This is not a technical problem. Banshee is still able to open
.amz files and use them to download purchased music. However this problem results from a decision by Amazon to unilaterally restrict all browsers with linux user agent strings from being able to download
Luckily there is one immediate workaround, and a couple avenues for further action as well.
Quick and dirty workaround:
- Install the User Agent
extension for Firefox. Any other user agent switcher/browser combination should work as well, I just have not tested them.
- Use the
user agent switcher to switch your user agent string to
IE 8. You can add the
user agent switcher icon to your toolbar by right clicking the Firefox toolbar area and clicking
- Authorize this pseudo-browser for use with Amazon Cloud player by clicking this link. This tricks Amazon Cloud Player into thinking that you have already installed Amazon MP3 downloader--setting a cookie that will allow you to download
.amz files instead of being prompted to install Amazon MP3 downloader first.
- Use Amazon Cloud Player to select tracks and click
- Use Banshee to open the downloaded
.amz file and it will automatically download and import the songs!
Possibilities for more permanent solutions:
The fact that the above workaround can be used proves that this is not a technical issue but rather a choice by Amazon to restrict certain browser user agent strings from being able to download
.amz files. Therefore there a two paths towards a more streamlined fix for this problem.
- Modify the user agent string for Banshee's built in browser and then authorize it using the above link. I don't know how to go about doing this but I'm hoping maybe something can write another answer for this.
Write Amazon asking them to explain this change and detailing it's
negative effects on you. Here is the message I sent them:
I have been a regular customer of the Amazon MP3 store for awhile now.
Whenever I heard about a new album I would preview and buy the album
from your store. Part of the reason for this was the great Amazon MP3
integration with Banshee Media Player (http://banshee.fm). I could
browse Amazon, preview songs, and import my music all from within
Banshee Media Player. Having to use a third party client to download
music that I have purchased has always been a very big turn off for
me--hence, I don't like using Google Play, and before I discovered
Banshee's Amazon integration I didn't like purchasing music from
With my most recent purchase however I was very displeased to discover
that Banshee's automatic import of songs purchased from Amazon MP3 was
no longer working. After a little research I determined that the cause
of this was that Amazon had decided to lock out any browsers with a
Linux user agents strings from being able to download multiple songs.
If I authorized and used a browser with a Windows user agent to
download the .amz file then I was able to open that file with Banshee
and import the songs normally. I understand the need to authorize
devices for use with the cloud player, but the decision to
unilaterally lock out linux machines from being able to download .amz
files seems completely arbitrary, and to this customer is a very
I'm not going to threaten to boycott Amazon MP3, in all likelyhood I
will continue to purchase MP3 albums from your service. However, from
this point on I will likely only purchase the promotionally priced
albums, I will now have no incentive to buy the full priced albums
(where you make the most money) from your service rather than another
service--especially those which have better support for linux.
What really bothers me about this is that it is not a technical issue.
I am not expecting you to support another operating system, additional
software, or to make a version of the Amazon MP3 downloader for linux.
It is a matter of Amazon--inexplicably--choosing to restrict via user
agent all browsers running on Linux systems from being able to use
features that they otherwise are fully capable of using. To me this
seems not only unreasonable but also a poor business choice and not
what I expect from Amazon in terms of how you treat your customers.
Furthermore, I am disappointed by the lack of an explanation behind
why this decision has been made. Linux users are greeted by a message
apologizing that support isn't offered, but given that support was
previously available, and applications such as Banshee are still
technically able to use the service if they use another browsers user
agent key to download the .amz while, I believe that we deserve an
explanation of why this change has been made.
Thank you for your time reading this. What I would like is both for
you to please convey my comments along the appropriate channels and I
would also like to receive a response stating, 1) why this change was
made, and 2) if there are any plans to re-enable Linux devices in the
future. Even if the answers to these two questions are not what I hope
to hear, a thorough response addressing these issues would likely keep
me a loyal customer of Amazon. I would however be rather disappointed
with a generic response that I could have found myself in an FAQ. As
such, please take your time if you need to ask around to find out more
about this situation before responding. Thank you again for your time.
I've written this answer up quickly to try and help those who are also facing this problem. I would highly welcome other answers that are better illustrated and/or provide alternative workarounds! I'd prefer to accept a better written/illustrated answer than this one!