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Music Downloads for Linux

Posted by Andrew at 10:02 AM on May 24, 2010

Last night, I downloaded some music from Amazon for the first time and I was both irritated and pleasantly surprised by the experience.  I’d gone to Amazon because I’m not an iPod owner and wanted to get some DRM-free music for playing via a DLNA media server and also my Palm Pre.

(I know this is a tech site but just in case you are interested, the tracks were “Heartbreak” by M’Black.  It’s a pumping euro dance track with a great vocal from Nicol – it’s going to be my summer theme.)

But I digress.  As I was downloading a number of tracks, I had to use Amazon’s MP3 downloader, which I didn’t like the sound of as I run Linux.  However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Amazon offers the downloader for four flavours of Linux, including OpenSuSE 11.2….except that I’m still on 11.1.  Tried the 11.2 version but didn’t work – too many missing dependencies.  If there’s two things wrong with Linux, it’s fragmentation and dependency-hell.

So I had to borrow my wife’s laptop and download the Windows version which worked flawlessly.  The downloader also added the tracks to the iTunes software library on the laptop (she is an iPod-owner) but I found you could easily turn that off.  The tracks were left in a download directory as well, so it was then simply a case of copying the tracks to the media server and Palm Pre for my listening pleasure.

Overall, I can see that if you are Windows user, the experience is flawless and gives the benefit of DRM-free music, quickly added to either iTunes or Windows Media Player libraries, but also direct access to .mp3s for copying to media servers or other music devices.  As a suggestion for improvement, it would be good if the album art was included in the download.

As a Linux user, slightly disappointed that you had to be on the latest version and if you weren’t, the options were limited.  Great that Amazon is at least supporting Linux in some shape, though.

10 Comments

  1. From Arjn at 10:58 am on May 24, 2010

    Hav u tried One Music Store for Ubuntu? Its supposed to be providing DRM-free music integrated into rhythmbox (and banshee through plugin) though i havent tested it personally myself- u cld give it a try if u’d like :)

  2. From Greg Sayle at 1:13 pm on May 24, 2010

    Great story. yes, you are correct about dependency. We are using are using Linux Mint 9 ” Isadora ” at http://www.linuxnewsnow.com and there are plenty of features and dependency has not been a problem.

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  7. From mark at 5:35 pm on May 25, 2010

    Linux is still a joke, I installed Ubuntu 10.4 on my netbook (HP Mini 2140)no wifi…
    Really, you guys still don’t support Broadcom wireless adapters, so I can download a .tar something but its no .exe as usual you have to jump through tons of hoops to get a Linux machine running, so I guess I’ll try next years version or not. Even PCBSD has the PBI or Push Button Installer Linux remains a joke.

  8. From HunterA3 at 8:25 am on May 26, 2010

    Wow. How many of you, including the author of this article, use linux for more than just playing with it? Everyone knows that debian based distros do not suffer from dependency hell like rpm based distros do. As for wifi issues, I’ve ran into a few from time to time, but all were easily solved with a google search and a deb package download. At this point the only things most good distros are lacking is driver support from manufacturers, games, and some productivity suites for website, music, and image editing that can be used by the lay-person.

  9. From Andrew at 4:46 pm on May 26, 2010

    It’s funny how people have taken different things from this article. My main reason for writing it was that I was most surprised Amazon supported Linux at all, but I was also surprise that you had to use their downloader. I’ve got DRM-free from other sites before where you just downloaded a bunch of .mp3s directly.

    To answer Hunter, I’ve been using Linux (SuSE) as my main PC for at least five years. I don’t understand why Debian doesn’t suffer from a similar problem regarding dependency on missing libraries and getting the correct versions.

  10. From Martha Thomson at 9:34 am on June 21, 2010

    emule has got some good inventory of free music.`~`