A new version of Rhythmbox, the oft-overlooked desktop music app preinstalled on Ubuntu, is now available to download.
Way back in the deep recesses of, er, January we told you that Ubuntu 13.04 would ship without a music store in Rhythmbox, Ubuntu’s default music player.
Not that many people seemed to notice at the time. But that news is today officially confirmed by Canonical.
But it seems that there’s an additional sting in the tail: the Music Store will also be removed from Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and Ubuntu 12.10 through a future update.
So what’s prompted this about turn? And why apply it retroactively? The good ol’ conflict between effort and reward seems to be to blame.
The plugin, Ubuntu One devs say, is a bit of a chore to maintain. And with an (arguably far superior) version of the store available online, few are still using the embedded storefront in Rhythmbox. The Online Store is even included as a default item on the Unity Launcher in Ubuntu 12.10 and 13.04.
So it’s being ditched. Erased. Axed.
It’s a logical, sane, and acceptable decision. The Ubuntu One Music Store is available online in an arguably slicker presentation.
And, through the Unity Dash, music can be perused and previewed – though we’ll need to wait until Ubuntu 13.1o to add ‘purchased’ to that alliterative sentence.
The Unity Dash democratizes access to the store, letting anyone use it regardless of their music player choice. And the online store gives a much more enjoyable shopping experience than that offered by the Rhythmbox storefront.
What’s not Affected
But before anyone reaches for their flaming pitchfork let’s look at what isn’t affected by the change: the cool bits. Yep, the Ubuntu One Music plugin isn’t going away entirely, just the store front.
Music bought from the online store will…
- continue to sync with Ubuntu One
- still appear in Rhythmbox (if set up)
- be available for music streaming subscribers
And the Ubuntu One Music Store can still be browsed from the desktop using the Music lens in the Unity Dash.