Migrating from Ubuntu One to Google, part 3.

Finally in Part 3, we go over using Google Drive and cleaning up your music files.

Previously in Part 1, I looked at the steps to go through for cleaning up your Android phone.

In Part 2, I covered setting up Google Play Music and Google Drive.

1. Options for using Google Drive

I liked using Ubuntu One to host files, so that when I was at the office I could quickly jump in and make some edits or check something in my personal files via the Ubuntu One website. However, this happened infrequently, and really was only relevant for my resume and monthly budget which I like to tweak when I have some downtime.

However, I didn’t use Ubuntu One to store my Deja Dup backups because I wanted to keep them separate to my working files, so every few days I’d copy the backups folder onto an external drive.

With no Ubuntu One, there are two changes you can make to your set up for backups and files. (I actually only do the backup option now, and not #2 – it’s just a matter of preference.)

  1. Put the Deja Dup backups in ~/Google Drive/backups so grive picks them up. So remember to exclude ~/Google Drive from your list of backups. (If you don’t, you’ll end up with a recursive backup which will consume the whole universe.)
    Put Deja Dup backups into ~/Google Drive
    Put Deja Dup backups into ~/Google Drive
    Exclude ~/Google Drive from backup
    Exclude ~/Google Drive from backup

    Putting ~/.ubuntone is an arbitrary decision as you may choose to delete it later on.

  2. Put the files you want (e.g. resume, budget) in folders in ~/Google Drive so you have access to them away from your main PC.

The downside of just moving files into~/Google Drive is they are no longer where they should be like ~/Documents.

2. Clean up your music files

This part of the process took me quite some time to get right. If you’re pedantic like me and must have everything as clean and neat as possible, then now might be a good time to stop reading. (However, now I’ve said that, you won’t.)

When Google Play Music starts uploading your music, you can open Google Music > Options… and see the current status – and at this point you start to realise how many days it will take to upload your entire collection.

It’s not actually uploading the files for permanent storage. It compares the file to what it has online, and only stores it if it can’t find it already in its collection. If Google has it, you have access to a 320Kb MP3 version – which seems like a fair trade off.

If the warning for x number of files cannot be uploaded then the files are possibly in the wrong format or not supported (e.g. .wav files aren’t supported.)

Google Play Music with warnings
Google Play Music with warnings

For some bizarre reason (and I blame my bulk renaming process) I had a bunch of .mp3 files with file extension of .ogg, which explains why I had problems playing them on my phone and laptop. Once Google Play Music identifies these, you can go and clean them up so they will upload correctly. ogginfo and mp3info are great tools to use to help you here.

One other problem I found was that some of my id3 tags were not as clean as they could have been. You will see this when you scan through the list of Albums and see duplicates. For example, the album Love Psychedelic Orchestra has two entries here:

The album Love Psychedelic Orchestra has two entries
The album Love Psychedelic Orchestra has two entries

When we take a look at each album entry I can see there is one lonely song: Standing Bird.

Love Psychedelic Orchestra almost full song listing
Love Psychedelic Orchestra almost full song listing
Love Psychedelic Orchestra song listing with only Standing Bird
Love Psychedelic Orchestra song listing with only Standing Bird

I like to use easytag as my tool of choice for cleaning up id3 tags. When I look at Love Psychedelic Orchestra by Love Psychedelico, I can see that the track Standing Bird has an entry for Album Artist, where as all the other tracks do not.

Standing Bird with an Album Artist entry
Standing Bird with an Album Artist entry

Album Artist is usually used for compilation albums, e.g Soundtracks or the ubiquitous artist Various Artists.

Google Play Music tries to take control here. If you like your Album Art, then bend to the Will of Google and all will be well. To fix this, first search the online shop to check Google Music actually knows the album (as noted below, there may be licence restrictions in your part of the world), and then make sure the Album name, Artist and Track names are all the same. And I mean, exactly the same.

I have a Mozart Album I found in the store that took me about 15 attempts of editing Id3 tags, deleting from Google Music and re-uploading before it finally matched. Other things to watch out for are Various Artist albums that Google Music doesn’t know about, but there’s one track the same. (Yes, I’m looking at you High Fidelity Soundtrack.)

Another problem I came across, which really won’t affect many of you was that some of my CDs I had bought in Japan when I lived there aren’t available in Australia because of licencing restrictions, so Google Music didn’t think they existed – but I could get pretty close with some clever name changes.

Cleaning these up takes a bit of time, but easytag lets you highlight a bunch of files and either select the same value, or use a filter to copy data from one part to another. You’re aiming here for consistency: e.g. either all the files have Album Artist, or they don’t.

Once they’ve been uploaded (or re-uploaded after a change) to Google Music, it will sometimes provide suggestions to help format the music. Remember, edits made on Google Music won’t be reflected back in your ~/Music directory.

3. Uninstalling Ubuntu One from your Android phone

Uninstalling software from your phone isn’t too hard, and it depends on your phone. But make sure you get rid of both Ubuntu One Music and Ubuntu One Files.

4. Uninstalling Ubuntu One from your Ubuntu PC

The last part of the ride is completely removing Ubuntu One from your Ubuntu installation. At this time, 14.04 is here which promises to remove it, but if you want to get there quickly, these are the steps I’ve found so far that need removing:

killall ubuntuone-login ubuntuone-preferences ubuntuone-syncdaemon
sudo rm -rf ~/.local/share/ubuntuone
rm -rf ~/.cache/ubuntuone
rm -rf ~/.config/ubuntuone
mv ~/Ubuntu\ One/ ~/UbuntuOne_old/
sudo apt-get --purge remove unity-scope-musicstores ubuntuone-\*
sudo apt-get --purge autoremove

And that should be that.

(Actually, there’s one package left called ubuntuone-client-data, but removing it will will some default packages, so it’s best left alone for now.)