I just posted an update to this as Amazon seems to have tweaked things a bit. But I also emailed firstname.lastname@example.org to let him know a Linux client would be nice (or better yet, the ability to easily download the .amz files without resorting to user agent trickery). I got back a form email, but I have to believe that more messages might help increase Linux awareness at Amazon.
So I logged into my Amazon Cloud Player for some reason and noticed that they had AutoRipped a bunch of my previous CD purchases.
I wasn’t horribly psyched about the AutoRip program when I heard about it because I had already ripped most of the things I had bought from Amazon over the years, but I noticed a Motown box set in my account that I had bought for my mom a while back. Since it was a gift for someone else, I had never ripped it.
Most Linux users know the Amazon Cloud Player is insufferable with Linux, only allowing users to download one song at a time. Given the box set was well over a hundred songs, I decided to figure out a workaround.
It turned out to not be a huge deal. This post showed me the steps, which were:
- Use an agent switcher to convince Amazon you’re on Windows.
September 2013 update: I found that using Firefox 16 on Windows 8 as my user agent prevents Amazon from forcing me to use their proprietary downloader and gives me the .amz file. You might want to play with this variable if you can’t get Amazon to surrender the .amz. There’s a nice list of user agents here.
- Click through to convince Amazon you have their downloader installed.
- Download the Amazon .amz file.
- Use the wonderful clamz to do the rest.
On the one hand, it’s kind of crazy that it takes that many steps to download music I own. But on the other hand, now that I know the process and have the user agent switcher installed, I’m all set to go.
So any Linux users who have bought CDs from Amazon should feel free to check the Cloud Player, confident they can easily download their songs. It’s really not that big a deal to convince Amazon that Linux users can download more than one song at a time.
This is why I love Sabayon!
Last month, Jono Bacon had a cool post about what he loves about his 10.04 installation. I thought it might be fun to do the same thing for my 10.04 Xubuntu install.
I love Chromium. On my machine, it’s much, much faster than Firefox. Plus, you can kill failing tabs, rather than having to shut down the entire browser (not that that happens too often with Chromium). Plus, I love the Chromed Bird extension. It eliminates the need for a separate Twitter client (although I do have Pino installed). Chromium gives me a lot of bang for my buck.
The Xfce application finder is surprisingly robust. It can’t open files or directories, but it’s great for opening programs quickly. I feel like people were really into application launchers and now they’re kind of off of them, but for someone like me, who hates to take his hands off of the keyboard, application finder is perfect (I bound mine to Alt-space). On a semi-related note, the Quick Open plugin for gedit lets me quickly open text files I’ve worked on, without using the mouse. Quick Open ships with gedit so you just need to activate it. It opens up with Alt-Ctrl-O. Then, start typing the name of your file, if it’s not already on the list.
I’m not a big OpenOffice/LibreOffice fan. It just feels so bloated. Gnumeric seems to do everything OpenOffice’s spreadsheet does, without requiring me to also have an unnecessary word processor, presentation, drawing, and database program installed. The Unix philosophy is do one thing well and Gnumeric is a good example of that. My one complaint is that copying-and-pasting is borked due to some kind of conflict with the Clipman clipboard manager. Luckily, I don’t do too much spreadsheet work.
I know people hate Gimp. I know people think it’s overly complex. And they’re right. But after years of trying to work with it, I feel like I’m finally becoming competent (for my very, very basic purposes). It doesn’t win any style points and the usability is non-existent, but it lets me crop and size images pretty quickly and easily. I probably use it once a week (on Xubuntu but also at work on Windows 7). I’m grateful for Gimp.
I don’t listen to much music on my laptop, but Exaile is great for keeping everything organized, editing metadata, and for the odd times I do want to play music. Exaile is simple and I never have to think about it. It even picks up album art for me. I just wish I could get it to burn CDs.
There are probably some things I’m forgetting, but these are certainly the main things on my computer that make me very happy to be running Xubuntu.
I’ve written (briefly) about clamz before.
clamz is a simple command line program that “opens” .amz files from the Amazon.com MP3 store.
Amazon has its own downloader for Linux, but it hasn’t been updated for quite some time. Fedora 11? Isn’t Fedora up to 25 right now?
The 9.04 Ubuntu downloader doesn’t install on 10.04, my Xubuntu version. There are tricks to get it to install, but I decided clamz would be easier to get going.
clamz can be downloaded here. Details on the Ubuntu dependencies can be found here. I didn’t use the full string, but I forgot to track which ones I needed. You can probably just install one package at a time if you’re worried about bloat.
It’s kind of funny that I just realized I need clamz. I download off of Amazon fairly frequently, but I hadn’t downloaded an entire album until yesterday (the price was right for this one). I guess I thought I had the Amazon downloader working, because I knew I didn’t have clamz.
But now I do have clamz, and it’s flawless as always. In fact, I kind of wonder why it’s not in the Ubuntu repositories — especially since Amazon seems to have given up on developing their download tool for Linux.
Plus, with clamz, I imagine one could keep the .amz files as a backup and re-open them if you ever lose the MP3s.
To open an Amazon album with clamz, go into the terminal, go into the directory with your .amz file and type clamz Amazon file name. Or, if you’re lazy like me, just do clamz *.amz to open all of the Amazon albums in a directory.
Believe it or not, even with clamz, I still find buying an Amazon album or song about 20 times faster than doing the same thing through iTunes.