Funny that the company once dubbed an “open source iTunes killer” should announce a new social discovery app just as Apple pulls the plug on its own social network, Ping. Songbird first launched in 2006 as a Web browser and media player. Released on Tuesday, Songbird’s app combines personalized music suggestions with artist information pulled from around the Web.
When you log into Songbird with your Facebook account, the discovery tool will up a panel of artists that you can follow, share on Facebook, or skip if you want to see something new. You can also see what your friends like to get ideas. If you don’t like any of the suggested artists, use the search bar to find your favorites and click “follow.”
Once you do this, you can click on the “what’s new” tab to check out the latest news from your favorite artists. Songbird rounds out the artists’ profiles with a variety of Facebook posts, YouTube videos, SoundCloud audio tracks, Wikipedia and last.fm bio information, and Flickr images.
The layout has been compared to Pinterest’s, but it also looks a little like the redesigned MySpace: an aesthetic achievement that came too late for the network to win back the users who had already migrated to Facebook.
Much like on iTunes, Songbird’s music is for sale. The music service partners with the 7digital music store, which has around 19 million tracks to choose from.
Obviously, Songbird doesn’t have nearly as many products to offer as Apple, but it was named one of Fast Company‘s “Top 10 Most Innovative Music Companies” in 2011. To date, the San Francisco-based company has raised $17 million funding from Atlas Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and Philips Consumer Electronics.
Featured image by art marta via Shutterstock.