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R.I.P. Audiogalaxy

By kennon in Internet
Fri Jun 21, 2002 at 07:05:23 PM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)

As you've probably already heard, Audiogalaxy decided to settle out of court with the RIAA for a lot of money and now is blocking ALL songs. While I'm sure they're working on ways to stay in business, I'm guessing that most of their users will be gone within a couple of weeks.

I was a programmer at Audiogalaxy for almost two years; read on to learn about the history of Audiogalaxy and hear my opinion about why Audiogalaxy was a cut above the rest of the peer-to-peer apps.

I began working at Audiogalaxy while I was a computer science student at the University of Texas at Austin, after answering an ad on the computer lab wall. This simple ad led me to one of the most life changing experiences I've had.

Audiogalaxy started out as the Borg Search, an FTP search engine written by Michael Merhej. While working in the physics lab at UT, Michael met David McArthur, and they decided to go into business together as Audiogalaxy. Initially AG was just the FTP search, but soon they decided to start offering free web space to musicians who wanted to promote their music. Artists or labels could use the web-based interface to post their mp3s onto the site so that anyone could download them. Along with articles and reviews by a small music staff, AG began to grow.

About 3 months before I was hired, Napster hit the internet. Michael and David realized the power of p2p apps and decided that a system like that would be a great way to distribute the mp3s already hosted on Audiogalaxy. And with that realization, the Audiogalaxy Satellite was born.

Two design decisions were made at the beginning which set the Satellite apart from every other p2p app that I've seen (more on this later): use a web based interface, and queue songs for delivery later. Michael wrote most of the code for the windows satellite client, and Tom Kleinpeter, another programmer, wrote most of the code for the linux-based satellite server.

By the time I was brought on board, the satellite was enjoying a modest amount of traffic, something on the order of 500-600 people connected at any one time. Already I was amazed at the range of music that was available, most of it stuff that I'd never heard of. Through the forums on the website, the AG community began to form. Several early members were artists themselves and released all of their music onto the satellite system.

The initial web interface to the satellite was functional but not very pretty or efficient; I was hired to create the new interface. Although there were a few other web programmers from time to time, I was there the longest, and I'd guess that I ended up writing over half of the web code.

After a couple of false starts with some really horrible interfaces (there are alot of things you CAN do with javascript, but you really shouldn't!), we settled on the current system, which has been in place for quite awhile.

It was extremely gratifying to write code that was being used by so many people (by the time I left AG, we were getting 80-90 million page loads a day!). I'm really glad that they decided to take a chance on a relatively inexperienced programmer; I learned quickly and I'm proud of the work I did there. It convinced me that I really did want to be a software developer. On a side note, to those people who say that you don't learn anything you need to know for your job in college, I want to mention that the CS program at UT is excellent, and almost every day I learned concepts and techniques that directly helped me in my job and vice versa. If you're looking for a world-class CS education on the cheap, check it out.

Towards the end of my time there, online advertising budgets fell through the floor and we were forced to find other methods of income. Sometime around then we began bundling so-called spyware into the satellite installer, simply because they paid good money and nobody else was. Despite all the accusations and misinformation flying around, the satellite always gave you either the option of not installing the spyware, or told you quite clearly what it was doing in all caps at the top of the readme that was automatically displayed (yet usually ignored). We all disliked having other software go along with the satellite, but we had to make money somehow and tried to make it as transparent as possible.

During my senior year at UT I decided to quit AG to focus on school (and I'm glad I did; Intro to Operating Systems just about ate my lunch!). I was sad to go but knew I needed to focus. That was about nine months ago, although I have kept up with my friends who still work there.

As far as technology goes, we used PHP/Apache/MySQL/Linux, and I'll bet that AG is one of the highest traffic sites using that combination. I had never heard of PHP before Audiogalaxy, but now its my language of choice. I think it's a great language for what it was designed to do, bind together C extensions with an easy way to lay out HTML (Some people are trying to do alot more with PHP than they should!). I had to learn alot about scaling scripts and database tables; things that might work at 1,000 queries a day can often fail at 10,000,000 a day. We also had a linux client before most other p2p systems.

Corporate Culture
The corporate culture there was great; between the music staff and the programmers there were about 15 of us, and it was alot of fun working with other bright, young, musically-inclined people. AG was always very efficient with its money; most of the people working there were college students, and we weren't paid as much as we might have been at another dotcom, but I was making way more then I would have been delivering pizzas, and I got to work on something I really believed in. I've realized more and more how important that is. The office was modest, although in a great location in a cool part of Austin (A couple blocks from Waterloo Music; I wonder how many CDs I bought those years...I probably don't want to know.) Occasionally Michael would take the company cool places but for the most part was very frugal with money. All-in-all, I think that they were very smart financially; we weathered the "dotcom bust" quite well.

I really enjoyed working at AG. My hours were very flexible and I had a great boss. It was interesting to see when different people came in; the music staff generally worked daytime hours but a few of the programmers came in the evening and coded all night, to dodge the Austin traffic (which can be horrible during rush hour). My work schedule was pretty fragmented since I was going to school full time, but that was the norm since most of the staff was also enrolled at UT. It was kind of funny to hear the CEO of the company gripe about his spanish class!

Online Community
After the initial functionality of the website, I'd say that probably 90% of the code I wrote was not related to actual file sharing. We spent immense amounts of time and effort developing the community aspects of Audiogalaxy. There were comment boards attached to almost every entity on the site, as well as groups. Groups were designed to bring listeners of similar genres together, and by all accounts, were a rousing success. Each user had her own profile page that could be customized to show their favorite artists and styles. A vibrant community sprang up through all the different groups and genres. While there was certainly a fair amount of useless posts, there also was quite a bit of good communication going on. We also implemented a web-based instant messenging system.

One of my favorite features gave you the ability to see which users had used the site in the last 90 seconds, broken down by country or state. Its fascinating to look and see people from all over the world that you can talk to.

Besides the community features, our music staff also actively reviewed music and wrote lots of articles. While the writers often were overly vitriolic and suffered from acute cases of music snobbery, most readers failed to realize that much of their disdain for music was designed to make the reader mad. It always amused me how someone would spend 15 page loads posting messages saying how much he hated Audiogalaxy and the writers.

Our whole direction as a company was not to merely provide file sharing services; we wanted to have a community of music afficianados actively seeking out new music. As I mentioned above, I bought a TON of CDs while I worked at AG, and virtually all of them were from music I found out about and previewed as an mp3. It was amazing to be talking to someone about their favorite band that you saw listed on their profile page, queue it to your satellite, and by the end of the conversation already be listening to that music. For several bands that are now some of my favorites, I went from never having heard of them to loving them in literally 5 minutes. From discussions I've had with many of my friends, they had similar experiences. The whole system made it easy to find new music; that was what it was designed to do, and at its height it did it brilliantly.

The RIAA Cometh
During the summer that Napster was sued by the RIAA, we followed the case closely. We realized that any legal decisions made in that case could directly affect us. Sometime after that the RIAA contacted us and we engaged in negotiations with them. We started actively blocking songs that they asked us to (although they didnt ask very efficiently; each member label had its own format of text file or access database containing artist and song names, and the RIAA just sent us cd-r's full of disorganized data. it took a person just about full time to import all this data, despite a system we set up that would allow them to do this easily.)

As most people with a clue realize, it is extremely hard to filter digital media. Unless you have a person sitting there listening to an mp3, you have no way of knowing that an mp3 titled "unsigned band - lame song.mp3" is actually nsync's latest hit. At first we had simple text matching, but users are obviously smart enough to figure out how to rename files in ways that make sense only to humans. After increasing pressure from the RIAA, we actually went to an extremely complex system based on a checksum digest of the first megabyte of an mp3. I wasn't involved in its implementation, so I'm not exactly sure how it works, but I do know it was quite effective. After this level of filtering, the general consensus was that AG was only good for live, unreleased, and non-copyrighted material, which is what I prefer anyway (and it was REALLY good at this; have you ever tried to find a live version of scream the sound by the emerald down on gnutella? Not gonna happen.)

In any case, we put alot of effort into complying with the RIAA. We honestly were not trying to be rebellious music pirates; we wanted to provide the infrastructure for a vibrant music community. This effort on our part I'm sure bought us a few months.

The Suit
If you havent skimmed the RIAA's suit against Audiogalaxy, I would suggest that you do. Its a brilliant case of misinformation. It alleged that AG was woefully inadequate at stopping piracy, and in a classic quote, mentions that AG's filtering system "could have been done better by a first year programmer". It also alleged that Audiogalaxy existed solely to profit off of copyright violations, and thus should pay back royalty compensation.

As I've tried to establish in this article, AG provided extensive extra value to its users. But it doesnt really matter; the RIAA is a 3000 lb gorilla, and even if AG had tried to fight this in court, perhaps they could have won some sort of victory but it would have been pyhrric at best. The RIAA has the money to stomp anybody smaller, and they're showing what they can do. Unless backed by a truly large corporation with pockets a mile deep, I really don't think any p2p company is going to be able to stand up to the RIAA.

But the RIAA is doing exactly what it was designed to do; protect the interests and business model of its member recording companies. Its doing this brilliantly. Its true that they won't be able to stop peer-to-peer applications for good, but they will be able to stomp on the companies or individuals who create them for a long, long time. And they have the patience to keep stomping. Theyre playing whack-a-mole with an infinite supply of tokens.

Why Audiogalaxy Was Better
When I say that I think Audiogalaxy was the best, most people think I'm just biased. Maybe I am, but there were features that I truly believe set it apart

First off, the music indexing was excellent. The satellite client would parse mp3 filenames for an artist name and song name, and would check to see if the system had seen those names before. If it had, it would assign that mp3 an artistID / songID, so that if anyone chose that combination of artist and song, the system would know who had it, even if they were of differing file names. This made song selection a breeze because the system had a good idea where different songs were. While there was a large amount of junk text, the system did a good job of cleaning it out regularly.

