Users of Ubuntu Linux have been quickly forgetting about that popular product called iTunes more and more over the last year or so.
What they have
The popularity of online stores has increased exponentially over the last few years, mostly driven by the use of mp3 players and smart phones, in particular the iPod/iPhone. Apple gave their customers an easy way to purchase and download music and other media through a single source.
Once the iPhone came out, apps were naturally added into the iTunes store interface, adding a market and keeping it in a single front end. Available for both Mac and Windows users, this way of acquiring media becomes the standard. Recently Apple also introduced their Mac App Store, running separately from iTunes, it is a store for acquiring programs for your Mac. The Mac App Store offers the full range of software for your Mac, including upgrading the OS itself.
Considering the convenience of this all in one (or all in two) interface and delivery method, one could imagine it would be hard to leave that all behind for a more manual approach.
What we already had
Ubuntu users already know the satisfaction of the “App Store” and more recently the “Music Store”. The Ubuntu Software Center is the App Store of the Linux world, and with a recent overhaul, even more so. The Software Center is the place you can search for applications from any cagetory, games and education to productivity and science. Now users are also able to rate and review those applications that they have installed and share their opinions with other potential users and the developers themselves.
Music has an outlet as well. Integrated into the default music player for Ubuntu, Banshee ties into the Ubuntu One Music Store as well as the Amazon MP3 Store. Offering more than one source for your music purchase, but still from a single interface. The Ubuntu One Music store has one advantage, the Ubuntu One service is a cloud service, so your music is available for download to all the computers you have tied to your account. There is also an app available for Android and iOS devices that allows you to stream those songs you’ve purchased to your smart phone.
What we’re getting
Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, recently announced a partnership with Pearson Technology Group and Linux New Media to offer eBooks and Magazines through the Ubuntu Software Center.
“We’re excited to be one of the first publishers to add our books to the Ubuntu Software Center,” said Paul Boger, Vice President and Publisher, Pearson Technology Group. “This partnership will bring our content to a wider audience of people, and create a central repository for users who want to learn about Ubuntu.”
“Publishing our magazine titles through the Ubuntu Software Center provides us with a new way to serve our readers globally,” said Brian Osborn, CEO, Linux New Media. “By providing our titles electronically, users can gain immediate access to the content they seek and enjoy it on any number of devices, wherever they are.”
This move could serve as the Ubuntu users complete replacement and freedom from iEverything.