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[P]
Lossy audio: What's new and what's good?

By m0rbidini in Technology
Sun May 30, 2004 at 11:50:33 PM EST
Tags: Music (all tags)
Music

This small article is about the new breed of lossy audio formats that emerged after MP3 hit the world in late 90s. Almost everyone has heard about MP3 and the way it changed how people listen to music. Even if the RIAA partially blames it for the drop in record sales, people just got used to having a more or less big number of songs on their computers, whether they come from legit online services, "evil" p2p networks or from the original CDs. But, in recent years, more formats have been developed and most of them correct some deficiencies that exist on MP3 (lack of a good standard tagging system, native gapless capability, need for higher bitrates to obtain transparency, built-in ReplayGain support, etc.). The most notorious are Ogg Vorbis, Musepack, AAC, WMA and ATRAC3. In the Second 128 kbps listening test by Roberto Amorim, the joint winners were aoTuV b2, (a third party tuning of Ogg Vorbis, which is 100% bitstream compatible with the reference encoder) and Musepack. The third place was taken by iTunes AAC closely followed by LAME MP3 (with a new VBR adjustment). WMA Standard came in fourth and in last was Sony's ATRAC3. These last two results were no big surprise for most of the Hydrogenaudio community.


Very few were expecting Vorbis to do this well on this test. That's because Xiph has been a bit slow updating its reference encoder and because it didn't win the first 128 kbps test by Roberto Amorim, which used the last official Vorbis encoder at the time. Since then, some Vorbis users took the matters in their own hands and started working on improving Vorbis. You can check the Recommended Vorbis encoders versions and settings thread in Hydrogenaudio. iTunes was chosen as the AAC encoder for this test because it won a previous 128 kbps test featuring only AAC encoders. AAC is an ISO standard and has the support of big companies like Apple, Ahead, AOL, Dolby, Fraunhofer and even Sony, among others. The good part of this is that it makes it easy to have hardware support for it (like Apple's iPod). The bad part is that AAC is mainly driven by corporate interests. The companies that support it put most of the development efforts in the low/mid bitrate area, where transparency (defined as the inability to distinct from the original source for almost everyone and under good conditions, preferably under blind testing) is impossible, with its current implementations. Vorbis already has a reasonable amount of hardware support and though it's more difficult to decode, a lot of the latest generation portable players (from Rio, iRiver, Neuros, etc) already support it.

The first thing you can notice is that both winners are Open Source and patent free formats. They have been tuned and optimized with the help of the community supporting them. While Ogg Vorbis is well known and supported for a long time by the Open Source community, Musepack is mainly known by people with a more deep interest in lossy audio compression. It's known for targeting transparency with its standard preset, that results in lower bitrates than what is possible with other codecs, if you want them to achieve transparency as it was defined earlier. While low bitrates are not Musepack's main driving force, it managed to stay on top on all 128 kbps tests made recently. Even Vorbis doesn't scale so well in higher bitrates (there's a third party encoder that tries to solve this but doesn't succeed completely), but work in that direction may start soon. Musepack has all of the advantages mentioned in the first paragraph and it decodes faster than all of them (with one possible exception being ATRAC3). But hardware support is still lacking. But that may change soon as Peter Pawlowsky, the author of foobar2000, recently completed his work on a LGPL-licensed portable mpcdec library, which comes with floating and fixed-point math modes and performs at around 10x realtime on a Intel XScale 400Mhz and is even fast enough to bring MPC decoding to slower ARM chips like the iPod's ARMv4.

AAC and MP3 are open standards but both are heavily patented and free binaries can't be legally distributed in most countries (check Via Licensing and mp3licensing.com for more details; there are subtle differences in the licensing schemes). This is another plus for Vorbis and Musepack. MP3 has already been tuned extensively and transparent results can be achieved using LAME's -standard and -extreme presets. AAC has a bigger potential to be transparent at lower bitrates, but its tuning is more complex and there are some problematic samples in which it fails, while Musepack has less problems, being the format with less known problematic samples and also the one that scales best in high bitrates (check this thread on Hydrogenaudio: High Bitrate Tests).

WMA9 Standard is Microsoft's biggest bet on lossy audio encoding. All online music services that offer WMA files use this version and there's no portable support for the Pro version. When Microsoft introduced WMA8 one of their marketing phrases was "WMA8 achieves CD-quality sound at 64 kbps", which is obviously false. Not even WMA9 at 128 kpbs can achieve this, as many tests have shown. It is worse than AAC and even MP3 can beat it as this test showed. I find this kind of funny, since Microsoft always claimed WMA to be superior than MP3 (it is superior than MP3 in very low bitrates such as 48-64 kbps, but these cannot match a decent 128 kbps MP3). It also shows how desperate MS is in trying to dominate the online services market.

This test also showed that none of the formats can achieve transparency at 128 kbps yet. This is the bitrate that most online stores use. And while it may be sufficient for most people, I find the prices at which the songs are sold completely ridiculous (about $1 per song). They expect users to pay more or less the same price as Audio CDs (for full albums), for a product which is inferior and has DRM restrictions.

So, this raises the following questions:

  • Will online music services offer better quality files in the near future?
  • Can Open Source and patent free technology, better than proprietary solutions, gain an acceptance outside the geek world?
  • Why aren't there more companies adopting these Open Source solutions?
The answer is yours.

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Related Links
o Ogg Vorbis
o Musepack
o AAC
o WMA
o ATRAC3
o Second 128 kbps listening test
o aoTuV b2
o LAME MP3
o Hydrogenau dio
o first 128 kbps test by Roberto Amorim
o Recommende d Vorbis encoders versions and settings
o 128 kbps test featuring only AAC encoders
o hardware support
o foobar2000
o LGPL-licen sed portable mpcdec library
o Via Licensing
o mp3licensi ng.com
o LAME's -standard and -extreme presets
o High Bitrate Tests
o "WMA8 achieves CD-quality sound at 64 kbps"
o Also by m0rbidini


Display: Sort:
Lossy audio: What's new and what's good? | 124 comments (97 topical, 27 editorial, 0 hidden)
$1 expensive? (1.75 / 4) (#11)
by muyuubyou on Sun May 30, 2004 at 05:24:31 AM EST

This test also showed that none of the formats can achieve transparency at 128 kbps yet. This is the bitrate that most online stores use. And while it may sufficient for most people, I find the prices at which the songs are sold completely ridiculous (more or less $1 per song). They expect users to pay more or less the same price as Audio CDs (for full albums), for a product which is inferior and has DRM restrictions.

Is it me? or are you implying that CDs usually carry more than a couple of worthy songs?

I think $15-$20 for a CD that's full of good songs is pretty darn cheap!!

[Editorial: "it may suffice" or "it may be sufficient" instead of "it may sufficient"]

isn't it sad... (2.50 / 4) (#16)
by reklaw on Sun May 30, 2004 at 10:24:44 AM EST

... that your expectations have been lowered so far.
-
[ Parent ]
Howso? (none / 3) (#18)
by tzanger on Sun May 30, 2004 at 10:59:20 AM EST

I'd gladly pay $20 for an 80-minute CD full of GOOD music, not a good song or two and a ton of filler trash.

Music has value.  You seem to be of the type who thinks that it should be completely free.

[ Parent ]

well (none / 2) (#20)
by reklaw on Sun May 30, 2004 at 12:05:04 PM EST

Considering the cost of, for example, a DVD -- generally featuring a full movie of more than 80 minutes in length, plus special features -- I do not think $20 for a CD is cheap. $100 for 5 CDs is some kind of great deal? Considering what else I could potentially buy for that same $100? You must be on crack.
-
[ Parent ]
considering re-playability (none / 3) (#22)
by muyuubyou on Sun May 30, 2004 at 01:35:36 PM EST

Good music CDs have the same or more value to me than good DVDs.

5 good music CDs have more value than almost anything else I can buy with $100. You can of course NOT buy them and buy something else instead.

[ Parent ]

dvd vs cd (2.75 / 4) (#48)
by horny smurf on Mon May 31, 2004 at 12:40:21 AM EST

Most of my DVDs have been watched once. There's a couple I've watched more than once, but that's an exception. In a couple years, I'll probably go back and watch them again, but I'm spending $10 for something I'll watch at most once a year.

Looking through my CD collection, even the worst CD I've probably listened to 5-10 times. For more popular ones, I've probably listened to them hundreds of times, and expect I'll listen to them thousands of times before I die.

Honestly, how else could $10-$20 (or even $100) provide such value to me? A couple blow jobs from a crack whore? Enough booze to keep me drunk all week? a couple video games (which I won't care to play in 6 months)? a pocket pussy? a tattoo?

