We're very proud to announce the release of Banshee 1.7.3, which brings some much anticipated WebKit goodness: the Amazon MP3 Store and the Miro Podcast Directory integration. Amazon MP3 downloading is fully supported, separate from the integrated store itself. There are also a handful of other smaller new features and enhancements, and a good deal of bug fixing as well.
Amazon MP3 Store
This new extension provides a source from which users can browse, search, preview, purchase, and download music from the Amazon MP3 store in all countries where it is offered: United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Japan.
Music that is purchased through the new integrated Amazon MP3 store will automatically begin downloading and importing into the Banshee music library.
When previewing music on the Amazon MP3 store in Banshee, the previews will play through Banshee, showing up in the header, and not through Flash.
Amazon MP3 Downloader
The support for Amazon MP3 is not limited just to the store. If you decide to purchase music through your regular web browser, Amazon MP3 will provide a .amz file, a sort of playlist that indicates how the MP3s can be downloaded.
Banshee now associates itself with these .amz files and will download and import the MP3s referenced in them.
The Amazon MP3 Store and Downloader extensions are entirely separate. This allows you to pick your preferred user experience for purchasing music through Amazon MP3. The Amazon MP3 Store extension can be disabled if desired and the downloader will still work with an external web browser.
Other ways to download .amz files include opening manually with your operating system's file manager, the Import Media dialog available through the Media → Import menu, or the command line client distributed with Banshee: $ bamz foo.amz. Bamz will download the .amz contents in the current directory, and will not import the MP3s into the Banshee library automatically.
For more information on the Amazon MP3 integration in Banshee 1.7.3, read my previous blog posts on the two separate extensions:
Miro Podcast Directory
Building on the same new WebKit integration in Banshee 1.7.3 as the Amazon MP3 Store, a new Miro Podcast Directory extension has been implemented. The source integrates with miroguide.com, allowing users to discover, stream, and subscribe to podcasts in a way never before possible in Banshee.
Much more work for tighter integration with the Miro Podcast Directory will come in future releases.
Bulk Metadata Fixup Extension
A new tool is available from the Tools → Fix Music Metadata menu item that allows for bulk metadata fixing. This feature proposes to merge artists and albums that vary only by case, & vs and, etc.
- Visual separators were added in the source view between categories of sources: special (Now Playing, Play Queue), local media, and online services.
- Item counts in the status bar are now culturally formatted (e.g. in en_US show 1,000 instead of 1000).
- Improved downloading and visual refreshing of new cover art.
- Visual tweaks to the grid view album artwork hover effect.
- *Developers:*new Banshee.WebBrowser API for creating embedded WebKit web browsers and sources. Currently used by the new Amazon MP3 store, Miro Guide, and the Wikipedia context pane.
- *Developers:*new Hyena.Downloader API for performing downloads and easy HTTP operations: HttpFileDownloader, HttpStringDownloader, etc.
- *Distributors:*the webkit-sharp dependency was dropped, and instead we now take a dependency directly on libwebkit 1.2.2+ for the new Banshee.WebBrowser API.