Howto: Get music from Jamendo without torrents

Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.

I love Jamendo. It’s really the greatest thing that I’ve found, outside of Linux, in a decade. Nothing is more exciting than being able to download free music — and some of it quite good.

My problem is that my “router,” which I have learned is really part of my fiber optic VDSL setup, needs port forwarding set to handle torrent traffic. And since the setup pages are all in kanji, I’m a little shy to tinker with it. With my luck, I’d end up disabling my Internet access completely, and need a service call to fix it. 😦

But I’m a sneak and a technophile, so I’m always looking for new and innovative ways to skin dead cats.

Here’s one: Jamendo has a browser-based audio player called the “Jamplayer,” which allows you to create audio tracks and play them back through Firefox or Kazehakase or whatever. I don’t know that it works with every browser, but I’m 99 percent sure it can be used with any Gecko-based software.

The funny thing is that it doesn’t stream audio — it downloads it and plays it from the browser cache. See where I’m going with this?

Enter the name of an artist in the search box. All their audio tracks should come up. Cue up the first one and watch your bandwidth jump — the browser just downloaded the entire track into its cache.

So if you dig through the folders on your system, you should find a strangely-named file, about 2Mb in size, sitting in the browser cache. Cue that up in an audio player, and bingo! You’ve got the same audio track playing off your system.

The IDv3 tag is intact, as you can see in the picture, which means any generic tag utility will probably be able to rename that file into something more recognizable. 😉

The only downside is that Jamendo seems to use 96Kbps MP3 to keep the file size small (relatively speaking), so the quality isn’t what you get from the full torrent download. And I try to avoid MP3 when I can, just to keep myself deluded over licensing issues.

This will work in Arch or Ubuntu, any distro and probably any operating system. Your browser is really what determines if it will work or not. It’s not perfect, but it does give you an option if you’re stuck without a torrent client, or can’t get torrent traffic to work with your network. Enjoy! 😀


One thought on “Howto: Get music from Jamendo without torrents

  1. finferflu

    If you click on “Podcast” on the right hand side on the album page, you can download the music using a podcast applications, such as Rhythmbox (you can also just drag the link into it). You get songs in ogg format, even though I’m not sure about the quality…

    Enjoy the music! 🙂


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