Interface and usability
The first thing that strikes compared to the previous version is the interface, called Gonzo, which is now metal grey instead of black.
As I already said, Songbird provides not only an audio player, but an integrated web browser too, which is based on Mozilla Firefox, and it even provides the well-known about:config configuration variables together with a preferences dialogue which offers the same options as Firefox does.
The default UI font size is too small and according to this discussion I found on getsatisfaction.com, currently there is no fix available for it. For the library and playlists you can use the View -> Zoom In feature, or Ctrl + +, but this won't change the font sizes for the menu and left navigation panel. This should probably be fixed in the next release.
One funny thing is how the developers chose to name the themes, they are called 'feathers' in Songbird, which goes pretty well with the player's name. You can download more skins from the official website using the View -> Feathers -> Get More Feathers... menu.
The nice thing about Songbird is its ability to use tabs for any given task. For example you can have the Songbird add-ons page opened in one tab, lyrics for a song in another, or the music library or a playlist in the third one.
Music management and scanning
Scanning a collection of around 4400 Ogg Vorbis songs took almost 3 minutes on my Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz, which is quite reasonable I'd say.
Another plus for Songbird is that it takes no time to load the media library after you start it, compared with players like Amarok which will need a few seconds for it, depending on how large your music collection is.
You can only sort the collection by title, time, artist, genre and rating, a little poor in options if you ask me. At least directory and year would be useful too. There is no possibility to re-arrange the order in which they are displayed.
A crash occurred when I was browsing the feathers on the homepage, but the good thing is that Songbird offers a feature to automatically send your feedback regarding any crash to the developers.
I liked this Songbird release better than the last version I tried, but I think it needs some improvements too, like the UI font size or more features regarding the collection management. Having such a powerful integrated web browser may be useful to some, although it can look a little bloated to others. Nevertheless, Songbird is worth a try for any of you who like to fetch music information while listening, get lyrics etc, without opening an additional web browser.