Because the indexing worked so well, that meant you could queue up a song and the system had a good idea of where to find it. It would look for someone who had a file with the same artistID/songID pair, and then alert the two clients to begin the transaction. Once you began downloading a particular file, it would make sure you would only get the file with that specific file size/check sum. Doing it this way also allowed the satellites to resume easily and transparently. It was awesome to jump on the web site before you went to bed, queue up a few hundred songs, and when you woke up in the morning most of them were there. You didn't have to care about who had the songs, it did that for you. I can't stand having to micromanage my downloads, having to pick 5 different versions of a file to assure myself of getting one of them. Some of the newer p2p apps are much better at this, but still none can compare.

I really enjoyed the fact that AG was web-based; it allowed us to distribute new features instantly (and also provided me with a job :)). While we did have to update the satellite client from time to time, this was relatively infrequent. The other advantage of the web-based system was that you could leave your satellite running at home, but if you thought of something you wanted while you were at school you could jump on a school computer and queue it up so it would be waiting for you when you got home. I used it this way alot, actually.

The client was actually safer than most p2p apps, as well. It did not actually leave ports open all the time, but periodically queued the system to see if it needed to begin a transaction. If it did, it left the port open just long enough to connect with the other client. The other advantage of doing it this way was that one of the clients could be behind a firewall and initiate the connection, even if it was the one receiving the file.

The best part about Audiogalaxy, though, was the community. As I've also heard other people mention, you really could find an amazing array of music on the satellite. I was exposed to incredible amounts of wonderful, independent music that I never would have heard of otherwise. It was unparalleled at providing rare and live music. There was almost never something I could not find. I bought a ridiculous number of CDs while I worked there, because I found out about music that I wouldn't have otherwise.

To this day, I still have not found any other system that provided as seamless a union between meeting people who like your kinds of music and finding new music itself. Sure, lots of other systems let you trade files, but Audiogalaxy created a community.

I'm sad to see Audiogalaxy go, but it was a crazy trip while it lasted, and I'll never forget my time there.

Kennon Ballou
Audiogalaxy userID 14


Voxel dot net
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Related Links
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R.I.P. Audiogalaxy | 124 comments (119 topical, 5 editorial, 0 hidden)
WYAP2PAWBCK (1.25 / 16) (#4)
by /dev/trash on Fri Jun 21, 2002 at 05:33:49 PM EST

Wow, Yet Another P2P Application Written By College Kids.

Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
Question (5.00 / 4) (#26)
by afree87 on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 12:07:04 AM EST

Why does it make a difference how old the programmers are? Does it make them less mature or their program badly designed? Perhaps it allows one to toss the whole program out as stupid idealism?
Ha... yeah.
[ Parent ]
no, it's just that... (4.00 / 4) (#88)
by rohrbach on Sun Jun 23, 2002 at 06:14:50 PM EST

...certain folks cannot get along with it, when people younger, more talented, with brighter ideas, with less money in their pockets, create something which the fortune 500 companies worlwide can't come up with because they're blockheads and not creative enough.


Give a tool to a fool, and it might become a weapon.
[ Parent ]

heh. (1.00 / 2) (#103)
by /dev/trash on Mon Jun 24, 2002 at 10:32:42 PM EST

Yeah, and look at the two examples of P2P apps.....napster and AudioGalaxy. How much money are THEY raking in now? What's that? Their bankrupt/shut down? But these kids were more talented and had brighter ideas and created something.

Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
[ Parent ]
Stomped by the big guys. (none / 0) (#116)
by Schmoo2x on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 11:23:12 PM EST

You forget a basic rule. the big fish eat the little fish. Since these guys aren't exactly corporate monsters, the companies with older ideas and deeper pockets continue to reign supreme. These guys had revolutionary ideas, and the establishment didn't likk them so they stomped them out. It's as simple as that.

[ Parent ]
Audiogalaxy as the local underground bookstore (4.82 / 17) (#7)
by bbuda on Fri Jun 21, 2002 at 06:31:08 PM EST

Audiogalaxy was easily the finest of the 'first generation' P2P clients. I was lucky enough to stumble on it early on, and was one of the top 100 servers on the AG for a long time (back when the website kept those statistics).

As the author mentions, AG was the only place to find a lot of lesser known music. But AG didn't only host underground artists; through the newer 'recommendation' features, I discovered hundreds of new artists, many of whom are now among my favorites. Finally, the 'groups' feature allowed users to automatically receive files recommended by other users; this was the first example of the 'push' technology that was the rage in the mid-Nineties being used effectively.

It seems on the other hand that services like the defunct Napster and the current reigning king KaZaA represent a 'McDonaldization' of music; hosting mostly well known pop, and much of it in poor quality or improperly organized or named. AG's server indexing technology not only encouraged both a standardization of artist and song names (filtering out the crap), but it put Joe's Garage Band on equal footing with U2, with perhaps a link of recommendation between the two. It always seemed to me that AG's users were simply more intelligent or had a more cultivated taste then those of Kazaa or Napster, and I am certain it was the structure of the AG software itself that attracted this musical 'upper-class'.

All in all, I am sad to see AG go; while what they were doing was likely illegal, Audiogalaxy was the first realization of what the digital music revolution was supposed to be: not just teenagers stealing the new Britney CD, but a community of music lovers exploring the vast range of lesser-known music to be heard. Hopefully both the next-generation P2P networks and eventually the industry can see the market in providing a forum for artists from all niches.

Holy cow! (4.57 / 7) (#8)
by spiralx on Fri Jun 21, 2002 at 06:37:03 PM EST

While the writers often were overly vitriolic and suffered from acute cases of music snobbery, most readers failed to realize that much of their disdain for music was designed to make the reader mad.

Where the hell do I get a job trolling people for money?!

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey

Surely you've heard... (3.00 / 1) (#85)
by Wah on Sun Jun 23, 2002 at 01:39:53 PM EST

..about Just Good Enough.
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]
Great (1.41 / 43) (#9)
by DeadBaby on Fri Jun 21, 2002 at 06:49:20 PM EST

Maybe your next peice of software can figure out a way to steal from another industry. Music and movies are about done, maybe you could start stealing from writers? There's yet to be a good theft based p2p system for e-books. Maybe you could start stealing college courses somehow? I know some schools have their own internal video feeds and whatnot. Maybe you could organize riots in the major cities?

Really, I think you should look into it. There's a lot of content out there not being stolen by people and it's your job to make sure it is.

"Stay up late, smoke cigars, and break windows" - Tom Waits

Are you a RIAA mole? (4.25 / 8) (#10)
by dark on Fri Jun 21, 2002 at 07:26:35 PM EST

Next time you should read the article before you flame it. And try to improvise a little, so that it's less obvious that you're reading from a script. How much to they pay you, by the way?

[ Parent ]
I just think it's sad (2.83 / 18) (#13)
by DeadBaby on Fri Jun 21, 2002 at 08:15:46 PM EST

The sense of entitlement these people have outrages me.

I steal music all the time. I don't pretend it's anything other than petty theft. I'm totally ok with that. If the RIAA were to make it impossible for me to steal music I would buy more music... it's simple as that. What offends me, in the end, is the fact that people are not being honest. If you want to steal music, STEAL music -- don't try to turn it into some issue of "freedom" because any moron can figure out that if company X says product A costs Y amount then that's it. You either pay it or do without. Don't bitch about how the big bad RIAA doesn't want you to steal their music so that makes them EVIL(!).

I'm not condemning piracy, I'm condemning this sissy pussy footing that people are doing. Once you start using "freedom" as a strawman you'd be surprised how quickly it's going to disappear.
"Stay up late, smoke cigars, and break windows" - Tom Waits
[ Parent ]

I just think you're sad (4.57 / 14) (#14)
by psicE on Fri Jun 21, 2002 at 08:26:15 PM EST

How much of a hypocrite are you? You think that stealing music is okay as long as you recognize that it's stealing?

The real issue is much more complicated. The RIAA seems to think that it's moral to sell music to customers online and pay the artists nothing; and many artists on AudioGalaxy were not part of the RIAA, and actually *encouraged* sharing of their songs. Also, what about dead artists? They can't be "starving on the streets", so better to let their music have as wide exposure as possible than to make record companies richer.

I think that listening to RIAA music in any form is wrong; whether downloading it or buying it in the store, you're still stealing from the *artist*. But Audiogalaxy was about more than that. It was about exposing new artists, people who would pay radio stations to play their songs rather than the other way around, people who didn't care about the money as much as getting their music heard.

[ Parent ]

Contracts (2.92 / 14) (#16)
by DeadBaby on Fri Jun 21, 2002 at 08:47:48 PM EST

1) It's too bad all these free beer loving artists have signed contracts with huge record labels. They're the RIAA's bitches. If the RIAA says no music sharing then... no music sharing. If the artist is so deeply offended they can go elsewhere.

2) If these free beer loving artists are so offended by the RIAA's stance, maybe they should produce independent music instead? The whole independent music scene would be much stronger if major artists were to denounce the RIAA and use it as their prefered medium.

3) Why should artists have it both ways? They seem to love the money the RIAA spends on promoting them yet they seem to think it is their right to give away their music for free online? That doesn't make any sense. It's a business deal that both sides have to uphold.

4) The major record labels are a business, not some hippie conmune devoted to spreading free love and music accross the world. Any artist who signs up with a major label and agrees to produce music for them has to realize that. If you produce music for major labels you are going to be controlled by them. They are your bosses.

Let the RIAA do what they want. If online music distrobution is really the wave of the future then the RIAA will be gone in a decade. Let the market decide. It's time artists make a firm choice and not try to play it down the middle.

