All posts tagged ‘Open Source’

Songbird Music Player Makes Impressive Performance Gains


The Songbird media player, which aims to become the Firefox of jukebox software, continues to progress with recent builds focusing on performance enhancements. In case you’re unaware, Songbird is a web-enabled media player that makes it dead easy to browse, download and manage all of the media files out there on the web. Think of it as a mix of Firefox and iTunes. 

Songbird is one of our favorite music apps, but sadly its performance is subpar when faced with a sizable music library. Thankfully, Pioneers of the Inevitable, the company behind Songbird, recently released a nightly build demonstrating some impressive performance gains with large libraries.

Keep in mind that the release I used is what the Songbird team refers to as a “blessed” nightly; you don’t need to compile it from source, but it’s definitely alpha quality software.

That said, I’m happy to report that for the first time Songbird was actually able to scan and index all 140 GB worth of my music without issue. Once your library is imported, browsing through it, filtering by artist or album and even just scrolling no longer causes Songbird to hang, freeze or choke completely.

In short, version .6 of Songbird, due to arrive in June 2008, will be the first useable release.

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Install GIMP 2.5 Previews the Easy Way

gimp.jpgIf you’ve been itching to try out the new developer previews of GIMP 2.5, which we looked at back in April, but you aren’t comfortable compiling from source, we have a solution for you.

Wayne Richardson over at Fsckin w/ Linux put together a shell script that does the heavy lifting and even ensures that your compiled version won’t overwrite your existing version of GIMP.

To use the script just cut and paste the text into a new document, save it with a .sh extension and then fire up the terminal. Navigate to the folder where you save the script and enter chmod 755 To run the script just type ./

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File Under: Software & Tools

Piwik Offers an Open-Source Web Analytics Package

PiwikThe stated aim of the Piwik project is to provide an alternative to Google Analytics. Using PHP and MySQL, it provides the usual family of statistics about your website with a handsome user interface that’s customizable using drag-and-drop.

Its plugin-based architecture makes it flexible for all sorts of uses; and it makes the analytic data easily available in a variety of formats: XML, JSON, serialized PHP. The data can also be gotten at in the form of embeddable widgets and iframes.

Piwik is still very much a work in progress, but a cool one. Try it out on your site, or check out the live demo.

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File Under: Software & Tools

There’s An Open Source Software Census

OsscensusTry saying that 16 times fast.

A new group of analysts is trying to assess how much, and what, open source software is installed. To participate in the census, go to and download their free software package, called OSS Discovery. Sounds like a submarine.

It’s written, for whatever reason, in JRuby, a Java implementation of Ruby (the standard, official Ruby implementation is in C), and is itself open source, although the Census Edition is different in some way from the regular edition. It runs on most popular platforms.

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File Under: Software & Tools

Community Cries Foul Over Sun’s Possible Plans For MySQL

mysql.jpgSun recently experienced a hail of criticism when the company hinted that some add-ons for the popular open source database, MySQL, might be available only for paid customers.

Today Marten Mickos, former CEO at MySQL AB and now senior vice president of Sun’s database group, backed off the statement, saying that Sun has not made an official decision.

Sun, which acquired MySQL earlier this year for over $1 billion dollars, raised the ire of the MySQL community when it suggested that some high-end features due to arrive in MySQL 6 would be available only to paying customers.

A shrill chorus of critics on Slashdot and throughout the online world loudly condemned the potential move and accused Sun and MySQL of betraying the community that has helped make it successful. MySQL claims users in the tens of millions.

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