Please, educate me. I don't want to keep throwing away my money on things that give me long term enjoyment.

[ Parent ]

$100 (none / 3) (#104)
by marx on Tue Jun 01, 2004 at 04:57:23 PM EST

Enough food to sustain a human being one year.

Think about that when you listen to your 5 Britney Spears CDs.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

Yes (none / 2) (#25)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Sun May 30, 2004 at 02:59:14 PM EST

The albums I listen to are generally good throughout. Maybe you should expand genres, there's a ton of good music out there that isn't cheap commercial crap with filler.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
why people imply so much (none / 1) (#33)
by muyuubyou on Sun May 30, 2004 at 07:04:37 PM EST

I am talking about what people usually buy.

The albums I buy are usually good overall and I feel $15-$20 is a good price for what I get. Much better than $7 for seeing a movie in a theater just once in a hit-or-miss basis.

That's why I say $1 is good. Because I can't ask them to set the price for me, but for most people. For me, going out and buying the CD together with the nice package and the superior quality makes more sense.

[ Parent ]

bollocks (none / 0) (#103)
by mutualaid on Tue Jun 01, 2004 at 02:56:13 PM EST

I typically pay $6-8 USD for my CDs from ethical non-RIAA indie labels and will never pay more than $13 (Matador is one of the only non-major labels that push prices this high). That's a fair price considering cost of production, artist royalties, etc. The average cost of RIAA-member CDs is outrageous, and as their business continues to implode it will only get worse.

[ Parent ]
What of rights management? (2.00 / 17) (#28)
by Adam Rightmann on Sun May 30, 2004 at 03:16:04 PM EST

There is a gaping hole in these reviews, Rights Management? What good is nice sound in a compression package if it doesn't respect the wishes of the Copyright holders and allows illegal listening, or can't decode music because it has Digital Rights Management. Sure, elite Linux hackers may be able to bypass them, but it's Joe Sixpack these developers should be targeting.

A simple answer. (none / 0) (#31)
by it certainly is on Sun May 30, 2004 at 05:57:38 PM EST

All Rights Management systems are equally as good as each other at protecting Copyright Holders interests and preventing Illegal Listening.

Therefore, Rights Holders should choose the Digital Rights Management systems that cost the least amount of money.

Personally, I recommend my own DRM, as seen below:

/* DRM protector (C) 2004 Stuart Caie */

/**
 * Effectively encodes a digital stream of music. Compliant with US export restrictions on encryption.
 *
 * @param music a pointer to the music data
 * @param length the length of the music data
 * @param key a pointer to a 56-bit encryption key
 */
void encode_music(uint8_t *music, off_t length, uint8_t *key)
{
    int i = 0;

    while (length-- > 0) {
        *music++ ^= key[i];
        i = (i + 1) % 7;
    }
}

Now, I am willing to license this DMCA compliant DRM scheme for the low, low price of only $0.001 per track sold. I guarantee that this scheme is just as secure, if not more secure, than many other leading DRM schemes.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

hm (none / 1) (#41)
by EMHMark3 on Sun May 30, 2004 at 10:42:24 PM EST

I'm no cryptographical expert, but couldn't someone use known strings in the music stream (e.g. headers with song title) to easily find the decryption key?

T H E   M A C H I N E   S T O P S
[ Parent ]

Yeah, they could. (none / 1) (#45)
by it certainly is on Mon May 31, 2004 at 12:16:09 AM EST

But that would be breaking the DMCA. As would opening C:\WINDOWS\Secret\MySuperDRM.key. So, as I said, my method is just as secure as anybody else's method.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Certainly. (none / 1) (#59)
by ekj on Mon May 31, 2004 at 04:33:36 AM EST

Cracking that drm is trivial.

The point of the poster is that cracking *any* drm, atleast in the absence of physically protected hardware, is more or less equally trivial.



[ Parent ]

geek -think (none / 2) (#51)
by gdanjo on Mon May 31, 2004 at 01:23:19 AM EST

[...] I guarantee that this scheme is just as secure, if not more secure, than many other leading DRM schemes. [...]
I know at least some people (friends and family) that have hit DRM restrictions that stopped them copying said music. They asked me about it and I told them there are ways around it, but they became disinterested when I told the the effort required. Hence, this specific DRM system worked.

Now, technically every DRM restriction can be broken - but so what? Security is not just about the technical aspects; they are behaviour modification tools. Similarly, the law prohibits me from doing a lot of things, even though technically there are NO PHYSICAL RESTRICTIONS WHATSOEVER on my behaviour.

Your geek-think doesn't match how the world actually works.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

How the world actually works. (none / 3) (#52)
by it certainly is on Mon May 31, 2004 at 01:48:19 AM EST

If you're poor, you get a copy from dodgy Abdul down the market innit.

You're obviously not a very good source of information for your friends and family. The answer to any DRM problem is "download this and double click on it".

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

info (none / 1) (#62)
by gdanjo on Mon May 31, 2004 at 05:22:27 AM EST

You're obviously not a very good source of information for your friends and family. The answer to any DRM problem is "download this and double click on it".
Yeah, and you can also buy a parts from your local computer market and build a PC for all of your non-techie friends, but when things go wrong you are to blame, and you must fix it - never mind that it's 9pm Sunday night, come over and fix it! I need my free music and porn man!

I gladly part with any information that my friends want from me. I will not, however, voluntarily tell the average joe the extent and depth of the online wild west; just like I don't generally talk about how to pick a lock, how to disable security alarms, or how to steal chocolate biscuits at your local supermarket.

If they want this information, they need to ask for it directly (and therefore know what they're talking about).

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

You are a passive-aggresive geek. (none / 2) (#83)
by it certainly is on Mon May 31, 2004 at 04:27:15 PM EST

I am an assertive geek. I remind people who own their computer that it's like driving a car -- if you don't take care of it, you'll fuck it up and you'll have to take it to the mechanic and spend a wodge of cash on the repair. And I stick to that principle. They think of me as helpful, but an expert last resort, and they know it's quid pro quo. They don't think of me as a free technical support line.

That's why my friends and family regularly run McAfee, Windows Update, Spybot and AdAware. Most of them agreed to let me set their system defaults to launch Mozilla or FireFox as the browser, they have to go out of their way to run IE. I've got them trained nicely.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

sure.. (none / 0) (#58)
by ekj on Mon May 31, 2004 at 04:32:40 AM EST

..but that's likely because you tried telling them how to crack it themselves.

A better answer is: Start Gnutella and download the tracks, let someone else do the job for you.

[ Parent ]

tech support (none / 1) (#61)
by gdanjo on Mon May 31, 2004 at 05:13:42 AM EST

A better answer is: Start Gnutella and download the tracks, let someone else do the job for you.
Obviously you've never had to help a non-technical person in these matters.

"Ok, type in "www.gnutella.com", then click the download button, then download it, double-click the local file, fill in the installation details, run it, click on search, ensure you find a suitable uploader that isn't too slow, and be weary of remote queueing which mean sthat you won't begin the download until they're ready. Check."

"Uhh, I got an error stating that www.gnutella.com isn't a correct email address!"

Just as with Warez, if you make it hard enough a good percentage of people will lose interest and go low-tech.

Dan ..
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

DRM is useless (none / 2) (#38)
by suntzu on Sun May 30, 2004 at 09:07:48 PM EST

as long as there's a plain old analog out, music will be copied. simple as that. DRM won't work unless you restrict users to an unbelievable degree (e.g., legislating that all audio ins and outs must be protected, which failed miserably when it was proposed). and even then you have sound coming out of the speakers that can be taped (and it's not like that hasn't been used as a method of piracy, even if it is usually reserved for bootlegging live music).

the simple fact is that if music companies want an economically viable business model, they'll have to make it more convenient and valuable to buy music than to steal it. you can claim that that's not fair, and you can legislate all you want, but that's just the way it is. it's like leaving a bunch of stuff on a corner, unattended, and posting a sign detailing payment information (with unreasonably high prices to top things off). sure, it's wrong for people to steal the stuff. but that doesn't mean it's not a fucking stupid way to do business.

[ Parent ]

stupidity (none / 2) (#50)
by gdanjo on Mon May 31, 2004 at 01:14:45 AM EST

as long as there's a plain old analog out, music will be copied. simple as that. DRM won't work unless you restrict users to an unbelievable degree (e.g., legislating that all audio ins and outs must be protected, which failed miserably when it was proposed). and even then you have sound coming out of the speakers that can be taped (and it's not like that hasn't been used as a method of piracy, even if it is usually reserved for bootlegging live music).
Since when does "work" imply perfection? Our system of law and justice "works" even though there are countless people breaking the law every single day - our laws are not perfect, and yet they work.

