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Amazon launches MP3 downloader for Linux

Amazon launches MP3 downloader for Linux

The software is supplied without source code, so you're stuck installing it from pre-made packages.

Linux users wanting to flex their legal MP3 buying muscles will be pleased to hear that Amazon has finally got around the finishing the Linux versions of its MP3 download software.

Like the Windows version, the Amazon MP3 Downloader allows you to purchase reasonably-priced MP3 tracks from selected albums and queue them up for download. The great news is that, unlike similar services such as Napster and iTunes, the songs are standard MP3 format and completely free from digital rights management: you can whack 'em straight on your favourite MP3 player and they'll run.

The Linux version of the software is available in a variety of packages for different distributions including a .deb for Ubuntu and Debian and a .rpm (Red-Hat Package Manager) for Fedora 8 and OpenSuSE 10.3. Sadly, the source is not available: if your open-source OS of choice isn't one of the aforementioned then you're out of luck.

Still, it shows a growing acceptance of desktop Linux in the mainstream, and demonstrates that Amazon at least believes there is enough of a market for Linux software that they would spend precious time and money developing for what many companies still see as a niche OS.

The software can be installed from the Amazon website, and the once-bookseller has even provided a small selection of freely downloadable music so you can test it out without spending any hard-earned.

A sign of the times, or just Amazon desperately trying to get as much market share in the legal music download sector as possible – no matter what? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

11 Comments

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DougEdey 3rd March 2008, 10:05 Quote
Installed it perfectly without a hitch, however the "free" songs still require payment information.

Nice idea though.
theevilelephant 3rd March 2008, 12:35 Quote
yay its about time! im pleased that companies are starting to take notice of linux as a real alternative.
Supra55 3rd March 2008, 12:56 Quote
Wow, that's amazing. Make a MP3 player for an Open-Source OS but the player itself is closed source? I'm pretty sure there's a reason Linux has been mainly Open-Source for a very long time...
steveo_mcg 3rd March 2008, 13:15 Quote
Mainly because many of the people who develop for Linux believe in free software but there is no reason why one cannot develop a closed source app for the platform. If any thing more closed source apps would be a good thing, for a given value of good, getting some good "killer" apps might add to the critical mass. This is a good thing in general, but i probably won't bother since on the very rare occasion I buy music i like to go old school and get these shiny round things.
DXR_13KE 3rd March 2008, 16:39 Quote
i consider this a good thing... at least it came to linux....
z4114 3rd March 2008, 17:08 Quote
I'm glad to see some another program with a linux version. It's making the urge to put it on my desktop stronger. <rant>Why can't the games I enjoy have native linux ports?</rant> I've never used a music downloading service like iTunes or this Amazonmp3. Are you able to re-download any mp3s that you've purchased in case of a hard drive crash?

From Amazonmp3
Quote:
We are currently unable to replace any purchased files that you delete or lose due to a system or disk error.

Aww. That's a bummer.
steveo_mcg 3rd March 2008, 17:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by z4114
<rant>Why can't the games I enjoy have native linux ports?</rant>


DX

Many openGL games are ported.
z4114 3rd March 2008, 17:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
Many openGL games are ported.

I know, I'm just your typical linux one step above newb. I like wine and cedega but to be able to install right out of the gate (like Quake 4 and other Id games) would be nice.

Anyhow, I'm quite surprised at the amount of music on their service. I like some pretty obscure stuff (ska mostly) and I'm not having any problems finding what I want.

Sigh, just what I needed. Another way to have money fly out of my bank account at breakneck speeds.
Cthippo 3rd March 2008, 19:23 Quote
Whats the DRM structure and how do you get around it?

The reason I ask is that my music lives on my fileserver and is played from one of two desktops in the room, and most DRM schemes consider that somehow bad.

Either way, I'll probably try this just on general principals. It still bugs me though because if it wern't for their stupid DRM then the sites could be machine independent. Remember, AOMP3 never needed a "linux version"

I sure miss AOMP3
z4114 3rd March 2008, 19:34 Quote
I don't think there is a DRM scheme attached to it. After reading up on the FAQ and T&Cs, the software is only used to download and queue up tracks. You can do it all from your web browser if you'd like but you're limited to one track at a time downloading and no way to queue a whole album. Sounds like it's a glorified download manager with a way to transmit payment details. They come in as DRM-free 256k bitrate mp3s and then you're free to do what you want with them (edit: within the terms and conditions).
Cthippo 3rd March 2008, 21:03 Quote
Interesting, I'll definatly take a look at it then.

Besides, I use Opera which has a built in download manager, though a limited one.
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