John Buckman has announced that Amarok, the popular KDE music player, now includes an integrated store for his company Magnatune, one of the largest netlabels offering DRM-free, CC-licensed music, and a fair deal for their musicians.
This is an inspired move by all parties involved - as well as making it easier than ever before for music fans to access Magnatune's catalogue, it provides newcomers to GNU/Linux with an alternative to the functionality that they have come to expect from Apple's DRM-encumbered iTunes service. In addition, Amarok and Magnatune have the advantage of of providing all the practical benefits of free software, un-DRM'd open formats and liberal licensing.
If that wasn't enough to make the Magnatune store a very attractive proposition, 10% of the price of each sale from the Amarok Magnatune store will go straight back to the Amarok project, providing an attractive way to support one of the most exciting free software projects around.
Linux.com http://applications.linux.com/applications/06/11/02/2040237.shtml?tid=39 writes:
Free software and DRM-free music met this week when the Amarok music player added a built-in "iTunes-like" music store in its latest release -- making it the first open source music application to include such a service.
Version 1.4.4 of the KDE audio player integrates a front end to the Magnatune record label, through which users can preview songs and purchase DRM-free tracks and albums in MP3 format.
Magnatune offers free track downloads for all of its artists through its Web site, so -- strictly speaking -- the Amarok feature brings no new functionality, just convenience.
Apple's iTunes Store offers songs from multiple, major record labels, and thus far more artists and artists of wider popularity. Magnatune, however, offers a direct-to-artist royalty scheme that it would claim is more fair to performers, and its commitment to the standard MP3 format, with no digital rights management, is more fair to consumers. As to the relative merits of indie versus major label artists, there is no accounting for taste.
The Amarok development team says that the Magnatune deal was not a planned partnership. Nikolaj Hald Nielsen told the Amarok mailing list "Magnatune just made their entire catalogue available as an XML file on their site (which was what gave me the idea for this feature) and proved responsive to my request for an API to purchase music directly from within other programs."
For its part Magnatune is receptive to the possibility of working with other third-party application developers to bring its music to a wider audience. The site already publishes information about using Magnatune XML feeds, including demos and instructions for embedding a music mini-browser in Web sites and applications. Using the service to enable music purchases requires an API key, which must be requested and approved by Magnatune.
About.com: http://linux.about.com/b/a/257572.htm writes: Newly Released Amarok Version 1.4.4 Includes Musicstore
The most significant innovation of this version is the integration of the Magnatune Musicstore. This allows you to use Amarok to listen to songs you are interested in and purchase them in a DRM-free format. It also shows information about the artists and the titles.
Gremlin News: http://cyber-gremlin.livejournal.com/35937.html
Amarok is One of the most widely used, & loved music players in the open source world, it runs on Linux (kde), and has just about everything a music lover could want. it automatically downloads song lyrics, fro ma free service, automatically looks up banks on Wikipedia, retrieves cover art, does ratings, categories, mood-themes. you name it. And now it's going to allow automatic download of music, similar to ITunes, but without the DRM and other BS. the new music store will sell Creative Commons licensed, music, including artists from the rather open label Magnatune.
My favorite comment about Magnatune is from Snapecast http://community.livejournal.com/snapecast/ (all about Snape, the fabulous character from the Harry Potter films)
Please visit www.magnatune.com to listen to and purchase many of the fabulous pieces of music you hear on Snapecast. Snape may be evil, but they are not.