As for my stealing of music, I just don't care. What I do care about are people who can't be honest with themselves. If you're a petty theif then join the club, there's no need to be ashamed.
"Stay up late, smoke cigars, and break windows" - Tom Waits
[ Parent ]

Theft vs. Honesty (4.60 / 5) (#17)
by MadDreamer on Fri Jun 21, 2002 at 08:59:02 PM EST

As for my stealing of music, I just don't care. What I do care about are people who can't be honest with themselves. If you're a petty theif then join the club, there's no need to be ashamed.

This is getting off topic, but that's never stopped me before...

What sort of moral standard are you upholding here? Thievery is okay, as long as you're honest with yourself that you ARE stealing? How does that make sense? If it is merely theft, then there is reason to be ashamed. You place some importance on honesty but none on theft. If you are going to claim some moral reason to uphold your idea that 'people should be honest' then you have to allow for the rest of moral thought, which includes the idea that 'people shouldn't steal'.

You can't pick and choose a moral standpoint on a whim. Get a real backing for your arguments, or keep them to yourself!

[ Parent ]
It's very complex (2.62 / 8) (#23)
by DeadBaby on Fri Jun 21, 2002 at 11:02:38 PM EST

It's kind of a zen thing I guess.

If you steal and you feel guilty enough to justify what you're doing with lies... you're probably fucking yourself up pretty bad.

If you steal and understand your actions and are at peace with what you're doing... you're in good shape. Morally corrupt maybe but... in good shape.

I'd take option #2 anytime.

(And yes, there is an option #3 that includes simply not stealing but if you got option #2 going for you why bother?)
"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
[ Parent ]

please, please.. (4.42 / 7) (#27)
by infinitera on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 12:36:01 AM EST

Do explain how it is that you can steal something from me and yet I still have it? Oh, that's right, because it's not property, and the law has only arisen out of elite interests. If you can rebutt anything in that thread with your fine logic, I'm all ears. I doubt you'll get anywhere, unless you do indeed want to say people are entitled to profit, and that gov't has to guarantee it.

[ Parent ]
Stealing (3.66 / 3) (#31)
by fluffy grue on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 02:35:59 AM EST

If you download an album from DeadBaby, you're not stealing it from DeadBaby. You're stealing profits from the original artist (at least, in theory). It's not the music which is being stolen, but the artist's livelihood (though the RIAA does plenty more to steal the artists' livelihoods anyway). Personally, I try to keep my copies of music legit and buy albums only by RIAA-free artists, so I'm not stealing or being the accessory to stealing. (Of course, there's also several good albums which I have but didn't purchase, and when I have more money I intend to purchase them.)
"trhurler: he's a bright ray of sunshine shoved right up your ass" -- Misery Loves Chachi

[ Parent ]

RIAA stealing artist's livelihoods (4.00 / 3) (#33)
by Paul Murdock on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 02:41:41 AM EST

Of course, the difference between the RIAA and file sharing is that the RIAA is polite enough to ask the artists if they want to be involved, and generous enough to offer something in return.

[ Parent ]
This is true... (5.00 / 4) (#34)
by fluffy grue on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 03:04:49 AM EST

Except the RIAA uses some pretty underhanded coersion tactics to give the artists a raw deal. Also, there have been cases of the RIAA doing a breach of contract but still "expecting" (i.e. using lawsuits to force) the artists to hold up to their end of the deal (look at Shirley Manson's legal battle with Universal for an example).

Also, if Courtney Love is to be believed, one of the more disgusting tactics that the RIAA labels use is to give the artists a really sweet deal, and then a huge cash advance that the artists are unlikely to be able to pay back (say, $1 million), and then after a while demanding it back with back-interest. Even if the album sells enough copies to pay back the original advance (usually around 2 million, since the artists only get maybe 50 cents from each album sale), the interest is pretty killer, and only the stars who make it absurdly big (like Breastney Spheres and such) have any chance of actually coming out ahead for all of their work. Not to mention that they still have to pay their studio engineers and so on.

Basically, the RIAA fucks the artists pretty hard, and I'm glad for independent labels and distribution channels which give the artists a better way with more control.

I'm not using this as a justification for downloading pirated music, BTW. I agree with you - the artists can always go somewhere else. These days many of them are, and it's those artists who I try to support, since they'll actually get some money out of it (instead of the label's and RIAA's lawyers). I haven't bought an RIAA-blessed album in something like 2 years, and yet I've bought many dozens of albums in those 2 years.
"trhurler: he's a bright ray of sunshine shoved right up your ass" -- Misery Loves Chachi

[ Parent ]

who's fault? (3.00 / 1) (#58)
by loteck on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 05:23:21 PM EST

Also, if Courtney Love is to be believed, one of the more disgusting tactics that the RIAA labels use is to give the artists a really sweet deal, and then a huge cash advance that the artists are unlikely to be able to pay back (say, $1 million), and then after a while demanding it back with back-interest.

The same thing could happen with any writer, be it of music or of novels. However, it shouldn't be a surprise. It is IN THE CONTRACT THAT YOU SIGN.

If you sign said contract without reading it or understanding it, or if you choose to gamble whilst thinking that you'll make it big enough to dodge that portion of the contract, it is YOUR OWN *$%#ING FAULT. If you think that part of the contract is unfair or "underhanded", then you shouldn't have signed it. Courtney is just a whiney second-rate-and-going-down artist grasping for all the cash she can before she has to accept that she lacks any mass-marketable talent.

"You're in tune to the musical sound of loteck hi-fi, the musical sound that moves right round. Keep on moving ya'll." -Mylakovich

[ Parent ]
No need to get hostile about this (4.00 / 1) (#61)
by fluffy grue on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 05:32:33 PM EST

I haven't said anything to contradict what you've said. We're speaking orthogonally. There's no need to try to "shout" at me.

I've never seen a recording studio contract, but the impression I get from the way that Ms. Love talks about it is that the interest on the cash advance is sprung on the artists as a surprise. Also, I said "If Courtney Love is to be believed." That kind of implies that I take her rant with a grain of salt, no?

Finally, what I've been saying all along in this discussion is that artists do have alternatives now, and quite a few artists take advantage of them, and that I only buy CDs from the artists who do so these days. It's only very recently that non-RIAA avenues have become available, though; before the Internet, the only feasible way of an artist getting their stuff heard and purchased was the radio and chain stores, respectively. This is no longer the case.

Perhaps you should read what I'm saying before you assume that I need to be "clued-in" with such hostility.
"trhurler: he's a bright ray of sunshine shoved right up your ass" -- Misery Loves Chachi

[ Parent ]

A simple question (3.00 / 3) (#40)
by Paul Murdock on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 08:07:02 AM EST

Say I'm a folk singer. I play small clubs and bars, and after my show, I try to scrape together some extra money by selling recordings I've made of my work. One day, some guy comes to one of my shows, buys my tape and takes it home. He makes one hundred copies and turns up at my next show with his copies and starts handing them out for free.

Do I have the right to be upset, or is he just doing me the favour of sharing my work with others?

[ Parent ]

Another question (3.00 / 1) (#55)
by dennis on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 05:16:16 PM EST

He's not being very nice. But suppose he makes those copies and hands them out for free to a bunch of people who never heard of you, doubling your audience? The numbers over the past few years suggest that's a better analogy.

[ Parent ]
It's a much worse analogy, actually (2.00 / 2) (#60)
by Paul Murdock on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 05:28:47 PM EST

And the numbers this year contradict it utterly. I suspect the numbers over previous years do not support it nearly so well as was claimed. Here's why you're wrong:

In order to find an artist on a music sharing service, you have to know who they are. Audiogalaxy is the only one that ever did much to bring other artists to the attention of people doing searches, and it seems that it wasn't effective enough to counterbalance the lost profits from people who just copied music they already knew about. The behaviour of people downloading music wasn't geared towards finding new artists. My analogy was a much more accurate representation of what people do over audiogalaxy and its friends. They copy music they've heard, or heard of.

The figures for 2001 reflect my point of view. Last year, RIAA companies in America lost over 150 million units in sales, with attendant loss of profits. This is the greatest, perhaps the only reduction in profits the industry has had over the last decade, and they have the internet to thank for it. The argument that stealing music was enhancing profits was never all that convincing to begin with, and to use it now is to fly in the face of the facts.

Here's another question for you: Is it OK to sneak into movies without paying? How about theatre performances? How about rock concerts? According to most people here, you can't be stealing from the performers, because you haven't taken anything that belongs to them. If doing those things is wrong, why? If you don't think it is relevant to copying intellectual property, why not?

[ Parent ]

re: questions (3.00 / 1) (#62)
by infinitera on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 05:33:09 PM EST

Here's another question for you: Is it OK to sneak into movies without paying? How about theatre performances? How about rock concerts?

You're paying for something physical there, an event. Not any lyrics or ideas. So yes, it is irrelevant to a discussion about IP, except as to indicate how performers can make money without it.

[ Parent ]
That's pretty weak (2.00 / 2) (#65)
by Paul Murdock on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 06:08:44 PM EST

What physical thing are you paying for? What have you taken from the performers, since it is apparently wrong to listen to their concert without paying? How does the service provided by performers in concert differ from the service they provide by recording their music? Answer all the questions, please, including those you ignored from the previous comment, so we can fully understand your line of reasoning. They're all important.

[ Parent ]
Space. (4.00 / 1) (#102)
by Error on Mon Jun 24, 2002 at 06:20:01 PM EST

You are taking up space in the theatre. You are preventing someone else from being as near to the concert/performance as you are.

It is not uncommon for people at festivals and other outdoor events to sit just outside the fence and watch. No one claims they are taking anything from the people inside.

You touch on something important when you say, "How does the service provided by performers in concert differ from the service they provide by recording their music?" Recording music is indeed a service. The recorded music is then made into a product. We should pay artists for their services not for the products that are created from them.

