Purchasing and Downloading Music With the HP Mini 1000 Mi Edition

So, I’m headed out to Starbucks to do some heads-down programming, and I thought I’d take the HP Mini 1000 Mi along, too. I thought it would be fun to download a few tunes since the Mini Mi has a nicely integrated music player, and since I’m mobile, I should probably do what some teenagers / college kids would want to do while mobile – hit up Amazon, buy a DRM-free MP3, and relax while listening to some music. At least I tried to….

On the Mini Mi, I typed Amazon.com from the Home screen, and Firefox took over, taking me straight to Amazon.com. I found the music I wanted, clicked the Buy link, and was almost in MP3 heaven. I was pleased to find out that Amazon’s MP3 download service featured a Ubuntu version – “cool, this should work out pretty good” I thought. I followed the instructions on Amazon which indicated that an “Install Package” option should appear after download and clicking on the downloaded file. Nope, no “Install Package” for me. So, I hit up the Add / Remove Programs option on the Mini Mi – nothing there, either, that would let me install the Amazon download package. Surely it couldn’t be this hard to install a program in order to download some MP3’s? Why is HP blocking me from doing this?

45 minutes later and I still can’t figure out how to install this darn package. I just want to listen to some music that I just bought. Downloading music from Amazon is a common consumer experience, and installing packages like Amazon’s download program shouldn’t require command line syntax. I shouldn’t need to do it on another computer / OS in order to get the MP3 over to the Mini Mi, either.

Needless to say, I wasn’t able to listen to my music on the Mini Mi. Where is Windows when I need it? Why can’t I easily install programs on the Mini Mi? I’m sensing a reinstallation back to Windows XP or Windows 7 is in my near future.

7 Comments

  1. Brad Linder

    02/06/2009 at 12:28 pm

    Try installing gdebi using the Synaptic package manager or by hitting Alt+F2 and entering “gnome-terminal” and then typing “apt-get install gdebi”

    After that you *might* be able to install the Amazon MP3 downloader. But you might not. Unfortunately the HP Mini Mi uses the LPIA architecture instead of i386, which means that programs that are compiled to run on most Ubuntu systems may not work with Mi Edition.

    Reply

  2. Rob Bushway

    02/06/2009 at 12:32 pm

    will definitely try that Brad. However, I’m trying to put myself in the shoes of my wife or teenage son and what they would experience out of the box. These are the target customers of the mini 1000 mi, not folks like you and me who will drop down down “gnome-terminal”

    Reply

  3. Fleon

    02/06/2009 at 12:45 pm

    These are the reasons I don’t use Linux anymore outside of a server room. We did a project to evaluate Linux on the desktop for the average end user (at a corporate level, not home use) and found the cost of ownership to be much higher than Windows, even after 6 months of “getting used to it.”

    Just because it’s cheaper on the front-end doesn’t mean it’s going to be the cheapest solution overall, contrary to what the Linux proponents would like to suggest.

    Having said that, I’d love to see a successful version of Linux make it on the Desktop, but after 15 years, I’m not expecting it.

    Reply

  4. Sumocat

    02/06/2009 at 2:10 pm

    Something like 95% of digital music is illegally downloaded, so the average user wouldn’t bother with a paid music service anyway. Try grabbing some torrents, then you’ll see how well normal folks will be able to get music on a Mini Mi. :P

    Reply

  5. yochai

    02/06/2009 at 10:50 pm

    Whilst I agree that the “average user” should have an easy out-of-the box experience, using this as a litmus test for linux isn’t really appropriate. For one thing, there’s a reason vista doesn’t run on that thing. It is too resource-intensive, expensive, and bloated. Linux can run on anything–from phones to routers to desktops to servers. So comparing the two doesn’t make any sense! Besides, any issue in the free software world is either caused by proprietary/closed methodology (driver support, open protocols, etc). We have seen leaps and bounds in FOSS the last couple of years, not without the support of larger OEMS such as HP, Dell and IBM. Simply because one online service (who runs all linux servers, incidently) doesn’t make their client app run on all distros/architectures of linux, doesn’t mean that linux itself is the problem. Likely there are quite a few projects out there focusing on this area of concern… so your problem will likely be gone soon.
    Finally, thanks for using linux! only through people willing to try something new (or old, if you’ve used it years ago and maybe rediscovering it now) can we ever achieve the goal of having a stable, free operating system.

    Reply

  6. NickF

    02/07/2009 at 3:43 am

    The problem is that the package is for i386 architecture. The HP mini uses the lpia architecture, which is itself derived from i386 and totally compatible. Anyway you can easily repackage it for an lpia.

    See info here:

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=962835&page=3

    Reply

  7. Carly

    02/14/2009 at 7:35 pm

    Boy, this was a big help to me. I am one of those “Let it work right out of the box” types you were speaking of. This would have me lost for sure if that happened to me. I was thinking of getting this version because I thought the Linus interface looked like just what I wanted really cool, really easy. Something that had everything I would want to do at my finger tips such as listen to music, add pictures from my camera, surf the net, read e-mail and so on but if you can’t get music on yours then I surely know I would not be able to do it either. No, I guess it’s Windows XP sp3 for me. Thanks so much.

    Reply

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