back to article Canonical betas Ubuntu music store

Canonical is privately beta testing a DRM-free Ubuntu music store, slated to debut with the Lucid Lynx distro in late April. According to an Ubuntu wiki FAQ, the Ubuntu One Music Store will offer DRM-free and watermark-free MP3s provided by the London-based online music outfit 7digital. The store will integrate with the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    not ogg?

    Ubuntu, mp3s? Surely some mistake?

    1. Geoffrey W


      I suppose its a pragmatic choice. All MP3 players will play MP3's (hence the name), but how many of them will play OGG.s? None of ours will. Its kind of like the Ubuntu/Windows thing - program for Linux only and only a few can use it; program for windows and potentially there are gadzillions of users. They'll make more money if they sell MP3's.

      1. Phillip Webster

        Bugger OGG

        Offer FLAC please.

        I won't use a digital music store until I have a format I can freely and easily move to other formats without degradation.

        OGG is nice, and preferable to MP3, but as stated won't run on many players, such as those from the fruit brigade and converting to other formats will cause a loss in quality. Whilst FLAC won't play on inferior players, it will at least convert without that lossy -> WAV -> lossy quality hurdle.

        Of course, having a media player that plays FLAC helps my choice as well. ;o)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        yeah, but, Ubuntu doesn't do pragmatic

        But Ubuntu doesn't come with mp3 codecs, because mp3 is a "restricted format", it comes with software that will play OGG (and, yes, Flac). Just seems odd that they'll distribute files that aren't compatible with their own base system. But hey, it's an odd place is Linux-world.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      no, thanks

      Worse bang per bitrate, and dodgy-ass decoder libraries, even if you like the idea. Also, I can't play those on most of my hardware devices (including my expensive CDJs) without transcoding and screwing the metadata.

      Ogg vorbis is a yesterday's fad, poorly supported, and did relatively badly in our controlled conditions subjective listening tests.

  2. criscros


    Has anyone here tried the beta? What's their selection like? What about the pricing?

    As for the mp3 vs ogg debate, a lot of recent mp3 players do support the format (that's the beauty of open formats). I think they should support ogg instead of mp3, because Amazon and others already offer mp3s, but not ogg.

    1. disfit

      Re: Nice (criscros @ Thursday 4th March 2010 01:52 GMT)

      > Has anyone here tried the beta? What's their selection like? What about the pricing?

      Check out since the article mentions them as the provider. Prices might be a little lower (subsidized by Canonical), although I would not count on that; i.e. still way too high.

      Looking up a random CD (Eels, Beautiful Freak) gives me € 7,49 for the whole or € 0,99 per track. Numbskulls!

      Checking ebay and local shops I get prices ranging from € 3 (2nd hand including sh&h) up to € 6 brand spanking new.

      High time to sign the euthanasia waver for the recording industry ... it's suffering from too many ailments to count and it is not getting any better. Keeping it alive is too much of a burden for society (three strikes, ACTA, et al).

      1. Magnus_Pym
        Thumb Up

        Here, here

        Record industry is a dinosaur we are just waiting for the meteorite to strike. Maybe it already has and they just don't know they're dead yet.

        I treat music buying as a two tier system. Downloads = singles I quite like but wouldn't be too fussed about loosing. If I really like it and want to keep it I buy the CD and rip it: Permanently backed up, rippable to any format, playable anywhere, portable and permanent. And it's often cheaper.

        I wonder what will happen in a few years when the iTunes brigade move to their umpteenth computer/iPod configuration and all their old music DRM kicks in and won't play any more.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Up


          "I wonder what will happen in a few years when the iTunes brigade move to their umpteenth computer/iPod configuration and all their old music DRM kicks in and won't play any more."

          I know I'll be around, laughing at them ^^

    2. popey


      I'm the beta tester linked in the article.

      The store is provided by 7digital, so you can check them out for their music selection and pricing. Unfortunately the file format is out of the control of Canonical/Ubuntu for now. The format is determined by the record companies and the partner.

      We (Ubuntu UK Podcast) also interviewed the developer of the store in our latest episode, which answers more questions..

  3. A B 3

    Great news, can I get rid of itunes?

