23 Apr 2006 @ 8:53 PM 

The recording industry mafia have gotten a new one – they are suing a family for filesharing when the family doesn’t even own a computer. I believe it is quite difficult to infringe copyrights (not steal any darned thing) the way the RIAA accuses them of without at least some kind of computer to use.

So, the morons have shaken down little old ladies, small children, dead people, families without computers…how many cases has the RIAA won? Not a single one. That’s right; no matter how much they bully people, not a single case has been decided in their favor. Of course, almost no cases have been decided at all. The strongarm tactics and extortion that the cartel has used are effective. People know they have no reasonable chance of fighting the RIAA in court because the RIAA can afford better lawyers, and in the modern judicial system money talks. So, when the mob boss industry lawyer offers people a way out of the multi-million dollar suit, they tend to take it. Unsurprisingly, the amount of money the RIAA settles for varies from case to case – it is generally defined as, “what do you have?” One college student was told to max out his student loans to maximize the industry profit. Think this will encourage that student to buy more CDs next year? Yeah, me neither.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 26 Jun 2006 @ 07:36 PM

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 21 Jan 2006 @ 8:31 AM 

Boy, those congresscritters really don’t seem to get it. Nobody outside the MPAA and RIAA wants a broadcast flag, no matter what you call it. As always, Cory Doctorow’s analysis is fantastic.

Under the DCPA proposal, digital media technologies would be restricted to using technologies that had been certified by the FCC as being not unduly disruptive to entertainment industry business-models.

Unduly disruptive? Hey, folks, the disruptive technologies are the ones that drive us forward and upward to ever-higher levels of economic and creative success. Phonographs, automobiles, computers, compact disks, radio, television – all disruptive technologies in their time. There is no Constitutional right to protect existing business models, and isn’t Congress supposed to be in the business of protecting the Constitution and the sovereign people of the United States? Or are they instead in the business of protecting campaign donors against their own customers? Yeah, that was rhetorical, thanks.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 21 Jan 2006 @ 08:31 AM

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 09 Jan 2006 @ 1:29 AM 

Blame [info]suddenlydizzy

Open your chosen media library for this (iTunes, WinAmp, MediaMonkey, whatever).

Answer, no matter how embarrasing it is.

How many songs?
18212

Sort by artist
First artist: ? And the Mysterians
Last artist: ZZ Top

Sort by song title:
First Song: Zero – AudioSlave
Last Song: ZZ Top Goes to Egypt – Camper Van Beethoven

Sort by time:
Shortest Song: CEO Outro – Slick Rick (0:02)
Longest Song: (Excluding Symphonic Works) Sasha’s Voyage of Ima – BT (42:30)

First song that comes up on Shuffle: Pre 62 (Akasha’s Post Modern Mix) – Groove Armada

How many songs come up when you search for “sex”? 53

How many songs come up when you search for “death”? 35

How many songs come up when you search for “love”? 668

How many songs come up when you search for “you”? 1444

How many songs come up when you search for “why”? 54

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 09 Jan 2006 @ 01:36 AM

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 28 Dec 2005 @ 8:07 PM 

AndySocial's Last.fm Weekly Artists Chart

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 01 Jan 2006 @ 05:46 PM

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 29 Nov 2005 @ 12:10 AM 

I dig music a lot, in case it hasn’t come through clearly for you. The track listing for Christmas CD 2005 is available online. This is the CD that I’ll be packing up and shipping out to various friends and relatives across the country in the next few weeks. OK, after the cruise, not before. I like the fact that Procol Harum did a Christmas song. Procol Harum, let that sink in a while.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 29 Nov 2005 @ 12:11 AM

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 09 Oct 2005 @ 3:19 PM 

Harvey Danger, the band which brought you “Flagpole Sitta,” has released their third album via BitTorrent as well as in stores. If you like the download, they’ve got Paypal set up for donations.

I seriously hope this is a succesful experiment for them. Any proof that bands can make more money bypassing the plastic-based distribution system (and the RIAA) would be a very Good Thing, in my opinion.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 09 Oct 2005 @ 03:20 PM

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 07 Oct 2005 @ 9:24 PM 

The new Depeche Mode comes out in less than two weeks. Naturally, I’ve had a copy on my hard drive for a couple days. Since I’m a big fan of Gahan et al, I’ll be buying the CD when it hits the shelves. Just in case the RIAA is reading, now I’m covered by fair use laws, in some alternate universe where the RIAA doesn’t get to launch random lawsuits like some kind of judicial shotgun blast. Anyway, different rant.

