Life without Windows or OS X

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Trekstor ibeat Move + Banshee + Amazon MP3

Trekstor ibeat Move + Banshee + Amazon MP3

Well recently I was in pursuit of a new mp3 player. I’m happy to report that a few weeks ago I got a trekstor ibeat move and I've been having a lot of fun with it. It has pretty much all the basic features I wanted, decent battery life, and a fm radio. It's small and light and the display is really sharp. It features direct recording from the built-in FM radio, 25 radio station presets with automatic station search. On top of that, the Move features a microSD card slot for up to an additional 2 GB of swappable room.

I wanted to put trax on it, so I used the open source Banshee media player. Basically, this does everything iTunes does now days including video playback, podcasts, remembering last-played position for audiobooks, ripping and burning as I said it acts very much like iTunes. Banshee 1.4 offers automatic library synchronization for mobile devices and can also handle device playlists. It works with iPods and MTP players in addition to USB mass storage devices. I used it to rip my Tori Amos Collection: Tales Of A Librarian CD to my Move at a variable bit rate of 256kbps. I am sure that there is a lot of people that will unfairly compare the trekstor ibeat move to an ipod or other expensive players,but it fit my price range.

The next thing I wanted to do was buy some MP3 tracks online, but many sites across the web traditionally have to impose some form of Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions on downloadable content as a requirement by the recording industry. So I went to Amazon MP3 where their music is always DRM-free and will play on any device. There are a few restrictions. One of the biggest is that there's no re-downloading of tracks; you'd better make a backup, because if you lose a song, you'll have to purchase it again to get another copy. Individual tracks can be downloaded directly to the hard drive, but full album purchases have to use Amazons download application. The Amazon MP3 Downloader is currently available for Windows, Mac OS X and for GNU/Linux users their offering the program in both Debian's DEB and the RPM format. To make it easier to install, Amazon is including versions for Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora and openSUSE. The Amazon MP3 Downloader, program displays what your songs you're downloading. You should install the MP3 Downloader before your first purchase. Its not hard. I just double clicked the one marked Ubuntu because thats what my Dell 1420n runs. The "Package Installer" GDebi Package opened. I them Clicked the "Install Package" button, put in my root past word and launched the Amazon MP3 Downloader to complete the installation process. Before you purchase a song or album, the Amazon MP3 store lets you play a 30-second music clip via an embedded music player.

When I was ready I bought Valhalla by Emily Richards & the 80s Pop Hits full MP3 albums along with the MP3 single of Coldplay's, Viva La Vida. Buying songs from Amazon MP3 was fairly painless. You click on the 'Buy MP3' button, Amazon asks to make sure you meant to buy that track and then you are taken to a Thank You page which explains what is happening. Each one the MP3s came with embedded high-resolution album art, which showed up on my trekstor ibeat move and Banshee 1.4 just fine.

Although Amazon’s library is a little smaller than iTunes' and Napsters, it is a great place to buy DRM- free music downloads. Amazon MP3 uses a more variable pricing model, with most tracks selling between $0.49 and $0.99 USD


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