[ Parent ]

Why do you go to concerts? (1.00 / 1) (#105)
by Paul Murdock on Mon Jun 24, 2002 at 11:04:05 PM EST

Try again. Can you justify entering a concert without paying? If not, why not? Should the artists be upset if people sneak in? Do you think they'd be upset simply because people are taking up space on the ground? Your final paragraph is perfect. I can only take it as a tacit admission that by copying music via AudioGalaxy, you have taken something of value from the artist. That's really all you need to say.

[ Parent ]
An economist disagrees (4.00 / 1) (#66)
by dennis on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 06:23:40 PM EST

Here's an interview with a well-known economist who initially agreed with you, but upon looking at the data recently changed his mind.

In order to find an artist on a music sharing service, you have to know who they are.

Lots of people on Napster discovered new music by: 1) connecting to someone with a familiar song they liked, and 2) checking out what else that person had. This is a rather rudimentary discovery method, but more sophisticated systems are on the way. I'd be willing to bet that marketing of new music will be entirely unnecessary within the next five years or so.

[ Parent ]

He's wrong (2.00 / 2) (#68)
by Paul Murdock on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 06:43:11 PM EST

I can only assume he was basing his work on inaccurate or outdated data. As of the end of 2001, the effect of file sharing on profits has been quite clearly demonstrated to be larger than anything that has affected the industry, positively or negatively, for the last ten years. One economist who writes for the Cato Institute isn't likely to change that.

[ Parent ]
And I'm right (1.50 / 2) (#69)
by Paul Murdock on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 06:54:16 PM EST

About his sources of data. On his website, all the work he has done regarding napster seems to refer to sources from 2000 at the latest. The 2001 data available from the RIAA provides the evidence of impact on the music industry whose absence he has been lamenting.

[ Parent ]
Great source (3.50 / 2) (#73)
by dennis on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 07:09:53 PM EST

Ah, yes, data from the RIAA, a thoroughly unbiased source.

As I mentioned in my other post, sales figures alone don't tell whether the Internet is to blame. The data Liebowitz looks at includes items such as number of filesharing downloads, and percentage of households with CD-writers. He seems not to have any particular axe to grind - his prior publication predicted that filesharing would have a large negative impact on the industry. It's only now, looking at all these factors, that he's concluding that it doesn't.

[ Parent ]

Source (1.50 / 2) (#80)
by Paul Murdock on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 11:02:25 PM EST

The RIAA cites their source as PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Thanks for playing.

[ Parent ]
They are the RIAA's accountants. (none / 0) (#101)
by Error on Mon Jun 24, 2002 at 06:11:53 PM EST

Of course they cite PWC. Pricewaterhousecoopers are the RIAA's accountants. You can hardly claim that they are unbiased.

[ Parent ]
Ummm... (1.00 / 1) (#104)
by Paul Murdock on Mon Jun 24, 2002 at 10:56:22 PM EST

Yeas I can. Unless they want to see how it feels to be Arthur Anderson. It's a question of legality, and if you have evidence that PWC has misreported the profits of RIAA companies, you should immediately bring it to the attention of the IRS and the SEC.

[ Parent ]
Instead of assuming... (3.50 / 2) (#70)
by dennis on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 06:58:49 PM EST

...why not read the interview? Then you'd find out that he is looking at current data.

This is the greatest, perhaps the only reduction in profits the industry has had over the last decade

The bare fact that sales went down in 2001 is not exactly a strong argument. You may have noticed that during the past ten years you mentioned, we had a booming economy and a skyrocketing stock market. In 2001 we had a sinking market and a lot of people worried about their jobs. The music industry utterly refused to lower prices for an entertainment product during a time of economic uncertainty, and the result was unsurprising. The entertainment industry insists on blaming the Internet, but the evidence is shaky at best.

I fail to understand why you "can only assume" that Liebowitz's data is inaccurate, but that conflicting claims you agree with are "quite clearly demonstrated."

[ Parent ]

I read it (1.50 / 2) (#72)
by Paul Murdock on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 07:06:51 PM EST

He has never mentioned RIAA earnings data from 2001, even in his most recent paper for the Cato Institute. All his work is based on 1999 and 2000 data, and other reports based on similar data. The 2001 figures, avaiable from the RIAA, contradict his findings. That's the problem with appeals to authority. Sometimes your authorities are wrong.

As for the economic downturn, this hasn't really affected America enough to explain a ten percent decline in sales for the record industry. You are now officially clutching at straws.

[ Parent ]

Skimmed it anyway (3.00 / 1) (#74)
by dennis on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 07:21:33 PM EST

His latest Cato paper, published in May, was written prior to the end of 2001. Although the paper said that the industry hadn't proved that filesharing was a problem yet, Liebowitz did predict that filesharing would become a major problem. In the interview, he talks about his research since then, and how it has changed his mind.

As for "appeals to authority," you're the one blindly repeating the conclusions of the RIAA and throwing around phrases like "clearly demonstrated." I'm linking to actual arguments, which can at least be read and evaluated. You've not addressed those arguments, you've simply repeated the RIAA's self-serving assertions about the cause of their lost sales.

[ Parent ]

Bias (1.50 / 2) (#75)
by Paul Murdock on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 07:32:33 PM EST

If you have solid grounds for believing the data I have provided to be in error, I encourage you to state another source. Until then, refrain from speculation. If we're going to impugn the integrity of our sources, I have quite a lot to say about the credibility of the Cato Institute.

Your economist's arguments are based on inaccurate data, and contradicted by the only version of the facts that has been presented in this argument. Therefore, addressing his findings would be irrelevant. He's just plain wrong.

[ Parent ]

More (2.00 / 1) (#76)
by Paul Murdock on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 07:35:13 PM EST

It makes no business sense to misreport your earning as lower than they are. No company wants to discourage investment, and claiming a 10% drop in sales will tend to make investors a little nervous. The RIAA's member companies would probably not thank them for that.

[ Parent ]
Yet more (1.50 / 2) (#78)
by Paul Murdock on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 07:42:04 PM EST

If the reported reduction in profits is so easily explained by the economic downturn, how do you explain the fact that similar industries, such as the motion picture industry, continue to post record profits?

[ Parent ]
more... (none / 0) (#106)
by SEoD on Mon Jun 24, 2002 at 11:56:03 PM EST

how do you explain the fact that similar industries, such as the motion picture industry, continue to post record profits...
...despite so much of their product being STOLEN on file sharing networks? Paul - you have a point there ;)

[ Parent ]
Ah, what's the point? (2.00 / 1) (#77)
by dennis on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 07:40:50 PM EST

I'm not saying that the RIAA is misreporting their data. Liebowitz is not saying that their sales are up. He is saying that other evidence suggests strongly that the Internet is not the cause of the lost sales.

I see no point in continuing this discussion if you insist on dismissing as irrelevant all data that doesn't support your argument.

[ Parent ]

I haven't (1.25 / 4) (#79)
by Paul Murdock on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 07:45:23 PM EST

You just haven't posted any data at all. All you have is speculation and the arguments of an economist who apparently spoke too soon. The other factors which might explain the music industry's loss of sales are spurious, as I've shown in another comment. Why are similar industries unaffected by this economic downturn?

[ Parent ]
This flame is mostly irrelevant (5.00 / 1) (#108)
by pde on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 06:57:28 AM EST

This flame appears to be an argument about whether the RIAA and the artists they own have suffered financially from the advent of p2p.

The answer is probably yes, but in any case, it doesn't really matter.

It doesn't change the fact that US and US-imposed global copyright laws are not in the public interest, and that the stengthening of these laws has provided little or no benefit to artists, but substantial benefit to Hollywood. Can anyone say "copyright should last until 70 years after the death of the author" with a straight face?

Copyright on the internet is a particularly big problem because it massively reduces the benefit of music and writing for society (since people get much less of it when they have to pay monopoly prices). It also results in attempts to create very expensive and inefficient DRM Technology, the cost of which will ultimately be passed on to consumers.

It is not clear yet whether copyright needs to be replaced with a different system of compulsory licenses or public funding for artists, or whether systems like the Street Performer Protocol will work from the ground up.

Visit Computerbank, a GNU/Linux based charity
[ Parent ]

It's not so complex (1.00 / 1) (#83)
by bigchris on Sun Jun 23, 2002 at 12:01:07 AM EST

Actually, if you steal and don't feel guilty then I think that you are pretty screwed up.

You see, it's not actually about yourself, it's about the other person and the effect you have on them. Putting it a little more personally, let's say someone stole from you. How would it make you feel?

If you steal from me, I couldn't care less about how you feel about it, because it's not about what your feelings are. Right then, it's about how I feel about what you've done.

I Hate Jesus: -1: Bible thumper
kpaul: YAAT. YHL. HAND. btw, YAHWEH wins ;) [mt]
[ Parent ]

More contracts (5.00 / 2) (#43)
by psicE on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 11:35:13 AM EST

Thank you for taking the time to reply to my comment... too bad you didn't have enough time to read my comment too. Maybe if I make everything in bold this time, you'll at least be able to read that part.

To quote from my original comment: "...and many artists on AudioGalaxy were not part of the RIAA, and actually encouraged sharing of their songs."

There go points #1, #2, #3, and #4. Believe it or not, there are independent artists on AudioGalaxy whose music was blocked because of AG's newly-restrictive policy. These are artists who are not and never were affiliated with the RIAA. Yet the RIAA, who has no authority to act on behalf of these artists, forces their music off AG. True, those artists can get their music reinstated on AG, but every single artist shouldn't manually have to approve their music for sharing.

Again, I repeat: There is no justification for sharing RIAA music, but Audiogalaxy is about more than that. It's about sharing non-RIAA music that the artists want you to share, and they're fully within their rights to allow you to share it, because they're not part of the RIAA!

When I have a choice, I do not even listen to music from living RIAA artists; I never download it, buy CDs, etc. All the music that goes through my computer is non-RIAA music, and it is legal to listen to it.

