3 Free Open Source Tools for Sampling Music Online

by Ostatic Staff - Mar. 20, 2009

Do you ever get a song playing in your head that you just can't get rid of? Do you like to sample new music in search of tunes that you may like? There are several good open source tools for sampling and playing music when you're online, and you can get going with them almost instantly. Here are three top choices.

Fire.fm was the winner of Mozilla's own Extend Firefox 3 contest. It provides access from within the browser to the huge music library and artist resources on Last.fm. You can listen to music related to your favorite artist, and discover new music via recommendations, or share music with friends. The Fire.fm extension gives you a toolbar in Firefox from which you can go directly to Last.fm, start stations, or visit recently listened to stations, as seen at left.

FoxyTunes is a great Firefox extension of you ever listen to music while you're on the web. It lets you control most media players and find lyrics, album covers, videos, artist bios and much more with a click directly from Firefox. (You can also get a version of FoxyTunes for Internet Explorer.)

For a well-liked, cross-platform application for playing and managing music libraries, try Songbird. You can use it to get music in many formats from many sources, and play songs while you're online. It's out in a new version 1.0, and is based on open source Mozilla code. You can get it for Windows, the Mac and Linux. Like Firefox, Songbird takes advantage of extensions, such as this one for instantly getting lyrics to songs you're listening to, and this one for managing your album art. You can also bring your existing iTunes library into Songbird. Check out our screenshot-driven tour here.

For more good open source digital music resources, see our recent roundup of eight tools.