Canonical Voices

Roberta Nilerud

Kicking off 2012 with iOS Files and CES

As the dust settles from the holidays the U1 team is kicking off the new year with our first release of 2012.  Our eagerly anticipated Files app for iOS is now ready for download in the app store.

The Android version of this app has been hugely successful and the iOS version delivers to the same high standard, so you can secure and manage your photos and files directly from your iOS device wherever you are.

One great feature of the Ubuntu One Files app is that each time you open it, it will automatically send photos snapped on your iOS device directly to your Ubuntu One personal cloud and other connected devices. So you’ll have peace of mind knowing all your precious photos are backed up to your Ubuntu One cloud instantly. Sharing photos with family, friends and to social spaces from the app is also made easy and you can post straight to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or your blog. This is a free app so all you have to do to get started is install the app and login to your Ubuntu One account. If you are new to Ubuntu One simply register for a free account and get 5GB of free cloud storage.

 

More good news is that for the first time we will be at CES this year in Las Vegas from 10-13th of January. Ubuntu One will be showcased alongside the Ubuntu OS, so if you are heading to CES come by and see us at the Ubuntu booth located on the upper level South Hall 4, #35379 . Some members of the Ubuntu One team will be on hand to demonstrate all the great things Ubuntu One can do and to answer any questions you may have. There will also be some U1 goodies to take home. Along with all our file sync and mobile music streaming services, the recently launched Web Music Streaming and the new Files app for iOS will be available to demo, as well as an exclusive sneak peak at the future evolution of Ubuntu One. Exciting times lie ahead as we will continue to lead the way in linking the personal cloud with consumer electronics by being first to bring the convenience of the Ubuntu One personal cloud to the connected car. We have partnered with several auto electronic engineering suppliers to create a prototype of the Ubuntu One connect car. The first iteration will focus on music streaming with major auto suppliers Visteon and Delphi at CES showcasing their take on music streaming from your Ubuntu One personal cloud to your car.

In addition, embedded systems software developer AllGo Systems will show Ubuntu One music streaming integrated into their automotive middleware. Plus, semiconductor producer Freescale will demonstrate Ubuntu One music streaming on their ARM i.MX platform.

All in all it’s a busy start to the year for us and in 2012 we are looking to continue the same fast pace we set in 2011. Throughout this year we will be working hard to further enhance performance of current services and introduce more great features for our loyal users to enjoy. We also aim to bring Ubuntu One to new audiences so even more people around the world can share the Ubuntu One personal cloud experience.

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Stuart Langridge

Merry Christmas from the Ubuntu One team! As announced at UDS in Orlando in November, the Ubuntu One team have been working on a project to allow application developers to sync data to Ubuntu One, and we’ve now reached the tech preview stage. Here’s the details.

U1DB is a database API for synchronised databases of JSON documents. It’s simple to use in applications, and allows apps to store documents and synchronise them between machines and devices. U1DB itself is not a database: instead, it’s an API and data model which can be backed by any database for storage. This means that you can use U1DB on different platforms, from different languages, and backed on to different databases, and sync between all of them.

Data sync is an essential part of what we want to offer with Ubuntu One. We already offer file sync, and that’s also part of our developer story (the APIs for file sync and music streaming are documented at https://one.ubuntu.com/developer/); U1DB is designed to offer data sync. Some information in your personal cloud is best done as files: your music, your photos, letters written in Word, things you want to back up. However, applications work with data: contacts, metadata about your files, todo lists, preferences and settings, and most stuff an application works with. We’re building U1DB to allow app developers to work with the same data on every platform and in every language; to save data and sync it between devices without having to manage that themselves.

We’ve been working on U1DB enough to have a working implementation, and now we want to get it out to all of you. We’re calling this a tech preview — it’s a working version of U1DB, with the intention that developers look at it and play with it and start working with it. We’re very interested in hearing your thoughts on the current implementation, the API, and its use in applications. Give us your thoughts in comments here or on the U1DB mailing list at https://launchpad.net/~u1db-discuss or just join us at #u1db on freenode for a chat. The tech preview is of the reference implementation — this is written in (and to be used from) Python on Windows or Ubuntu or anywhere Python runs, and it’s where we work on the algorithms and API used across all U1DB implementations. This tech preview contains the library to work with U1DBs from Python, and an example server and client implementation — U1DB is peer-to-peer syncing, so it’s perfectly possible to run your own server and sync to that, and this tech preview has an example server to play with.