As with a few other albums in the past, the download of the music has made me even more sure that I’ll buy the CD. This is a great album. For those who didn’t like Exciter, this is a return to the old Depeche from the Black Celebration era. Very nice, and the first single, “Precious,” is by far the standout track on the disc.

I really love the woman who is countersuing the RIAA for racketeering – I liken it to extortion, but I suppose it’s the same RICO law set.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 07 Oct 2005 @ 09:24 PM

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 07 Sep 2005 @ 9:53 PM 

and I have a problem. I’m compelled to collect as much music as I can. In the past few weeks, I’ve acquired Death Cab for Cutie, Aerosmith, DJ Rap, Alicia Keys, and Bach. The Bach is perhaps the strangest. A 17 CD set of Bach’s organ music. Seventeen disks. Let that sink in a few more minutes. I have 20 hours of Bach organ music. What party will that work for?

I discovered that Death Cab for Cutie, contrary to its name, is not some sort of death metal, poseur punk band, but more like Lifehouse with less attitude. Proves that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover (or a band by its name).

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 07 Sep 2005 @ 09:53 PM

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 04 Sep 2005 @ 12:40 PM 

I watched the Video Music Awards (OK, they were on while I was blasting aliens nearby) the other day. Several times during the broadcast, MTV played commercials which claimed that the recurring meme that “MTV Doesn’t Play Music” is actually a falsehood, an urban legend. Glancing at their schedule on Zap2It this morning, I find that MTV does play music videos. At 5 am. Twice per week. For an hour. That can’t be right, I thought. Maybe some of these other shows with hip and happenin’ names are actually music videos.

Turns out, MTV After Hours plays videos, from 2am to 5am each weekday. And MTV Video Wakeup plays videos from 5am to 8am each weekday. And we can’t forget TRL, which plays about one video per 15 minutes of mindless yammering, and only one hour per day anyway.

So, what do we end up with? On weekdays, there are music videos from 2 to 8 in the morning, which is convenient if you’re a vampire. And then there are videos interspersed with screaming teenaged girls at 4 each afternoon. Being as generous as humanly possible, that gives a grand total of 40 hours of music during a seven-day period that has 168 hours broadcast. Less than 25% music on Music Television.

During those hours when I could watch television, the schedule is filled with endless hours of reality shows and Laguna Beach. Yay.

For those of us who have jobs that require we work and sleep normal hours, this is very entertaining. I guess you could Tivo the videos on some sort of low priority, so if there’s nothing you want to watch on, you could zone out to videos. Otherwise, the “urban legend” is true, at least insofar as it applies to normal people who sleep when it’s dark and work during the week – MTV really doesn’t play music.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 04 Sep 2005 @ 12:40 PM

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 03 Sep 2005 @ 8:14 PM 

Just to add a trifle more surrealism to your websurfing experience, I’ve added a little code to my site that displays the lyrics to the most recently played song from Winamp on the sidebar (bottom of the right side). Yes, I am a geek, thanks for asking.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 03 Sep 2005 @ 08:14 PM

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 28 Aug 2005 @ 4:46 PM 

While perusing the Something Positive Archive (great web comic), I came across a recommendation to listen to The Kimberly Trip. For those who aren’t up on things, The Kimberly Trip is a band which includes Sierra, who is one of my oldest LJ friends. She started her LJ about 4 weeks before I started mine, but she is an “Early Adopter” and I’m just some jonny-come-lately. 🙂

Anyway, this is a pretty weird web-centric small world moment. Carry on with your day.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 28 Aug 2005 @ 04:46 PM

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 17 Aug 2005 @ 6:23 PM 

From MLFoley, here is a musical meme. Go to Music Outfitters and put the year of your birth in the search engine. It’ll show you the top 100 songs of that year. Bold the ones you like.

1. Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon and Garfunkel
2. (They Long To Be) Close To You, Carpenters
3. American Woman / No Sugar Tonight, The Guess Who
4. Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head, B.J. Thomas
5. War, Edwin Starr
6. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Diana Ross
7. I’ll Be There, Jackson 5
8. Get Ready, Rare Earth
9. Let It Be, The Beatles
10. Band Of Gold, Freda Payne
11. Mama Told Me (Not To Come), Three Dog Night
12. Everything Is Beautiful, Ray Stevens
13. Make It With You, Bread
14. Hitchin’ A Ride, Vanity Fair
15. ABC, Jackson 5
16. The Love You Save / I Found That Girl, Jackson 5
17. Cracklin’ Rose, Neil Diamond
18. Candida, Dawn
19. Thank You (Fallettin Me Be Mice Elf Again) / Everybody Is A Star, Sly and The Family Stone
20. Spill The Wine, Eric Burdon and War
21. O-o-h Child / Dear Prudence, Five Stairsteps and Cubie
22. Spirit In The Sky, Norman Greenbaum (although the Doctor and the Medics version is my fave)
23. Lay Down (Candles In The Rain), Melanie and The Edwin Hawkins Singers
24. Ball Of Confusion (That’s What The World Is Today), Temptations
25. Love On A Two Way Street, Moments
27. Which Way You Goin’ Billy?, Poppy Family
28. All Right Now, Free
29. Julie, Do Ya Love Me, Bobby Sherman
30. Green-eyed Lady, Sugarloaf
31. Signed Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours), Stevie Wonder
32. Ride Captain Ride, Blues Image
33. Venus, Shocking Blue
34. Instant Karma (We All Shine On), John Ono Lennon
35. Patches, Clarence Carter
36. Lookin’ Out My Back Door / Long As I Can See The Light, Creedence Clearwater Revival
37. Rainy Night In Georgia, Brook Benton
38. Something’s Burning, Kenny Rogers and The First Edition
39. Give Me Just A Little More Time, Chairmen Of The Board
40. Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes), Edison Lighthouse
41. The Long And Winding Road / For You Blue, The Beatles
42. Snowbird, Anne Murray
43. Reflections Of My Life, Marmalade
44. Hey There Lonely Girl, Eddie Holman
45. The Rapper, Jaggerz
46. He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother, Hollies
47. Tighter, Tighter, Alive and Kicking
48. Come And Get It, Badfinger
49. Cecelia, Simon and Garfunkel
50. Love Land, Charles Wright and The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band
51. Turn Back The Hands Of Time, Tyrone Davis
52. Lola, Kinks
53. In The Summertime, Mungo Jerry
54. Indiana Wants Me, R. Dean Taylor
55. (I Know) I’m Losing You, Rare Earth
56. Easy Come, Easy Go, Bobby Sherman
57. Express Yourself, Charles Wright and The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band
58. Still Water (Love), Four Tops
59. Make Me Smile, Chicago
60. House Of The Rising Sun , Frijid Pink
61. 25 Or 6 To 4, Chicago
62. My Baby Loves Lovin’, White Plains
63. Love Or Let Me Be Lonely, Friends Of Distinction
64. United We Stand, Brotherhood Of Man
65. We’ve Only Just Begun, Carpenters
66. Arizona, Mark Lindsay
67. Fire And Rain, James Taylor
68. Groovy Situation, Gene Chandler
69. Evil Ways, Santana
70. No Time, The Guess Who
71. Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time), Delfonics
72. The Wonder Of You / Mama Liked The Roses, Elvis Presley
73. Up Around The Bend / Run Through The Jungle, Creedence Clearwater Revival
74. (If You Let Me Make Love To You Then) Why Can’t I Touch You, Ronnie Dyson
75. I Just Can’t Help Believing, B.J. Thomas
76. It’s A Shame, Spinners
77. For The Love Of Him, Bobbi Martin
78. Mississippi Queen, Mountain
79. I Want To Take You Higher, Ike and Tina Turner
80. The Letter, Joe Cocker
81. Ma Belle Amie, Tee Set
82. The Bells, Originals
83. Yellow River, Christie
84. Somebody’s Been Sleeping, 100 Proof and Aged In Soul
85. Vehicle, Ides Of March
86. Gimme Dat Ding, Pipkins
87. Lay A Little Lovin’ On Me, Robin Mcnamara
88. Up The Ladder To The Roof, Supremes
89. Travelin’ Band / Who’ll Stop The Rain, Creedence Clearwater Revival
90. Come Saturday Morning, Sandpipers
91. Psychedelic Shack, Temptations
92. Without Love (There Is Nothing), Tom Jones
93. Are You Ready?, Pacific Gas and Electric
94. Woodstock, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
95. I’ll Never Fall In Love Again, Dionne Warwick
96. Look What They’ve Done To My Song Ma, New Seekers
97. Walk A Mile In My Shoes, Joe South
98. The Thrill Is Gone, B.B. King
99. It’s Only Make Believe, Glen Campbell
100. Call Me, Aretha Franklin

