Back in the summer I posted a tutorial on
using the FolderSync add-on for the Songbird music player as a way
to synchronize music to your Android device. If you are using a
previous version of Songbird (earlier than 1.4), that post is
probably the best place to start.
A new and improved version of Songbird is now available. The new
release has a completely new look, but more importantly for Android
users, has a new option for syncing music to your device: the MSC
Add-on. This is probably the closest thing Android user now have to
the iTunes experience for managing music on your device.
If you haven't seen it yet, the new Songbird look is quite
impressive (this is the Purple Rain feather):
Even more impressive is how easy the new synchronization option
is to implement and configure.
Install Songbird 1.4
Install Songbird 1.4.3 if you have not already (you must have
Songbird 1.4 or higher). During the installation, the MSC Add-on
should appear as a recommended extension.
If you want to verify that the extension is already installed,
you can select Add-Ons from the
Tools menu. If you do not see MSC Device
Support listed, click the link on the lower right of the
screen labeled Get
Extensions. Enter MSC in the
search box on the top right of the screen.
On the search results page, locate the entry labeled MSC Device
Support. You should see a download button on the right side of
the screen, click this button to begin the installation
Click Install Now. Once the installation is
finished, you will be prompted to restart Songbird:
Connect Your Android Device
Once you restart Songbird, you can plug your Android device into
your computer. Pull down the notification bar and select the
USB Device Connected alert, then tap
Mount on your device when prompted; this will
enable USB storage mode.
At this point, you should see your device in the left frame of
the Songbird window. The first time you connect your device
Songbird will prompt you for a name.
Create or Manage Playlists
If you are like me and have a large music library and a small SD
card, you will want to only sync specific content. Instead of
manually dragging music to the phone while connected, this is what
- Create a new playlist (or set of playlists) specifically for
your phone. To do this, right-click Playlists in
Songbird and select New Playlist.
- From media view, drag the songs or albums you want to add to
your device over to the new playlist. Your Android device does not
have to be connected when you perform this step.
Configure Device Options
Now, select your Android device on the left side of the screen,
you will see something like the following:
To limit your synchronized content, click the radio button
labeled Selected playlists, then place a check
next to each playlist you want to synchronize to your phone; click
There are options to format your SD card and perform a device
repair on the Tools tab. I haven't tried either
option, and I wouldn't recommend it: there is no guide that
explains these options (that I can find), and although the format
option is self-explanatory, it's difficult to say what the second
option would do to your device.
The Settings tab has some additional
You can limit the amount of space used for music on the card to
prevent it from becoming full. You can also control what the folder
structure looks like for music on your device, the default
configuration uses the format
Finally, there are three controls on the upper right hand side
of the screen:
The first one will display information about the current
The second button will eject your device so it can be safely
removed from your computer. The last button will perform a manual
sync (required if you disable automatic syncing). If you have
automatic synchronization, Songbird will immediately begin a sync
every time you connect your device.
By comparison to the previous method, this is an easier and
faster solution, and it's certainly a testament to the rapid
evolution of the Android platform; every day brings better
integration between Android and the other devices and software I