You can see (early) documentation of U1DB, the API, and example usage at http://people.canonical.com/~aquarius/u1db-docs/. We are also working on Vala and JavaScript implementations of U1DB: you can find the Vala implementation at http://launchpad.net/shardbridge, and we plan to build implementations of U1DB for iOS (Obj-C on SQLite) and Android (Java on SQLite) in the future.

The tech preview is mostly about getting input into the product so we can make sure we build something that is useful for people. We also have listed a number of open questions on detailed technical subjects which we’d like to hear opinions on from people who would be interested in using U1DB or writing a new implementation for another platform or language or database backend. Give us your thoughts on these too!

Open Questions

  1. In general, creating an API that is conceptually portable across many languages has some difficulties. For example, currently, the reference implementation provides a Document object, where doc_obj.content is a JSON string of the document content. This means that app developers using the Python API need to json.loads(doc_obj.content) to edit the content of a Document. Should a Document be addressable as a dictionary? This is an obvious thing to do in Python, but it does not necessarily make sense across many platforms; how would you envisage a Document object looking in C? In Java? In Objective C? In your choice of language?
  2. Revision IDs for a U1DB Document are currently quite verbose, but this makes them easy to read (and makes it easier to debug issues). Should we use a less readable but more compact format for these version vectors?
  3. Ubuntu One’s U1DB server will have a direct HTTP API, so that apps can retrieve and store data directly in the cloud without syncing. The HTTP API is also used for syncing U1DBs to Ubuntu One. What form of authorization should be used for this HTTP API, both for syncing and for direct access? Other Ubuntu One services use OAuth 1.1; should we examine OAuth 2, or other alternatives, or is it more important to be able to use the same tokens and auth libraries as other Ubuntu One services?
  4. Indexing is a tricky issue. Letting users provide code to do the indexing is tricky and creating a reasonably thorough DSL is a lot of work. We’re currently taking the DSL route; index expressions are basically a domain-specific language for querying a u1db. Is there a middle ground?
  5. Index expressions can not only name fields but also apply transformation functions to them. For example, lower(fieldname) stores the lowercased contents of a field as an index key, and splitwords(fieldname) splits the contents of the field on whitespace and stores each item as an index key. What are the basic transformation functions we should support? What are the use cases for your proposals? What do apps need?
  6. Each peer in replication has a replica uid, a name for that device. Should those ids be just uuids (as they are currently)? Can we use hostnames? Can we detect a db copied across machines? How about a db copied locally? Is identifying these important?

These questions are the stuff we are discussing currently. Any comments on these or other issues not covered here will be most welcome.

So, to get started, see the quickstart guide at http://people.canonical.com/~aquarius/u1db-docs/, and let us know about your ideas for applications using U1DB and your thoughts on the API!

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Roberta Nilerud

As of today, you can now stream your music stored in Ubuntu One via the web, a great addition to our already popular service for Android and iOS devices. Listen to any song, anywhere on your mobile and now on the web! This latest update comes just in time for the holidays, so you can stream your festive favourites at your work party or family events.

Web music streaming lives in the new Music tab on the U1 dash when you log in to one.ubuntu.com. With song, artist and album views, simple playlist creation, queue management and random play, you’ll be able to listen to your music in your favorite way.

 

If you already have a Music Streaming subscription you’ll instantly be able to access web music streaming. If not, the Ubuntu One Music Streaming subscription comes with 20GB of storage built-in, all for just $3.99 per month or $39.99 per year and you can try it free for 30 days. If you already have an Ubuntu One account, when logged in just follow the ‘Try free for 30days’ upgrade link in the music tab. If you are new to Ubuntu One, first set up a Free account and then add Music Streaming.