Obviously, 1970 was not a bad year for music. Lots of Beatles and CCR in there. Sweet.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 22 Aug 2005 @ 06:47 PM

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 15 Aug 2004 @ 3:52 PM 

Jack Valenti and his ilk can go roast in the deepest bowels of heck. I was inspired by a recent article about getting TV episodes from BitTorrent, so I followed the links to a site that hosts the pointers (torrents) that allow people to share the files. I wanted to watch an episode of Andromeda I missed. Well, I can’t connect to most torrents, because my IP is blocked. Why is my IP blocked? Am I a narc? Am I a mole for the RIAA? No, my IP is blocked because I use Cox for myISP (the only choice for broadband above 400kbps here). Cox, for their part, rolls over with such speed when the letters D M C and A are thrown at them that other P2P users have begun ignoring us entirely. Great. Cox has 8% of the internet market in the U.S., and we’re now effectively cut off from the newest avant garde pieces of the internet.

The DMCA sucks ass.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 09 Aug 2005 @ 09:34 PM

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 03 Mar 2003 @ 4:47 PM 

When I left San Angelo in 2001, the town had no radio station worth listening to. The best you could hope for is something inoffensive, such as the Top 40 Station. Upon returning a few weeks ago, I was pleasantly surprised to notice the one rock station, which had been using a 9-volt battery for power, now was actually capable of being received anywhere in town. I was happily jamming to Sister Hazel or Zwan on the way around town.

This morning I got in the car and was horrified to hear the soulful strains of 80s light rock coming from the stereo. With no fanfare, no information, and no apologies, the one station that didn’t make me cringe at regular intervals has morphed into the one station that can make me cringe non-stop. Great.

In other news, KDGE and KNDD no longer have webcasts, thanks to the predations of the RIAA and ASCAP. Bastards. At least 91X still streams. Equis Te Ere A, Tijuana, Mexico. Woohoo.

current_mood: annoyed

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 09 Aug 2005 @ 09:33 PM

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 16 Jan 2003 @ 10:27 PM 

This is an interesting new twist on the battle between music downloaders and bands/labels. The new Foo Fighters album has an accompanying DVD (and I think the new 3 Doors Down does the same thing) with cool content, such as a couple music videos and screensavers, etc. Also, the CD will launch you to a website where you can stream cover songs the Foos recorded. Alas, this is where my pathetic dialup connection fails me, but that’s to be expected.

And, I can rip the CD to play on my MP3 player just fine, thank you very much, RIAA.
current_music: Foo Fighters – All My Life
current_mood: happy

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 09 Aug 2005 @ 09:34 PM

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 24 Jul 2002 @ 7:51 AM 

The MPAA and RIAA want to become their own law enforcement agencies, and the U.S. Congress is aiding and abetting them. This story has a few more details on a recurring trend among the major entertainment industry giants – they are not just above the law, they are the law.

Basically, the MPAA and RIAA want to be allowed to break into your computer if they have probable cause to believe you have stolen some of their music or video files. Since when do we allow anyone besides a legally recognized law officer to decide on probably cause? Why would anyone think it’s a good idea to encourage the entertainment giants to crack into your computer? Kind of raises the level of insanity a bit too far, in my opinion.

