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[P]
Audio Galaxy - vastly superior to Napster

By speek in MLP
Tue Apr 17, 2001 at 10:59:15 PM EST
Tags: Music (all tags)
Music

If you liked getting music from Napster, check out AudioGalaxy. It works slightly differently, but it's still a centralized searching facility that serves to connect you to other people with the mp3's you're looking for.


It seems to work so much better than Napster. if I request a song, my request is permanent, and if that song ever comes on line - I will get it. I can have 100's of requests queued up (and I do). Also, it's quite good about resuming interrupted downloads. I don't get nearly as many failed downloads as with Napster. So, check it out. It also filters songs that artists request to filter. So, I guess that's how they're escaping the whole copyright issue.

A brief description of how to use it: download their "satellite" software and install. You create an account on their website, and then run the satellite on your computer (if you run Linux, you'll have to modify some text files manually). The satellite just runs - like a daemon. You get songs by browsing the website and requesting them there. That's about it. Go try it out!

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Audio Galaxy - vastly superior to Napster | 38 comments (18 topical, 20 editorial, 0 hidden)
Danger, Will Robinson! (4.80 / 10) (#1)
by ucblockhead on Thu Apr 12, 2001 at 01:42:57 PM EST

Using that for copyrighted materials would scare the crap out of me because of the danger of getting stung (legally speaking). Suppose I put up a request like "Metallica:Enter Sandman". Then along comes our friend Hilary Rosen, who notes the request, then sends down a rigged file followed by a court summons. It would be much easier with this than with Napster, where the requests are much more ephemeral.

It is worth pointing out that the downloader cannot rely on the filtering mechanism to protect them legally. Grabbing copyrighted material is legal whether or not filtered. So while the filtering might protect the service, it does not protect the user, i.e. you and me.
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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup

Leech Mode Only (3.00 / 1) (#15)
by ti dave on Fri Apr 13, 2001 at 04:35:02 AM EST

Remove all MP3's from the default "My Music" folder while connected to AG Satellite.
Leech away.
Of course, no one can DL from you, but that includes the RIAA.

ti_dave
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Not the issue (none / 0) (#22)
by ucblockhead on Fri Apr 13, 2001 at 04:15:53 PM EST

I think you miss the point. If I understand this service correctly, you have to basically put out a message to the server that anyone can see that says, basically, "I want this file". It is like placing a wanted ad that says "I wish to buy a stolen car".

It doesn't matter what is in your "My Music" folder. All it takes is someone from the RIAA seeing your request, getting a wiretap, and sending you the file for you to be legally hosed.


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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

But if you recieve the file from RIAA.... (none / 0) (#23)
by bmasel on Fri Apr 13, 2001 at 05:52:55 PM EST

... who presumably are sending it with the authorization of the label, you are not "stealing" it.
I am not currently Licensed to Practice in this State.
[ Parent ]
Nope (none / 0) (#24)
by ucblockhead on Fri Apr 13, 2001 at 06:01:39 PM EST

It is called a "Sting" operation whereby they send you the file to prove that you actually intended to break copyright, just like undercover cops have to actually have to give you drugs for money before arresting you. It would work like this:

  • You post request for copyrighted song
  • RIAA goon notices.
  • RIAA goon talks to law enforcement types, reporting your intent to break the law.
  • Law enforcement types go to judge, get wiretap warrant, and tap your line.
  • RIAA sends you the requested file as an "undercover" user. You've now broken the law.
  • Say "Hi" to the nice law enforcement types.
That's how a "sting" operation works and it is perfectly legal according to the Supremes.
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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Requsting a song does not show intent to steal it. (none / 0) (#26)
by bmasel on Fri Apr 13, 2001 at 08:19:22 PM EST

Since AG has the rights to a large catalog of songs, and does filter, can't a user make a request in the hope that a given song is in their licensed catalog? No prima facie case of intent to break the law.

I am not currently Licensed to Practice in this State.
[ Parent ]
The Issue is... (4.00 / 1) (#27)
by ti dave on Sat Apr 14, 2001 at 03:26:04 AM EST

Your "Request" is cached locally my friend.

When you connect the client software, the locally cached request is sent out to the AG "mediator" site, which in turn, provides you with a listing of DL locations, and their availability ratings.
You can, and occasionally should, clear out your local request queue.

For example, an obscure song you requested is only located on a machine in Lower Elbonia, connected to the net via a 9600 baud modem, on every 3rd blue monday.

If you decide to skip the tedious wait for this song, and decide to grab the latest Britney Spears song instead, you must delete the obscure song request and go for Brit-Brit.

There is no mechanism for automatically changing the order of songs to be downloaded.

ti_dave
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Warning For Windows Users (4.68 / 16) (#2)
by Carnage4Life on Thu Apr 12, 2001 at 01:44:25 PM EST

AudioGalaxy Installs Spyware.

Read BUGTRAQ. (4.33 / 3) (#4)
by codepoet on Thu Apr 12, 2001 at 02:29:01 PM EST

The technology guru at AG, Michael Merhej, spoke all about this in a message to BUGTRAQ not even a day ago. Here's an excerpt:

"The statement "email addresses and other information is shared with an
information collector" is flat out false. Audiogalaxy does not share the
email addresses it gets from the Audiogalaxy sign up process, nor has
Audiogalaxy ever used the email addresses to send any kind of mail to
those accounts. The WebHancer software is completely separate from the
Audiogalaxy Satellite software and the two products have zero interaction
and do not exchange any kind of data.