 

2011 has been a busy year for the Ubuntu One team with multiple milestone releases. So we’d like to say happy holidays to all our loyal users and thank you for all your support throughout 2011! After a much needed rest over the holidays the team are going to be hard at work again making sure 2012 starts with a bang, so keep your eye on the blog to find out more about Ubuntu One exciting plans in the new year.

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Roberta Nilerud

Putting bookmark sync to bed

It’s been a busy few months for the team at Ubuntu One with our official release of Windows at the end of September and then Ubuntu 11.10 last week. Those of you who have already upgraded to 11.10 may have noticed that Ubuntu One no longer supports bookmarks sync, this is because we have decided to discontinue bookmarks sync as a feature. There are a few reasons for this, the main one being that we felt we were not delivering a quality experience to our users. We have been aware for some time about performance issues with bookmark sync and users have feedback that in many cases it’s not been working properly. We would like to apologise to those of you who have been affected by this. We have tried repeatedly to find a good fix, but alas to no avail. This is mostly due to factors outside of our control and is burdened further by providers constantly changing their API’s, making it expensive and time consuming for us to maintain an old service that isn’t delivering much user value.

We want our data sync services to have the same high quality as our file sync and music streaming services, so in the longer term we are aiming for a major upgrade to our data sync infrastructure. Enabling us to provide a robust platform that will serve as the foundation for future services we and other developers will build. We’ll have more details in a future post.

 

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Roberta Nilerud

Ubuntu One now works on Windows!

It’s been a long time coming but today we are thrilled to tell you that the much anticipated Ubuntu One official client for Windows is now available for download.

A question we get asked a lot is…..why an Ubuntu One Windows client?

Well there are a few reasons: The most important is we listen to our users. We have long received feedback from Ubuntu users regarding their evolving needs to manage all their content  from a single, secure place across multiple platforms and devices. We’ve looked at many use cases, the most common being the Ubuntu user who is using more than one device or OS. Many people have to work in Windows or Mac environments, even if they prefer to use Ubuntu as their home desktop or OS of choice. Another case is enabling more opportunities for sharing across platforms. For example families using different operating systems in one household can use Ubuntu One as their central place to store all their music, documents, photos and share them easily with each other and friends.

Ubuntu One has a clearly defined strategy of being multi-platform, Windows is one element of that strategy. We believe in giving all users regardless of platform, access to one of the best personal cloud services available. We want as many people as possible to be able to enjoy Ubuntu One and as a consequence, want to know more about all the great benefits of using Ubuntu.

Based on all of this feedback we released our first Windows client beta back in November 2010. Since then, it’s certainly been a labour of love for the team but they have done an excellent job creating a lightweight Windows desktop app so you can use all the great features of Ubuntu One on a Windows machine. This is a major milestone for the Ubuntu One team and we’d like to say well done to Roberto, Manuel, Natalia, Alejandro, Diego, Lisette, Andrews- Junior, Joshua, Sian and everyone else who has contributed.

However, the real heroes are our loyal beta testers, so we wanted to take this opportunity to say a great big thank you to our community who have been reporting bugs and giving us feedback for twelve months. Due to this we have been able to improve the Ubuntu One Windows installer to the slick official version now available for downloadWe couldn’t have done it without you!

Ubuntu One for Windows is easy to use, all you have to do is:

  1. Save the installer to your computer
    Save Ubuntu One for Windows installer
  2. Double-click on the download in your web browser’s download status to launch the installer.
    Run the Ubuntu One for Windows installer
  3. Setup – If you already have an Ubuntu One account sign in with your existing account. If you are new to Ubuntu One, you will be asked to set up an Ubuntu One Free account, this also gives you 5GB of free cloud storage. On successful registration an email will be sent to you with a verification code. Copy and paste that code into the installer when prompted.
    Setup Ubuntu One for Windows
  4. Next click the “Start setup” button to select folders you want to sync to your personal cloud. You can select folders on your computer to sync with your personal cloud at any time in the application.
    Select folders to sync with Ubuntu One for Windows
  5. Ubuntu One will take care of the rest…you are now ready to get started syncing, sharing and streaming!
    Ubuntu One for Windows running

If you want any more information about Ubuntu One for Windows or in general contact us on the Ubuntu Community Forums, facebook and twitter

The Ubuntu One team

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Roberta Nilerud

Our first App Developer talk

Back in July we officially launched our App Developer Program. Last Thursday we held our first app developer evening at Manchester Metropolitan University, it was an informal event for students and local developers.

