Install Nightingale (Songbird Alternative) in Ubuntu 14.04

Last updated: April 28, 2014

Nightingale ubuntu 14.04

This simple tutorial will show you how to install Nightingale, a good alternative to the discontinued Songbird music player, in Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr.

Nightingale is a completely free, open source audio player and web browser based on the Songbird media player source code.

As such, Nightingale’s engine is based on the Mozilla XULRunner with libraries such as the GStreamer media framework and libtag providing media tagging and playback support, amongst others. Since official support for Linux was dropped by Songbird in April, 2010, Linux-using members of the Songbird community diverged and created the project.

nightingale main window

Nightingale smart playlist

Nightingale smart playlist

Notable features of Nightingale:

  • Plugins compatible with Songbird (with one modification to the addon)
  • Multi-platform compatibility with Windows XP, Vista, 7, Linux and Mac OS X v10.5 (x86, x86-64).
  • Ability to play multiple audio formats, such as MP3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, Apple Lossless and WMA
  • Ability to play Apple FairPlay-encoded audio on Windows and Mac platforms via hooks into QuickTime (authorization takes place in iTunes)
  • Ability to play Windows Media DRM audio on Windows platforms
  • Media files stored on pages viewed in the browser show up as playable files in Nightingale
  • MP3 file download
  • Ability to subscribe to MP3 blogs as playlists
  • Ability to build custom mixes
  • Ability to scan the user’s computer for all audio files and add them to a local library
  • A configurable and collapsible graphical user interface similar to iTunes, and mini-player mode
  • Keyboard shortcuts and media keyboard support
  • integration via a plugin, complete with love/hate buttons
  • Microsoft MTP compatible device support
  • Ability to edit and save metadata tags
  • Gapless playback and ReplayGain
  • Watch folders
  • Media import and export (from and to iTunes)

Install Nightingale in Ubuntu:

The latest build for Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 13.10 Ubuntu 12.10, Ubuntu 12.04 are available in the official PPA repository.

To add the PPA, press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open the terminal. When it opens, run the commands below one by one:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nightingaleteam/nightingale-release

sudo apt-get update

After that, install the media player on Ubuntu’s default Unity Desktop:

sudo apt-get install nightingale

For other Desktops (Gnome Shell, Xfce, etc.), run:

sudo apt-get install nightingale-nounity


I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu in 2007 and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please comment to remind me outdated tutorial! And, notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me via [email protected] Buy me a coffee:

5 responses to Install Nightingale (Songbird Alternative) in Ubuntu 14.04

  1. Sathish Kumar June 20, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Thanks friend!. I love your blog.

  2. i am unable to play mp3 files on Ubuntu 14.04 using nightingale , any help will be appreciated.

  3. unable to locate package nightingale

  4. nice blog,
    i basically use mint … coz really just love the cinnamon desktop with the hot corners and stuff …. and am not a fan of the unity desktop …. anyways could you tell me how to sync my ipad to my linux distro like on a normal itunes in mac or windows … is that possible at all …
    thanks in advance
    hope you can help