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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.