Ubuntu One Music Store Public Beta Begins


The Ubuntu One Music Store has entered Public Beta!

Testing

As with everything in Ubuntu Lucid, the developers are keen to get people testing the store before Lucid is shipped at the end of April. If you’re running Ubuntu Lucid either on bare metal or inside a Virtual Machine, it would help greatly if you could take some time to test this new functionality. So far only a very limited number of beta testers have been using the store, so opening up the store to public scrutiny should generate plenty of feedback to the developers.

Those users running Ubuntu Lucid (which will become 10.04) can access the Music Store by opening the Rhythmbox music player.

I would recommend that testers should read my previous blog entry Getting Ready for Ubuntu One Music Store Beta first, and make sure that Ubuntu One file syncing works before trying out the store. I’d also recommend reading the Ubuntu One Music Store FAQ as many common questions are answered there.

Free Downloads

People testing the public beta of the store may want to consider getting started with free music available in the store rather than spend money whilst testing. The free music available in the store is listed at the 7digital UK free mp3 downloads USA free mp3 downloads pages.

Simply locate an artist in that link and then search for them in the store within Rhythmbox. You should find some free tracks mixed in amongst paid ones on some albums.

Regional Considerations

It’s been mentioned before in the Ubuntu One Music Store FAQ, but it’s worth re-stating here that there are multiple separate stores for different territories. The selection of music available in each store differs based on deals between the upstream music provider (7digital) and the major record labels. The stores are:-

  • UK
  • USA
  • Germany
  • Rest of the EU (i.e. not UK and Germany)
  • Rest of the World (i.e. none of the above listed countries)

It’s worth noting that the store uses geo-ip location.If you’re in a region other than your normal ‘home’, you’re going to see music appropriate for your current location. So for example as a UK citizen when I’m at home I’ll see music available in the UK store. When I am travelling abroad I will see different music.

Accessing Your Music

The music you buy will be synced to your Ubuntu One storage first then downloaded to all the machines you have connected to your Ubuntu One account. If you happen to be at a computer which isn’t connected to Ubuntu One file sharing – or perhaps it’s not running Ubuntu (shock!) then you can still access your music from the Ubuntu One website

Buying Music

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that there are no show-stopping bugs which cause users to spend money and not get their music, take into consideration that this is beta software. There is the outside chance that something could go wrong causing your music not to download, but that’s about the worst that could happen.

In the early days of the store there was a great bug which resulted in the first track of an album being downloaded, but none of the subsequent ones! After a couple of days the bug was sorted and all the tracks subsequently appeared in my music collection.

Filing Bugs

As with any software the Ubuntu One Music Store has bugs, and they’re tracked in launchpad.net. What’s a bit tricky here is that there are a few components working together to present the store, so any bugs that testers find might not actually be with the store code itself, but might only be discovered when using the store. The three main areas where bugs occur are the rhythmbox-ubuntuone-music-store plugin, Ubuntu One and Rhythmbox itself.

It’s my understanding that bugs should be filed against the rhythmbox-ubuntuone-music-store plugin and the developers will triage and re-assign accordingly. The best way to file a bug (once you’ve checked to see if one already exists) is to open a terminal and execute this command:-

ubuntu-bug rhythmbox-ubuntuone-music-store

This will collect all the necessary detail required by the developers and upload it to launchpad, then take you through the process of searching for existing similar bugs, and then filing the bug if a sufficiently similar one isn’t found.

Bugs might also occur in the upstream partner store from 7digital.com. However again it’s best to file those against the plugin and then during triage the developers can decide where the problem really lies.

If in doubt, file new bugs against the plugin. Of course as with any bugs it makes sense to look for existing bugs first rather than create new ones. Although if new bugs are created which mirror existing ones then the people triaging the bugs may well mark them as duplicates.

11 Other Comments

32 thoughts on “Ubuntu One Music Store Public Beta Begins”

      1. Hi Popey, the ability to download from the music store without using Ubuntu One would certainly be a nice idea – or a way to sync to another online disk. I don’t use ubuntu one as I find it pricey and not cross platform, preferring a competitor – it doesn’t seem right not to be able to use the music store because of that :(

  1. It seems the “Free MP3s” link only works outsido of Ubuntu One, and within Ubuntu One even searching and finding the same artists doesn’t offer any tracks for free, which kind of defeats the purpose. Do you know of any way to test this without actually buying songs ?

  2. I’m in Canada, and the music store: 1. has a very limited selection. 2. is expensive. 3. gives prices in euros.

    I think I’ll stick to puretracks.com.

  3. I made my first purchase a few moments ago, very smooth process!

    Many many thanks to Canonical, the Ubuntu One team any one else involved for making this possible, you guys are awesome!

    Steve.

  4. I’ve bought music before from 7digital, but the offering of Ubuntu One Music Store seems to only have two of the eleven albums I’ve purchased. If I’m not able to purchase the music I want to, why would I use U1MS instead of 7digital?

  5. For sureI will buy music from Ubuntu One Music Store , but after testing every single one of the players I got enchanted by Amarok. I wish my favorite player implement the same feature that rhythmbox to be the first in the line :)

  6. Err, sideloading to Ubuntu One storage first sounds a bit daft :( If I have several machines running on the basic Ubuntu One service, and I buy an album, they’ll *all* start syncing that one album right away? And if they’re all on the same Internet connection?

    Why can’t Rhythmbox be used to download directly to local storage, a la iTunes and, well, every other music store :) I’d rather see Ubuntu One sideloading as a preference option than an immutable default.

    1. As I understand it, it’s a weird license limitation imposed by the labels. Something to do with having an open source client making it easy for people to discover URLs. Clearly the record companies haven’t heard of packet sniffers and http logs. Hey ho.

  7. Hi,
    Is there a “web version” or the possibility to install it on 9.10?
    I would like to test if the billing system is aware of the special fiscal situation we have in the Canaries, but I only have 9.10 on my system and don’t want to upgrade it because I use it for my job.

    Cheers
    JD

    1. There is no web version of the Ubuntu One Music Store, but you can browse the 7digital store to get some idea of the content available in your region. There’s no plan to back port this to 9.10 as I understand it.

    1. Are you behind a corporate proxy? I have issues like this because at work the proxy goes out through the USA. I’m sure they’d like a bug report if you have a “UK IP” and are being sent to the wrong store.

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