Archive for March, 2010

Martin Albisetti’s blog: Ubuntu One contacts, now with merging!

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

While we slowly ramp up to release mobile phone contact sync, using my own contacts as test data I realized that once I had merged my phone’s address book and Thunderbird’s address book, I had quite a few contacts duplicated due to them having different names with different information in them. So I had one of those “you know what would be cool…?” kind of moments, and started working on a feature that would let me merge contacts on the web, saving me hours of copy-n-paste.
A few weeks later, an initial pass at that feature has rolled out!  Yay agile software development!

There are a few tweaks to the contacts interface, and you will see a new option:

So, for example, let’s pretend you have 2 contacts that are the same person but have an extra name in one of them, one of them has his phone number, the other, his email:

and

We go to our new merge feature and select both of them:

Finally, we get a preview of what this will look like:

Done!

Plans for the future are:

- Allow conflict resolution when the contact has 2 fields that are the same but have different values
- Allow editing the contact in the merge preview
- Allow merging from the contacts page instead of a separate page
- Use this same mechanism when conflicts arise in couchdb merging contacts
Also, contact syncing from thousands of mobile phones will be opened up for a public alpha very very very soon. Stay tuned!

Ubuntu One contacts, now with merging!

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

While we slowly ramp up to release mobile phone contact sync, using my own contacts as test data I realized that once I had merged my phone’s address book and Thunderbird’s address book, I had quite a few contacts duplicated due to them having different names with different information in them. So I had one of those “you know what would be cool…?” kind of moments, and started working on a feature that would let me merge contacts on the web, saving me hours of copy-n-paste.
A few weeks later, an initial pass at that feature has rolled out!  Yay agile software development!

There are a few tweaks to the contacts interface, and you will see a new option:

So, for example, let’s pretend you have 2 contacts that are the same person but have an extra name in one of them, one of them has his phone number, the other, his email:

and

We go to our new merge feature and select both of them:

Finally, we get a preview of what this will look like:

Done!

Plans for the future are:

- Allow conflict resolution when the contact has 2 fields that are the same but have different values
- Allow editing the contact in the merge preview
- Allow merging from the contacts page instead of a separate page
- Use this same mechanism when conflicts arise in couchdb merging contacts
Also, contact syncing from thousands of mobile phones will be opened up for a public alpha very very very soon. Stay tuned!

Better sounding music

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

The Ubuntu One Music Store sells high quality MP3 songs – most at 256 kbps and some at 320 kbps. One way to enhance your music even further is by using an equalizer. Rhythmbox doesn’t include this functionality out-of-the-box but I found a great plugin that does a fantastic job.

rbeq plugin

rbeq Rhythmbox equalizer plugin

Jorge at The Road to Elysium writes about the rbeq project. I tested it out over the weekend and was very impressed. Unlike some other equalizer plugins I’ve tried, you can make changes without restarting Rhythmbox and can even save presets. The plugin worked well most of the time though I occasionally experienced Rhythmbox crashes. Follow Christopher Kruse at the Corner of Seven blog for news on future updates.

I also made an rbeq equalizer presets file that adds to the existing equalizer settings. After installing rbeq, copy this file to ~/.gnome2/rhythmbox/plugins/rbeq, remove the ‘.txt’ from it, and restart Rhythmbox. I’ve found that the ‘presets’ file sometimes gets deleted so you may want to keep a backup handy.

Updates to web contacts

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

There’s a lot of great activity going on in the Ubuntu One team these days. Over the coming weeks leading up to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, you will start to see more and more information about new desktop and website features and improvements that will make Ubuntu One a more stable service and a joy to use.

Contacts update

We recently made some changes to the contacts page by grouping your address book in an A-to-Z format. This should make it load faster and be easier to use whether you have 10 contacts or thousands. There are also a few more enhancements to this tool coming soon.

Stay tuned for more news on all of the improvements coming soon to Ubuntu One.

Music store… be back soon

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Thank you to the Ubuntu One Music Store beta testers. We’ve received lots of great input so far.

We’re doing a bit of maintenance now so the store will be down for a little while. Sorry for the interruption but we’ll be back soon… hopefully later today.

Follow us on identi.ca and twitter for an update on when we’re live again.

UPDATE:

The Ubuntu One Music Store is now back! Thanks for your patience during the brief interruption.

We’re able to identify the few testers who bought music and received an error message earlier today. The music you purchased will be made available over the next day or so. You’ll be able to go to My Downloads in the music store to receive it.

Ubuntu One Music Store now in public beta

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Hello Lucid Testers!

