Amazon.com Brings MP3 Music to Ubuntu

Amazon.com has quietly released its MP3 downloader program for Linux, with an available download for Ubuntu’s latest version, 7.10. So, what does this mean for Ubuntu users?

For the first time, Ubuntu users will have access to a mainstream music provider, with millions of songs and full albums from the top bands available. The songs are provided without Digital Rights Management, which is a controversial means of protecting media companies’ rights by limiting the times you can move music from one device or computer to another. DRM also effects the sound quality of a song. As a comparison, Apple’s iTunes service offers non-DRM songs for $1.29, while Amazon’s service offers the songs for 89 to 99 cents each.

You might be thinking, “This is great! But… how do I get it?” Here’s how:

Visit Amazon’s MP3 Downloads site, and click on the “Install the MP3 Downloader” link in the MP3 downloads bar near the top of the page. Then, you will be at the download page, which should detect that you are running Linux. You will see several links for different systems. Click on the one for Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy. Then, a dialog will open asking you what you would like to do with the file. Make sure that the file will open with “GDebi.” After the file downloads, it will open in a dialog box that has a button that says “Install Package.” Then, click the install button.

After the application installs, you will find it under the “Internet” category in the “Applications” menu. After it installs, you can go to the MP3 downloads site, either via amazon.com or the link provided in the application, where you can purchase songs. A save dialog box will open when you download a song. Make sure “Open With” says that the Amazon downloader is selected to handle the download.

When you try to play the songs on Ubuntu, you may find that a MP3 codec is not installed. You can install it by going into Synaptic via the menu System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager. Click on the “Search” button, and search “Fluendo.” Fluendo provides legal codecs that you can purchase, however the MP3 codec is provided for free. Install the gtreamer-0.10-fluendo-mp3 package by right-clicking the square box next to the name.

This is Amazon’s MP3 Downloader running on Ubuntu:

Amazon.com

After it installs, you will have the full ability to purchase songs online and play them inside Rhythmbox. Amazon has made the right move by including Linux users into their service, while other large music providers have not. This is also a smart move, as with the release of a downloader for Ubuntu, Amazon has increased their user base by another 12 million potential users.

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11 thoughts on “Amazon.com Brings MP3 Music to Ubuntu

  1. Why should I use this service when, I can install Streamtuner and Streamripper on my Linux PC, and listen to whatever I like while recording whatever I like. I store them all on my NAS and use Amarok for data collecting, sorting and playing. OH, and these files are easily movable to my IPOD.

    I don’t want my $$$ going to the RIAA. I don’t know what percentage of monies the artist actually receive, if I pay for it from Amazon MP3. Does anyone know?

    This is not Free Software! How on earth should I install a proprietary, binary only software on a Free OS? Good step forward, but not enough at all, GPL license is needed. In addition, I hope they will work with Amarok or other Free Software project for a plugin/integration (with Free code, of course)

    Good idea, bad execution. FAIL….

    NO DRM!!!!

  2. @ DOUGman:

    There are apparently some things you missed:

    1 ) The songs from Amazon DO NOT include DRM.

    2) The Amazon option is for those who listen to large artists, not just small/local bands. So if they want something from the big 4 companies, this helps make that process much easier, and legal for that matter.

    3) Yes, the Amazon downloader is not open source, but does that really matter if you are going to use Amazon’s service? To me, just the fact that they decided to support 4 of the largest distributions of Linux in their software is a big step forward. Would I like to see an open source version? Yes. Does it really matter to me? No.

    You can choose what’s best for you.

  3. Dougman,stop complaining!

    This is the crappy attitude that drives all developers away from Linux.All of you want it GPL :-@ for what? From a user’s point of view,it doesn’t matter if it’s gpl or not,what matters is to work.We want more users->more companies developing for linux->we should have a better attitude x-(

  4. Hey Bodo, at least he’s got his priorities straight. You seem to have a misunderstanding of what the GPL means and who it was meant for. Read this:

    http://www.fsf.org/licensing/essays/free-sw.html

    GNU/Linux may want more users, but not as a sacrifice to our freedoms. The GPL is all about defending the users freedoms.

    Yet while I’m disappointed that it’s not free software, I can’t help but be a little happy. This is about the closest thing we’ve got to “free” music at this point. I can only hope that they decide to GPL the downloader so that it can be integrated into more distros. Getting good support from the Linux community could help persuade Amazon to start supporting ogg too! My idea:

    http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/idea/4349/promote

  5. Either way, this is good news for Linux and Ubuntu. Previously, this had been a stumbling block to adoption, as many people I have talked to own an iPod, and are tied to iTunes, which obviously does not work on Linux.

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  9. The download software is OPTIONAL. I just skipped the software installation and download the individual mp3 I want. I then move the mp3 into my music folder and play it with Amarok.

    This is an excellent service that now gives Linux users the option to download songs LEGALLY for $0.89 to $0.99 per song!

    THANK YOU AMAZON!!!

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