You gotta know when to fold ‘em

As our friend Kenny Rogers would say, you gotta know when to hold ‘em and fold ‘em:

Since 2007, POTI Inc (aka Songbird) has been delivering innovative media playback experiences to millions of consumers across Desktop computers, browsers and mobile devices. It’s been a great pleasure to serve our fans, developers who have built add-ons upon our open source Desktop platform, and our partners. We’ve also enjoyed seeing over a million people every month enjoy our social music experience, Songbird.me, where they were able to connect with artists they’re most interested in and discover new artists in a more personalized way.

Unfortunately, the company has found ourselves unable to fund further business operations and as of June 28, 2013 all of Songbird’s operations and associated services will be discontinued.

I would like to personally thank all of the fans who’ve used our products, the developers who made the experience better, our partners who have supported us for years, our investors, and employees who over multiple generations of Songbird have positively contributed to the business to deliver a better music experience for the world.

To access the open source for the Songbird Desktop player, you can go here:

http://getsongbird.com/desktop/index.php?download=source

For those looking for an alternative open source desktop media player project, check out Nightingale which is built upon Songbird:

http://getnightingale.com/

For other inquiries, please email:
info@songbirdnest.com

Truly Yours,
Eric Wittman
CEO, Songbird

sunsetthebird

Showcasing Top Fans

We at Songbird are always trying to bring artists and fans together in a meaningful way. One easy way for us to do this is to showcase the top fans of an artist so that both fans and artists can connect.

The “Top Fan” status is based upon a fans interaction with an artist page and their published content on Songbird.me. The most important criteria are whether a fan comments content, uploads images about that artists or likes content and artist publishes.

Today we notified over 7000 people on their Top Fan status and have also showcased their profile on that artists page. People love it too:

“Thank you, it is an honor to be the #1 Lisa Chappell fan. I play her CD all the time and also became a fan of her acting on McLeod’s Daughters. She is such a talented lady. I hope some day to get to meet her in person.” — Lisa C.

“I see I am, No 1 # Psynation fan, can you send me a trophy? :-) ” — James H

You can also check out the profile of other Top Fans on the system for a more voyeuristic discovery experience.

Enjoy!

Top Fans MobileTop Fans - Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown

Beyond Discovery: How to Make an Engaging Music App

Songbird’s roots are firmly planted in music playback giving millions of people the ability to play back their music collections on desktop and mobile. However, Songbird not too long ago undertook efforts to provide a better social music discovery mechanism to fans. We were late to the game providing an iOS music player to market and decided to introduce the product in a calculated way that would allow us to truly learn what was most valuable to music listeners. We’ve learned a lot from this process and thought it would be valuable for other folks building music applications to have the same insight.

When Songbird’s iOS app was first introduced, it solely focused on music discovery. The application would look at your local library, determine the artists you were most interested in, then display a list of content specific to those favorite, or “followed”, artists. This allowed you to discover the latest goings on with the artists you were most interested in as well as receive content specific to those artists from around the web delivered to directly to you. You could also discover other artists that were related to your followed artists as well as search for other artists you might have come across and wanted to learn more about. When version 1.0 of the iOS application launched on October 22, 2012 we found a high degree of interest in the app with average engagement time per session of 12 minutes. People were checking out artists streams which included pictures, YouTube videos, SoundCloud tracks and were clearly enjoying themselves in the application. However, the biggest single point of feedback was, how do I play my local music?

Taking this feedback we included a built-in music player and shipped version 1.4 on February 22, 2013. We knew that the vast majority of people who listen to music on the iPhone  already had music on that device, most likely originating from a carefully curated library on their desktop. Low and behold, average time spent in the app grew 46%, the number of people who “bounced” from the app, meaning they installed, checked it out, then nearly immediately left dramatically dropped from 18% down to 2%, and the number of unique users per day grew 78%. This was clearly a hit with folks.

But wait, there’s more.

