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For a better equalizer

One of the CoMETE project this year was to improve the current Equalizer.

Currently, the Songbird/Nightingale Equalizer only allow to fiddle with buttons and it’s pretty much it. I did in the past an add-on for Songbird to add basic presets support and recently Brice Santus from Evry added the ability to save your own presets in Nightingale.

For techies, your presets are saved in a XML file inside your profile folder, so you can easily copy it 🙂

For now, the improved equalizer is available as an add-on for testing purposes, but it’s going to be shipped by default on a future Nightingale version.

So please test it, report any bugs on the GitHub issues page, and also tell us how to improve it !

Nightingale 1.11.0 – Our First Official Release!

We’re happy to announce the release of Nightingale 1.11.0 for Linux, Windows and (drumroll, please…) Mac OS X! You can download this new release from the front page. If you choose, you can also build it yourself by checking out the source from GitHub or Sourceforge and running build.sh.

What’s new?

  • Based off of the latest Songbird changes, providing better performance
  • Uses the more recent Gecko 1.9.2
  • Play Queue functionality is now implemented
  • The feather has been refreshed by GeekShadow, as designed by Manko10
  • Update functionality – get future releases automatically
  • Build system improvements
  • Various other bugfixes – see the git logs for a complete list

Add-ons

We have already ported many of the available add-ons, others will follow. We did some changes on the underlying interfaces, allowing Songbird add-ons to be ported with just one little modification. Ported add-ons can be installed into both Nightingale and Songbird!

We welcome any addons you port yourself to be added to our addons page – just let us know on the forums, or here in the comments!

Migrating From Nightingale 1.8

If you already use the old 1.8 version, there is no update available – we apologize. In fact, since it was a developer preview, you need to first uninstall it and then install 1.11.0. Note that a new profile will also be created to avoid any collisions, meaning your old one will be wiped out.

If you want to keep your ratings and preferences, you should transfer them with the RatingFile (for 1.8) and BackupBird (for 1.8) add-ons, which are both available for 1.8 and 1.11.0. Install the extensions in 1.8 and use them to export your preferences and ratings. Then, proceed to install 1.11, install the addons, and import the settings you exported from 1.8.

Migrating from Songbird

If you currently use Songbird, now is the best time to transfer your Songbird profile to Nightingale. This functionality will only be available until there are divergences between Nightingale and Songbird in terms of the formats used to store your profile data. This means that you should migrate from Songbird before it becomes difficult or even impossible to do so upon future releases of Nightingale!

Join Nightingale – Users, Developers, Testers, Doc Writers Wanted!

Again, we’d like to ask you to become an active part of the Nightingale community. You don’t have to be a geek and/or coder to join us, we’re looking for people providing bug reports, adding ideas, and writing documentation. In terms of getting more developers, we’re especially looking for people to help out with the upcoming update to Gecko 6. Please check out the forums, or join us in #nightingale on irc.mozilla.org. In terms of the languages we need developers for, we use C++, Python, Perl, Xul, JavaScript, and CSS on the player, but we also need PHP developers willing to help us build our addons platform, featherweight, and maintain other pages. We’re growing and always looking for your help!

Build Your Own Nightly

One final note is for those of you who are brave – you can start checking out and building the sb-trunk-oldxul branch, which is a working 1.12.X (Songbird concurrent) branch for our next release. Of course, we’re still working on upgrading our Gecko version (non working as of yet, see the master branch), but we’ll be doing a few more 1.11.X releases before we achieve builds that use newer Gecko versions. To keep those of you who want the bleeding edge happy, the sb-trunk-oldxul branch is the one for you!

As building for Windows is quite tricky, we set up a step-by-step tutorial in the wiki to help you to get started. We’re looking forward to build tutorials (and distro specific packaging guides) for Linux and Mac as well. Feel free to contribute to the project by writing one after you succesfully built Nightingale yourself.

Get ready for 1.11!

It has been quite a while since the last blog post, so here is a fresh set of updates from our current projects, as listed on the wiki:

Nightingale 1.11 is coming!

We’re giving Nightingale 1.11 its finishing touches and plan to release it this month. Nightingale 1.11 is based on Songbird 1.11.0a / Gecko 1.9.2 and provides, among other things, better performance, a play queue for temporary playlists and finally official Mac OS X support. Of course all Nightingale-specific features introduced in 1.8 still persist, like our Coppery feather, the use of the system’s GStreamer on Linux, the folder synchronization feature, playlist folders, and tons of fixed bugs!

