Canonical betas Ubuntu music store
Windows Media downloads 'not recommended'
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 existing Ubuntu RhythmBox music player, and at some point, it will also be available as a plug-in for Banshee, Amarok, and "a few other" third-party applications.
The existing Jamendo and Magnature music services will remain part of RhythmBox. "These are both great sources for creative commons and open licensed songs. The Ubuntu One Music Store extends the catalog of music available to Ubuntu users and will include mostly songs from minor and major label artists," the FAQ reads. "These are songs that you typically find on the shelves of your favorite record shop...except in a downloadable format."
Songs will generally use 256 kbps (or higher) MP3 encoding. You may also find some encoded in the WMA format, but Ubuntu is working to remove them and doesn't recommend purchases. WMA is Microsoft's Windows Media format.
The store will require a (free) account with the Ubuntu One storage service. More info is available from a beta tester blog post here. Currently, the beta is not public, but will be "soon." ®
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)
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.
"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 ^^