So we had a good discovery and local music playback app, but we were still getting feedback that people wanted more content. There were a few suggestions to integrate streaming music services but so many people complained about catalogs lacking key artists and walled gardens that prevented them from sharing music interests with their friends in an easy way. One of the folks on the team discovered an application that was doing something interesting with YouTube videos but it was more just an open search app for any YouTube content. Some people like an open ended content repository but more people were interested in just a curated view of content that was personalized to them ala radio. So what we decided to do was take the radio concept and mash it up with personalized discovery for YouTube content. We incorporated these capabilities, called “YouTube playlists” and released version 2.0 of Songbird for iOS on March 26, 2013. This additional functionality on top of the discovery and local playback features led to additional 74% growth in average time spent in app, 60% growth in daily unique users, reduction in bounce from 2% down to 0.8%(!) and we continue to see exceptional growth and adoption of the product.

Key learnings: First discovery is great, but you need media playback to go along with that. Second, there has been so much focus on cloud and streaming services that people have been ignoring users local libraries which is a detriment to a service who desires to maintain users on their service (aka respect the collection!) Thirdly, the most engaging music experiences are ones that include discovery of new artists, (re)discovery of existing artists through additional content, access to both local and web media and a great consumption experience all in one place.

Many more lessons to learn and ones we can learn together to create exceptional music experiences for everyone.

 

Beyond Discovery Infographic

Favorite Feature Friday: The Miraculous Feed Button!

A few weeks ago I found myself in an airport waiting for a delayed plane while jamming out via Songbird For Android to Fleetwood Mac’s classic Tusk album, which is perfect airport music btw. The song Angel was giving me the itch to see the band live again. I’ve seen them before three or four times and it’s always put me in my happy place,”But will I ever get to see them again?” I wondered. That’s when I decided to open up the app which was currently bringing me so much musical joy and hit the trusty feed button.

The feed button is a feature Songbird provides on both mobile platforms Android and iOS. It basically works like this: the user presses it while listening to a song and Songbird will magically find that particular artist and provide you with a steady stream of the most recent and relevant news, pics and videos from said artist.

reeee

“But I don’t want to see a feed from just one artist! I want to see news, links and videos from ALL my favorites!”  No problem. Just hit the “What’s New” tab right on the homescreen and Songbird will cultivate a feed of all top 20 artists in your music library and artists you follow song on Songbird.me. BOOM. All the music news personalized just for you, which is always a great read during your commute or especially good to kill time on the latrine.

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Back to The Mac — thank Heaven I checked out their artist feed! Third item down read: ‘Fleetwood Mac plays San Jose May 22nd! Tickets on sale now!’ Hallelujah  My prayers were answered. I did once again get to witness the glorious chest hair of Lyndsey Buckingham live in person! I did get to be in the same room as Stevie Nicks and her witchy dresses and it was magical! Thank you Songbird!

iOS v2.1 with enhanced YouTube playlists now streaming

(re)discover music
Songbird, your favorite music player for iOS, now includes fresh, hand-picked music playlists from YouTube:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/songbird-music/id561535312?mt=8

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New in v2.1

  • Jump to any track from the playlist index screen
  • Get recommended YouTube playlists based on your favorite artists
  • Find out which playlists your favorite artists are featured in on the Artist pages

Get it now in the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/songbird-music/id561535312?mt=8

For all you Android fans, an updated version of our Android app is coming soon that will include the same functionality!

Favorite Feature Friday: Full-Length Track Sharing on Mobile

At Songbird, we love to pack our apps with features that our fans love to use.

One of the features that people have told us they love most is the track sharing feature.

While you are playing a track, you have the option to share that track with your friends via your favorite social network. Instead of sharing just a 30 second clip, our approach to track sharing is much richer.

We know people want to share the full track and we know people love YouTube video. So we’ve merged the two concepts and added some secret sauce to our version of track sharing to give folks the best of both worlds. When you share a track, we match the track that you want to share with the equivalent video on YouTube.

Voila, super rich and easy full track sharing from your favorite mobile music player.