We had a great time so we’d like to say a big thanks to Darren Dancey from Manchester Met for inviting us and thanks to everyone else who came along.

Stuart Langridge was on top form as usual and held a brilliant talk, then went on to hold court in the pub afterwards. We received some really helpful feedback from the attendees, with the majority of people saying they found the talk both useful and interesting.

Some great questions where asked and we had lively discussions around some really interesting topics, always good to get out there and talk to developers to further understand their needs and motivations. It’s certainly something we’ll be looking to do again so keep your eye on the blog for future event details.

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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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Roberta Nilerud

A few weeks ago we told you that we’d submitted our shiny new Music Streaming iPhone app, well after some time doing the ‘app review dance’ with Apple we’re pleased to tell you it’s now live and ready for you to download

The new Ubuntu One Music Streaming app for iPhone comes packed full of great functionality and an elegant new UI, so you can wirelessly sync your entire music collection saved to your Ubuntu One personal cloud. Along with supporting MP3′s and non-DRM iTunes song formats we’ve made managing your music on the fly easy, so you can browse and search by artist, album, or song title. You can also build and listen to playlists and control your listening with skip, shuffle and repeat functions.

What makes it perfect for everyday use is that you can listen offline without a connection and enjoy your favorite songs at the gym, on that run, commute or flight. No need to worry if you get a call half way through your favourite chorus, as it will automatically resume playing when you’ve finished your call.

You can try the Ubuntu One Music Streaming on iPhone free for 30 days, after the free trial period expires Music Streaming is just $3.99 per month which now has 20GB of storage included in the price. Plus if you sign up for 12 months you get 2 months for free!

So what are you waiting for?!….Simply download from the App store and try it free for 30 days.

Happy listening!

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Joshua Hoover

Stuart LangridgeLast week we told you that we launched our App Developer Program. Today we’re pleased to announce our first Ubuntu One App Developer event. Our App Developer Program is open to everybody and on Thursday 1st of September we’re inviting any interested developers to an evening of talking Ubuntu One apps and a drink or two with our futures architect, Stuart Langridge, at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK from 7pm. If you’re interested in building apps for mobile, web or the desktop to work with or use Ubuntu One’s features, or you want to bring Ubuntu One to a new platform, or you just want to hear about what’s going on, come along!

It’s a chance to bounce around some ideas, ask questions and chat with like-minded folks so come and join us. Please let us know you’re coming at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/1981804631

We’re really looking forward to seeing you there on the 1st and hearing what imaginative Ubuntu One app ideas are out there…and helping you make them! To find out more about the Ubuntu One APIs we’ve already published, for file syncing and music streaming and data storage, take a look at  https://one.ubuntu.com/developer/.

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Roberta Nilerud

Fresh off the back of our super successful Android Files app launch, we now get to share even more exciting news. First of all, back in May we surpassed the 1 million global user mark! This is a significant milestone for us at Ubuntu One as it means that over a million people all over the world are enjoying Ubuntu One services to sync files, share and collaborate with family, friends, colleagues and stream music.

We’re passionate about building great Ubuntu One services and seeing how people love using them, so we’d like to say a big thank you to all our loyal users for supporting Ubuntu One. As such,  we have made some changes to our plans. From today, Ubuntu One Basic will become Ubuntu One Free and users will get 5GB of free storage when they set up an account. Current  users of Ubuntu One Basic will see their free storage allowance automatically increase from 2GB to 5GB. We are also changing our current Mobile plan to Music Streaming for Android and iPhone: this plan will now include 20GB of storage built in for the same great price of $3.99 per month – and remember, this service works anywhere in the world. Existing mobile plan subscribers will be instantly upgraded to the new Music Streaming plan and automatically get the 20GB of storage. You can still buy additional storage as you need it, in the same 20GB increments and at the same price of $2.99 per month. You’ll find all the information about new plans on our shiny new website which comes with improved navigation and help section.

