Friday, May 7, 2010

Ubuntu One Music Store Starts on the Wrong Foot

It's been more than a week since the much awaited release of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and one of the features I was sure it was going to attract quite a crowd is having some problems - at least on my system. I'm talking, as the title may have tipped you off, about the Ubuntu One Music Store.

First of all, you should know that Amazon's MP3 service is not available where I live (Romania) so I was quite excited when I heard that Lucid Lynx will provide a convenient method of legally downloading DRM-free tunes for International users. So, as soon as the new system was installed on my machine, I fired up Rhythmbox, picked a tune from the first screen, made the payment through a Visa card (0.99 euros) and in less than a minute I received the receipt = transaction complete. I was actually surprised that there were no errors, no hiccups, no hours-long waiting. I clicked the "My downloads" button inside Rhythmbox and it showed me the file with the following message on its right: "Transferring to your Ubuntu One storage". Ok... Now all I have to do is wait for the gauge to fill up and I can enjoy the tune. 

Is it done yet? How 'bout now? Now?

No "Purchased Music" folder in sight

That was 7 days ago. Today, guess what the "My downloads" screen looks like! Yes, it's exactly the same. Absolutely no progress. Fortunately, I was able to get to the purchased song through Ubuntu One's web interface and download it from there. But if Canonical made such a tight integration with Rhythmbox, why is it still unable to sync with the Ubuntu One client?

The purchased song inside the Web Interface
There are quite a few people reporting similar problems on Launchpad since Lucid's launch and yesterday I saw that, among others, an update for Ubuntu One was available. I was almost certain that this was going to fix the problem but... no. I removed my computer from the approved devices, added it again, performed a reboot, restarted Rhythmbox, manually added the song inside the Ubuntu One folder, nothing did the trick.

Look, I am far from being an audiophile, I barely listen to any music whatsoever, especially when I'm at home, so I am really not crying my eyes out for this (especially since the music CAN be downloaded from the Web Interface), but it's issues like this that can make a new distro version feel as if it was rushed. Anyway, I am thankful for having a quick and easy way to purchase quality MP3s. Oh, and, as you may know, Canonical partnered with 7Digital to create this store, which is even more of an achievement, since 7Digital itself apparently doesn't allow outside-UK purchases.

Update 1: Thanks to Anonymous for correcting me: "The purchased music is downloaded to ~/.ubuntuone, and not to ~/Ubuntu One". The folder is indeed there, but, as expected, it's as empty as the other. :)

I had my say, now it's your turn, my jolly-good readers. How is your experience with the Ubuntu One Music Store? What other issues have affected you? If Amazon's MP3 service is available where you live did you / will you even bother with this new Store? Thanks for reading everyone and praises to the handful of you that were insane enough to remain subscribed to this blog all through this waaaay too long break. :D 

Have an awesome evening/night/day/morning!


  1. The purchased music is downloaded to ~/.ubuntuone, and not to ~/Ubuntu One

  2. Hi! Thanks for testing the Ubuntu One music store! You're being affected by a bug we know about -- as you've seen, sometimes songs are downloaded correctly to your personal cloud but not downloaded to your machine. We're working on releasing a fix for this right now; in the interim, you may find that running this command from the terminal:

    touch "~/.ubuntuone/Purchased from Ubuntu One/empty"

    starts your songs downloading. Thanks for your patience! If this doesn't help, please look at other support options, such as our IRC channel where we can help you more directly, from the Ubuntu One website.

    Stuart Langridge
    Ubuntu One

  3. I can't really see the point of Ubuntu One music store when I can go direct to 7Digital for my music.

  4. "I can't really see the point of Ubuntu One music store when I can go direct to 7Digital for my music."

    From the article:
    "which is even more of an achievement, since 7Digital itself apparently doesn't allow outside-UK purchases."

  5. well, the big point is to be able to store and play also music you did not by via U1MS