Building on last week's announcement of the Amazon MP3 downloader extension, the Amazon MP3 Store extension allows for tighter integration and a better user experience -- music can be explored and purchased all from within Banshee.
I employ no gimmicks. The extension is very simple, just embedding a WebKit GTK web browser, and integrates with a few hooks:
- Intercepts audio/x-mpegurl content, to stream previews. This provides natively integrated music previews that play in Banshee, not in the web page via Flash.
- Intercepts audio/x-amzxml content, the playlist (or "download queue") that Amazon provides after a purchase, and load through the Amazon MP3 downloader extension to immediately begin downloading the newly purchased music. This eliminates the need for Amazon's external downloader. Everything happens from within Banshee.
- Set a cookie ahead of time so that the Amazon MP3 web site is aware that a downloader is installed (Banshee), making the purchasing experience faster and less confusing.
- Search the Amazon MP3 store from the usual Banshee search box.
- Provide basic web-browser navigation controls: back, forward, refresh, home.
As simple and obvious as this approach may be, the reality is that this integrated experience was previously unseen on the Linux Desktop. This approach levels the music purchasing playing field -- no extra software to install, no browsers, file managers, or mime systems to configure, and no more manually importing externally downloaded music. Just click, buy, and enjoy.
The code is all committed and available for immediate use in Banshee's git master branch. It will be available in the next release for packaging: 1.7.3.
Remember, Amazon MP3 music is all DRM-free, and there is tons of free content on Amazon as well for you to try the extension out if you're not up for purchasing more music just now.