Hard as it may be for you to believe, some people actually have moral standards. I object to the existence of the RIAA on moral grounds, and thus I refuse to support them, or artists that sign with them, in any way. But there are still artists who don't sign with RIAA labels, and I can listen to them; and up until now, I could get their music off AudioGalaxy. But no longer.

[ Parent ]

Of course they should (none / 0) (#45)
by spacejack on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 12:57:55 PM EST

but every single artist shouldn't manually have to approve their music for sharing.

Why shouldn't they? Do you regularly upload other people's work to mp3.com? This is not a heck of a lot of effort to get your music on a legit network.

[ Parent ]
Why should they? (5.00 / 1) (#56)
by dennis on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 05:17:15 PM EST

If I put music I've created up on a website, and say it's free for anyone to copy, then there is zero legal justification for restricting people from making copies.

[ Parent ]
but (2.00 / 1) (#64)
by spacejack on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 05:51:48 PM EST

how is AudioGalaxy going to know unless you tell them?

[ Parent ]
But (4.00 / 1) (#71)
by psicE on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 07:01:36 PM EST

Every artist who put their music on AudioGalaxy in the first place did so with the intention that the music would be shared. As far as I knew, when AG first started restricting content back last year, they put up an option for hosted users to block their songs from being shared... few did.

If you didn't want your music to be shared, why would you have put it on AG, as opposed to signing with a record label, in the first place?

[ Parent ]

The Rock Star (3.00 / 1) (#97)
by xtremex on Mon Jun 24, 2002 at 02:49:05 PM EST

Well, when you are struggling for years, and the RIAA comes to you with a 10 million dollar contract, your principles have the tendency of leaving. You are now their bitch. They don't hand you $10 million. They give you an "allowance". You want a car? They give you a car. You want drugs? They give you drugs. You have no money of your own...you are their bitch. And when you are no longer in the Top 10, you are now a homeless junkie with a needle in your arm.

[ Parent ]
Are you sure (4.00 / 3) (#39)
by Overnight Delivery on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 06:24:38 AM EST

you would buy more music if the RIAA made it impossible for you to steal?

I can only speak for myself but the RIAA has already made it more hassle than it's worth for me to steal music and more hassle for me to buy it too. Last time I checked my credit card were no CD's on it, contrast with the ~1 a month I would buy when stealing music.

Some of those CD's were even of RIAA artists.

Ironically, as soon as I buy a new CD I rip it to mp3, much easier than hunting down an entire album (of decent rips) online. The closest thing now is eMusic , unfortunately when I used it there were no Australian artists and all the mp3's were 128k (fine for your PC but not for my stereo).

The issue (as many have pointed out) is not about stealing but about supply chain management. It's much easier for manufactured acts like Britney and N'Sync to become massive when you control the means of delivery, it's also easier to attract real artists like REM when there is no other means of distribution.

[ Parent ]

Freedom (5.00 / 2) (#50)
by DarkZero on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 03:03:26 PM EST

I think the real issue here, which people bring up in almost any debate on P2P software, is that the RIAA suing P2P software companies out of existence is stifling competition, preventing independant artists that want to freely share their work from controlling their copyrights in the way THEY want to, and generally preventing people from redistributing music or videos that aren't copyrighted by the RIAA. So really, the debate is about the two issues of copyright infringement and the freedom that the RIAA is taking away from independant artists and their fans.

And that's why everyone fiercely debates the issue whenever it comes up. If you let P2P software programs survive, the RIAA's copyrights are infringed upon, but the independant artists have the freedom to control their copyrights in the way that they choose, i.e. letting them go and letting them be freely distributed. If you don't let P2P software programs survive, then the independant artists lose all of their control over their own copyrights, but the RIAA's copyrights aren't infringed upon. It's a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation much like abortion (albeit on a lesser scale), and that's why there are going to be fierce debates about this until there is a truely massive change in our culture, either toward more control by the RIAA or the total abolishment of the RIAA and the entire concept of selling music for twenty bucks a pop on proprietary media in music store chains.

And really, this debate IS about freedom. It's not just a straw man. Because of the way the music industry has matured and the way computer data works, a situation has been created where only one group of copyright holders can control their copyrights AT ALL. Either the RIAA is free to control their copyrights or the independant artists are free to release their copyrights, but there is no inbetween. Setting up a P2P system that filters out RIAA music but allows independant music has proven notoriously difficult, and I don't think that anyone will ever create a system that's perfect enough for both sides to be happy. So we're left with either giving the RIAA the freedom to control their copyrights or giving the independant artists the freedom to control their copyrights, with no middle ground for a compromise. Either way, one group has to lose the "intellectual property" rights given to them by the Constitution and federal laws, and I see that as a loss of freedom. Right now, that loss of freedom is on the side of the independant artists, which are part of the general citizenry, not Corporate America. From my perspective, this is the incorrect side for the government to choose, but other people with equally valid perspectives could see it in an entirely different way.

[ Parent ]

What gives them the right to set that price? (none / 0) (#100)
by Error on Mon Jun 24, 2002 at 06:03:03 PM EST

Economics certianly doesn't.

It has purely become a legal matter. Legal issues are issues of freedom. The RIAA has control of the intellectual property. The question is really, "Is it right for them to be in control?"

Furthermore, I find it somewhat distubing to think that you assume it is always ok when "company X says product A costs Y amount." I can think of many cases where this is inappropriate. Specifically it is wrong in this case because, copyright was created to foster creativity and not to provide a permanent revenue stream any one individual or organization. It has only become the latter recently. More importantly, I don't think it should provide indefinate control over a work. It should be an incentive for artists to create not for an organization to exploit them.

[ Parent ]

Nice, that was a sweet troll [n/t] (3.00 / 5) (#11)
by bakuretsu on Fri Jun 21, 2002 at 07:56:00 PM EST

-- Airborne
    aka Bakuretsu
    The Bailiwick -- DESIGNHUB 2004
[ Parent ]
Stolen comment follows: (3.88 / 9) (#12)
by wedman on Fri Jun 21, 2002 at 08:11:09 PM EST

Maybe your next peice of software can figure out a way to steal from another industry. Music and movies are about done, maybe you could start stealing from writers? There's yet to be a good theft based p2p system for e-books. Maybe you could start stealing college courses somehow? I know some schools have their own internal video feeds and whatnot. Maybe you could organize riots in the major cities? Really, I think you should look into it. There's a lot of content out there not being stolen by people and it's your job to make sure it is. Thanks

DELETE FROM comments WHERE uid=9524;
[ Parent ]
Ultimately (4.66 / 6) (#20)
by trane on Fri Jun 21, 2002 at 10:34:13 PM EST

The artists will cut themselves loose from the recording industry and release their shit under their own terms. Advertising will be by word-of-mouth (the most effective, and free).

Well, it could go that way. It depends on where each of you spends your money.

[ Parent ]

They are trying.. (4.80 / 5) (#22)
by phidauex on Fri Jun 21, 2002 at 10:51:53 PM EST

Many artists are TRYING to cut loose, and release under their own terms, but the RIAA's oppressive attacks on internet radio and p2p sharing systems are a major setback for someone trying to get promoted by word of mouth. The ability to get songs onto P2P systems and get free play on Internet Radio sites is an accessible and simple way for a new artist to get their name out, but the RIAA is intent on making that not possible.

I belive that is a secondary motive of these legal campaigns. To force independent artists to 'join or die' by crushing their methods of self promotion.

I buy lots of white label and indie vinyl, but its hard to learn about new artists around the world without services like AG and internet radio.

[ Parent ]

Doubtful (none / 0) (#48)
by bodrius on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 01:35:54 PM EST

Word of mouth is certainly not the most effective way of advertising... that's why distributors get away with what they do.

There are plenty of music scenes that depend almost exclusively on word-of-mouth, have tiny record labels and sell much fewer records, and are perfectly happy. But they do not reach more than a few people, those that follow closely their respective scene and get the word-of-mouth.

Word of mouth is effective in building a cult following, but the fact is that most people do not get the word until it shows up on mainstream TV, radio or newspapers. If you want to reach the mainstream and make the corresponding gazillions, you have to go to the distributors that know how to reach the mainstream.

It is unlikely that the need for mainstream distribution companies will ever disappear. They have proven ability to multiply the amount of money made per ounce of talent (or even with no talent to begin with).

What these new methods of distribution provide, however, is a new balance. A set of tools that make the distributors sales pitch much harder to buy. Maybe it will allow new artists not to sign with a big distributor until they are ready, and therefore to negotiate in a more level field, avoiding the typical "sell your soul" scenario.

After all, while it still makes a big difference whether you are heard by billions of people or not, if you can still get your music out and get some money without their help there's the novel possibility of an artist just saying NO.
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...
[ Parent ]

I guess I meant (none / 0) (#51)
by trane on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 03:40:00 PM EST

Word-of-mouth is the most effective advertising, for me (as a consumer). I guess I'm just suspicious of mainstream advertising. I'd much rather make my purchase decisions based on honest feedback from other people who have bought the product...

Again, it will depend on where each of us spends our money: if you disregard mainstream advertising (not boycott, but just ignore it, buy what you want based on other factors), it will become less effective.

[ Parent ]

Copying is not theft (3.20 / 5) (#37)
by kingosric on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 04:25:18 AM EST

I'm poor. I can't afford to go out and spend money on CD's, but I can afford to download music. No-one has lost anything, or been deprived of income from a sale that would never have happened, yet I have still gained something. This is not theft! (In fact, its allmost the oposite of theft - value has been created!) I have gained and no-one else has lost! I don't see why people have so much trouble with this idea....

If I have an apple and you take it (or I give it to you) then I'm down one apple. On the other hand, if I have an idea and I give it to you, (or you take it) then we both have the idea. CD's (the phisical bits of plastic that I can buy £14 for 50) are apples. Music (and movies, and books, and software, and any other online data) is an idea. Can you see the difference?