I suppose you also think that OS's don't "work" unless they never crash?

you can claim that that's not fair, and you can legislate all you want, but that's just the way it is. it's like leaving a bunch of stuff on a corner, unattended, and posting a sign detailing payment information [...]
You mean like a department store?

sure, it's wrong for people to steal the stuff. but that doesn't mean it's not a fucking stupid way to do business.
Stupid it may be, but you have to remember this little fact: The record companies are in the right, and the downloaders are in the wrong, no matter what your definition of right and wrong is.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

What country are you in? (none / 0) (#55)
by DonQuote on Mon May 31, 2004 at 02:25:59 AM EST

Stupid it may be, but you have to remember this little fact: The record companies are in the right, and the downloaders are in the wrong, no matter what your definition of right and wrong is.
Minor nitpick: for us Canadians, the downloaders are in the clear. It's those uploaders that may be in legal trouble if anybody bothered trying to enforce things here. And would people stop calling copyright infringement theft? Those downloaders aren't stealing anything, they're COPYING. It's not the same on a number of levels.

-DQ
... Use tasteful words. You may have to eat them.
[ Parent ]
theft (none / 1) (#63)
by gdanjo on Mon May 31, 2004 at 05:32:27 AM EST

[...] And would people stop calling copyright infringement theft? Those downloaders aren't stealing anything, they're COPYING. It's not the same on a number of levels.
Wait ... are you saying that the standard definition of 'copying' allows copyright violations? If that's true, then we don't have to call theft 'theft' - we can call it the 'acquisition of property.'

Copying, just as property acquisition and all standard community-based definitions, have an implied stance on the action's legality - theft/acquisition, kill/murder, etc. Thus, 'theft' is more accurate in this context than 'copying', for it is the illegal part of the action that we are interested in.

If you can convince everyone to call 'illegal copying' just 'copying' (or anything else for that matter), then I'll stop calling it theft.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Theft and property (none / 3) (#64)
by trezor on Mon May 31, 2004 at 06:00:37 AM EST

I'd like to retroactively kill the guys who introduced the word "intellectual property", the phrase "copyright infringement is theft" and introduced "retroactive copyright-extensions".

No really. They are actually stealing, for real, they are stealing the public domain. Which is the only reason copyright was granted in the first place.

We are mere copyright infringers, you are defending petty billionaire thieves. Now go and feel ashamed, droneboy.

People often mistakenly believe that an artist creates art to earn money. Regardless of what you say, that is wrong.


--
Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

[ Parent ]
art (none / 2) (#91)
by gdanjo on Mon May 31, 2004 at 08:43:48 PM EST

I'd like to retroactively kill the guys who introduced the word "intellectual property", the phrase "copyright infringement is theft" and introduced "retroactive copyright-extensions".
They're far worse than the guy who introduced the word genocide, final solution, and collateral damage. You have too much personal feelings entangled with music. Relax. It's just entertainment.

No really. They are actually stealing, for real, they are stealing the public domain. Which is the only reason copyright was granted in the first place.
Except that you have no right to public domain. In fact, public domain is where pre-owned intellectual property goes, not the other way around. You're essentially saying the same thing as "Damn companies and their work! They're stealing people from retirement!"

And as for "granting of copyright", the reason for that was to get people to share their ideas without being exploited. Without copyright infringement laws, those record companies that you despise so much would be making even more money and the artist would be reamed even more.

We are mere copyright infringers, you are defending petty billionaire thieves. Now go and feel ashamed, droneboy.
I'm no biggot. A person's wealth has nothing to do with the principles underlying the actions that the person takes. Lift your fly, your bias is showing.

People often mistakenly believe that an artist creates art to earn money. Regardless of what you say, that is wrong.
People often mistakenly believe that valueless art is good art. Regardless of what you say, the fact that we are willing to pay money for art is the reason that there's so much of it, that it's better than it ever was in the past, and that it's easier to make than ever before.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Wrong on wrong doesn't make a right (none / 2) (#101)
by trezor on Tue Jun 01, 2004 at 04:45:03 AM EST

    They're far worse than the guy who introduced the word genocide, final solution, and collateral damage.

No. They aren't mass murderers, but they still try to steal what belongs to the people, all in the holy name of art and artists. Which simply isn't the case. These filthy and sickening rich scumbags are only trying to get more riches. Fuck em.

    Relax. It's just entertainment.

Actually, some of it as art. You know "art" as the word "artist" is derived from. Not that all artists live up to this criteria these days, though.

    Except that you have no right to public domain. In fact, public domain is where pre-owned intellectual property goes

Yes. I do. Everyone has a right to the public domain. After the copyright expires (which was supposed to happen after a limited period), things should go to the public domain for everyone to enjoy. Thus enriching the culture (not the author).

Copyright was supposed to encourage science and arts. By granting de-facto perpetual copyright, people will only need to create one successful album or work of art and then they can sit on their lazy asses the rest of their lives. If copyright actually expired like it was ment to, people would be encouraged to make more.

As for "pre-owned", there are no more pre-owned, and that's the problem. That's what I'm biatching about.

    Without copyright infringement laws, those record companies that you despise so much would be making even more money and the artist would be reamed even more.

Please explain how. And please do note that I'm not principally against copyright laws. I am against the way they have been twisted and perverted to only serve corporate interests and not art nor society.

    I'm no biggot. A person's wealth has nothing to do with the principles underlying the actions that the person takes.

Well... I'll admit I'm a copyright infringer, so I really wouldn't call myself a bigot per se, but that's really not for me to judge.

I do however have a problem with an industry being given police-like rights which supercedes any which ordinary individuals can have. This in the name of "art" when it's obviously about rich people getting even richer.

    People often mistakenly believe that valueless art is good art.

To restate my original statement in other words: A true artist will make art for the love of art or because he has a need to make it. Not because of financial incentives. Anyone with half a artistic gene in his body will know this.

That we have a monetary system, which creates a need for money as well, does not alter this basic premesis.

    the fact that we are willing to pay money for art is the reason that there's so much of it, that it's better than it ever was in the past

So by that logic... Britney is better than Mozart then. Yeah right. Money made is no measurement for the quality of art. It is only a measurement of the consumability of art, which is a entirely different issue. When it comes to genuine art, consumability is the one thing that shouldn't even be discussed.

As for the final statement in this post:
I'll keep my bias, thankyouverymuch.


--
Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

[ Parent ]
money (none / 0) (#107)
by gdanjo on Tue Jun 01, 2004 at 09:00:01 PM EST

No. They aren't mass murderers, but they still try to steal what belongs to the people, all in the holy name of art and artists. [...]
How does "preventing you from acquiring my intellectual property outside of the terms I define" amount to stealing?

Yes. I do. Everyone has a right to the public domain. [...]
What I meant was that you have no right to expect my piece of art to go into the public domain. I may not want anyone to publish it. But by your logic, I have no rights to say how my art is distributed, because ... I don't know, "mob rules"?

As for "pre-owned", there are no more pre-owned, and that's the problem. That's what I'm biatching about.
You're all over the place. I never mentioned copyright terms at all. I'm interested in the underlying principle.

Without copyright infringement laws, those record companies that you despise so much would be making even more money and the artist would be reamed even more. Please explain how. [...]
Obviously, if there are no copyright laws then the record companies can take my intellectual property and sell it for their own profit. As the laws currently stand, I can make a piece of art and the record companies ... get this ... cannot touch it!! ... unless I sign a contract (which is my choice).

To restate my original statement in other words: A true artist will make art for the love of art or because he has a need to make it. Not because of financial incentives. Anyone with half a artistic gene in his body will know this.
Oh, ghod! Now you're telling me that people who want some control of their art aren't true artists? Ye-gad.

So by that logic... Britney is better than Mozart then. [...]
That would be my conclusion if my logic was that of a 5 year old. In total, we have far more variety of art then ever before; we are more entertained then ever, have better access to all sorts of music - in fact we have re-interpritations of Mozart's music, with differing charectaristics between recordings such that even Mozart's music now is more valuable than ever.

Money made is no measurement for the quality of art. [...]
I didn't say that. I said that our willingness to pay money for art makes it more valuable. If we go into a free-for-all, the effect will be that art will be worth that what you pay for it - nothing.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Quick'n'dirty'n'late reply (none / 0) (#121)
by trezor on Fri Jun 04, 2004 at 06:27:04 AM EST

Ok. This story is getting old, but wth.