Of course, we should all feel reassured by the MPAA’s senior VP for government relations, who says that law-abiding Internet users should not be concerned. Yeah, that’s what a lot of police states tell you – if you have nothing to hide, why be worried about invasion of privacy?

current_mood: aggravated

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 09 Aug 2005 @ 09:36 PM

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 09 Jul 2002 @ 9:29 AM 

Continuing the riff I refer to in one of my old “thoughts” on my site, Janis Ian (an artist I’d never heard of but may seek out now) has written an article about the hypocrisy of the RIAA and their rapacious attitude toward consumers and artists.
current_music:
current_mood: amused

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 09 Aug 2005 @ 09:35 PM

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RIAA

 
 21 Apr 2001 @ 3:59 PM 

Saturday

bq. Sorry if this isn’t 100% coherent. I just realized I’ve got thoughts about the RIAA, Napster and other music-related things spread out across too many sites to follow. Here’s a relatively complete posting of what I think about the whole mess.


Those silly silly people running the music "industry" (like there are factories and stuff?) just can’t figure out how to not blow themselves up. Napster offered them 200 million dollars per year for the next 5 years, if the RIAA would just not try to destroy Napster, and maybe even try to play nice with them.

The RIAA, being the old greybeards they are, couldn’t bring themselves to approve such a scheme, so they’ll probably end up winning the court battle and shutting Napster down. Of course, since Fanning and Co. have a deal with BMG records, they’ll stick around as the front end for ONE record company’s electronic distribution system.

Meanwhile, the other companies in the RIAA are working on their own systems, which they’ll probably screw up royally. Anyone else remember the awesome Personics systems from the 80s? You could go to a record store kiosk, choose your personal favorite songs from the playlist, and have a cassette created with only music you wanted, with a nice laser-printed jacket and labels. The record companies made royalties, and the consumer got a product they truly wanted. Of course, the industry let that system die from lack of attention, and it was too late anyway, with the CD revolution in full swing.

This past week, the RIAA started going after OpenNap servers, which are equivalent to Napster, but without any company to sue. Next, I’m sure they’ll attempt to sue the users of Gnutella, who are individuals operating out of their own homes. This is basically the music companies suing their own customers. I wonder how they justify that business model.

Really should have made that deal with Napster, RIAA. It was the best chance of getting any money at all without suing your own customers. This should be an entertaining year.


Just saw the RIAA representative talking outside the courtroom on CNN. She really sounds petulant. Of course, Napster can stop people from trading songs based on a simple filter. But, you willfully ignorant twit, that doesn’t mean people will not just rename files with funky characters to get around the filters. Here, try this example: Prinse n da rebolushun - Boyz und Girlz.mp3 would slip right by the filtering system, but would still be a pirated song. The latest info says the Napster folks will be using "fingerprinting" technology to check on songs regardless of filename. So, if I rip a song at 192kbps, is that the same fingerprint as someone who ripped it at 64kbps or one of the VBR algorithms?

Of course, the RIAA also claims they had a horrible 39% decline in CD sales last year, but it was actually a 39% decline in CD single sales. Um, who buys CD singles anyhow, especially with the ability to preview individual tracks at CDnow, Amazon, or Tower Records stores? Slashdot had a great story that tore apart the RIAA numbers.

Oh, and Courtney Love, after how record companies screw artists, is suing her record company for the indentured servitude forced on her, as with any other artist. But, she can afford to make noise about it. Cool.


According to this article, many car CD players will refuse to play new copy-protected CDs, as will all "multimedia PC" systems. So, let’s assume I’ve got my big Altec Lansing subwoofer hooked up to my PC, and it’s the only CD player I own (not really, but many of my friends in the army only have their PCs to play CDs on, to save space). Now, I can’t play any new CDs on this machine, because I MIGHT copy them? Well, I can’t even listen to them "wherever I like" so I’m not going to buy them either.

If I put this CD in my new RioVolt MP3/CD player (the only CD player in my car), will it cease to function? Now, I’ve got a portable CD player (RioVolt) that can’t play audio CDs of the new style, I’ve got a home audio system (MPC) that can’t play the new CDs. And, this somehow does NOT infringe on fair use?

I know plenty of college students and soldiers that don’t buy stereos, because they have computers. These happen to be the ages that buy the majority of popular music as well. I imagine the RIAA is not so smart on this one.


OK, here is MY EXPERIENCE with MP3s. I can’t possibly speak for everyone, but this is me. I am 30 years old, I was a soldier for 12 years, and I have been a computer geek since I was 10. I listen to MP3s, mainly from Usenet postings of unreleased albums. If I like the album, I buy the CD.