If anyone is 'stealing content' its the RIAA, who try to make people beleve that data is more like  apples than ideas.

[ Parent ]

I'll bite. (3.75 / 4) (#47)
by bodrius on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 01:24:40 PM EST

a) If you have access to the resources required to download music, you are not sufficiently poor to be unable to afford music. You're just unable to afford as much music that you like as you would like.
   I can't afford to buy a Porsche, yet that does not make me "poor".

b) Value is not based on the material existence of a resource. Value is based on the dynamic game of supply vs demand, in other words, on how much value is the market willing to give to something.
   Copying something to satisfy your demand for free, that is, reducing the demand and increasing the supply, will affect negatively the value in the market of the commodity.
    How much would it affect the value, and whether that's the only factor involved, is another discussion. But value, in economic terms, is not created by your copying. Please read Adam Smith before trying to debunk him.

c) No one is trying to make anyone believe that data is more like apples than ideas. They are trying to make people believe that ideas are exactly like apples. If you're going to fight that, you'll have to fight against the concept of idea as property, which you will find is harder than expected.

You're right, of course. Copying is not theft, because intellectual property is not material. Copying may be copyright violation, or not, and it should be dealt with as what it is. It may cause loss of revenue, or not, and it may fit into "fair use" and other exceptions to the rule, or not.

It's certainly more complicated than theft.
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...
[ Parent ]

Adam Smith (none / 0) (#99)
by Error on Mon Jun 24, 2002 at 05:40:08 PM EST

Adam Smith's arguements are based on the idea of scarcity. The inherent problem with p2p networks and other forms of copying is that there is no longer a means for the RIAA (or other media distributers) to make revenue off the reproduction of the data to which they hold the Copyright. The cost of producing one unit is the same as the cost of producing one thousand.

It is Copyright itself that creates artificial scarcity from which they have profited so far. The only place where actual scarce resources remain is with the original artist. Their product is the music (or whatever) and they should, in my opinion, be compensated for the production of that art, not for the scope of its distribution.

This false scarcity is what people react so strongly to. Copyright is now routinely extended and old works grandfathered in so nothing ever falls into the public domain as originally intended.

It is misleading to argue economic theory about a market which has been increasingly forced artificially into the mold of a physical good.

[ Parent ]

I agree however.... (none / 0) (#96)
by xtremex on Mon Jun 24, 2002 at 02:43:40 PM EST

It's not that I'm poor. I REFUSE, on pricipal to pay $24 on a CD that is 50% crap anyway.

[ Parent ]
what of the code? (4.77 / 9) (#15)
by blisspix on Fri Jun 21, 2002 at 08:44:13 PM EST

I would love to see AG's code adapted to create some sort of open source system for locating library materials and out of print books.

current antiquarian book searches are clunky, library catalogues have z39.50 which is great, but not everyone has access to that.

This could also dovetail nicely with plans for digitising out of print works by making those works easier to locate.

the system could also be used to query the catalogues of music stores. I work in a music library and it's a real pain to have to call 10 stores to ask, "Do you have X work by X composer, with X orchestra, and X conductor?"

I miss AG. I've always bought lots of music anyway, but AG gave me something more to go on than just what a band's description is when buying sound-unheard online.

So what are the most popular P2P apps now? (4.60 / 5) (#18)
by Artifice on Fri Jun 21, 2002 at 10:04:27 PM EST

Seems to me that with the demise of one after another of the P2P apps that depend in any way on a central server, the more radically decentralized ones will become increasingly popular.

I downloaded Gnucleus yesterday, and spent a little time checking it out, but it's clearly not in the AudioGalaxy league. (I was an AG user until a couple weeks ago, when they forced users to update to a new client that REQUIRED acceptance of spyware. The article's author either doesn't know about this, or neglected to mention it.)

Gnucleus is intriguing -- it's totally open-source, based on Gnutella, and not dependent on any one central point for functionality. But the quality of files available is nothing like what was on AG -- perhaps because it's newer, and the "network effect" hasn't amplified its usefulness to the same degree (i.e., not as many people are on the system).

Anyone out there have any good or bad stories to share about other file-sharing systems?

Don't let the gov't. scare you -- scare yourself instead. Create Your Own Terror Warning!
Other P2P Programs (5.00 / 1) (#25)
by Archangel of Death on Fri Jun 21, 2002 at 11:42:49 PM EST

The good old days of Napster... Long gone now, I tried Audiogalaxy but I never had much luck with it. I would get very slow download speeds although I have DSL. I mainly use Kazaa Lite now for downloading my music and now have a fair amount of songs. I don't know of any other good programs out there, but Kazaa Lite seems to be the best one that hasn't been shut down by the RIAA.
"When I was four years old they tried to test my IQ, they showed me this picture of three oranges and a pear. They asked me which one is different and does not belong, they taught me different was wrong." -Ani Difranco
[ Parent ]
[ot] ani difranco (5.00 / 1) (#30)
by Gwen on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 01:39:12 AM EST

<quote>"When I was four years old they tried to test my IQ, they showed me this picture of three oranges and a pear. They asked me which one is different and does not belong, they taught me different was wrong." -Ani Difranco</quote>

Incidentally, Ani's music is ebign blocked from search ass well.

Do you happen to know what she thinks of all this stuff? I e-mailed the website but no one wrote back.

"So raise your hands in the air like you're born again
But make a fist for the struggle we was born to win"
-The Coup ft. Dead Prez, Get Up!

[ Parent ]
Wasn't blocked for me (none / 0) (#32)
by Souhait on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 02:40:12 AM EST

I went into Kazaa Lite and searched for Ani Difranco and got all sorts of hits - I like a few of them, but I don't much care for the songs when she spends most of her time screaming into the microphone.  Very emotional, but not for me.

[ Parent ]
Phex or LimeWire (none / 0) (#95)
by xtremex on Mon Jun 24, 2002 at 02:41:36 PM EST

For Linux you can use phex (phex.sf.net) or LimeWire.

[ Parent ]
WinMX (none / 0) (#49)
by DarkZero on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 02:39:26 PM EST

You should try out WinMX, if you're using a Windows system. It's extremely popular in Asian countries and among most of the online piracy circles in the US, and I think it works really well. The speed is pretty good, it supports swarm downloading, etc. Its lack of mainstream popularity has also kept it (as far as I know) from being fucked with by pranksters and the RIAA.

I've also been using it for many, many months now, and so far I have yet to see it mentioned in Wired News, C|Net, the Associated Press, or any mainstream American newspapers. In fact, the only media exposure of WinMX that I've seen is a mention of it in an article from Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese news outlet. So it should last a lot longer than most of the other P2P programs have, just by sheer obscurity (in America).

[ Parent ]

It already has (none / 0) (#53)
by roju on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 04:57:55 PM EST

WinMX has been out in some form or other since Napster has. I think it got taken down for a bit, but I suppose it's back up now. In any case, it's much older than Audiogalaxy or Kazaa or any of the recent p2p apps.

[ Parent ]
Thanks (4.80 / 5) (#19)
by deadbeat on Fri Jun 21, 2002 at 10:09:40 PM EST

It's awful that Audiogalaxy is shutting down. It truly was a one-of-a-kind program in a sea of identical P2P programs. The "sounds like" feature for every artist is truly a killer app. I found so many great artists through it, and now I've fooled all my friends into thinking I'm actually some sort of indie music guru. Thanks and I hope something will come along soon that takes the Audiogalaxy model to the next level.

Riaa fighting for people.. (4.85 / 7) (#21)
by phidauex on Fri Jun 21, 2002 at 10:47:28 PM EST

Who don't want to be fought for... What does this mean for the artists who WANT their music shared on p2p systems? Artists like Wilco, and Afroman, and many more, who give their art away, because they care more about having people hear it, than about making huge money on it. The mechanism was in place for the RIAA to choose music they didn't want put on audiogalaxy, and have it blocked, but it is way out of their jurisdiction to force other artists to go along with their wishes.

I didn't even download music put out by RIAA artists. I downloaded mp3 versions of songs I buy on vinyl, because I don't want to spend the time recording and encoding them myself. Audiogalaxy was great for that because of its unique group of users. I could find obscure old ninjatune tracks, interesting ambient tracks, etc. Stuff put out on white label, or small indie labels.

Its almost as though RIAA is crushing p2p systems (and internet radio!) as a way to muscle out people who don't belong to their group. If you are an independent artist, screw you, you can't get your music out by p2p or internet radio, even if you WANT to. The only way to get out there is to join the evil empire, and give up all rights to your music, and live with tiny royalties and oppressive licensing contracts.

At least we have gnutella (sort of).

MY music, was on Audiogalaxy. ALL of it. (4.00 / 1) (#42)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 10:58:46 AM EST

i dont even know how, but when you search for "jeff cliff" you came up with more or less every track i've released to other people, short around 2 or 3 albums...
now what are artists, like me, going to do? keep using the riaa freindly mp3.com ?

...tour i suppose...

"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
[ Parent ]
mp3.com alternatives... (5.00 / 2) (#63)
by jt on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 05:34:05 PM EST


Audiogalaxy offers to host artists, but their criteria for doing so seem rather restrictive to me...

[ Parent ]

Not to mention my friend and yours... (2.00 / 2) (#81)
by Perianwyr on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 11:45:22 PM EST

<a href="http://stationmp3.com/stationmp3/default.cfm">stationmp3.com</a>

Just had to mention it.

[ Parent ]

without riaa support (5.00 / 1) (#52)
by roju on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 04:55:35 PM EST

My brother is in a band with a bunch of their friends, and they put a couple of their mp3s on audiogalaxy. Apparently now they've all been marked as copyrighted, and no one can download them. They certainly aren't signed to any labels, let alone to any associated with the RIAA, so how they got listed as illegal mp3s is beyond me.

