Update: Google Play is now available in the UK. Here’s how to use it in Ubuntu. And here’s  a guide to tweaking the desktop app Nuvola.

Google Play, formerly Google Music is only available in the US at the moment presumably for licencing reasons. But it is possible to get it outside the US in a variety of ways. Basically you have to trick the Google Play site into thinking you are actually in the US so you can register with your normal Gmail account. There are numerous tutorial on the web detailing how to do this so I’m not going to repeat everything here, I’m just going to recount what I tried and what eventually worked for me.

I wanted to be able to access my music from my Android mobile with Google Play and upload my music to the cloud from my Ubuntu PC. To do this you’ll need the Play Music app for Android, but since it’s not available outside the US the easiest way to get it is from the xda-developers site, download to your phone then install the apk file following this method. To upload your music you need the Google Music Manager, there was a copy on the xda-developers site  but this was the Windows version so I decided to wait till I’d registerd with play.google.com and download their Ubuntu 64bit version.

The simplest thing I tried first was some free proxy services like Hide My Ass and TunnelBear which effectively allows you to surf anonymously so web services cannot detect your true IP address. I tried a couple of these services but didn’t have any luck. I then followed the tutorial on  Engadget.com which recommended using the Tor Browser Bundle. Tor sets up a secure internet connection for you and by using the browser (a modified version of FireFox) included you should be able to connect with play.google.com. Unfortunately everytime I tried this approach I got suck on the T&C agreement stage and the browser just seemed to hang there.

Finally I found an approach that did work, TunnelBear have just released an Android app to allow you to set up a secure connection and select whether you’re in the UK or US. By selecting US all sites you visit will believe you are actually in the US. next thing to do was open a browser and go to  play.google.com and sign in with my usual Gmail account details, agree to the T&C and bingo I had now registered .

Back on my PC and using my normal WiFi connection I logged into play.google.com and proceeded to download the music manager which you’ll need to upload your music to the cloud.

So now all I have to do is spend ages uploading music to the cloud as it is by all accounts a very slow process.

  • Comments Off

I’ve bought downloaded MP3s from Amazon on many occasions but was always annoyed to have to use their downloader so I was interested to find an open source alternative called Clamz in the Ubuntu 10.10 repositories. First install Clamz through Synaptic or sudo apt-get install Clamz if you prefer in a terminal.

Next, buy your MP3s on Amazon as you would normally, you will then be directed to a page telling you to download and install their downloader, assuming you don’t have it. Skip to the bottom of the page and look for the phrase “If you have already installed the latest Amazon MP3 Downloader, click here to enable it for use with this browser.” Click the link and now your browser should save the Amazon file in your Downloads directory.

As Clamz is a command line program you need to open a terminal and run the following command where ****** is the number sequence of the Amazon file.

clamz -d ~/Desktop AmazonMP3-******.amz
This will unzip the MP3s in the download to your Desktop.

I, like many people have the basic free version of Dropbox which provides a very useful 2Gb of cloud storage but with a few clicks you can increase this to 2.7Gb. Read the Lifehacker posts here and here. Recently the Dropbox team launched a scavenger hunt offering up to an additional 1Gb storage for free although this does require a bit more effort, unless you want to follow some of the walk throughs already posted.

If you don’t have a Dropbox account yet head over to Dropbox and sign up for the free 2Gb account then follow the Lifehacker tips above to get an additional few Mbs with a few clicks. Once done you can start the scavenger hunt by heading over to https://www.dropbox.com/dropquest2011 There are twenty nine steps in total and you cannot skip any unfortunately. have fun.

  • Comments Off

Dangerous Driving !

2 Jun 2010 In: cycling

I’m thoroughly hacked off by the inconsiderate and down right dangerous standard of driving in this country. I counted ten near misses on my bike in the last two days. Two out of three drivers seem to think passing a cyclist at 50/60 mph within 2 feet is OK and that overtaking on a blind bend with double continuous lines in the centre is fine. Most seem unaware of Highway code Rule 163, in fact some are clearly unaware of the Highway code. >:(

  • Comments Off

links for 2009-11-30

1 Dec 2009 In: Personal
  • Comments Off

links for 2009-11-25

26 Nov 2009 In: Personal
  • Comments Off

links for 2009-11-20

21 Nov 2009 In: Personal
  • Comments Off

links for 2009-11-17

18 Nov 2009 In: Personal
  • Comments Off

links for 2009-11-11

12 Nov 2009 In: Personal
  • Comments Off

links for 2009-11-09

10 Nov 2009 In: Personal
  • Comments Off

About this blog

This is the personal web site of Seòras, pronounced Shaw-russ, Gaelic for George. I'm from Aberdeen (Scotland),I'm a scientist, union activist, researcher, web designer, photographer, cyclist, hill walker, guitarist & father.


Sponsors