"Where does one get "read files from your hard drive and send them to its
parent company"? This is completely untrue. To see exactly what the
Audiogalaxy Satellite is doing in a very detailed fashion enable logging
and read the generated logv605.txt file."

And so on, so forth. I've use AG for about a year now with no concerns, and this includes initially reading the log very closely. The paranoia is unwarrented. Besides, they clearly state that you can just go to Add/Remove programs and remove webhancer without breaking anything (which I have not done as I do it see it as a problem).

-- The cynical can often see the sinister aspect of a cup of coffee if given enough time.
[ Parent ]
So What If They Don't Share Info? (5.00 / 1) (#8)
by Carnage4Life on Thu Apr 12, 2001 at 03:47:08 PM EST

And so on, so forth. I've use AG for about a year now with no concerns, and this includes initially reading the log very closely. The paranoia is unwarrented. Besides, they clearly state that you can just go to Add/Remove programs and remove webhancer without breaking anything (which I have not done as I do it see it as a problem).

I guess they have you drinking their Kool Aid or you may work for them. The fact of the matter is that Web Hancer is a bot that tracks the requests going out on port 80 and sends these back to the Web Hancer servers. These requests include things like my Yahoo and eBay passwords as plaintext amongst other things.

Simply because AG can create a logfile of with certain information does not tell us what exactly is being sent over the network. I am not an encryption expert so I can't tell what exactly was being sent but I'd be damned if I trust the word of someone who snuck spyware onto my machine.

As for the spyware not causing problems on deletion here's one or two webboard posting that disagree with that assertion.

[ Parent ]
Easy way to find out (5.00 / 1) (#16)
by Miniluv on Fri Apr 13, 2001 at 04:56:47 AM EST

Go to SysInternals and download some of the nifty software they make freely available (demo only sadly) for monitoring what's going on with your Windows box. See registry reads and writes, system calls, and so forth. It wouldn't mean much to me as I'm not a big Win32 guru, but I've been told it can be quite revealing, and I know tools like this are how games and such get cracked in many cases.

"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'
[ Parent ]
*optional* SpyWare (none / 0) (#38)
by nickp on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 11:59:31 AM EST

You can choose to not install WebHancer when you're installing AudioGalaxy... I'm quite pleased with AudioGalaxy after years of use.

"Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love." -- Albert Einstein
[ Parent ]

Now here's a question (4.00 / 5) (#3)
by Elendale on Thu Apr 12, 2001 at 01:52:50 PM EST

It also filters songs that artists request to filter. So, I guess that's how they're escaping the whole copyright issue.

Now does it filter out songs the artists request or songs the companies request?

-Elendale
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


record companies vs. artists is irrelevant (4.00 / 4) (#6)
by Delirium on Thu Apr 12, 2001 at 03:27:29 PM EST

I think this would depend on the song - obviously the coypright holder on the particular recording should be the one with the right to request it be removed. If the artist owns the copyright on their recording, then they can request it be removed. If they've signed away their rights to a record label, then the record label can request it be removed.

I think trying to make a false distinction between artists and "big evil record companies" is dishonest, since when artists sign with a record company any rights they give that record company (voluntarily, of course) then mean that the record company can excercise those rights as if they were the artist, so they should be treated equivalently. I have no sympathy for artists who "have to" sign to a major label so they can make a pile of money, and then complain about what's involved with signing to a major label. If they have so many qualms about it, there are plenty of independent labels out there looking for new bands.

[ Parent ]

Well (none / 0) (#20)
by Elendale on Fri Apr 13, 2001 at 12:22:04 PM EST

The fact that artists give over rights to all their work is kinda what i was getting at...
The problem isn't the Metallicas or the content-less pop sensations but the guys you never get to hear. As always, the little guy gets screwed...
Though you are correct, no one is making them sign.

-Elendale
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


[ Parent ]
rights (none / 0) (#21)
by Delirium on Fri Apr 13, 2001 at 01:10:13 PM EST

The main problem I have with this argument is that the artists give over rights to their work for money (or other considerations which boil down to money, such as promotion, free studio time, etc.) If you then turn around and say that these aren't really the label's rights now, then the artists have in effect given nothing to the label in return for the money. Why would the label then continue to operate? If the artists retain the full rights to sell, give away, etc., their work, what exactly does the label gain from this arrangement?

[ Parent ]
Before Napster (4.00 / 1) (#7)
by Smirks on Thu Apr 12, 2001 at 03:40:27 PM EST

Way before Napster there was AudioGalaxy and Kermit. I personally would go through both of these sites, take their IPs and try to exploit the stupitiy of home users on fast connections. You see, alot of these people who had their ftp servers up and running also had their Windows shares open to the world. All you had to do was punch in their IP in the "Find Computers" area of windows. On several occasions you'd find a share and be able to take all of their mp3s. This was the old school method. Things have been different since.

I haven't been to AD in quite some time though. It looks like it has changed quite a bit since back in the day. I haven't tested it yet, but it looks much more complicated than it used to be.

[ Music Rules ]

KDE Frontend for AG Satellite for Linux (none / 0) (#37)
by dgwatson on Wed Apr 18, 2001 at 02:24:39 PM EST

If you want a nice frontend for the Linux Satellite, check out http://freshmeat.net/projects/agbrowser/ - I haven't actually tried it, but it looks pretty slick.

Audio Galaxy - vastly superior to Napster | 38 comments (18 topical, 20 editorial, 0 hidden)
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