    How does "preventing you from acquiring my intellectual property outside of the terms I define" amount to stealing?

Just because you made the "intectual property", how does that give you right to dictate terms? Noone has ever had that before, and why should they be alloved now?

    What I meant was that you have no right to expect my piece of art to go into the public domain. I may not want anyone to publish it.

Fine. Dont. But don't expect copyright protection either then. Copyright protection is only alloved if the art is released into the public domain after the copyright period experies.

    You're all over the place. I never mentioned copyright terms at all. I'm interested in the underlying principle.

Fine. So do I. And I despise how the underlying fundamental principles that copyright relies on has been twisted to exclusively suit corporate interests. Never mind the art and science.

DRM has nothing to do with copyright, it is merely unnatural, technology enforced control. I like my technology to work for me, not against me. And I don't like to be called and treated like a criminal either. Sorry.

    Obviously, if there are no copyright laws then the record companies can take my intellectual property and sell it for their own profit. ... unless I sign a contract (which is my choice).

You may want to explain how this differs significantly from the way things are today.

Oh, and if there were no copyright laws, we (aka the people) could copy the artists work as we pleased, no need for record companies. And get this, we could reward the artist a hell lot more than the record companies presently do. If we felt they desrved it. And still pay less, none the less!

    Oh, ghod! Now you're telling me that people who want some control of their art aren't true artists?

No. I was saying that artists whose main motivation is money, can't be considered true artists. Thanks for twisting my statement in a truly creative way, anyhow.

    we have far more variety of art then ever before; we are more entertained then ever, have better access to all sorts of music

This is clearly a point that can be argued. And if the roman^H^H^H^H^Hrecording-empire gets their way with DRM, that last part will fall like bricks in the sky.


--
Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

[ Parent ]
Theft (none / 1) (#75)
by bjlhct on Mon May 31, 2004 at 01:51:17 PM EST

If somebody has a car-duplicating technology, I wouldn't mind letting someone copy my car. Theft, my ass. Downloading music illegally causes no harm itself. Now, not buying the album if you were going to, downloading the music instead, that's money that the artist (and the label and the distributor and the store...) isn't getting, so they're hurt. However, just downloading music hurts nobody.

Sure, downloading copyrighted music is illegal in the US. But it isn't everywhere, and you will never convince me of the competence of the US federal government.

Until you figure out some basic economics and the difference between physical and intellectual property, you should probably stay out of the debate.

Now, it seems to me that the intellectual property system we have won't work - can't work, really. Intellectual property would then have to be funded by the government. However, as I just said, government is incompetent - too incompetent to do this in a workable way. We need a better form of government found and implemented within decades. This isn't going to happen, of course.

Well, seeing as that's not going to happen, and as the current system won't work, I'm willing to bite the bullet and bet that we'll be OK if the record labels and drug companies fall apart and that people will still make music for their own enjoyment or make enough money off tip jars and shows, and that drug research will be OK with just small, pure research companies selling patents to the government - after all, the big drug companies are terrible at research: their only "value" comes from their huge amount of marketing.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]

cars (none / 2) (#90)
by gdanjo on Mon May 31, 2004 at 08:32:50 PM EST

If somebody has a car-duplicating technology, I wouldn't mind letting someone copy my car. Theft, my ass. [...]
You may not mind, but I'm sure General Motors would have something to say about it. You do not own everything that comes with your car - you do not own the design, the logo, the shape, the features, or anything else for that matter; you own one instantiation of a car, and you paid for that instantiation (unless you're a thief).

Downloading music illegally causes no harm itself. [...]
That depends on your definition of harm. Stealing your car would cause no harm to you, especially if you have insurance. For that matter, punching your face causes no harm in the long term - since you would eventually heal.

Now, not buying the album if you were going to, downloading the music instead, that's money that the artist (and the label and the distributor and the store...) isn't getting, so they're hurt. However, just downloading music hurts nobody.
Do you realise that the same argument can be applied to cars? Do you realise this means that either a) you think car theft should not be prevented by law, or b) you're full of shit?

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Dumbass (none / 1) (#96)
by bjlhct on Tue Jun 01, 2004 at 01:03:49 AM EST

The same argument can be applied to cars? No, it can't.....because.....cars.....can't.....be.....copied. Taking a car is stealing because of the harm caused by the owner not having the car. There is no such harm with intellectual property.

Sure General Motors would be unhappy. BUT they would be in the wrong for keeping people from having cars unnecessarily, and couldn't do anything anyway. My point is exactly that we would be alright without meaningful protection of design, etc.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]

capitalists (none / 2) (#98)
by gdanjo on Tue Jun 01, 2004 at 02:33:16 AM EST

No, it can't.....because.....cars.....can't.....be.....copied. [...]
Bullshit. I'm sure Ford could copy your car in a matter of a few months. You can't copy a car, but this does not mean that other's can't. But what if you designed and built your own flying car? Should Ford be able to "copy" and distribute it?

By your argument, any Taiwanese manufacturer that copies a GM car is not commiting theft because no GM cars went missing. GM spent millions to develop the car, and others now profit.

I can also "copy" your persona; does this mean I should be able to? Can I go around pretending to be you?

Your arguments are shallow and brittle and don't stand up to any amount of scrutiny whatsoever.

Taking a car is stealing because of the harm caused by the owner not having the car. There is no such harm with intellectual property.
Taking music is stealing because of the harm caused by the owner losing control of their music.

Ownership == control. Your copying/stealing of information/objects is a direct attack on the control that the owner of the information/object has a right to. Steal my car and I can no longer control it (either to drive it or to delegate other people to be able to drive it); steal my music and I can no longer control who can listen to it.

Sure General Motors would be unhappy. BUT they would be in the wrong for keeping people from having cars unnecessarily, and couldn't do anything anyway. My point is exactly that we would be alright without meaningful protection of design, etc.
Then all companies would be killed by the lowest common denomenator scum-of-a-company that leeches off the work of others, only to rake in profit that is not reflective of their contribution to society. You need to put your company-bias aside here - the issues are more fundamental than stupid capitalists.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

BS (none / 1) (#99)
by bjlhct on Tue Jun 01, 2004 at 03:17:33 AM EST

Car design would fall under the "drug" part then.

B.S. Stuff is controlled by who owns it and vice-versa, sure. But....If you sell a car to Joe, Joe owns and controls that car. If you sell a copy of a song to Jane, Jane owns and controls that song copy. How simple do I need to make this?

Yes, those companies would die - those parts of them anyway. What I'm saying is that it's not catastrophic.


*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]

complexity (none / 1) (#100)
by gdanjo on Tue Jun 01, 2004 at 04:06:54 AM EST

B.S. Stuff is controlled by who owns it and vice-versa, sure. But....If you sell a car to Joe, Joe owns and controls that car. If you sell a copy of a song to Jane, Jane owns and controls that song copy. How simple do I need to make this?
You don't need to make it simple, you need to make it rational. If I sell a car to Joe, I'm selling both an instantiation of a car (the physical object), as well as the rights to use the intellectual property of Ford (or whoever made it), including but not limited to trademark usage, design, "look and feel", etc., subject to the whim of Ford (but limited by laws). I do not sell the rights to the intellectual property portion of the car to Joe, for I never owned it anyway.

Now, if I sell a song to Jane, I'm selling both an instantiation of a song (the cd/file), as well as the rights to use my intellectual property, including the music, lyrics, "look and feel" (sound), etc., subject to my right to define how my intellectual property is used. Don't like it? Then don't listen/buy it - this is the only choice you (legally and morally) have, not whether or nor you should copy it (for which you have no authority whatsoever, legal or moral).

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

RIghts to use IP (none / 0) (#102)
by bjlhct on Tue Jun 01, 2004 at 02:47:47 PM EST

Well, under the legal system of the US, that is how it works with the music, but not with the car - there you are forbidden separately to use the same design because of design patents.

So that's how it's works in the legal system. And apparently, that's how it works in your moral system - not mine. I'll skip the circletimessquare part where we both call each other immoral.

However, in both cases, the IP is or will be impossible to really enforce, and so doesn't really exist. There only thing that counts is what the buyer actually gets. And whether or not they legally own it, they do control it, and so they own it in a practical sense. We are inevitably getting to where the legal part doesn't matter, and I'd say it won't be so bad.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]

realist (none / 0) (#108)
by gdanjo on Tue Jun 01, 2004 at 09:13:47 PM EST

Well, under the legal system of the US, that is how it works with the music, but not with the car - there you are forbidden separately to use the same design because of design patents.
The mechanics of enforcement are irrelevant. The part of the car that I own is protected from other people stealing it; the part of the car that Ford owns is protected from other companies stealing it.