But we’re not done with the good news! The Ubuntu One App Developer Program is now public. We’re firm believers that we don’t have to build everything ourselves and we know there’s a mass of great ideas and amazing developer talent out there: that’s why our App Developer Program is open to everybody, on any platform so we can’t wait to see you get involved!

If you have any more questions about any of these changes please visit our help section on the website or get in touch on Ubuntu Community Forums, Facebook or Twitter.

Phew! You’d think with all those changes the team would be able to kick back and relax, but  the hard work isn’t over –  we’re still pushing to get a major upgrade to the Ubuntu One Windows Beta out soon so keep your eye on the blog!

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Roberta Nilerud

Meet the new kid on the block

Hi there,

I just wanted to take the time to introduce everyone to the latest member of the Ubuntu One team, Duane Hinnen. We are really excited that Duane has officially joined the team as a Customer Support Specialist a role that Duane has been dedicating his spare time to for quite a while now, in fact many of you may already know Duane by his moniker duanedesign.

In his own word Duane says “I have been very passionate about the Ubuntu One project and the concept of personal cloud spaces for quite some time. I started getting interested in Ubuntu One in 2009 while I was developing an application called Stipple which used Ubuntu One. I get a real sense of satisfaction helping Ubuntu One users and it is a dream come true to have the opportunity to spend even more time ensuring Ubuntu One users have the best possible experience and to create a sense of personal, human to human connection.”

What this means is that Duane is here to listen to you answer any questions and help you resolve any problems you may have, he’ll be actively available to our users on the Ubuntu Community Forums, facebook and twitter so go say hi!

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Joshua Hoover

It’s been on it’s way for a while now, so we are pleased to announce that our new free Android files app is ready for download from the Android Market.Ubuntu One files app for Android QR code

So what does this super new files app do? Well, Ubuntu One’s files app for Android gives you the freedom to take your files, photos and more with you and access them on the fly. It’s been picked as Pocket-lint’s ‘App of the Day’ today so see the full review here.

You can secure and manage your photos, files and folders directly from your Android device anywhere in the world. You can browse, select and download all your files and folders as well as upload and send files directly from your phone.

Ubuntu One files app for Android browsing files

What’s really cool is that Ubuntu One files automatically backs up photographs taken from your Android phone’s camera directly to your Ubuntu One personal cloud. Giving you peace of mind knowing that all the great photos on your mobile are backed up and available for you to share. Speaking of sharing, you can do that directly from the app – just tap and hold on the file or photo you want to share and instantly post it straight to Facebook, Twitter, or your blog.

Ubuntu One files app for Android managing and sharing a file

Other news, last week we submitted our new Music streaming app for iPhone to the app store. We’ll tell you more as soon as it’s available for download so keep your eye on our blog.

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Joshua Hoover

Last month was a big one for Ubuntu and Ubuntu One. For Ubuntu One, in addition to all the improvements we made in Ubuntu 11.04, we also released substantial improvements to contacts on the web, including Facebook import. Our attention now turns to contacts sync for mobile devices.

We’re working on completely revamping contacts sync for mobile to give you an overall better experience. The new service will work with mobile devices running iOS or Android operating systems. We decided to focus on these two operating systems so we can deliver the best user experience without having to limit functionality to the lowest common denominator. The new service will be free and available later this year. If you are interested in testing the new service, please add your email address to this form and we will provide you with more info once the service is ready for testing.

As of June 1, 2011 the current Ubuntu One contacts sync for mobile will no longer be active. We’re stopping support for our current service so we can focus our energy on launching a much better service sooner than we could otherwise.

What happens to my contacts?
Contacts will continue to sync between Evolution and Ubuntu One. Your contacts will still be available via the web. For those who use the current contacts sync service on their phone or with the Funambol plugin for Outlook/Thunderbird this means contacts will no longer sync with Ubuntu One after May 31, 2011.