Many in the Ubuntu community are excited about the Ubuntu One Music Store. The ability to search and buy popular music from within Rhythmbox is right around the corner. Today is the day that we are expanding testing by inviting all Ubuntu Lucid users to take part in the public beta of this new feature.

Testing goal

Our primary goal for this phase of testing is to ensure that the purchase and download experience is flawless. Integrating a cloud service like Ubuntu One with buying music is new for digital music stores. While it brings many benefits to users, it also adds technical complexity that increases the opportunity for problems to occur.

Testers must keep in mind that this is a beta test. We are excited to open this feature up for wider testing, but testers must understand that things will break. If something happens preventing a tester from receiving songs, there may be a delay in fulfilling their purchase. The best thing to do is to tell us about the problem using the channels below so we can resolve it quickly.

How to provide feedback

For those of you who want to test the Ubuntu One Music Store, there are a few ways for you to search for and report issues.

  • Search Launchpad [1] for your issue
  • Report new bugs against the Rhythmbox Ubuntu One Music Store project [2]
  • Chat with all beta testers on IRC: #u1msbeta on freenode

These are the primary places that the store developers will be monitoring so directing questions and issues here will ensure that they will be addressed.

The music selection

During the first few days of this expanded testing, some users may notice gaps in the songs available in the store. We are aware of it and are addressing the issue. It should be resolved very soon.

Our catalog will continue to improve and we will also look for efficient ways that users can provide more feedback about improving the selection of songs available.

How to test the store

All Lucid users around the world are invited to participate in this beta test of the Ubuntu One Music Store. If something unexpected happens, you need to tell us about it. The only way that the store will get better for everyone is if you do your part and speak up.

Some areas to test include…

  • MP3 codec detection
  • Search
  • Browse
  • Preview song samples
  • Add items to your basket
  • Checkout and buy process
  • Download to Ubuntu One
  • Sync to your computer
  • Songs added to your Rhythmbox library
  • Review purchase history in My Downloads

MP3 support

Many have had questions about MP3 support for the store and how their computer would play purchased songs. You do not have to purchase any software or codecs to play the songs on your computer. Additional details on this issue are available on the Ubuntu One Music Store FAQ page [3].

How to install the store

If Rhythmbox on your Lucid installation doesn’t already have the Ubuntu One Music Store option, use Software Center to search for and install the plugin. Enable the plugin by going to Edit > Plugins in Rhythmbox.

FAQ

We already provide a lot of great information about the store on the Ubuntu wiki [3]. This area and the FAQ content will be updated with more information as we get additional feedback from your testing.

Thank you for your help in improving the Ubuntu One Music Store for everyone!

The Ubuntu One Team

[1] https://bugs.launchpad.net/rhythmbox-ubuntuone-music-store
[2] In order for the team to capture the most information about your issue, please file a bug by opening a terminal and typing: ubuntu-bug rhythmbox-ubuntuone-music-store
[3] https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuOne/MusicStore 

Recent fixes and improvements

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

The Ubuntu One team has been working hard to fix many of the bugs that subscribers have reported as well as add more great features to the service. We will continue to address more bugs for the next few months leading up to the 10.04 release. Here are a few items that we have recently deployed.

- Fixed problems synchronizing Notes from the Tomboy application. More improvements to the website editing interface to come.

- Enhanced the website to provide easier access to support resources.

ubuntu-sso-logo

- Integrated the service with Ubuntu Single Sign On (Ubuntu SSO). Subscribers can continue to use their Launchpad login credentials. Updates to your account settings (email, password, etc.) can be made the the Ubuntu SSO site or at Launchpad.net.

- Easy link to update your login information (name, email, password) from your Ubuntu One account page.

- Various performance improvements to the website interface for Ubuntu One services.

- Preparation for Ubuntu 10.04 features such as the Ubuntu One Music Store, mobile contacts synchronization, and user-defined folders (synchronize any directory in your home folder).

Detailed release notes are available on the Ubuntu Team Wiki.

* Fixed problems synchronizing Notes from the Tomboy application. More improvements to the website editing interface to come.
* Enhanced the website to provide easier access to support resources.
* Integrated with Ubuntu SSO system. Launchpad login information still works and you can still use Launchpad to edit your account settings (email, password, etc.)
* Easy link to update your login information (name, email, password) from your Ubuntu One account page.
* Various performance improvements to the website interface for Ubuntu One services.
* Preparation for the Ubuntu One Music Store public beta (coming very soon), the upcoming mobile contacts synchronization feature, and user-defined folders (sync any directory in your home folder)