The part of the song that you (consumer) own is protected from other people stealing it (copying and/or removing it, via anti-hacking laws); the part of the song that the creator/IP rights holder owns is protected from other people exploioting it.

Where's the diff?

However, in both cases, the IP is or will be impossible to really enforce, and so doesn't really exist. [...]
Ah, so you're a realist. Now things make sense.

There only thing that counts is what the buyer actually gets. And whether or not they legally own it, they do control it, and so they own it in a practical sense. We are inevitably getting to where the legal part doesn't matter, and I'd say it won't be so bad.
Absolute bullshit. Civilisation is based around principles not practicles. Law is defined not by what you can physically defend - that's the rules of the jungle. Law is there to protect the weak (in this case, the artist is the "weak" because they have little direct control of their work, and the geek is "strong" because they have the means to copy/distribute/crack anything the artists creates).

I thought we evolved past this darwinian mode of existence, where the strongest survive, the richest win, and the rest be damned. As a geek, I thought you would have more sympathy for principles - or did you believe that the jock smacking you up was "right" in his actions because, well, he could?

You're twisting your logic way beyond it's stress levels, and you're blind to shrapnel that it's breakage leaves. This is what happens when you are a realist, ignoring the idealistic fundamentals upon which all civilisation is based.

But then again, nothing will make you stop downloading songs, and therefore nothing will fix your flawed logic (unless you become directly affected by it, like when others steal your property).

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Moralizing (none / 0) (#109)
by bjlhct on Tue Jun 01, 2004 at 11:04:35 PM EST

The moralizing, I'll stay out of.

Civilization is not based on principles. It is based on the practical fact that the economies of physical things work better if contracts are enforced and people arrest murderers and what not, and groups last longer if groups band together for defense against other groups, and so on and so governments emerge. Civilization is only based on principles when you have a theocratic or xenophobic civilization, and those fall apart eventually.

You're mixing your metaphors, and even if the majority gets together (which it is not) to stop IP violation it can't.

Regardless of what you argue, regardless of your moralizing, I've put forth what is going to happen and why it's not catastrophic.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]

morality (none / 0) (#110)
by gdanjo on Wed Jun 02, 2004 at 02:02:19 AM EST

Civilization is not based on principles. It is based on the practical fact that the economies of physical things work better if contracts are enforced and people arrest murderers and what not [...]
Contract enforcement and the arrest of murderes are principals, you knob; for example: "thou shalt not kill." There is no practical force at work when we arrest a murder - a practical solution would be to prevent further murders, and so if the murderer no longer returns to the scene of his crime, then we need not worry about it. But we do - we chase them down and lock them up; why? Because the underlying principle here is that you should not get away with murder.

Civilisation is based on principles. It is nature that is based on practicality and pragmatism.

You're mixing your metaphors, and even if the majority gets together (which it is not) to stop IP violation it can't.
You just don't get it, do you? We can't stop all murders, and therefore we should give up on trying to enforce it? What are you smoking?!

Regardless of what you argue, regardless of your moralizing, I've put forth what is going to happen and why it's not catastrophic.
If people like me start to believe people like you, and behave accordingly, then yes, what you say will happen. But luckily there's an ounce of rationalism in this old dog yet. Your New Morality has the effervescence of glass of shit'n'coke.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Principle, Inevitability (none / 0) (#112)
by bjlhct on Wed Jun 02, 2004 at 02:54:15 PM EST

No, contract enforcement and arrest of murderers are not principles. To some, they are principle as well as practicality - to you, for instance - but they emerged because this is a practical system. If a murderer doesn't return to the scene of the crime we need not worry about it? That doesn't prevent the person from murdering again. The "person shouldn't get away with murder" part comes from the fact that murder is prevented by the knowledge that it is prosecuted.

If doesn't take people like you or people like me for enough people to behave accordingly. Same effect as Victor Hugo noted.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]

rationalisation (none / 0) (#114)
by gdanjo on Wed Jun 02, 2004 at 08:18:47 PM EST

No, contract enforcement and arrest of murderers are not principles. To some, they are principle as well as practicality - to you, for instance - but they emerged because this is a practical system. [...]
They emerged from practical needs, but they are based on principles. Otherwise, by the very definition of practicality, they would change over time.

You know, I'm not surprised that you have no qualms about stealing music. Judging by your posts here, and your lack of understanding of rationality, you could "rationalise" any behaviour whatsoever.

And this is the main problem with stealing music - you lose your ability to be fully rational. This is the price you pay for defending the indefensible.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Interesting.... (none / 0) (#115)
by bjlhct on Wed Jun 02, 2004 at 11:46:14 PM EST

So stealing music changes your mental processes so you become a less rational person? You may also be interested in the fact that only the Time Cube can save us from cannibalism.

Actually they do change over time - and geography too. Yes, ethics change with culture. Try a survey in India and the US - which is worse: maiming a man, or shaming your parents? And yes, these things change with time and practicality too. Look at the graphs of support for the death penalty, and compare vigilante groups in the old american west with the court system today. Look at the punishments for crimes in Britain in the 1600s with what they are today. Look at how the opinion of homosexuality has changed over time. Look at religious tolerance over time. I could go on, but I won't.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]

diffs (none / 0) (#117)
by gdanjo on Thu Jun 03, 2004 at 02:35:43 AM EST

So stealing music changes your mental processes so you become a less rational person? [...]
Yes it does, but not in the physiological sense that your mocking tone implies. For you to hold onto your moral stance on music download means that you twist and turn all your other moral views to fit in your New World-view - the one in which some theft is allowed. And, not wanting to be called irrational, you rationalise this position, apparently not even realising that your views are incompatible with each other.

So instead of looking at the real issue of what ownership means (control) you look at a superficial view of ownership (can "hold in your hand"). Your very defense of music piracy forces you to weaken your rational resolve.

So yes, your "mental processes" have "changed" (assuming you were not morrally bankrupt in the first place).

You may also be interested in the fact that only the Time Cube can save us from cannibalism.
The Time Cube is the answer to all. I'm merely offering a 2-dimensional interpretation of the 'cubes allmighty truth.

[...] Look at how the opinion of homosexuality has changed over time. Look at religious tolerance over time. [...]
Again, you're mixing change over time with change according to need, which is what a practical basis would imply.

[...] I could go on, but I won't.
Promise?

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Change According to Need (none / 0) (#118)
by bjlhct on Thu Jun 03, 2004 at 02:41:58 AM EST

Well, to you, yes, I was always morally bankrupt.

The need doesn't change very often in a practical sense, but you can compare the communal property of the Native Americans with private property today.

And, OK, I'll promise if you will.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]

It must be said (none / 0) (#105)
by epepke on Tue Jun 01, 2004 at 05:17:40 PM EST

In Canada, and to a lesser extent in the United States, there are "taxes" on media, the proceeds of which go directly to the record and movie companies to compensate them for copying. This is not a new thing: the "taxes" exist on video tape and cassette tape as well. These "taxes" were pushed by the big companies.

Now, it seems to me that the sine qua non of theft is that you don't get compensation. It seems a bit strange to call something for which compensation is paid "theft," but then again, executives are wont to put an awful lot of white powder up their noses, which explains a lot of things.

Perhaps the companies feel they got a bum deal, but then again, bad negotiating practices don't constitute theft either. If the companies are going to cry "theft," then at minimum, perhaps they should be deprived of that revenue.

I'd have more sympathy for the artists, except that independent artists are statistically a lot more likely to consider free music distribution a godsend, because it provides a way of becoming popular apart from bending over for some cigar-chompin' guy in the record biz. Which fact provides more insight into the opposition toward P2P and codecs.

As for respecting people's wishes, in my experience, most people's wishes are to receive vast amounts of money and free blow jobs in return for nothing at all. I don't see any overwhelming reason to respect that. It's a quid pro quo world we live in.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
whims (none / 0) (#106)
by gdanjo on Tue Jun 01, 2004 at 08:26:09 PM EST

Now, it seems to me that the sine qua non of theft is that you don't get compensation. It seems a bit strange to call something for which compensation is paid "theft," but then again, executives are wont to put an awful lot of white powder up their noses, which explains a lot of things.
If you steal my car, I get compensation from the insurance company; does that mean you did not steal my car when you stole it? When I break a leg, it heals; does that mean the leg was never broken?

The act of stealing is not defined as the totality of what happens to each of the agents and the object in question; the act of stealing is what you do to acquire the object.