What if I’m a mobile package subscriber and only use it for syncing contacts?
For those who have the Ubuntu One mobile package and only use it for contacts sync, please contact us and we will provide a refund for all your mobile package charges as well as cancel your mobile package subscription. For those who use music streaming, please continue to enjoy music streaming and you will have the ability to sync contacts later this year.

We realize this transition may leave some of you with further questions, if that’s the case please contact us.

Thanks for your patience. Now it’s back to work on getting the new mobile contacts service out ASAP.

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Joshua Hoover

As many of you will already know, today Ubuntu 11.04 introduced Unity, Ubuntu’s new interface, which is simpler, easier to use and more beautiful than previous editions of Ubuntu. We want to say a big well done to everyone who has contributed. For more on Ubuntu 11.04 see ubuntu.com.

Along with Unity there are some great improvements to Ubuntu One. Once upgraded to Ubuntu 11.04 you will see that Ubuntu One is more easily accessible in the launcher. We gave Ubuntu One preferences an all new look, new features, and even a new name, Ubuntu One control panel. The control panel allows selective syncing so you can easily manage the cloud folders you want synced locally and easily view which folders have been shared with you.

Ubuntu One control panel on first open Ubuntu One control panel web folders

Some other great news is that for some time now the team has been working hard to improve overall speed and performance. Many of you will notice this already and over the next few weeks, as we finish our server upgrades, everyone will be getting their files synced up to 200x faster. Yes, we’ve seen real world performance gains of up to 200x faster!

In addition to improvements in Ubuntu 11.04, we’ve also improved contacts on the web. For starters, there’s an all new look and feel that makes it faster and easier to manage your contacts. You can now delete and merge contacts in bulk. Not content with plain old merging, we also added smart merging. Click the new Find & merge duplicates button and it will find any duplicate contacts and allow you to merge them in one click.

Facebook contacts in Ubuntu One

The enhancements to contacts are great, but it would be even better if you could pull in your contacts from Facebook. Now you can. Seamless import from Facebook includes your friends’ profile pictures, first, middle and last name, birthday, ‘about me’ and any website they have listed. What’s really cool is it will merge existing contacts automatically for you.

Want to give importing your Facebook contacts a try? Follow the steps on our project wiki. Don’t worry, we don’t send messages to your contacts, post to your Facebook wall, or do anything other than import your Facebook contacts.

Ubuntu One Facebook import

Well that’s it for now folks but keep your eye on us for upcoming news about updates to our Windows beta, Android file sync app and more.

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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.

Enjoy!

- Martin and the web & mobile team

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Cristian Parrino

Habemus Logo!

These are exciting times for Ubuntu One. Our sync services have become a reliable part of our users’ daily activities, people are raving over our new music streaming service, and we’re close to launching full-fledged clients for Windows and Android – effectively exposing the extended world of Ubuntu to millions of users for the first time.

We decided to dress ourselves up for the occasion… so our design team jumped at the opportunity and did a fantastic job in coming up with a vibrant new look that captures the choice, convenience and security benefits delivered by Ubuntu One.

Here’s a not-so-sneak preview (roll out is happening as I type):

Ubuntu One web site preview - click for larger image

We’re also thrilled about the “iconology” representing each Ubuntu One service:


File Sync
– the easiest way to keep your files safe and accessible anywhere, anytime – for free on all platforms supported (2GB of storage also included). Currently available on Ubuntu and Windows (in Beta) computers, on the Web and very soon on Android mobile devices.


Music Streaming
our most popular premium service allows you to take your entire music collection wherever you go, without the inconvenience of tethering mobile phones or worrying about local storage. Supports .mp3 and *very soon* iTunes (.mp4) and .ogg formats.


Contacts Sync
– We’re revamping our Contacts Sync service! Soon, you will be able to sync your Facebook friends, Gmail and mobile phone contacts – with brand new contacts management functionality available from our Web UI. Integration with Evolution Mail on the Ubuntu desktop is also supported.


Music Store
– Buy music from the most popular labels and artists and get it delivered directly to your personal cloud. Available only on Ubuntu computers, integrated with the Banshee and Rhythmbox music players.