[ Parent ]
That is the RIAA... (none / 0) (#59)
by phidauex on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 05:27:11 PM EST

Taking control of something that they don't have control over. That arbitrary bullying around of other people's property is part of what makes this so bad. Your brother's band should contact Audiogalaxy and ask them how their music got listed as not available for download. And they should send a letter to the RIAA asking them why they think they have any jurisdiction at all over his music. He probably won't get any replies, but its good to get letters out.

[ Parent ]
i wish he would try to find out (none / 0) (#114)
by roju on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 11:20:32 PM EST

Since he doesn't really care much he's shown no interest in determining the cause of the protection on his files. From what I hear audiogalaxy is totally crapped out now though, so we'll probably never know. It's too bad though, the minute he told me I tried to get him to ask them.

[ Parent ]
interesting choice of words (4.41 / 12) (#24)
by techwolf on Fri Jun 21, 2002 at 11:31:41 PM EST

So-called spyware

from where I was sitting it sure looked and acted like "Real" spyware

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson

"so-called spyware" (5.00 / 22) (#28)
by DarkZero on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 12:50:20 AM EST

so-called spyware

I actually have to agree with the author in thiscase. "Spyware" wasn't the most accurate name for what came bundled with Audiogalaxy. Whereas Gator and that stupid purple ape thing are "spyware", the stuff that was bundled with Audiogalaxy was more like having Back Orifice or some other "I 0wNz j00" trojan on your system. Rather than just tracking which sites you visited and reporting back to its home company, Audiogalaxy's spyware actually reported your web mail, credit card numbers, address, and whatever else you decided to put into a form back to its home company.

The RIAA disgusts me, but the people from Audiogalaxy almost reach the same level, especially since this author's "hey, it pays the bills" justification is probably the exact thing that was going through the RIAA's mind each time they've sued a P2P software company out of existence. In both cases, the companies are doing whatever it takes to keep making money, and it's the average person that's getting screwed over by their actions while the more technologically literate among us just head elsewhere.

I agree (none / 0) (#67)
by mercutio on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 06:41:22 PM EST

I hate that too.  Instead of trying to innovate or think of new ways to make money, AG simply took the easy way out - selling out.  It's that whole philosophy of "ends justifying the means" that enables people to look the other way when the know something is wrong.  

The thing that really bothers me is that this is being encouraged these days, especially in business.  No longer are people concerned about what is the right decision, but what is the decision that what benefit me the most.  Since when did it become OK to promote selfishness?  Have we not evolved socially to a point where we can promote harmony and goodwill towards fellow man?

[ Parent ]

The outcome was the fairest thing I've ever seen (3.50 / 8) (#29)
by Paul Murdock on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 01:13:31 AM EST

I don't understand how you can justify complaining. Audiogalaxy is still allowed to provide a medium for people to exchange music. People who wish to have their music exchanged via Audiogalaxy may make their music available. Those who do not are no longer troubled by piracy.

Those musicians who believe that file sharing is going to benefit them will most likely be eager to give permission for their work to be shared. It's simply the difference between "opt-out" and "opt-in", and I know how everyone on k5 feels about "opt-out".

By far the most illogical thing you've said in this article is that Audiogalaxy did not exist solely to profit from copyright violation. If this was true, you could in no way justify the claim that the recent court case spells the end for Audiogalaxy, since all they've done is prevent the company from opening an avenue for people to share copyrighted work[1] without the owner's permission.

[1] I should point out that all creative work is implicitly copyrighted, thus the owner's permission is always needed.

Payments (none / 0) (#35)
by qslack on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 03:17:41 AM EST

Audiogalaxy also had to pay a "substantial" sum to the RIAA. That's what did it in.

[ Parent ]
In that case... (4.33 / 3) (#36)
by Paul Murdock on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 03:36:26 AM EST

...I concur. Audiogalaxy is dead. Maybe if they'd tried "opt-in" in the first place, like they should have, they'd still be providing a service to their community.

[ Parent ]
Why not just move the servers offshore ? (3.25 / 4) (#38)
by salsaman on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 05:06:01 AM EST


Open Source (4.75 / 8) (#41)
by Vader82 on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 08:59:45 AM EST

You say the company is basically doomed.  If they are going to have to close up shop why not make the entire audiogalaxy system freely available?  Back when napster was getting sued people were using napigator to connect to opennap servers and still are.  Why not let other people set up audiogalaxy servers to store the db and website?  That way even if audiogalaxy inc goes under some college kid with bug bandwidth can set up another site and he and all his buddies can use it.  Think it could happen?
Need food? Like sharing? http://reciphp.vader82.net/
intro to OS (3.00 / 2) (#44)
by f00b4r on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 12:38:56 PM EST

Hey kennon, maybe we were in cs372 together. fall 01 Mootaz.

yep (none / 0) (#94)
by kennon on Mon Jun 24, 2002 at 09:27:44 AM EST

i was in vin's section, but i'm sure we shared the workload. sheesh that was a time-consuming class. but i got a real sense of accomplishment out of those projects. one of the most useful classes I took. -KB-

[ Parent ]
Help (none / 0) (#111)
by olokl on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 06:14:17 PM EST

hi kennon. i am olokl owner of group AG Solution. i've got some firends also programmers and we also planed project called AG2. so i think that we need to be united. my mail is Zepa.DJ@mail.inet.hr so u can mail me and tell what u think bye!

[ Parent ]
Revised dotcom business plan: (2.33 / 3) (#46)
by spacejack on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 01:12:14 PM EST

1. Give away other someone else's content for free.
2. They buy you.
3. Profit!

There are more places for free music (3.00 / 1) (#54)
by Deft on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 05:11:49 PM EST

And by that I don't mean "should be free" music, or anything like that.

I don't pretend to know enough about this issue to comment directly, but I'd like to point people toward Ampcast.com, which provides only independent music. And by that I mean unsigned (mainly anyway I think) bands, who have chosen to let anyone download (either stream or full download) their music. Ampcast also enables you to buy music directly on CD, as well as giving information and much else about each band.

Having said all this, I've hardly used it in the last few months, so who knows... There are probably similar others anyway.

Ampcast is an mp3.com clone (3.00 / 1) (#90)
by fluffy grue on Sun Jun 23, 2002 at 08:26:32 PM EST

So is Vitaminic, and Rising Music seems to be heading in that direction as well.
"trhurler: he's a bright ray of sunshine shoved right up your ass" -- Misery Loves Chachi

[ Parent ]

Now the RIAA have my money... (3.00 / 1) (#57)
by MisterX on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 05:22:25 PM EST

Can I have some decent new music please? I'm sick and tired of having to hop around p2p networks downloading rare old music because there's nothing new that I like. Well OK, I like the look of Britney but I have no desire to listen to her music.

I gave AG money. AG gave RIAA money. RIAA share money with artists. Artists produce good new music. Everyone's happy with the new arrangement, surely?

When can I have my decent new music?

Nah, rhetorical question. There's always WinMX...

It's called 'getting old' (4.00 / 1) (#89)
by RobotSlave on Sun Jun 23, 2002 at 06:45:49 PM EST

It's a well-established fact that most people develop their musical tastes some time in their teens, and do not, later in life, stray very far from the bands they listen to in a few formative years.

There's a tremendous variety of good music out there; it seems likely your tastes have ossified to the point where the new doesn't interest you anymore.

[ Parent ]

Possibly... (3.00 / 1) (#91)
by MisterX on Sun Jun 23, 2002 at 08:44:43 PM EST

It's a well-established fact that...

Uh huh... don't you really mean "Studies have shown that..."? Or is it the perhaps more honest "It is my opinion that..."?

Nope, I think I'll settle for the rather more likely "Something I just made up is that..."

it seems likely your tastes have ossified

Is it horrible to know, for a fact, the same thing will happen to you?

[ Parent ]

BAH (none / 0) (#115)
by dorinda on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 09:24:01 PM EST

You music tastes should never ossify completely or you ossify completely and there can be no new growth and change. Then whats the point of life, just existence. I don't want that to EVER happen. If thats what growing old is, then i don't want it. People don't need to completely change all the time, i'm just saying we need to leave a little place in our lives thats always open to the new. So if you want new music...tell me what old music you like, and i'll recommend something. You can try it...even if you hate it, at least you'll know something thats out there and at least you tried.

[ Parent ]
Why the heck not? Go on then... (none / 0) (#117)
by MisterX on Wed Jul 03, 2002 at 01:47:16 PM EST

Although the point of my comment was sarcastically asking the RIAA to fund new music that I like, I'm always happy to accept recommendations if offered.

I'm quite fond of; Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, Yes, Rush, Steve Hackett, Chemical Brothers, Air, Jean-Michel Jarre, Alan Parsons Project, Mike Oldfield. The list is not complete, of course :-)

One piece of advice - do not recommend music of a religious nature and absolutely, utterly nothing by overtly Christian musicians. There's a simple reason for this - i think IT ALL SUCKS!

I'll listen to anything else you think I'll like.

[ Parent ]

MUZAK (none / 0) (#118)
by dorinda on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 10:53:46 PM EST

Yeah, I saw the sarcasm in your comment. My comment was more a response to that kid that said people are stuck listening to the same music after high school. I think is completely ridiculous so I was trying to be inspirational... or something :) Also I am in the habit lately of getting recommendations on music from everyone I know, so if you want to tell me any cool music or books or anything, this is a summer of intense culture absorption.
So here are some things I like: eels, bjork, sparklehorse, at the drive-in, black crowes, system of a down, Lake trout, Sonic Youth.
Also an interesting site for new music is pitchforkmedia.com.

There is a variety here, so I'm not expecting you to like all of them. If you think one of them is cool, then I've done my job.