Note that I'm not trying to defend record companies profits here; I'm trying to defend the underlying principle of ownership. Whether record company execs are powerder sniffing scumbags or not is absolutely irrelevant. My interest is my ability to control what I own.

I'd have more sympathy for the artists, except that independent artists are statistically a lot more likely to consider free music distribution a godsend, because it provides a way of becoming popular apart from bending over for some cigar-chompin' guy in the record biz. Which fact provides more insight into the opposition toward P2P and codecs.
Good for them. But the important thing here is choice - the artists can choose how to distribute their songs; some choose p2p, others choose record companies.

As for respecting people's wishes, in my experience, most people's wishes are to receive vast amounts of money and free blow jobs in return for nothing at all. I don't see any overwhelming reason to respect that. It's a quid pro quo world we live in.
It's not about respecting their wishes, it's about respecting the definition of words, which is defined by usage/natural definitions, not your whims.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Now you're just being obtuse (none / 0) (#116)
by epepke on Thu Jun 03, 2004 at 12:54:20 AM EST

If you steal my car, I get compensation from the insurance company; does that mean you did not steal my car when you stole it?

The money you get from the insurance company is not paid directly by the thieves; it is payed by the insurance company, because you have paid for that protection.

The money that the companies get is paid directly from purchasers of the media, which is a superset of those who copy music and videos.

Only if the insurance company stole your car would you have a point.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
proof (none / 0) (#119)
by gdanjo on Thu Jun 03, 2004 at 03:03:18 AM EST

The money you get from the insurance company is not paid directly by the thieves; it is payed by the insurance company, because you have paid for that protection.
And who pays the insurance company? The statement "not paid directly by thieves" implies that no theif whatsoever has any car insurance. And if the thief has insurance then they are allowed to steal cars, for the thief himself has contributed to the insurance fund that compensates the victim. (similarly, because you buy blank CD's, you contribute compensation to record companies, so stealing music is not really theft)

Do I have your rationalisation correct?

The money that the companies get is paid directly from purchasers of the media, which is a superset of those who copy music and videos.
Not all music thieves burn to CD; therefore, not all thieves compensate the record companies. Is that ok? If yes then car thieves should be allowed to steal cars because other people pay insurance companies to compensate the victims.

I propose we call your new world The Happiest Place On Earth (Disney be damned, I can do whatever I like in HappyLand).

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Bleh (none / 1) (#66)
by warrax on Mon May 31, 2004 at 06:06:44 AM EST

The record companies are in the right, and the downloaders are in the wrong, no matter what your definition of right and wrong is.
Being morally right and being legally right is not necessarily the same thing, you know.

-- "Guns don't kill people. I kill people."
[ Parent ]
DRM is irrelevant in Open Source (none / 2) (#57)
by cgenman on Mon May 31, 2004 at 03:35:14 AM EST

As I've pointed out before, it is not possible to create an Open-Source DRM schema.  As all decoding must happen locally on the user's machine, which means that the local machine must have all of the information required to decrypt the file.  If one were to release the source of a DRM schema, it would be easy to bypass the DRM portion and release a pure player.  You can get into complicated remote validation with application hashes etc, but basically there is no way to do it.

The only information that can be withheld is how the application is actually functioning, a feature not available in open source software.

Besides, the quality of a codec is irrespective of its political slimyness.  Anyone could add a DRM layer on top of Ogg Vorbis, for example.  While not everyone could make a WMA player for *BSD, that doesn't mean the standard isn't good.

Which, according to this shootout, it isn't.

-

- This Sig is a mnemonic device designed to allow you to recognize this author in the future. This is only a device.
[ Parent ]

DRM can be implemented in Open Source (none / 0) (#122)
by headqtrs on Fri Jun 04, 2004 at 03:52:38 PM EST

Of course, DRM can be implemented in Open Source. In fact, encryption is not only perfectly possible (GnuPG, Mozilla in case of email) but also done on a very wide scale.

The only thing that must be secret is the private key. If that key is stored on a smartcard (or on your computer's motherboard...) it is also perfectly possible to have a DRM that can withstand a lot of attacks. It is irrelevant if the DRM itself is open-source or not.

[ Parent ]

In defense of a buck per song (none / 1) (#29)
by Joh3n on Sun May 30, 2004 at 04:39:39 PM EST

I dont have to drive to the store, I dont have to pay for shipping, etc.  Moreover, my guess is that as online music distribution becomes more and more competitive, the prices will actually go down as opposed to prognostications of the opposite in recent weeks.
---------------------------------
You can learn a lot about someone by popping in their un-rewound pr0n tape and seeing where exactly they came.
yeah, but there's the quality issue also (none / 0) (#37)
by suntzu on Sun May 30, 2004 at 08:58:58 PM EST

i know AAC is really close to CD. but it's not CD. if i buy music, i want CD quality. i definitely don't want to pay for something encoded in a lossy format.

[ Parent ]
quality issue (none / 0) (#39)
by ffrinch on Sun May 30, 2004 at 09:18:18 PM EST

If you can hear the difference, then more power to you. But most people can't, and/or don't care.

-◊-
"I learned the hard way that rock music ... is a powerful demonic force controlled by Satan." — Jack Chick
[ Parent ]
There is no competition (none / 1) (#44)
by FlipFlop on Sun May 30, 2004 at 11:20:23 PM EST

Moreover, my guess is that as online music distribution becomes more and more competitive, the prices will actually go down (emphasis added)

As long as a song is protected by copyright, the price will not go down. Copyrights are government-granted monopolies. The only competition is from p2p networks and professional pirates. If you want to see competition in the music industry, you will have to convince congress to shorten copyrights to a reasonable length.

AdTI - The think tank that didn't
[ Parent ]

Indies etc. (none / 1) (#47)
by ffrinch on Mon May 31, 2004 at 12:29:07 AM EST

Competition from non-RIAA music could conceivably lead to lower prices. If tracks from indie labels were available at iTunes, Napster and whatever at half the price of the other stuff, people might be enticed away from the major labels.

I can't imagine it happening anytime soon, but online music sales can only increase from here. And with indie labels and lone bands having access to much the same distribution channels (i.e. the internet) as the major labels, RIAA competition is bound to increase along with it.

-◊-
"I learned the hard way that rock music ... is a powerful demonic force controlled by Satan." — Jack Chick
[ Parent ]

Competition with substitutes? (none / 0) (#111)
by pde on Wed Jun 02, 2004 at 11:42:00 AM EST

Competition from non-RIAA music could conceivably lead to lower prices. If tracks from indie labels were available at iTunes, Napster and whatever at half the price of the other stuff, people might be enticed away from the major labels.

There is an element of truth to this, but there may be psychological factors which limit the extent to which competition from alternative music sources ca affect prices for major label music.

If I have song X sung by artist Y bouncing around in my head (Britney, Dylan, Madonna, Bowie, whoever), then another track by another artist just isn't going to help me. The price I'm willing to pay for a fix might be almost completely independent of what the independents charge.

The extent to which one piece of music can be a substitute for another is an empirical question for psychologists to answer. I don't know of any research which really addresses this question, but I'd love to know about it if somebody does (in fact, I'd wire them $50 AUD by paypal :)

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

the prices will actually go down (none / 2) (#46)
by horny smurf on Mon May 31, 2004 at 12:25:11 AM EST

my newspaper had an article just today about that. Except the title was Prices rise for downloadable tunes.

The cost of a legitimate music download is going up. Way up, in some cases.

Album prices are rising at all the services, including Apple's iTunes Music Store and the revived Napster. Many titles sell for $13.95 and higher, up from a standard $9.99.

Singles had been a nearly universal 99 cents. But at Sony's new Connect, tracks longer than a standard pop tune are priced from $1.99 to $5.99.

Adding to the confusion: Many releases are sold as "single song" purchases only, so consumers lose discount pricing for a one-click album purchase.

Music services pin part of the problem on copyright issues. Some songs haven't been cleared for digital use. So the services sell "partial" albums, which requires a higher fee.

Sheryl Crow's hits collection is sold on iTunes as a "partial" album for $15.84. "The Very Best of the Eagles" -- missing seven songs -- goes for $13.86 at MusicNow.

Consumers aren't offered an explanation for why the songs are gone. A new Carly Simon hits package is missing 10 songs on iTunes. The entire 20-song album is available for $9.44 at Wal-Mart and $9.99 at Musicmatch and Napster.

