Ubuntu One is an online storage service hosted by Canonical, the brains behind the Ubuntu Linux distribution. Among other things, Ubuntu One lets users stream music from the cloud service to their iOS or Android devices. The good folks on the Ubuntu One blog confirmed today that their iOS application supports AirPlay. The service takes mp3 files on your Ubuntu desktop and synchronizes them with the Ubuntu One cloud service. The iOS application then connects to the cloud and streams the music back to your iPhone or iPod touch. This stream can then be re-directed to your AirPlay-enabled device. The mobile application works over WiFi or 3G and supports iOS 4 background audio and multi-tasking.
This AirPlay-enabled Ubuntu One Music application lets you stream your music to AirPlay compatible hardware including the Apple TV and upcoming home entertainment equipment from Denon, Marantz, or iHome. This functionality brings Ubuntu one step above Mac OS X when it comes to cloud-based music streaming. Currently, iTunes is very computer-based and does not have a cloud component. The Cupertino company purchased LaLa music streaming service and is rumored to be developing a cloud service for iTunes. Though rumors of this Mac and iOS-based cloud service debuted earlier this year, Apple has yet to release any new features based on LaLa's technology.
To get started with this AirPlay-enabled Ubuntu One service, you need to have an Ubuntu One account, an iOS device with iOS 4.2.1, and an AirPlay-enabled device like the Apple TV. All you need to do is launch the Ubuntu One Music application on your iPhone or iPod touch and select your favorite song form your synced mp3 collection. While your song starts to play, you will notice a new icon to the right of the volume slider. This icon will let you redirect your audio stream to your Apple TV or other AirPlay-enabled device. Sweet, huh?