[ Parent ]

AG was utterly fabulous (3.50 / 2) (#82)
by Perianwyr on Sat Jun 22, 2002 at 11:52:31 PM EST

I've moved back to IRC for file trading now. A shame, I missed AG's utter efficiency. I had just gone to a VNV Nation concert and wanted to hear the at that time yet to be unreleased "Beloved"... there it was, from San Francisco. Fine stuff. Whenever I wanted to hunt down a single, it was always there on AG.

The RIAA have done a silly thing. I always figured that AG's emphasis on single tracks rather than the leeching of entire albums would help it in the RIAA's eyes. Indeed, it was one of the few P2P services I actually felt comfortable serving on. I'd put one favorite track up from each of my favorite artists and leave it at that. It worked. People downloaded. If they were anything like me, they went out and bought that Futureperfect CD (and both Beloved singles) the instant they came out.

All was well.

Oh well.

On Spyware (2.50 / 2) (#84)
by tlhf on Sun Jun 23, 2002 at 12:21:52 PM EST

AudioGalaxy was the best system, more underground bands, great for us 56 modem victims, yada yada... it was great... yada yada yada.

But, I was very disappointed with the forced recent upgrade of the satellite client software which was bundled with spyware. They added insult to injury by not adding new features. I found that you could just patch the old version, 0.608, via a simple hex edit; changing offset 0x11714 of AGSatellite.exe from the hex value 38 (ascii 8), to the hex value 39 (ascii 9).

I agree with the above poster that such blatent commercialism is no worse than anything the RIAA has done.


Linux users (4.00 / 1) (#86)
by salsaman on Sun Jun 23, 2002 at 02:52:07 PM EST

...were not forced to upgrade. In fact audiogalaxy was one of the relatively few p2p companies who seemed to take Linux support seriously. I think that was one of the reasons for their popularity - I read a recent study that showed that although Linux users represent only a tiny percentage of all computer users, they represent a far, far larger proportion of so called 'early adopters'.

[ Parent ]
Interesting. (3.00 / 2) (#87)
by azul on Sun Jun 23, 2002 at 04:21:51 PM EST

I find this very interesting.  Could you provide a link to the study? :)



[ Parent ]

Here you go (none / 0) (#93)
by salsaman on Mon Jun 24, 2002 at 07:31:14 AM EST


[ Parent ]
Congratulations (4.00 / 1) (#92)
by agapow on Mon Jun 24, 2002 at 04:34:43 AM EST

AudioGallaxy was a good bit of work. Where using Napster and it's kin is/was largely a matter of working around the software, the web-based front to AG was a dream. For a long time it was my first port of call to check out an artist I'd been recommended or heard some buzz about. Still, once the Napster ruling came out, it was only a matter of time.

Thanks Kennon, and good luck for your future. AG was good work.

The Ten Year Trend (4.00 / 1) (#98)
by xtremex on Mon Jun 24, 2002 at 02:59:46 PM EST

I've always believed in the 10 year trend. Every ten yeras music goes thru a revolution of sorts. You had the late 60's early 70's rock movement. Then you had the early-mid 80's new wave, punk, metal movement, in the 90's we had the grunge phenomenon. Between those periods, there is always "chaff", some stuff is good, but more often than not, it's crap. I believe we are in the "crap zone". There are very few songs, bands, etc that actually intrigue me. We need a new music "revolution". I, for the most part, stopped buying new CD's around 95-96. It wasnt a conscious decision. I found nothing that was really worth my money. When more bands start producing stuff that is worth my money, and stop producing filler, I will start buying again.There are exceptions. I will buy stuff from people that I have always been fans of. The European Underground also produces some really good stuff (Dimmu Borgir, etc), but Alas, I have never bought "commercial" music. I'm definitely the minority in that sense.

True, true (none / 0) (#107)
by andrewhy on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 01:21:24 AM EST

Actually, the first-ever article I posted on K5 was on that very topic. I don't think a lot of people agreed with me at the time (but it was my first article).

If "Noise" means uncomfortable sound, then pop music is noise to me -- Masami Akita, aka "Merzbow"
[ Parent ]

Agreed! But here are a few... (none / 0) (#119)
by StephenFuqua on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 05:04:37 PM EST

I've purchased very few new albums in that same time frame as you ('95-'96)--just haven't found much that is worth it. Don't know what kind of music you like, but a couple of bands that I have personally found worth it in the last 6 years include: Ian Moore (not your standard blues, but loosely labeled as "electric blues rock"), Vallejo (in concert, they sounded to me like Santana + Red Hot Chilli Peppers + Jane's Addiction + ...?), Travis (smoother than Radiohead, but similar. A nice change to something not quite so morose!). And of course Radiohead themselves have put out several great albums in that timespan...

Another new album I've been enjoying lately is Peter Murphy's Dust. Old artist (former lead singer of Bauhaus) with a great new album, heavy Middle Eastern feel.

[ Parent ]
Peter Murphy (none / 0) (#124)
by calimehtar on Sun Aug 18, 2002 at 06:01:04 PM EST

I've been a Peter Murphy fan sinces '95's Cascade. He's done some good stuff since Bauhaus. Though Bauhaus fans may dismiss him as pop, he writes beatiful melodies and intriguing lyrics. He has certainly branched out into wider emotional territory, even experimenting a little with the 'positive' emotions :). Bauhaus was a little dark, if you know what I mean.

[ Parent ]
Don't agree (none / 0) (#122)
by rundgren on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 07:35:42 AM EST

I agree that some periods in music history are special; there's a period of a few years where a lot of innovation occurs: typically the rock n' roll period in the mid fifties, the prog thing in the late sixties, the punk scene in the mid 70s. But overall it's evolution, not revolution: Evolution just changes pace. And if you think that no good and innovative music has been released since '96 you haven't been paying attention. PS: I don't like Dimmu Borgir that much, but they have an excellent cover version of TwistedSisters Burn in Hell

[ Parent ]
Spyware (3.00 / 1) (#109)
by WowTIP on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 10:19:56 AM EST

Sometime around then we began bundling so-called spyware into the satellite installer, simply because they paid good money and nobody else was. Despite all the accusations and misinformation flying around, the satellite always gave you either the option of not installing the spyware, or told you quite clearly what it was doing in all caps at the top of the readme that was automatically displayed (yet usually ignored). We all disliked having other software go along with the satellite, but we had to make money somehow and tried to make it as transparent as possible.

Oh, I didn't see any warnings (in license or readme)concerning the very nasty VX2.DLL (or here) that infected my computer via Audiogalaxy. And, yes, I always uncheck the "bonus offers" checkbox in the installer.

We all disliked having other software go along with the satellite, but we had to make money somehow and tried to make it as transparent as possible.

You know what? you could have closed the shop like any other business that is not lucrative. "We had to make money".... Is that a good excuse for as-close-as-it-comes-to fraud? I bet there is still zillions of people having that evil little .dll, not knowing it, thanks to you guys. But you sure did succeed in making the installation of that trojan "transparent". Good work.

"I'm surfin the dead zone
In the twilight, unknown"

cry cry cry (none / 0) (#110)
by RickySilk on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 01:03:02 PM EST

Hang them for trying to keep their company afloat until another way of pulling income presents itself.
kung foo let us waste your time
[ Parent ]
riaa making a big mistake (none / 0) (#112)
by chia on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 07:23:58 AM EST

without doubt AG was the best p2p software ever. i swapped from napster to AG and was stunned by how more userfriendly it was at the time.

some comment on the RIAA: by closing down the centralised P2p networks they are forcing ppl to move to more and more decentralised networks, fasttrack for example and maybe eventually freenet. the thing they(riaa) dont understand is this is extremely *bad* for them as they are effectively losing more and more control over file sharing. if ppl go to freenet eventually they will be completely screwed. you may say well they(riaa) will set up their own p2p network then but history shows us that ppl dont tend to move from a network until forced to and noone will be able to force ppl from freenet (in theory). they should have taken a note from MS rather - embrace and extend.

My advice to AG would be to adopt freenet as it's network and create a AG satellite freenet client.

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. O Wilde
AG Linux Client (1.00 / 1) (#113)
by Blaest on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 01:11:27 PM EST

Anyone know if there was any spyware bundled with the linux client?

Audiogalaxy is easy to build on (none / 0) (#120)
by oneself on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 05:43:45 PM EST

The thing I like most about audiogalaxy is the fact the it's web based and there for may be imporved by other people. Take for example www.a-g-g.com, which adds the capability to search for full albums.

[ Parent ]
Oh, no. Surely you don't believe that? (none / 0) (#121)
by roswell on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 07:01:52 PM EST

The client was actually safer than most p2p apps, as well.

You must be joking. This was the client that posted users' passwords on Google! Name another p2p app that did that.

Audiogalaxy *was* the best (none / 0) (#123)
by CozmoTrouble on Thu Jul 18, 2002 at 12:41:31 PM EST

Hands down, it was the best MP3 client. I miss it dearly. Having written a search/indexing client for my own collection, I have come to really appreciate what went into making Audiogalaxy. As a serious collector of music / audiophile / musician, (I have over 2000 titles on vinyl, cd and cassette) I loved how Audiogalaxy search function worked. One of the best parts was the listing out an artists works by title (as opposed to popularity which is how most other clients work). I am generally not interested in the tunes that are most popular, I am interested in the rare tracks, the "B" side tunes that didn't make it to the album, the tunes that I have never heard before. Besides, most of the music that I am interested in didn't get much commercial radio time, if any at all. Frank Zappa or Mr. Bungle for instance. A lot of the time I didn't even know that these songs even existed, let alone knowing what to search for. So in that respect Audiogalaxy rocked. The other part that I loved was the ability to get *everything* that an artist did. If you sorted the songs by title you could grab everything you wanted. Like the article stated, you could que up a few hundred songs and set it on auto-pilot. Often times, if you just grabbed everything, you would end up with live studio tracks and bootlegs. Just like a box of chocolates, you never know what you were going to get.

R.I.P. Audiogalaxy | 124 comments (119 topical, 5 editorial, 0 hidden)
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