Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'music'

Jouni Helminen

Ubuntu community devs Andrew Hayzen and Victor Thompson chat with lead designer Jouni Helminen. Andrew and Victor have been working in open source projects for a couple of years and have done a great job on the Music application that is now rolling out on phone, tablet and desktop. In this chat they are sharing their thoughts on open source, QML, app development, and tips on how to get started contributing and developing apps.

If you want to start writing apps for Ubuntu, it’s easy. Check out, get involved on Google+ Ubuntu App Dev –… – or contact – you are in good hands!

Check out the video interview here :)

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Joshua Hoover

Since launching the Ubuntu One music store on the web there has been a steady flow of traffic to the web store and away from the store embedded in Rhythmbox on Ubuntu. The music store in Rhythmbox is operated separately from the one on the web, which means it requires a fair amount of additional work to keep it running smoothly. In order to make the music store better for everyone, regardless of what device they may be using at any given moment, we’re focusing on the web music store and removing the store from Rhythmbox in Ubuntu 13.04 as well as from previous releases, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and 12.10 via a stable release update. With this change, all Ubuntu One music purchases will be made at instead of in Rhythmbox. Your purchases will still automatically be delivered to your cloud storage, download to your computer and be available in Rhythmbox. Of course, if you have a music streaming subscription, you can also stream all your music from the web, Android, or iOS.

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Just buy this....

Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s my idea of AC/DC was basically everything after “Back in Black”, which made them a household name.

I finally snagged the new Blu Ray of Let There be Rock, which is great for people like me because it’s a good time capsule to what that era was like. My only image of Bon Scott was just the replays on the radio.

However, on Blu Ray you can really watch his performance as a front man to a rock band, and it’s amazing. 

They really did a good job on the quality, other than the aspect ratio, which unfortunately isn’t widescreen.

You won’t care though, just put the DTS track on and let Bon Scott fill you in on old school AC/DC in their 1979 glory. He died 2 months later. :(

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Roberta Nilerud

A handy update this week to our Music Streaming app for Android, tons of small bug fixes have been made that will improve overall performance and a demo mode has been added.

So, what’s this ‘demo mode’?…. I hear you ask. Well,  it’s a way to play around with our Music Streaming app without having to sign up to the Music Streaming subscription and upload your own music beforehand. The demo mode lets you stream from 98 free tracks instantly with no commitment, so you can sample Music Streaming for Android straight away. The app itself is free to download and demo, if you like all the great features such as offline listening and want to continue to use it you’ll have to add on a Music Streaming subscription. This plan is great value at just $3.99 per month, which now includes 20GB of storage built in so you can continue to grow your music collection. You still get a 30 day free trial and on top of that if you sign up for twelve months you only pay $39.99, so that’s an additional two months for free.

Happy listening!

Also, just a quick reminder about our App Developer evening on Thursday at Manchester Metropolitan University, where Stuart Langridge will be talking Ubuntu One apps from 7pm , it’s free and there’s still time to register. Hope to see you there.

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Barry Warsaw

I'm starting a new musical project, which I'm calling OTONE and/or ONOTE.  Actually, I've been working on this project for several years without realizing what I wanted to do with it.  It coalesced in my mind when I thought of the acronyms above.  Here's what they stand for:

  1. The One Tune One Night Experiment (OTONE)
  2. The One Night One Tune Experiment (ONOTE)
I'm not yet sure what the difference between the two are yet (though see below), but here's the idea behind the project.

If you're like me, you can easily sweat over a song and its recording for ever, tweaking the mix, or hearing another melody, or (worst of all) agonizing over every word of a lyric that was like pulling teeth in the first place.  Sometimes you think if you just do one more take of the guitar, you can get it perfect, or oh! it just needs a little bit of tamborine right there.  Sometimes the arrangement just doesn't sit quite right, or you know in your gut that lurking out there somewhere there's a better way to get from the bridge to the last chorus.

