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March 12, 2010

MusicBee, a Web-Centric Music Manager

I rarely post about topics that don't have too much to do with Google, but there's a little-known music player that deserves some recognition. MusicBee is a powerful music player and music organizer for Windows that helps you auto-tag your songs, find lyrics and album pictures, create smart playlists with related songs from Last.fm, convert songs and much more.


MusicBee manages to combine the best features from applications like iTunes, Windows Media Player or Winamp, while adding a lot of useful features that aren't available in those popular media players. For example, you can automatically fix the tags for all the songs from your music library with just a few clicks.


MusicBee has a great Last.fm integration: it automatically scrobbles the tracks you play, it lets you import your loved tracks and your playlists, it has a cool feature that imports Last.fm tags and there's also an option to sync play counts with Last.fm.


The application supports tabs and it includes a Mozilla Gecko-based browser that lets you read information about the songs you're currently listening and download songs from music blogs.

Besides the extensive support for music formats (MP3, WMA, Vorbis, AAC, FLAC), the application converts music files from one format to another and synchronizes your files with many portable devices, including iPod and iPhone.

MusicBee is probably the media player that integrates with the most popular music-related web services and the nice thing is that it's constantly improving. Steven, MusicBee's only developer, is open to feedback, sometimes implementing user suggestions and fixing bugs in less than a day after they're posted. It's amazing to see that the first version of the player has been released in December 2008.

The downside of including a lot of features is that the application might look cluttered and some features are difficult to find, but that's a small price to pay.

36 comments:

  1. Now that first screenshot looks so much like iTunes....I guess Apple's legal team would enjoy it :-)

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  2. I Personally prefer song bird myself.

    Its open source.

    its constantly upgraded.

    its has skins!

    and has many plugins!

    and users can create plugins and skins for downloads

    http://www.getsongbird.com/

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  3. I use Songbird right now, but find its lack of podcast support (my most used audio) irksome because I have to circumnavigate it with watched directories and a podcatcher and whatnot. Definitely checking this one out to see how it compares.

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  4. am looking for a music player inside the browser, that will store my music in the cloud and let me stream it.

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    Replies
    1. Google music is still not available for those of us in the UK! : (

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    2. While not exactly from a browser, Spotify might fit your needs. You can stream any of their tracks for free. I think it cost money if you want to add your tracks.

      Amazon cloud player is another option.

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  5. It's awesome. I discovered it a few months back (having looked at every other player) and it really hits the spot. Songbird is the closest but too slow and doesn't do MTP for devices with memory cards. This didn't either when I first found it but I asked the developer and he had it working within a couple of weeks. Highly recommended

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  6. Wouldn't we all love that, heh?

    Anyways, I tried out the podcasting features, and suffice to say this has instantly replaced Songbird. It's fairly simple as far as podcasting features (standard stuff) but overall there's just tons I love about it. Not the least of which is the "Inbox" feature I've seen requested elsewhere, and always wished for. I want to support open-source, but all the features I wanted were right in my face and I have to give props this one.

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  7. Regarding the anon commenter that said Songbird doesn't do MTP support, it does this through an addon. I've been using the addon for months now and it works perfect with everything I've used with it so far.

    Here's a link for it if you want it: http://addons.songbirdnest.com/addon/172

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  8. I am he ;-). Songbird does MTP but it doesnt recognise memory cards on MTP devices (e.g. my SE phone). It's a bug that has been outstanding for a very long time and doesnt look like it will be fixed anytime soon. See here http://bugzilla.songbirdnest.com/show_bug.cgi?id=15476

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  9. Just checked it out, even being in beta It is way better then Winamp, Media Monkey, itunes, foobar, aimp2..... LIST GOES ON. The program combined all the functions of the other players, and made into quick and clean media player.

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  10. This looks great, going to check it out. Been using Songbird for a while now, along with iTunes. Also waiting on my invite to http://www.extension.fm. That thing looks hot!

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  11. really like the idea for other song list try www.playlist.pk

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  12. looks pretty interesting, i'll check it out!

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  13. Just love it when you get all the things at one place e.g music,lyrics,site etc...thanks for posting this article.

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  14. "am looking for a music player inside the browser, that will store my music in the cloud and let me stream it."

    I use both lala.com and mecanto.com for uploading and playing my music from my browser.

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  15. MediaMonkey is a reliable player and has all the above features. Additionally it can manage songs over 10-20 GB. I use it to manage more than 15 GB songs and it performs much better than itunes / winamp.

