Download music from Amazon with clamz

Jack Wallen
Apr 25, 2010
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Amazon, Companies, Linux

Lately I have been going on and on about the Ubuntu Music Store. So much so, it would seem I have forgotten the other music store that is friends to Linux. Not so. I am still a fan of the Amazon MP3 store and last night I took the opportunity to purchase something. I was looking for the soundtrack to my favorite TV show (Fringe) on the Ubuntu Music Store when I quickly realized they didn't have it. So I opted to check out the next best thing - Well they had it...BUT...the MP3 downloader doesn't work with Ubuntu 10.4 (yet). There have been a lot of complaints about the Amazon MP3 downloader  (it's proprietary) so someone came up with an option. That option? Clamz. Clamz is a command line tool that will allow you to download your music from Amazon, once you have purchased it. The installation isn't the easiest in the world, but it's certainly not compiling a kernel.

In this article I will show you how to install and use the clamz downloader for purchased music from

Meeting the dependencies

First things first. I will be illustrating the installation on a Ubuntu (10.4) machine. You can alter this installation easily for your distribution.  I am going to show you two different installation commands, one of which should work on your system. The commands are (depending upon your release and what you have installed):

sudo apt-get install libgcrypt11-dev libcurl4-gnutls-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev libexpat1-dev


sudo apt-get install libgcrypt11-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev libexpat1-dev

On my Ubuntu 10.4 system, libcurl4-gnutls-dev wouldn't install. That's not a show stopper as you can use the second command to install without that application.


Now that you have the dependencies installed, let's install the application itself. We'll be doing so, from source. Download the latest, greatest from the project download page and save it do your ~/Downloads directory. Now, from a terminal window, issue the following commands:

tar -zxf clamz-0.1.tar.gz

cd clamz-0.1

./configure && make

sudo make install

That will install the executable command clamz into /usr/local/bin/. You are almost ready to download.

Make it ready

When you purchase music from Amazon, your browser attempts to detect if you have the downloader installed. If the browser does not detect the downloader, it will then direct you to a page instructing you to install the downloader. We have to get around that. You can do this easily by scrolling all the way down to the bottom of the page (the page instructing you to download and install the downloader) you will see a line that reads:

If you have already installed the latest Amazon MP3 Downloader, click here to enable it for use with this browser.

Once you have done this your browser should save the *.amz file to your ~/Downloads directory. Now it's time to use clamz.


Using clamz is simple. From within the directory you downloaded the *.amz file issue the command:

clamz -d ~/MUSIC AmazonMP3-XXX.amz

Where MUSIC is the directory you want the downloads to be placed in and XXX is the file name (it will be a random string of numbers and/or letters).

The files will then download from the Amazon site and be saved in the directory you chose. You can now use your Amazon MP3 files without ever having to have installed the Amazon MP3 Downloader!

Final thoughts

It may seem like a lot of work at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's a piece of cake. And for those who refuse to use proprietary software, it's a must-have if you want to download music from


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. The Dark Lady said on July 9, 2023 at 11:19 am

    Martin, I would appreciate that you do not censor this post, as it’s informative writing.

    Onur, there is a misleading statement “[…] GIFs are animated images …”. No, obviously you don’t seem to have take much notice of what you were told back in March regarding; Graphics Interchange Format (GIF).

    For example, (if you had read my replies within that thread, you might have learnt something useful). I even mentioned, “GIF intrinsically supports animated images (GIF89a)”.

    You linked to said article, [Related: …] within this article, but have somehow failed to take onboard what support you were given by several more knowledgeable people.

    If you used AI to help write this article, it has failed miserably.

  2. KeZa said on August 17, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    AI is stupid, and it will not get any better if we really know how this all works. Prove me wrong..

  3. Database failure said on August 18, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    Martin, [#comment-4569908] is only meant to be in: []. Whereas it appears duplicated in several recent random low-quality non relevant articles.

    Obviously it [#comment-4569908] was posted: 9 July 2023. Long before this thread even existed… your database is falling over. Those comments are supposed to have unique ID values. It shouldn’t be possible to duplicate the post ID, if the database had referential integrity.

  4. Howard Pearce said on August 25, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Don’t tell me!

    Ghacks wants the state to step in for STATE-MANDATED associations to save jobs!!!

    Bring in the dictatorship!!!

    And screw Rreedom of Association – too radical for Ghacks maybe

  5. Howard Allan Pearce said on September 7, 2023 at 9:13 am

    GateKeeper ?

    That’s called “appointing” businesses to do the state’s dirty work!!!!!

    But the article says itself that those appointed were not happy – implying they had not choice!!!!!!

  6. owl said on September 7, 2023 at 9:50 am

    @The Dark Lady,
    @Database failure,
    @Howard Pearce,
    @Howard Allan Pearce,

    Note: I replaced the quoted URI scheme: https:// with “>>” and posted.

    The current is owned by “Softonic International S.A.” (sold by Martin in October 2019), and due to the fate of M&A, has changed in quality.
    Many Authors of bloggers and advertisers certified by Softonic have joined the site, and the site is full of articles aimed at advertising and clickbait.
    As it stands, except for articles by Martin Brinkmann, Mike Turcotte, and Ashwin, they are low quality, unhelpful, and even vicious. It is better not to read those articles.
    How to display only articles by a specific author:
    Added line to My filters in uBlock Origin:,.home-posts,.home-category-post:not(:has-text(/Martin Brinkmann|Mike Turcotte|Ashwin/))

    By the way, if you use an RSS reader, you can track exactly where your comments are (I’m an iPad user, so I use “Feedly Classic”, but for Windows I prefer the desktop app “RSS Guard”).
    RSS Guard: Feed reader which supports RSS/ATOM/JSON and many web-based feed services.

  7. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 6:41 pm

    We all live in digital surveillance glass houses under scrutiny of evil people because of people like Musk. It’s only fair that he takes his turn.

  8. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:31 pm

    “Operating systems will be required to let the user choose the browser, virtual assistant and search engine of their choice. Microsoft cannot force users to use Bing or Edge. Apple will have to open up its iOS operating system to allow third-party app stores, aka allow sideloading of apps. Google, on the other hand, will need to provide users with the ability to uninstall preloaded apps (bloatware) from Android devices. Online services will need to allow users to unsubscribe from their platform easily. Gatekeepers need to provide interoperability with third-parties that offer similar services.”

    Wonderful ! Let’s hope they’ll comply with that law more than they are doing with the GDPR.

  9. sean conner said on September 27, 2023 at 6:21 am

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