Chalk it up to growing pains. With 500,000 to 700,000 songs at the average digital download store, keeping up with the music library is "like playing whack-a-mole," concedes Laura Goldberg, Napster's chief operating officer. "We're obviously not catching it all."

If a database thinks there's a missing song, albums can go for sale as "partial." Jessica Simpson's "In This Skin" came with a bonus DVD, so Musicmatch's database priced it as if it were missing a song, CEO Dennis Mudd says.

Unlicensed free download services like KaZaA and Morpheus dominated digital music until Apple's iTunes launched in April 2003. Now Musicmatch, Wal-Mart, MusicNow, Napster and Sony have all entered the legitimate market, and Microsoft plans a download store. The business is expected to grow from a projected $308 million now to $4.4. billion in 2008, according to market tracker Forrester Research.

Napster blames higher album prices on the labels. They "reflect our wholesale price," Goldberg says. Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently conceded that "a few albums" are priced higher but said the "vast majority" are $9.99.

Of course, as far as I'm concerned, the price has dropped. At least ever since iTMS started offering a free song every week :)

[ Parent ]

-1, technology sucks. (1.63 / 11) (#36)
by rmg on Sun May 30, 2004 at 08:33:07 PM EST

how many jobs do we have to lose to machines before we wise up to this so-called "technology"? a man could once make an honest living off the land, but now the technocrats have taken our land and tended it with their giant mechanical monstrosities! i say no more! fight the machine!

----

i ♥ legitimate users.

dave dean

hm (none / 2) (#40)
by EMHMark3 on Sun May 30, 2004 at 10:39:07 PM EST

Luddite (3) *Rate All*

T H E   M A C H I N E   S T O P S
[ Parent ]

Yeah. (none / 2) (#53)
by it certainly is on Mon May 31, 2004 at 01:49:18 AM EST

fight the machine!

Is this before or after we kill, kill, kill the white man?

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Dishonest Luddite! (none / 0) (#70)
by tetsuwan on Mon May 31, 2004 at 11:24:44 AM EST


Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

dey took errr jebs!!! n/t (none / 0) (#113)
by enderbean on Wed Jun 02, 2004 at 07:39:54 PM EST




----------
"No nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare." - James Madison
[ Parent ]
MP3 wins... (none / 3) (#43)
by tiamat on Sun May 30, 2004 at 10:50:14 PM EST

If only because I've already got 13gb of them and no time (or interest) in converting them. I don't care what's better, it's far to late to start worrying about that.

Well duh (none / 0) (#74)
by the dehorned unicorn on Mon May 31, 2004 at 12:42:05 PM EST

it's of course too late to change what you've got (well technically you could convert them to a new format, but that would be a pointless quality loss). But what about the future? A simple script around whatever command you use to play, and then the format doesn't matter for playing (I.E. you could have ogg and mp3's). However, encoding is another beastie.

If you never encode your own songs, then yes, the format doesn't matter much to you. Which begs the question of why you bothered to read/comment on the article.

[ Parent ]

I do encode... (none / 1) (#86)
by tiamat on Mon May 31, 2004 at 05:31:21 PM EST

and I encode to MP3, because my portable devices are purchased to play what I already have - MP3s. So unless someone writes a tonne of new firmware and software my point still stands.

And I'm very sorry if my having read your article was somehow a waste of your time.

[ Parent ]

Different point (none / 0) (#124)
by zirtix on Mon Jun 21, 2004 at 08:55:08 AM EST

That your hardware only has support for mp3 is a fine reason to use it, but this is surely a different point.  

Your original argument was that because you already had 13 gb of mp3s, it wasn't worth having any Oggs (or whatever). I think this original argument is fallacious.

[ Parent ]

Portable Audio (none / 2) (#49)
by ffrinch on Mon May 31, 2004 at 12:51:33 AM EST

I would switch to Ogg Vorbis, MusePack or whatever, if my MP3 player supported them. And it doesn't.

It's great that iRiver etc. are ahead of the game, but you really need mass support -- and that includes support from the manufacturers of vast amounts of cheap, no-name hardware, like Sigmatel. There's no way I'm using anything other than MP3 (and WMA if absolutely necessary), because, effectively, I can't.

-◊-
"I learned the hard way that rock music ... is a powerful demonic force controlled by Satan." — Jack Chick

Yeah (none / 0) (#80)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon May 31, 2004 at 03:55:07 PM EST

I'm in the same boat, I have an in-dash MP3 player so I'm kind of limited to that format. It's good to see that LAME 3.96 achieves near-transparency at 128kbps, I'll be using that for any new encodes. But previously I used LAME 3.90.3 --preset standard, which is kind of a bitrate hog, averaging about 200kbps. Not going to re-encode that music, at least until I get another player that plays Ogg or AAC.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Codec Of The Week (2.75 / 4) (#56)
by Jailbait on Mon May 31, 2004 at 03:11:51 AM EST

I'm becoming more and more convinced that a friend of mine has the right idea: Very Large Discs are very cheap - $1/GB or so. That translates to $0.50/CD in AIFF or WAV.
He's ripping everything to AIFF and then encoding to whatever he wants for various hardware sources...AIFF for home, AAC for his iPod, MP3 for TiVo Home Media playing.
When _The Next Great Thing_ arrives, it's a fairly simple matter to tell your system to reencode all the AIFFs again.
1300 CD's are safely in storage, along with a 2nd copy of the AIFFs, and 20,000 songs are available in multiple formats whenever/wherever they're wanted.
Figuring $0.50 for one AIFF copy, plus $0.07 for each of AAC and MP3 (he likes high bitrate encodings), plus some premium for the infrastructure - a removable disc chassis to make the backup copies, and a large enclosure for the (currently) 600GB of disc for the active copy, let's say that adds $2 to the price of a disc, and means that it never has to be ripped again.
When I have a job and money again and after I've climbed out of the hole I'm in, this is on my radar for 'How to deal with music'.

Check out (3.00 / 7) (#65)
by warrax on Mon May 31, 2004 at 06:00:43 AM EST

FLAC for all your lossless compression needs. It halves the needed disk space (which may or may not matter, but is certainly handy if you're doing backup).

-- "Guns don't kill people. I kill people."
[ Parent ]
Thanks (none / 1) (#77)
by ekeko on Mon May 31, 2004 at 02:08:31 PM EST

Thanks, I was not aware of this lossless format.

[ Parent ]
FLAC is interesting (none / 0) (#79)
by Ebon Praetor on Mon May 31, 2004 at 03:25:58 PM EST

Particularly because of how compression varies.  Opposite of other semi-intelligent compression formats, I've found classical gets the best compression, but less natural music like trance gets the worst.

While either case is still better than no compression at all, FLAC is particularly worth noting for people who have lots of classical music, but for some reason or another (I don't have the space for the records and cds) want them on their computer.  The music is perfectly reproduced (decompressing a FLAC will yield an identical file to the original), but compresses down to 1/3 of the original size.

[ Parent ]

Note to people with MP3 players in their cars (3.00 / 4) (#60)
by the77x42 on Mon May 31, 2004 at 04:48:38 AM EST

When the first generation of MP3 decks came out, I purchased a fairly expensive Kenwood Z-model. Having close to 15gb of MP3's at the time and a lack of audio cd's because all mine were stolen, it seemed like a wise investment rather than encoding everything back into AIFF.

Unfortunately, the sound quality on my med-high range car stereo system was far from CD, and I wasn't impressed with the muddy bass and the wimpy high ends of MP3s. I researched various equalizers, but I was told of some new and crazy product, the HPX. I think I paid $200 and it made music an EXPERIENCE. My MP3's sounded better than CD's and my CD's sounded like live performances. The sound appeared like it was just above my forehead and you could almost touch it -- really cool stuff.

Despite my immediate glee, I had an audophile's nightmare... a ground loop. The hissing drove me crazy. I checked all the grounds, the attenna, the phono cables, amps, etc... still I couldn't fix it, and neither could the guys who worked on it for close to 8 hours in the shop. I'm convinced it is coming from this subpar Kenwood 4-channel I got merely to take the strain off the deck... But, aving no money to replace the amp, the HPX has been out of my system, sitting in the garage until I can get rid of the hiss.

Anyway, my main point is that this thing could easily be built into an iPod or equivalent MP3 device. I am disappointed with the EQ options on my iPod, but also with the EQ options on my soundcard. I'm always weary of changing the original sound quality, but MP3 plus a good spatializer/EQ could make up for the lossy compression while retaining file size.


