Last night I wanted to buy an album on Amazon and I couldn't do the checkout as the site required me to install the Amazon MP3 Downloader to make the purchase and download of the album. The downloader is not needed for a single song though, but buying each song separately would be more expensive and more work. The good news is that it automatically offered me packages for different Linux distros: Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora and OpenSUSE instead of telling me off for using Linux and leaving me behind with a Windows only download. But here comes the catch, all offered packages are only for the Intel 32-bit architecture.

Now this is a showstopper for me, as I am running an AMD64 Debian which is a 64-bit architecture. I first tried to download and run the 32-bit debian package nonetheless as there was some hope with the ia32-libs and ia32-libs-gtk package. But this was not working as the application needs gtkmm libraries like libglademm and bailed when I tried to run it. So I filed a wishlist bug report against ia32-libs-gtk for inclusion of gtkmm and possibly other needed libraries to run the Amazon MP3 downloader on AMD64.

So I bought the album using MusicLoad instead which simply puts all songs in a single archive on-the-fly and let me download that archive.

When I tweeted my frustration on Twitter I was hinted by Jo Shields and also by Gabriel Burt that there would have been a much simpler solution to this issue by using Banshee which includes an Amazon MP3 Store plugin:

Banshee screenshot showing the Amazon MP3 Store plugin

This plugin allows you to log into your Amazon account browse their store like the regular Amazon store, plays the song samples directly, purchase songs, downloads the songs and imports them into Banshee's database so you can play them right away. And as if this wasn't good enough yet, with the the purchase of MP3 songs on Amazon using Banshee automatically makes a donation to the GNOME foundation.

As I am the only one who forgot or wasn't aware of this awesome solution this deserved some blogging.

Update: some people pointed out that clamz is also available to make MP3 purchases on Amazon.