As an example, when the last "No Doubt" album was released, I was at the store on the first day of issue, so I could buy one. Three weeks earlier, I would never have imagined I would buy it, but it was a damned good set of songs. If I had not sampled it via Usenet, I would not have bought the CD. Seriously.

Another example is Metallica. Except for a track here and there, I’ve never been a huge Metallica fan. I grabbed about 3 or 4 tracks from the S&M album off Usenet, and then bought the double-CD set. Even Metallica has made money from MP3s.

If the RIAA would consider MP3s to be advertising, or radio-like, they may have a chance to make money off them. So far, the digital distribution schemes seem to involve charging as much or more for the privelige of downloading the tracks, rather than going to the store and getting cover art and a jewel case. Personally, I’d be very inclined to use an industry-approved download system, if they guaranteed quality-of-service (not an option with the P2P systems obviously), and if they charged LESS than the physical CD.

As it is now, I tend to listen to music from internet radio stations, check out random tracks from Usenet or Gnutella, and buy CDs from CDNow.

I buy a lot of CDs, and I burn many of them to MP3 format to listen to in my MP3/CD player, so I can have 10 or 12 hours of music on one disc. Makes those cross-country car drives much nicer.

So, don’t paint everyone with the same brush, but realize that at least some of us are really not just out to be thieves. YMMV


After a conversation with an old friend today, I revisited Gnutella. There’s a program called BearShare that acts as a frontend for Gnutella, and allows searches to be performed without the pain of a few months ago. Just played with BearShare tonight, looking for common and obscure tunes, including some George Carlin and Bill Cosby tracks. Great selection, which indicates that all the publicity that CNN et al have given Napster has raised awareness of such things to the point that Gnutella is actually useful finally. They have definitely hit the critical mass needed to be a decent search tool.

Even better, the RIAA can now only sue individuals, cuz there’s no server. So, the record companies are going to take their own customers to court? Hehe


As of the middle of April 2001, many (maybe even most) radio stations that stream their signal on the internet are silent. The AFTRA is demanding 300% more money for the stations’ sending audio outside their broadcast area. I don’t get how that makes sense, and it was obvious to anyone that the only result that such a threat would have is the complete shutdown of those streams, meaning that AFTRA members don’t make any money from them anyhow. I’d think you’d negotiate from a position that seemed at least close to reasonable? More here.


It’s not completely new, but I know not everyone reads and pays attention to the latest news from techno-geek lands like Salon and /. Anyway, there’s a new music distribution format that the RIAA (motto: we’re not an evil entity, but we play one on TV) actually likes for a change: Dataplay.

Basically, the DataPlay disks are 500 megabyte CD-R disks that are downsized to a miniscule 1-inch wide platter. BUT, what the RIAA wants to do with them is to put not 500 megabytes of actual CD-DA audio on them, but 500 megabytes of compressed audio, with most of it encrypted when you buy it. Say you buy the latest Madonna album on DataPlay disks (let’s call them DP for short :)). It may well include the Immaculate Collection on it as well as Like a Virgin. But, you can’t hear those other albums until you pay the label for them. You connect the DP to your computer, and send an electronic funds transfer to Warner Bros. In seconds, your DP has had a few more bytes written to it, and now you can listen to all three of those albums, from a disk the size of a quarter. Pretty neat, in my opinion. Obviously, with compressed music you get some lower sound quality, but not enough to hurt sales. After all, MP3 is amazingly popular, and you can fit about 8 albums in 500 megs with that format.

Here’s the deal, though: chicken and egg. When CDs replaced LPs (don’t complain, the vinyl record is as near dead as makes no difference), they had the benefit of being smaller and better-sounding, with no pops or hisses or crackles. They are also, of course, much more durable than vinyl. Although many don’t take care of their CDs very well, if you remember to put them back in their jewel cases instead of using them like coasters, they should last much longer than vinyl would under normal usage. Where are the players for the DP disks? If you look at the DP site, it seems that all the players are portables, and most are made in Korea (whatever that means).

