Banshee allows you to purchase albums from Ubuntu One and other online music stores, such as Amazon.com. To see what a store has to offer, just click the name of the store or archive from the Online Media link. This shows you the content of the store, which for every store is different. In the Ubuntu One Music Store, for instance, you’ll see a number of recommended albums, and different options to browse by genre or search for the album you are looking for. Just double-click the album of your choice and make sure you have your credit card ready; most songs are not available for free. Also, don’t be surprised if your favorite artist has no hits at all; it all depends on the deal an artist’s music company has made with the Ubuntu One Music Store.
The best and easiest way to find free music is to use the Amazon MP3 store. In this store, you’ll find a link that gives access to free music from rising artists. Just make your choice and download some tracks so that you can try to extend your music collection.
Using the Jamendo Store
Songs from Jamendo are free to listen to, download, and share. Jamendo allows any artist to upload his or her music under one of the “some rights reserved” licenses published by Creative Commons. Fans can join the Jamendo community free of charge, write reviews, and share music with other members, and if you’d like to support an artist with a donation, Jamendo makes it easy to do that. There’s a community extension called banshee-extension-jamendo in the Ubuntu Software Ceter to integrate Jamendo into Banshee. There’s also a community extension for Magnatune called banshee-extension-magnatune. For easy access to both Jamendo and Magnatune, it’s a good idea to install these extensions. Jamendo is not integrated with Banshee, but it’s easy to open a browser and go to jamendo.com and see if there’s anything you like.
If you want to download a song, select it on the Jamendo web site, and then click the Download button that you find at the right side of the song. Firefox then opens a link that allows you to download the song and store it on disk, or to open it directly in Banshee.
If you want to make a donation to an artist, you can just select the Donate to Artist option that displays when you download a song from the Jamendo site. Firefox will direct you to a web site where you can fill in a form to complete your donation by Paypal or credit card.
Purchasing from Magnatune
Magnatune operates on a different basis from Jamendo. Like a traditional record label, Magnatune is picky about its artists, with only a few hundred on its books, but, unlike a regular label, it lets you the customer try before you buy.
By signing up as a Magnatune member, for US$15 per month, you can download any of the music featured on the label, in a choice of different formats, including high-quality variable bitrate MP3, high quality Ogg Vorbis, and perfect quality WAV or FLAC, which are ideal for burning to CD. This is not only a great deal for the listener, but also for the artists, who get paid 50 percent, split evenly from what you listen and download.
To join, right-click on any song in the Magnatune index and select Purchase Album from the context menu. This will open Magnatune’s web site in Firefox, which will take you through the sign-up process. Once you’re a member, you will be able to right-click any song in the Magnatune listing and select Download Album to get your own fully-licensed, legitimate copy of the album in excellent quality.
Purchasing from Ubuntu One
While Jamendo and Magnatune follow very new business models, giving less well-known artists a chance to get heard and paid, Ubuntu’s sponsor Canonical thinks that Linux users should also be able to get their hands on mainstream, commercially available music.
To this end, Canonical has started a new music store as part of its Ubuntu One personal cloud service. Backed by 7digital, a major player in digital media services, the Ubuntu One music store gives you access to commercially published music from major and independent labels at competitive prices, in the same way as you would expect from iTunes or the Amazon music store.
Browse the Ubuntu One music store catalog within Banshee to see what’s available from your favorite artists and preview snippets of songs. When you find a song or album you want to buy, click the Download button. This will take you to a basket, from which you can check out or carry on browsing for more songs to buy.
When you click the Checkout button, a page will open in Firefox from which, if you haven’t already signed up to Ubuntu One, you will be able to create an account and make your purchase. All the music you buy from the store will be in high-quality 256kbps MP3 format, and will appear in your Banshee library under the Music heading, as well as in your Music folder of course. You can play it through Banshee, sync it to your MP3 player, and burn it to CD as many times as you want.
A very cool, perhaps unique feature of the Ubuntu One music store is that any music that you purchase is automatically copied to your Ubuntu One “personal cloud” (meaning storage on Ubuntu One’s servers), and is instantly available to any other computer on which you enable your Ubuntu One account.
Figure . Ubuntu users can now buy music from major and independent labels via the Ubuntu One
music store that’s integrated into Banshee.