s just MSN rebranded with a few visual tweaks.  That also seems to be the “key” benifit for all these articles recommended it.  
-”Bing and Yahoo are spending a lot of time trying to differentiate themselves from Google by working images, graphics, and videos into the search results pages.”
-”The best alternative to Google, by a long shot, is Microsoft’s Bing. It’s an evolution of the Live search engine, and it’s offers a distinctly different experience than Google: it’s far from minimalist, with a colorful interface, content-tailored results pages, and and emphasis on reducing clicks, rather than reducing clutter.”

Seriously?  When I search for something, I want it to be fast.  Show me the results!  Saying that they are trying to enhance the visual appeal over the clutter would be like putting a clean diaper over a dirty one and putting it back on the baby.  Just cuz it looks new on the inside and outside doesn’t hide the fact that there is still shit in the diaper.

You want an alternative, try ask.com.

E-Mail

This is the one that bothered me the most.  So grab your tin foil hat, body suit and shield your house because they might be listening…….
In all seriousness, leaving Gmail for another mail service is quite dumb.  You’ve probably established name for yourself with that email address which makes getting rid of it harder or just not an option at all.  There are ways to do it though, I will however not be going into that.
Most of these E-Mail services offer all the same things.  If you’re happy with one, why leave it?  Explore your other options before you go trying to switch everything over.  Those articles really made it seem like you could do this during your lunch break.  Welcome back to reality, you can’t.

Back to our tin foil, you’re worried about Google spying on you.  Using your information against you.  Um… !  Well switching to Windows Live could be worse than what we think we know about Google.  Some info was posted today about a Microsoft Handbook being leaked about what they do with their information if the police ever ask for it.  They even yelled “DMCA” like a little boy crying wolf which took down the site that reported the document leak that undoubtedly the public as the right to know about.

All in all, if you are that worried about your E-Mail and other stuff being read then stop using any site that requires any sort of login.  In fact I suggest you just stop using the Internet all together.

Summary

Google’s services are much faster and filled with less clutter.  Yes, they had their Buzz issue but Windows has bugs that effect XP that Microsoft takes weeks to fix or say that they will never fix it.  I think that Google shows time and again that they care about the users more than their competitors do.  No one can be perfect and there will always be the corporate bullshit.  You just will have to decide what to accept and either accept it or move along.

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