So, is the rationale here that we would use CDs at home, and then burn our own DPs with 5-6 albums on them for our portable use? The RIAA makes money on the blank DPs, I’m guessing, just as they do on blank DAT tapes (a great format that the RIAA nearly killed 15 years ago). (They must, if the disks are going to cost 5-12 bucks each for blanks. Of course, remember when CD-R disks were that expensive?) Sounds good to the RIAA, and maybe it will even work out ok for consumers, so long as we can burn whatever we want to the DPs and not need permission for each file, etc. I’d hate to be strangled by Windows Media Player (wimp) or the abominable SDMI when I just wanted to take my entire Concrete Blonde collection on one disk when I went for a bike ride. Perhaps this is an idea whose time never quite came, and is long since past?

Keep an eye on the DataPlay format, it may turn out to have better legs than MiniDisc and DCC (anyone besides me remember that one?)

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 09 Aug 2005 @ 09:41 PM

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 12 Mar 2001 @ 7:37 PM 

After a conversation with an old friend today, I revisited Gnutella. There’s a program called BearShare that acts as a frontend for Gnutella, and allows searches to be performed without the pain of a few months ago. Just played with BearShare tonight, looking for common and obscure tunes, including some George Carlin and Bill Cosby tracks. Great selection, which indicates that all the publicity that CNN et al have given Napster has raised awareness of such things to the point that Gnutella is actually useful finally. They have definitely hit the critical mass needed to be a decent search tool.

Even better, the RIAA can now only sue individuals, cuz there’s no server. So, the record companies are going to take their own customers to court? hehe

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 09 Aug 2005 @ 09:37 PM

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Categories: Journal, Music
 12 Mar 2001 @ 3:29 PM 

It’s not completely new, but I know not everyone reads Slashdot and pays attention to the latest news from techno-geek lands like ZDNet and CNet. Anyway, there’s a new music distribution format that the RIAA (motto: we’re not an evil entity, but we play one on TV) actually likes for a change: DataPlay.

Basically, the DataPlay disks are 500 megabyte CD-R disks that are downsized to a miniscule 1-inch wide platter. BUT, what the RIAA wants to do with them is to put not 500 megabytes of actual CD-DA audio on them, but 500 megabytes of compressed audio, with most of it encrypted when you buy it. Say you buy the latest Madonna album on DataPlay disks (let’s call them DP for short :)). It may well include the Immaculate Collection on it as well as Like a Virgin. But, you can’t hear those other albums until you pay the label for them. You connect the DP to your computer, and send an electronic funds transfer to Warner Bros. In seconds, your DP has had a few more bytes written to it, and now you can listen to all three of those albums, from a disk the size of a quarter. Pretty neat, in my opinion. Obviously, with compressed music you get some lower sound quality, but not enough to hurt sales. After all, MP3 is amazingly popular, and you can fit about 8 albums in 500 megs with that format.

Here’s the deal, though: chicken and egg. When CDs replaced LPs (don’t complain, the vinyl record is as near dead as makes no difference), they had the benefit of being smaller and better-sounding, with no pops or hisses or crackles. They are also, of course, much more durable than vinyl. Although some people don’t take care of their CDs very well, if you remember to put them back in their jewel cases instead of using them like coasters, they should last much longer than vinyl would under normal usage. Where are the players for the DP disks? If you look at the DP site, it seems that all the players are portables, and most are made in Korea (whatever that means).

So, is the rationale here that we would use CDs at home, and then burn our own DPs with 5-6 albums on them for our portable use? The RIAA makes money on the blank DPs, I’m guessing, just as they do on blank DAT tapes (a great format that the RIAA nearly killed 15 years ago). (They must, if the disks are going to cost 5-12 bucks each for blanks. Of course, remember when CD-R disks were that expensive?) Sounds good to the RIAA, and maybe it will even work out ok for consumers, so long as we can burn whatever we want to the DPs and not need permission for each file, etc. I’d hate to be strangled by Windows Media Player (wimp) or the abominable SDMI when I just wanted to take my entire Concrete Blonde collection on one disk when I went for a bike ride.

Keep an eye on the DataPlay format, it may turn out to have better legs than MiniDisc and DCC (anyone besides me remember that one?)

—–
Update: Yeah, I was obviously way off on this one. DataPlay never really even hit the market before it died.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 28 Oct 2005 @ 10:41 AM

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