Well, I'm kind of frustrated with that because it can lead to never actually finishing a song and getting it out there for folks to hear.  At some point you reach diminishing returns, where the little tweaks don't really improve the song enough.  Probably most importantly, the whole thing can put the brakes on the creative process.  I liken it to software maintenance vs. creating a new project from scratch.

Software maintenance is important, useful, and can be fun, but the juices really get flowing when you're starting a new project.  You get this rush of an idea and your fingers can't type fast enough to translate them into code.  It's this latter feeling that I want to better capture with music.

A brilliant friend and awesome drummer once said, "you have to get the crappy songs out in order to get to the good ones."  A similar thought is "let 1000 flowers bloom."  The more you write the easier it gets, and the more likely that out will come some cool songs.  Thus OTONE/ONOTE.

The idea is to produce one song in one evening, and not sweat the details (too much).  I have a small backlog of tunes that I've written using this approach (without realizing it) and plan on posting them to my website and social media over the next few weeks.  Going forward, I'm going to set aside one night a week or fortnight, and see what happens.  I'll post those too.  I'll very likely put them under a non-commercial Creative Commons license, but I haven't yet decided whether to allow derivative works or not (I'm leaning toward "yes").

I encourage my other artistic friends to take a similar approach with their music, writing, art, etc.  Feel free to use the #onote or #otone tags, but if you could link back to this article as your original impetus, I'd really appreciate it.

I should mention that some of the songs were not written in one night, but all were produced in one night.  I'm trying to keep it under check, but sometimes I just can't help but twiddle the chorus now and then. :)  Maybe that's the distinction though.  OTONE can mean a song I wrote in one night, while ONOTE can be one evening devoted to producing just one song.

A couple of other things to keep in mind:

  • The songs will be rough.  The whole point is not to cut and paste that one early bass note into the right place because that just slows you down.  Unless it doesn't and you can still finish in one night. :)
  • Part of the reason for doing this is to better learn other software.  I'm fairly proficient at Cubase 4 (but despise the dongle), and GarageBand is easy to get started (but much more difficult to do advanced stuff like arrange), Logic 9 is cool but I don't know it that well, and there are lots of free and alternative DAWs to experiment with.  Doing quick one-night projects gives me some time to explore these.
  • Give me feedback and maybe I'll flesh out the good ones.  There's no rule against coming back around to the ones you like and obsessing over the details later.
  • Remember: just because the sun's come up doesn't mean the night's over.

Now, go out and create!

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Went to see Rush this weekend….. I had pretty good seats (and I should hope so the way ticket prices are these days):

As a bonus I was on Geddy’s side, so I got to see all his basses lined up. See if you can find the distinctive Orange amps. All of his basses were Fender J’s. 

As you can expect, the performance was pretty immaculate. Alex’s guitar cut out during one song for a few seconds but other than that they sound great. They ended up playing 3 instrumental songs; Leave That Thing Alone, YYZ, and they encored with La Villa Strangiato. 

The 2 new songs sound great, though they could have probably left Presto off the set list and no one would have noticed. Also, the B-side of Moving Pictures is way better than I remember. The I Love You, Man video at the end was pretty funny too.

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Martin Albisetti

The Ubuntu One team are feeling the joys of Spring, because after several months working hard we’ve got some great news about updates to our Android Music app, which don’t forget works anywhere in the world!

The first thing you’ll notice in the new UI is album art so you will now see any saved album covers. Managing your playlists is now even easier as you can create, edit and delete playlists straight from your device. Those of you with lots of music will notice the overall speed improvement, meaning you can enjoy your huge music collection without any long waits. Plus, we have also added support for non-DRM iTunes songs so that you can stream songs you’ve purchased from iTunes just as easily as your MP3s, bringing all your music together.

Album view Playlist view Playing paylist

In addition many of you requested this next feature so we’re sure you’ll be pleased that we now support songs in Ogg Vorbis format so you can stream your collection of Ogg music natively, without the need to convert it to another format. If you’re a developer you may be interested in knowing that playlists are stored in your CouchDB database allowing you to write applications that read/write to them.