We do not have any update infrastructure yet,  so you will need to update manually after the release. If you’re feeling brave, you don’t have to wait for the release! You can try out our current development version by using the test builds (currently Windows and Mac builds are available), or by building the sb-trunk-oldxul branch on your own. If you need help building, refer to our build page or contact us on the forums or via IRC. Of course, you should feel free to contact us with any other issues as well! 😉

Nightingale 1.11 uses the Songbird namespace internally. While this fact may seem interesting to developers alone, it does improve extension porting speed and compatiblity, meaning most Songbird add-ons compatible with Songbird 1.11.0a can be ported to Nightingale 1.11 easily. Of course, this also means Nightingale 1.11 extensions can also be easily ported to Songbird.

CoMETE – Student Developers at Nightingale

The student developers announced in our last blog post are now assigned to projects. Currently they’re working on the basics for features like CD Ripping, Social and Cloud service integration, equalizer preset support, and meta-data completion based on audio fingerprints. We can look forward to an awesome set of features coming in the near future.

Other Projects

Our primary focus is the 1.11 release; there is still progress being made in other projects:

  • Our upcoming add-on platform, featherweight is still in development. There is progress on modeling the database, but it will need some time to complete. We hope to get all of the basic work done by the time we’ve completed our
  • update to Gecko 6, which is the next point on the list. There is some progress, but there is much effort needed to complete it, and we gladly accept any help on this conversion that comes our way!
  • We’re also investigating a partnership with Babelzilla to provide the locales for Nightingale

Especially with the conversion to Gecko 6, but for all projects in general, we’re searching for new developers to join the team. There are not only C++ specific changes and fixes needed, so don’t hesitate to join us, even if you’re not comfortable with it! We need to improve the UI (XUL) and clean up some JavaScript as well.  We assure you, there is plenty of work available for everyone! 😛

We’ll release another blog post when we release 1.11, and although the blog-every-two-weeks-thing didn’t work out perfectly this time, we’ll still try to keep you as updated as possible!

Thanks for your interest into Nightingale!

Nightingale 1.8 Preview Release

We’re happy today to announce the release of Nightingale 1.8.1 for both Linux and Windows! Download it from the front page and enjoy the first Nightingale ever!

Nightingale is a media player, which doesn’t just organize and play your media library – it also integrates the web into your media experience. It is customizable to fit to your personal needs and style – you can, for example, get an add-on for Last.fm integration. Everyone can participate and create his own add-ons and feathers (the Nightingale term for skins), as Nightingale is based on the Mozilla XULRunner, also used in Firefox.

Nightingale is a fork of the media player Songbird, which dropped official Linux support and ended most of their involvement with the community.  As a result, Nightingale is here to first provide a solid, Mozilla based media player for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X users, all under Open Source licenses – the GPL, LGPL, MPL, and BSD licenses, to be exact.

We released 1.8.1 to show you the progress we’re making in creating a new bird for playing the web, and to invite you to get involved in Nightingale’s development. We rely on your ideas, bug reports and other feedback, so please test the release and let us know what you think! Head to the forums or join us on IRC, irc.mozilla.org in #nightingale to get in touch with us.  We welcome all users, developers, translators, designers, documentation writers, and anyone who is willing to help the project’s success! We’d love to have you as an active part of the Nightingale Community!

In an effort to emphasize the point, we must say again that 1.8.1 is a preview release. We’re working on a XULRunner/Gecko 6 based Nightingale, slated for release within the next year (which will based on the current Songbird trunk, unlike this release). Expect better speed, stability, and security, as well as plenty of new features and improvements for the 1.11 release – it will be the first ‘bird based player to use a modern version of Gecko, and for  Linux users, the first to use only system libraries.

With Nightingale 1.8.1 we also had a relaunch of the Nightingale Website, with this new blog, upgraded forums and a wiki. Services for translation, bug tracking and add-ons are planned. For now, some add-ons are hosted on a wiki page – ports of GeekShadow’s and my own Songbird add-ons will be uploaded there soon too. If you create or port any add-ons, you can upload them there, too! If you develop(ed) add-ons or feathers for Songbird, we’d love to have you jump aboard our train, and bring your creations to Nightingale as well!

Thanks for your interest in Nightingale!