Enjoy and keep the feedback coming so we can continue to make music apps that you’ll love.

tracksharingmobile

Songbird 3.0 for Android with YouTube playlists now available

(re)discover music

Android YouTube Playlists

 

One of the most popular ways to enjoy music today beyond personal music collections is YouTube. YouTube provides an enormous catalog of official music videos and hard to find videos such as live performances and covers.

Songbird, your favorite music player for Android now includes fresh, hand-picked music playlists from YouTube.

 

 

 

 

 

Download: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.songbirdnest.mediaplayer

With the inclusion of the YouTube playlists feature in Songbird 3.0 for Android, you’ll get access to a huge list of playlists with tracks from your favorite bands that have been hand selected by the experts at Songbird. Just like radio, you can select a playlist from within Songbird and sit back and enjoy a continuous stream of music videos.

This popular feature recently released in the Songbird iOS application is now something you can enjoy on Android.

Here’s what folks are saying about Songbird for Android:

“Best music player. Fast and pretty, you’ll love it”
– Fedz Z.

“I use this application as a replacement for Google Play Music.”
– Omar A.

“I don’t usually give five stars but when I do, I make sure they’re Michelin worthy.”
– Manish P.

If there are playlists you’d love to see, please drop use a line at feedback@songbirdnest.com so we can add them.

Download Songbird now and enjoy the best way to enjoy music on your Android device:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.songbirdnest.mediaplayer

Keep listening, we’ve got more exciting things to come!

The Songbird Team
(re)discover music

Songbird Music for iOS v2.0 with YouTube playlists is now live

(re)discover music
Songbird, your favorite music player for iOS, now includes fresh, hand-picked music playlists from YouTube:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/songbird-music/id561535312?mt=8

What's New in songbird v2.0 for iOS

What makes Songbird better than any other player out there?

✓ Background playback for music videos
✓ AirPlay support for wireless streaming
✓ Headset controls
✓ Optional HD quality videos setting when connected to WiFi
✓ Limitless plays and skips
✓ Updates from your favorite artists
✓ Simple sharing of songs and playlists
✓ Personalized music recommendations
✓ Playback any music from your library

Hear what some of our top fans have had to say:

*****
“The playlists are amazing. So great to be able to preview all the Coachella bands before the show”
- Nikki
*****
“Very nice music player. Responsive, non-troublesome, sleek and fast.”
- Azrael
*****
“OMG, love it. This was free?? Wow, thanks!!”
- Anna
*****
“This app was exactly what I was looking for. It’s simple, elegant, and works amazing. Love that I can still hear the playlists while my iPhone is asleep.”
- Mick
*****
“I love to read the artist updates while listen!”
- Polly
*****

Get it now in the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/songbird-music/id561535312?mt=8

For all you Android fans, an updated version of our Android app is coming soon that will include the same functionality!

Android v2.7 is LIVE

Discover even more content and people with the newly enhanced explore features. Get personalized artist recommendations based on the artists you follow. See other music fans with similar interests as you, and discover who they are following. Find out who’s topping our charts with the Songbird.me trending artist list. Compete with other users for the Top Fan spot.

What's New in v1.7

Share your favorite track with your Twitter followers. Now Songbird can match your favorite song with a YouTube video and post the link to Twitter (with your permission of course). Available both from the Now Playing drawer AND the Lockscreen.

We’ve also addressed a handful of bugs and various fixes including a more subtle notification icon.

iOS v1.4 is LIVE

Songbird is now your new favorite music player for iOS. Access and playback your entire library right from Songbird. Play, pause, skip, etc. directly from the Songbird player. Stream your favorite tracks to your wireless speakers via AirPlay.  Share your favorite songs with your Twitter followers and Facebook friends.

Get It Now:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/songbird.me/id561535312?mt=8

blogShotDiscover even more content and people with the newly enhanced explore features. Get personalized artist recommendations based on the artists you follow. See other music fans with similar interests as you to share recommendations with. Find out who’s topping our charts with the Songbird.me trending artist list. Compete with other users for the Top Fan spot.