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.
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.
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:-
- 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
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.
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:-
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.