So that’s faster access to more of your music wherever you are in the world. The latest version 1.2 is now available in the Android market, happy listening and watch this space for upcoming updates to our iPhone app.


- Martin and the web & mobile team

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Daniel Holbach

I’ve been slacking a bit when it comes to DJing land picked it up this year again. Some of my mixtapes are on a part of my blog that’s not syndicated, but I set up a page with all the posts. I just posted a new one today.

If you have no plans tonight and you’re in Berlin, come to the GNOME3 Launch Lounge (Facebook event page) in c-base tonight. I’ll be playing there as well. :-)

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Matt Griffin

Are you the kind of person that wants to listen their extensive Barry White collection on their big living room speakers?

There are a variety of complex ways to do this but Ubuntu One offers an easy solution for iPhone users. All you’ll need is Ubuntu One Music (part of the Ubuntu One Mobile add-on) on an iPhone running iOS 4.2 and an audio/video component that supports AirPlay. Devices such as Apple TV and stereo electronics from DenonMarantz, or iHome (US links) are available now or coming soon to a store near you.

Setup is easy and does not require an update to the Ubuntu One Music app.

  1. Follow the instructions to connect your AirPlay device to your network and television.
  2. Launch Ubuntu One Music on your iPhone and start playing a song from your synced mp3 collection.
  3. The volume slider at the bottom of the screen has a new icon on the right. Clicking the icon enables you to choose where to output your audio. Select your Apple TV and after a few seconds you’ll start to hear “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe” from your speakers.

All of the app’s controls still function so you can pause, skip, or browse over to your Teddy Pendergrass favorites. You can be anywhere in the house and control what’s streaming from your Ubuntu One personal cloud.

Remember that Ubuntu One Mobile will stream all of your mp3s that are in your personal cloud whether they’re purchased from the Ubuntu One Music Store or synced from your personal collection.

Ubuntu One Music for iPhone with AirPlay

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Joshua Hoover

The Ubuntu One Mobile plan gives you the ability to stream any music in your personal cloud to your iPhone or Android phone. Watch as Josh shows you how easy it can be to keep your music with you, everywhere you go, with Ubuntu One!

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Matt Griffin

It’s finally here. Ubuntu One users can now add music streaming to the long list of things that we offer. This is a big step for us and our goal of creating useful services around your content.

We have to thank the Android beta testers who provided great feedback, identified important bugs and streamed enough songs to their phones to help us identify ways that we should improve our infrastructure.

Testing in the wild and sharing the code with everyone has yielded another benefit – feature contributions. We didn’t expect it, but the Ubuntu One Music app for Android will also include Scrobbling support. Special thanks to Scott Ferguson for that contribution… even before the app was released!

Find out more about Ubuntu One Mobile and music streaming at

Ubuntu One Music for Android and iPhone

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This afternoon I met Dave Mustaine at the signing for his new autobiography, Mustaine. I was surprised (and elated) to see so many people there for a genre that continually has been written off, even though it’s the greatest form of music we as a species can ever hope to achieve.

This, my friends, is the face of pure joy. (Mine, not his, blame the camera guy). More pics here.

More pics here

Tonight I will go to watch Megadeth perform as they swing by Detroit. It will be epic.

Pic by Isengard

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Daniel Holbach


Earlier today I went to a goodbye party of a friend who’s going to Australia for a few months. Great things that happened:

  1. Party was outdoors, a few DJs played, great atmosphere, 100+ people at peak times
  2. Some of my awesome office mates were there, my sister too
  3. The police showed up and instead of shutting the party down, they told us where it was “OK” to have the party
  4. We moved all the equipment, the generator, drinks and everything else to the new place, which was nearby, everybody helped
  5. I played a 4 hour Drum’n'Bass set, which I (and others) were very happy with, they even collected money for the DJ – glad it was dark, so nobody could see if I was blushing
  6. I watched the sunrise by the riverside while the party was still going on
  7. I drove home on my bicycle
  8. A few guys stopped me to take a picture of them and as a thanks offered me their last beer

Oh how I love this city!