Bookmarks sync icon


Bookmarks Sync
– a convenient way to keep your Firefox bookmarks in sync across Ubuntu computers.


Notes Sync
– If you’re an avid user of Tomboy Notes, sync your notes and access them via the Web UI or across your Ubuntu computers. Available only on Ubuntu computers, integrated with the Tomboy Notes application.

Now that we’re all dressed up, look out for a number of exciting changes to our Web UI, Ubuntu and Windows control panels as a result of an intensive week of user testing – but more to come on this soon…

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Joshua Hoover

Hi, I’m Phil. I work in the Online Services group at Canonical in the Operations and Foundations group. We work on keeping Ubuntu One up and humming along and improving its core technologies.

I wanted to take a moment and apologize for the extension of our planned downtime on Tuesday morning. I was unable to anticipate the problem and since it happened roughly 3/4 of the way through the total process it wasn’t possible to roll back and restore the service in its previous state.

We had run through the upgrade process (database servers upgraded to 10.04, Postgres upgraded from 8.3 to 8.4, and a series of database patches rolled up and applied) across all our database servers and everything ran well within the time window that we defined in our initial outage announcement. During the production upgrade, the last storage shard spent a surprisingly long time re-adding a foreign key constraint. I spent longer than I would have liked hoping to wait the process out, thinking that we’d spend less total downtime vs. starting that import over from scratch. That didn’t end up being a smart decision.

I eventually reached the conclusion that this process wasn’t going to complete, and the import process was restarted. Two hours later the import was complete, all servers were restarted, and the service was restored to 100% functionality. Every developer and admin involved heaved a pretty serious sigh of relief.

So what did I do wrong, or what could we do better next time? First, I’m going to do a lot better job scheduling downtime going forward. This was scheduled for a low-traffic period where we had standard developer and admin coverage on a weekday; that gave us a small low-traffic window and with the unexpected increase in process time, we quickly ran into prime time. I should have scheduled it for a Sunday evening, giving us a much longer low-traffic window to work in where a minimum of users would be disrupted.

Second, we’ll do a better job of trusting our math. It was clear something was wrong much earlier than when we finally we pulled the trigger on restarting the process; I could have saved a couple of hours by trusting our initial analysis.

Finally, we’ll continue to work hard to extend our architecture to remove downtime and perform rolling upgrades. Perhaps zero downtime is an unrealistic expectation, but I’m going to make sure we get as close to that as we can.

Thanks so much for your patience and I hope you continue to enjoy the features we’ve added recently and have upcoming for Ubuntu One.

- Philip Fibiger

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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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Joshua Hoover

Sometimes it’s the little things that can make a big difference. We think that’s the case with the following improvements we made to the Ubuntu One files management web interface:Stop syncing folder via web UI

Stop syncing folders. Do you have a folder you selected to sync with Ubuntu One but don’t want to anymore? Click the “More” link next to the folder and then click the new “Stop syncing this folder” link. Your folder will no longer sync with Ubuntu One while leaving the folder untouched on your computers.

Upload and publish files. Publishing files with Ubuntu One is a nice feature. Even nicer is being able to upload and publish a file at the same time. No more uploading, finding the uploaded file, clicking the “More” link, clicking the “Publish” link, then clicking the “More” link again, and…you get the idea. We made this much simpler. Now you click the “Upload file” link to select your file and tick to publish it all in one go.
Upload and publish a file via the Ubuntu One web UI

Along with adding the ability to upload and publish in one step, we made uploading files better. After you’ve successfully uploaded a file, you’ll be taken to that file in the list with the details expanded. That way you don’t have to hunt for the file you just uploaded. Upload file in Ubuntu One web UI

Stop receiving a share. If you no longer want to receive files from a folder someone shared with you, click on the “More” link and then click “Delete this share”. The folder and its files will still be on your computers but you won’t receive any new files. Delete a folder someone is sharing with you

These small improvements are the first of several more that are part of an overhaul of the entire web UI for files, notes, contacts, and bookmarks (yes, bookmarks). More on the overhaul later.

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