Ubuntu: Beyond OS
Taking some tips from Amazon and Google, Ubuntu has improved its music store experience. Now, when you purchase a track it will be automatically 'delivered' to your Ubuntu One cloud immediately and you will be able to play it own your mobile device or from the web. There is no need to 'download' anything.
Ubuntu One has a decent collection of tracks and albums - I found one album from Kailash Kher though I did not find rest of his albums. Ubuntu Music One Store may not be a match to Amazon, iTunes or Google Play but it does show the ambitions Canonical has with Linux.
Ubuntu One Player/Store App
Canonical should work on it's own integrated store/media player like iTunes which is capable of playing music, movies, reading eBooks as well as purchasing and installing apps. There are many music and movie players for Ubuntu but they miss the integration and polish a product like Ubuntu needs.
Ubuntu developers may also look into offering a media server so that it is extremely easy for Ubuntu users to stream their media to their Android devices, home entertainment system on the local network. Under Windows or Mac it's one click away whereas creating a DLNA, Upnp server is a challenge under Ubuntu. So, an Ubuntu One Music user will be able to stream his music on his networked connected devices.
With Ubuntu One Music Store Canonical has demonstrated it's ambitions for becoming a strong player in the desktop space and creating a powerful app and media server will turn Ubuntu into a OS for living room.
Paid vs Free
The business model of Ubuntu One Music Store makes it less attractive when compared with competitors like Google Play, Amazon or iTunes. Canonical charges a $3.99 per month fee to use the service where as rest offer such services for free of cost.
Canonical is using the 'free' route to promote the service. If you buy a track from Ubuntu One Music Store you will get a free package of 20GB storage and Music Streaming for 6 months, after which the package will expire. You can, of course, pay the $3.99 monthly or $39.99 yearly free to access the service and storage.
This free offer may bring a lot of users but will they continue to use the service or quit after six months when they have to pay? Why will I pay $3.99 for accessing a service which has smaller product portfolio when I can buy all these tracks from Amazon or Google Play without paying for any service.
I fail to understand what reasoning Ubuntu has behind this pricing. Canonical can take some lesson from Amazon which 'doesn't make money from selling devices but when user use these devices. Canonical can make Ubuntu One Music available for free of cost and focus more on getting users to buy more tracks.
When we asked our readers if they will use the 'paid' Ubuntu One Music their answere was no on Facebook:
On Google Plus this is what our readers have to say:
Christopher Bowley: No. I'm more than happy with Google Play.
Matt Woodward: Depends on what I get for $3.99 -- if I can upload my own music and get more storage than Google Play then sure. I'm up against the limit on Google Play and apparently can't buy more if I want to, and Amazon's cloud player (both in browser and on devices) is unusable due to constant crashes.
I hope the implication here isn't that people would have to pay $3.99/mo for the privilege of purchasing music ...
Devin Calef: No. I am too busy supporting Spotify who has a native client for all the major distros.
nová cula: Storage Google Play, streaming Spotify (for free so far) - can Ubuntu One MS challenge the wide range of music offered by Spotify?
This fee can be a road-block for a majority of users.