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7Digital Goes After iTunes With Songbird Integration

Gordon Kelly by

7Digital Goes After iTunes With Songbird Integration

While Apple garnered all the headlines for iPhone OS 3.0 yesterday UK rival 7Digital is hoping to get one over on iTunes today...

The entirely DRM free online music retailer has made its first move towards the desktop following a partnership agreement with the Mozilla powered open source media player Songbird.

The result is 7digital's 6m strong 320kbps encoded catalogue can now been searched and downloaded directly from within the Songbird player and integrated into a user's library. From here music can also be transferred to MTP devices from the likes of Sony, Philips, SanDisk, Samsung and others giving 7digital an iTunes/Windows Media Player-esque platform.

In fact, the duo's offering actually incorporates significant advances over both these high profile opponents. Notably, Songbird can analyse a user's library and directly display band news, local gig information, artist bios, live concert photos and more. Last.fm scobbling is also in there as well along with SHOUTcast Radio, Flickr, YouTube and Google news integration and a range of customisable add-ons.

The science between the two is fairly predictable as the union was created through a mash-up between the 7digital and Songbird APIs and it should significantly strengthen both companies' offerings.

As for pricing it will be based on user location with the service available in the US, UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Spain, Austria, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland. The upgraded Songbird player is available for download now.

How'd you like those apples, err... Apple.




Go to comments


March 18, 2009, 8:55 pm

Hurrah! I've never bought anything off iTunes, so this will make my life a lot easier.

But when, oh when will someone start selling FLAC encoded tracks?

Robert Elliot

March 18, 2009, 9:17 pm

Of course the ****ing iPhone won't synch with it... it really is too bad that comfortably the best phone out there is made by such a proprietary company.


March 18, 2009, 11:21 pm

iTunes with Songbird intergration..... no wonder it looks no difference to iTune.. appearance wise...


March 19, 2009, 12:33 am

@smc8788 - demand sadly remains too niche *pulls hair out*

@Robert - agreed

@xbrumster - iTunes with 7Digital integration ;)


March 19, 2009, 2:16 am

@smc8788 - I imagine the costs of hosting all those FLAC files (and serving them) would be a lot too. It would be nice to think that one day, it will happen though.


March 19, 2009, 3:28 am

@ Robert Elliot - It sounds like you need MediaMonkey.

@ Pbryanw - Yes, I think that cost, along with the lack of demand (mostly attributed to the iPod with its market dominance and lack of support for the format), are the main reasons we aren't seeing it being sold today.

It's just frustrating when the main reason for using compressed formats (i.e. bandwidth limitations and storage capacities) are really not an issue for much of the population these days, and I think when purchasing music content digitally it is important to have a copy which is as close to the original source as possible.

That said, I still always down-convert to VBR MP3s for portable devices, as I find it acceptable for that usage and like to have most of my collection me when I use it (which won't happen with FLAC until they bring out 400GB PMP's).

Hamish Campbell

March 19, 2009, 1:29 pm

I think its a little harsh to blame the ipods dominance for lack of flac. I mean they have apple lossless and who is buying that instead of aac for the quality? (yes its proprietary but so is aac).

Hmmm are there parallels with previous format changes? First vinyl, then cassette which brought improvement in portability and durability and reduction (i presume) in quality, then cd which improved the quality of tape to vinyl level (or close enough for you 'warmth' types).....cd also brought some other improvement of course with instant track selection.

So now we see portability again improved (vastly) but a drop in quality.

Question is how does one bring about the move to the, really already existing, solution for quality?

Perhaps bandwidth and storage are ALMOST overcome. But there isn't really new hardware to sell like for cassetes/cds/mp3s so businesses might not see a real reason to push it.


March 19, 2009, 3:20 pm

@ haim. All good points. Perhaps that would mean we need a new player that supports only uncompressed formats to get the ball rolling. But in all honesty I can't see the situation changing any time soon, which is a shame for both consumers and the music industry.


March 20, 2009, 5:09 am

smc8788 if you're still reading, the news in the article below might be of interest. A lossless codec backwards compatible with MP3:


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