    I really can't stand itunes. Hopefully this will be nice lean app where I can download music. A large hard drive should be filled with movies and music not bloatware.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can I get rid of iTunes?

      Yes, it's called shopping around. Try Amazon for starters....

  4. Tom 35

    Is it the usual one region only?

    UK only or US only crap they seem to like so much.

    1. popey
      Thumb Down

      Not just UK/US

      There's "UK", "Germany", "US", "Rest of Europe" (i.e. not UK and not Germany) and "Rest of World" (i.e. everything not already listed). This is the way the record companies have carved the world up and is largely beyond the control of Canonical/Ubuntu.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Way to go

    mp3's no one's heard of by artists no one's heard of on an operating system no one wants

    1. Pandy06269

      Excellent post...

      ... truly, excellent. Well thought out, great criticism backed up by solid evidence...

      ... not.

      If it was an OS nobody wanted, they wouldn't have built a company (Canonical) that depends solely on it.

      If it was an OS nobody wanted, there would be so few users that it wouldn't be worth putting together the Ubuntu music store, or even putting together another version of Ubuntu.

      Nobody really knows the artists available because it's not a public beta yet - as somebody suggested, have a look at 7digital's website before passing judgement.

      As for passing judgement on the OS, I bet you've never even tried it. If that's the case that's fine, just don't assume everybody else has the same opinion.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      So far as i know.....

      It's not available on Mac OS

      1. Rex Alfie Lee
        Thumb Down

        MacOS??? Why would Canonical supoort Mac?

        Interesting post because it truly shows your ignorance. Chat online somewhere that the readers actually give a rats about what you have to offer.

    3. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      Which part of "7digital" did you not understand?

      The article even states, point-blank, that the store will mainly include the usual indie* and major labels. Linux's *existing* stores already cater for the rest.

      While I have no time for Linux's politics, there's nothing inherently wrong with the OS itself, and it's good to see Canonical trying to make the user experience a little better.

      Canonical are one of the few groups in the GNU / FOSS milieu who understand the value of a consistent design approach, and they're a little less prone to adhering slavishly to the political diktats of the GNU / FOSS hardliners.

      Shuttleworth clearly appreciates that you can't develop a consistent user experience without *someone* holding the reins and giving the project a single voice. (There are some parallels with Steve Jobs here.) This is in stark contrast to the usual design-by-committee approach most people in the Land of Linux endorse.

      * (for very large values of "indie".)

    4. The Original Ash

      @Way to go

      Thanks for your constructive criticism. Please take a cookie on the way out.

      Just because *you* have not heard of them, and *you* don't want Ubuntu doesn't mean that there aren't others who do. I've switched my home PC over to Ubuntu with Karmic, the same with my workstation. I'm looking at GCompriz to see if it will offer the same educational resources as many 3rd party apps on Windows, and testing those apps which I can't replace on Wine. Between that, EducationCity, and a couple of other education sites there's no reason to have Windows (and the associated licensing costs, tie ins etc) at all. I can even put Office 2007 on with a little tinkering, if the staff REALLY need it (they don't, but they don't know that yet).

      TL;DR: Thanks for sharing your opinion. It is, however, *your* opinion. I'll be looking at this with great interest (especially now I've seen Jamendo integration mentioned. Didn't know that...)

  6. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    You can run Ubuntu inside Windows

    Can you run Windows inside OS X? Then you can run Ubuntu, too, probably.

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      Yes, you can.

      Is Google too hard for you?

      Parallels, VMWare and Virtualbox do virtualization for OS X just fine. And, yes, you can run Linux, BSD or any other fecking OS in their VMs, just like on Windows.

      Yes, OS X is easy to use. And, yes, it's a full-fat UNIX-based OS. Contrary to the continuing efforts of the GNU / FOSS crowd, it *is* possible to be both at the same time.

  7. Arctic fox
    Thumb Up

    Re. Hear, Hear

    "I wonder what will happen in a few years when the iTunes brigade move to their umpteenth computer/iPod configuration and all their old music DRM kicks in and won't play any more."

    Been there, done that, been bitten, thrice shy. Never again, "ripperble" and decent quality or nothing.

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