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  16. Looks interesting, I prefer Foobar2000 though. The plugins that are available do just as good a job as MusicBee, not to mention that FB2K is infinitely customisable

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  17. Looks like the old Amarok 1.4 to me...
    Nothing beats the new Amarok 2.

    http://www.amaroklive.com/

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  18. i believe that might be true for windows,.. but nothing seemed to beat the music management of 'quodlibet'

    it lacks very few features like equalizer presets and sound effects, but rest - its one music software i can't live without!

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  19. this is exactly what i've been looking for for years! amazing. i've tried every other media player and this one is the only one that can handle my large library over my network and that has an easy to use, fully customizable interface. so many great features. it has everything you'd want from itunes without the resource hogging and other nonesense. I think it also has just about everything you'd need from media monkey which i use for tagging and organizing. it's so much faster and stable than media monkey.

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  20. Songbird is also a GREAT music player. It does require Windows Compatibility mode if loading onto a Windows 7 Machine. Very nice!

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  21. It's a nice program, but I'm not impressed by the download process where I saw a very spammy-looking ad that said I had to fill in very personal details in order to progress to the download.

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  22. @Bill:

    Steven uses a file hosting service for the installer (MediaFire), which may not be a great decision, but the ads have nothing to do with MusicBee.

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  23. I think this is amazing considering only one person has built it. Thank you for suggesting it, definitely worth a try.

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  24. I've used all the music players mentioned in the comments for extended periods over the years (except Grooveshark and Amarak) and usually have 2 or 3 players/organizers installed because I could never find one that incorporated all my needs (and am too lazy/busy to write one myself - like the barber with the bad haircut, lol) - that is, until the latest May 2010 update to MusicBee. So far so good - I'm lovin' the new MusicBee and have taken the big step of uninstalling all my other music software. I'm still keeping my eyes open for the perfect music player/organizer, but MusicBee is the closest yet and given the huge improvements over the last year, I can hardly wait for the next version.

    My opinion on the other software mentioned here: I actually prefer AIMP to Foobar2000, but agree both have good sound - but they both suck at organizing music and neither is particularly user friendly when it comes to advanced features. On MediaMonkey, I just don't get it - I've heard a lot of people praise this program but think they must have been talking about the paid version as I have consistently found the interface and features on the free version to be subpar - the sound quality is no better than iTunes and since the organization and features is much worse I can see no value in choosing MediaMonkey over iTunes. iTunes is, of course, a hideous resource hog that phones home constantly and is locked into the Apple Store - however it is also extremely user friendly and a model of functionality. Lastly, I have to strongly disagree on Songbird - that program is almost as big a resource hog as iTunes and is extremely poorly written. Basic functions which should be built into Songbird are only available as plugins and most of the plugins haven't been updated in ages and don't work correctly. And I was never able to get Songbird stable and operating properly on any Windows 7 system, even when enabling compatability mode. While I appreciate the philosophy and all the hard work behind the Songbird project, IMHO Songbird has lost it's way and is one big mess (more features are enabled and working for the built-in browser than the player and organizer combined! - simply ridiculous) - this may change at some point in the future, but I've given up holding my breath on that one.

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  25. This is the best free music manager with all the features. The best features i liked was digital sound signature where it checks the signature and updates all the necessary tags. I dont have to do a thing to get the information,lyrics,album art or anything. Its superb.
    Steven Mayall does really know what he is doing.He is best programmers out there.

    Check out Gizmo Freeware Reviews if you need to see out the reviews with your eyes.
    They say Jaangle the Gizmo best product but Musicbee is more complete music player and organizer

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  26. Looks interesting, I prefer Foobar2000 though. The plugins that are available do just as good a job as MusicBee, not to mention that FB2K is infinitely customisable.
    lorenzo

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  27. Musicbee is great, you can browse folders and play them directly!!

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  28. Nice! Checked out Amarok as one guy mentioned, then saw the download size, 400+ megabytes. Are you kidding me? I'm not downloading a friggin OS... Looks nice but I don't want a mammoth like that for a music player!

    Anyway, checking out MusicBee right now. I have MediaMonkey pro and been trying a few others (Grooveshark, WinAmp, SongBird a bit).

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  29. --------- March 12, 2010 12:07 PM -----------
    Now that first screenshot looks so much like iTunes....I guess Apple's legal team would enjoy it :-)

    > It is the most obvious layout anyone
    > can come up with, the folks are apple are good
    > but they should stop breaking smaller companies
    > or stop science with their ridiculous patents
    >>>> Gooo MusicBee, great job.

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