"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

Kenwood (none / 0) (#81)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon May 31, 2004 at 03:59:58 PM EST

I have a Kenwood in-dash, it's a couple years old, the MPV-7019. I can't tell the difference between good MP3's and CDs, so I'm left to wonder - how did you encode your MP3's? That's the first thing I'd point my finger at, and I certanly wouldn't go messing around with EQ's before I made sure that the MP3's were OK.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
320 VBR.. heh :) [nt] (none / 0) (#84)
by the77x42 on Mon May 31, 2004 at 04:45:59 PM EST




"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

[ Parent ]
Sure, but (none / 0) (#87)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon May 31, 2004 at 05:34:45 PM EST

With which encoder? Some are broken at any bitrate. Especially when it comes to cutting off high frequencies.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
it's either LAME or iTunes/SoundJam (none / 0) (#89)
by the77x42 on Mon May 31, 2004 at 08:31:17 PM EST




"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

[ Parent ]
LAME is good - iTunes mp3 encoder is terrible (none / 1) (#93)
by m0rbidini on Mon May 31, 2004 at 09:49:29 PM EST

Check the 128 kbps MP3 Listening Test:

MP3 at 128kbit/s Public Listening test

It shows that iTunes MP3 encoder is terrible at 128 kbps, at least. While it's wrong to extrapolate this result to other bitrates, like 320 kbps, it's also difficult to believe that the same doesn't happen there. (Some even said that Apple may have put a worse MP3 encoder in iTunes, so that AAC is perceived to be much better than it really is.)

Anyway, what you feel must be submited to a valid ABX test (basically a blind test), for it to have any kind of scientific value.

cya

[ Parent ]

And to add (none / 0) (#94)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon May 31, 2004 at 11:34:12 PM EST

It depends on the version of LAME too. Many of the recent versions had serious problems. I'd only use HA-recommended compiles: 3.90.3 and now 3.96.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
iTunes vs. SoundJam (none / 0) (#97)
by the77x42 on Tue Jun 01, 2004 at 02:04:38 AM EST

The original iTunes was a rebuild of soundjam for mac, which I had used long before iTunes to do all of my encoding. I'm not sure if the encoders were changed, but the quality on the original soundjam mp3's were benchmark by my standards.


"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

[ Parent ]
but like i said... (none / 0) (#85)
by the77x42 on Mon May 31, 2004 at 04:53:48 PM EST

... i have a fairly decent sound system:

Kenwood Excelon Z828 MP3 head unit
Kenwood 400W mono sub amp
Kenwood 200W 4-channel amp
2x Alpine Type-R 12" 1000W subs
Soundstream sub enclosure (not bandpass)

  1. x Alpine 6x9" 100W
  2. x Kenwood 6.5" 75W
The kenwood amps are kinda wimpy, but paying $1000 for an Alpine amp was out of my price range at the time. Even with this equipment, you really notice the difference in quality -- an HPX helps a lot.


"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

[ Parent ]
Lossy? Like every new CD? (3.00 / 6) (#67)
by thogard on Mon May 31, 2004 at 09:43:49 AM EST

Every CD these days (including the re-mastered ones) seem to have the average level set just below the max setting. This means that all of the intensity and emotion of the music seems to have just gone away. No wonder all the modern stuff sucks and the only stuff that seems to be selling is rap like stuff which has very different average characteristics than most other types of music and the typical beat patern of the vocal intensity messes up the auto-compressors. Could something as simple as a computer automagicly maxing the volume knob be killing the record industry?

Yes, it is (none / 2) (#82)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon May 31, 2004 at 04:08:20 PM EST

And you're not the only one who thinks that. The "loudness wars" are killing the quality of recorded music.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
maybe (none / 1) (#88)
by problem child on Mon May 31, 2004 at 07:39:23 PM EST

Though every era has had its own quirky production trends, many of them laughably bad.

[ Parent ]
Yeah (2.75 / 4) (#95)
by unknownlamer on Mon May 31, 2004 at 11:52:17 PM EST

This is why I have lately been trying to find more original copies of 80s metal albums; they sound a lot better. Take Fates Warning's No Exit (I know they aren't the greatest band in the world but that is one of the few albums I have a well mastered version of). ReplayGain actually recommends +0.30dB gain for the album!

Listening to "The Ivory Gates of a Dream" is a wonderful experience because of the volume differences between the parts with a single acoustic guitar and vocals and two electric guitars, a bass, drums, and vocals. I hate how on newer albums the levels for things which should be dramatically different are the same. Soft singing should be quieter than intense yelling; acoustic guitar should be quieter than an overdriven electric; without drums the average level should be a lot lower than with.

Popular music doesn't seem to suffer from a lack of range because the music wasn't written with any range but even stuff like metal is suffering a lot. I can't stand Blind Guardian's last album because Hansi singing alone and an 8 person chorus are the same volume! There's so much instrumentation (two guitar leads, a rhythm guitar, bass, drums, synthesized lead, random instruments) going on and so many people singing at once...and it's all -5dB average thus making the entire mix muddy and overcrowded. Evil.



--
<vladl> I am reading the making of the atomic bong - modern science
[ Parent ]
Drop in record sales? (none / 1) (#68)
by G1itch on Mon May 31, 2004 at 10:10:46 AM EST

Even if the RIAA partially blames it for the drop in record sales, ...
Last I heard record sales were up about 9%, what drop are you referring to?

Small corrections and fixes: (3.00 / 5) (#69)
by m0rbidini on Mon May 31, 2004 at 10:40:28 AM EST

You may have noted that some links to Hydrogenaudio are not working correctly. That's because it moved to a new server and, for now, you'll be redirected to the portal. Soon, this will be corrected. Here's the correct links at the moment:
I also would like to correct the name of foobar2000's developer: it's Peter Pawlowski, not Peter Pawlowsky. I also mailed the editors asking that they correct this.

Thanks

Link to OGG Hardware? (none / 1) (#76)
by ekeko on Mon May 31, 2004 at 01:56:28 PM EST

Is there a working link to the Hardware that supports the OGG format?

[ Parent ]
Xiph's site is down at the moment, but check... (none / 1) (#92)
by m0rbidini on Mon May 31, 2004 at 09:39:28 PM EST

its Google cache, meanwhile:

- http://216.239.41.104/search?q=cache:qA1EGe8CZjwJ:wiki.xiph.org/VorbisHardware

cya

[ Parent ]

It's primarily low bitrate, but - (none / 2) (#71)
by tetsuwan on Mon May 31, 2004 at 11:26:34 AM EST

What about AAC+?

Why wasn't it tested?

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance

RE: It's primarily low bitrate, but (none / 3) (#72)
by m0rbidini on Mon May 31, 2004 at 11:55:07 AM EST

AAC+ is an unofficial name for HE-AAC. It's AAC plus SBR technology. It's only useful in lower bitrates where transparency is not the main goal (streaming or flash memory based devices with small amounts of storage).

Check the following links for more information:

  • http://www.audiocoding.com/wiki/index.php?page=SBR
  • http://209.152.181.168/~hydrogen/index.php?showtopic=21514
  • http://209.152.181.168/~hydrogen/index.php?showtopic=19104
note: the last 2 links are temporary. If they don't work, try replacing "209.152.181.168/~hydrogen/" with "www.hydrogenaudio.org/".
cya

[ Parent ]
Thanks! (nt) (none / 0) (#73)
by tetsuwan on Mon May 31, 2004 at 12:10:24 PM EST


Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

umm, actualy, most on-line stores price albums (none / 1) (#78)
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon May 31, 2004 at 02:31:07 PM EST

at 10 dollars for 15 songs, and a bit less when the album is around 10 songs.

you can't complain about how you can buy 15 different songs and pay 15 dollars for that because there is no parallel in the brick and mortar world, you would have to spend money on 15 different albums.

$1 per song, try 0.01 per megabyte, custom encoded (none / 0) (#120)
by rolfpal on Thu Jun 03, 2004 at 04:44:06 PM EST

The russian site allofmp3.com offers custom encoding (mp3, aac, ogg and even flac and monkeyaudio) at 0.01 per megabyte or 0.02 per megabyte for non-lossy formats. That works out to 0.50- $1.25 per ALBUM ($0.03 to $0.10 per song) for lossy formats and about $5-8 for non-lossy formated albums.

Real world pricing for copyrighted music that puts all the other money grubbers to shame.

Plus you can encode it any way you want. I've got over 3.5 gig off them so far.

Another one (none / 0) (#123)
by prostoalex on Sat Jun 05, 2004 at 04:32:27 AM EST

club.mp3search.ru is another one, same pricing.

[ Parent ]
Lossy audio: What's new and what's good? | 124 comments (97 topical, 27 editorial, 0 hidden)
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