Using Naxos Music Library on Linux.
Update: December 2007. A recent check of referring links to this page brought me to a thread on the Ubuntu forums which suggested that the latest version of the MPlayer plugin for Firefox might be able to handle the Naxos Music Library website without much grief, once the correct codecs are installed. More testing is needed, which requires me to find someone with a license for N.M.L. (as mine has expired). In the meantime, I would suggest starting by setting up the plugin and codec and, if that does not work, then moving to the solution below.
Listening to files from Naxos Music Library on Linux is somewhat tricky because of the large number of nasty propriety formats used by Naxos Music Library to obfuscate and hide the streams. Whilst this goes some way to legitimately protecting the company's intellectual property rights, it does make it almost impossible for Linux users to legitimately use the resource for which their University, College or Library has paid. The following guide is therefore offered to those who are legitimately allowed use Naxos Music Library and want to play these files on a Linux machine. As these CDs are so cheap anyway, there is no excuse for stealing their music.
This solution seems to work best with Totem Movie Player (with the necessary WM codecs) but presumably any software which can stream .wm files would work. Although VLC states that it can process these files, I have not been able to get it to work.
The First File
- Browse/search for the CD to which you wish to listen.
- Click on the link to it to cause the main pop–up to appear (you may need to enable pop–ups for this to occur).
- Click on “Show Static URL” in the box of controls, on the right.
- High–light the track you wish to play and press Ctrl–C to copy it to the clip–board.
- Paste this URL into your browser and load the page.
- View the source–code of the page.
- Search through the code for “mediaplayer1”
- Copy the URL given after “SRC="”
- Load this URL in your browser.
- View the source–code of this page.
- Copy the URL given after “ref href="”.
- Open Totem Movie Player, go to “Open Location” under the “Move” and paste the URL from above.
- Once the file is buffered, it should then play.
To listen to other files
To listen to other files, it seems necessary to understand how Naxos Music Library's file servers work. The URL to retrieve a file is something along these lines:
and by manipulating, as shown below, you can successfully play any file on the site.
- server—One of the two Naxos Music Library Servers (“Quartet” or “Quintet”). Which one is used appears to be chosen by random.
- yourlocation—This seems to identify your location to Naxos Music Library and, in particular, highlight whether you are using the service from within a IP–authentication zone or without (via a username/password log–in).
- nmlversion—This appears to be used to identify your level of subscription to Naxos Music Library and what level of sound–quality you are allowed to stream.
- ABC—This refers to Label of the CD. Usually the abbreviation is obvious but if it is not, then visit the Naxos Music Library site, click on “Browse/Search” and choose the label from the drop-down boxes on the left. The URL which then loads will finish with “&label=ABC” where ABC is the label.
- a12345—This is the CD identifier. It appears to always be a letter followed by five numbers. The easiest way of finding the number is by selecting a CD from the website and viewing the static URL. At the end of each static URL you will see something like “%2fu22345%5f01”. The six letters between the “U” and the second & (in this case “22345”) should then be substituted.
- 01—This is the track number. It is always a two–digit number.
- full—I am still not sure to what this refers. As it is in the final part of the URL, it seems likely that it refers to the track itself and, perhaps, if it is not “full” can be used to play selections.
- 064—This refers to the bit–rate of the track, in kilobytes per second. Naxos Music Library streams in three formats: 20kbs (“FM”), 64kbs (“Near–CD”) and 128kbs (“CD”). To get 128kbs you need some sort of enhanced subscription.