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Daniel Holbach

We have two heroes of Free Culture who will have their pieces of art released on the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS CDs. Without further ado let me present you the two winners of this cycle’s Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase and what they have to say about themselves, their work and Ubuntu:

Audio: Colin Ross – Frustration Blues

Colin Ross

Colin Ross

I’ve been playing music since my dad started training me in classical piano at 5, and I’ve been making a living playing music–sometimes just barely–since I was a teenager. These days I play original jazz, blues, and new age music, as well as a lot of classic jazz and blues: standards and a lot of early folk and American roots music (the kind of stuff, like Robert Johnson’s, that is part of the public domain every way except legally). I live in Reno, Nevada and tour regularly in the Northwest and the northern Rockies. I’m also increasingly involved in palliative care-using music to touch, comfort and entertain people who are dealing with pain, cognitive problems, and other challenges.

I’ve recorded 5 albums, including two with my band. Frustration Blues is from Refried Boogie, an album of original piano blues that I recorded in my home studio on my vintage Steinway in 2005. I’m really excited to have my work go out to so many people. Once I realized what the web is for, from an independent musician’s
perspecitive–finding new listeners and serving as an interactive business card to help book more and better gigs, rather than selling music to the masses–it’s really helped me move to a new phase of my career, where I get to play the kinds of music
*I* want to play, and earn an audience based on that (rather trying to fit into a “lounge act” mold or the like).

My son is the Ubuntu user and he put me up to this. But one thing I like about the Ubuntu philosophy is the same thing I like about the Internet, that it gives people the freedom to do what they want to do rather than what other people think they should be doing.

Video: Andrew Higginson – Ubuntu Is Humanity

Andrew Higginson

Andrew Higginson

Andrew lives in England and from a very young age was drawn to Ubuntu by a stroke of luck. Although he is only 16, he has been using Ubuntu and Free Software for 4 years, thanks to taking a risk and moving away from proprietary software – he has not looked back since. Andrew appreciates Free Software because it allows him to do great things with very little. This donation of time and energy in the form of Free Software is something that Andrew tries to pay back, whether it is through producing artwork and media, or through the small bit of Python coding here and there. Although Andrew is currently busy with GCSEs, however between exams he likes to (occasionally) write on his blog and move from project to project, helping wherever he can.

About the entry:
“I always try to contribute to the Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase and not being any form of director or cinematographer myself, I try to experiment with new techniques, rather than going for ‘mouth-watering composition’ or ‘emotional yet dramatic lighting’ (since I don’t know how to do these things!). This year I was inspired by a few videos I saw and I decided to create a video that had a simple message and used simple techniques. Well it looks like it turned out okay and so I hope you enjoy it!”

Thanks a lot to the jury and everybody who participated. You all ROCK!

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Daniel Holbach

As part of the Ubuntu community we’re quite used to the concept of sharing our work with others. Not just because we’re all good and selfless people but because we deeply believe that by actively making the fruits of our labour available to others we make the world more diverse and interesting, solve problems and generally make it a better place.

There luckily today are countless and successful examples of this and Ubuntu fits perfectly into this world of sharing. To underline this we want to support artists by making their art available on the actual Ubuntu CDs.

A couple of Ubuntu releases back we started the Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase and have since then delivered the best video, the best piece of audio and the best picture on our Ubuntu CDs.

So…. if you are into

Making Music

Making Music

or videos…

we want you to participate in Lucid’s Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase. If you produced a great picture, video or piece of music, to enter the competition, head to for the instructions!

If you’re into





you might want to have a look at the Artwork Team’s Wallpaper contest.

ROCK! :-)

(and happy 2010)

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