Posts Tagged ‘Napster’

Is Downloading MP3 From File Sharing Programs Legal?

Friday, November 6th, 2009
Kb Lim asked:

File sharing programs such as KaZaa, Ares, iMesh and Limewire have never been more popular. They are pretty controversial as well. You may have heard of the countless lawsuits against them by music records companies and the MPAA. So is downloading MP3 from these programs legal?

How Do File Sharing Programs Work?

Modern file sharing programs connects users directly to each other allowing them to share and download files. They are also called P2P, or peer to peer programs. Unlike old file sharing programs such as Napster who ran all connections through their servers. That is also why it is sometimes difficult to determine exactly who is downloading what.

File sharing programs by themselves are not illegal. In fact, they are legitimate uses for it. For example, it is used by academy institutions and universities to exchange research data and cross learning. They are also used by musicians and artists to showcase their talents by distributing their music free through file-sharing networks.

Many people are confused as to what is legal to download and what is not. The problem stems from the fact that it is so easy to download illegal MP3 and other illegal files from these file sharing networks that people often do not know they are actually violating copyright laws.

They do not have sufficient knowledge of copyright laws. Current copyright laws allow an individual to rip MP3 provided he or she has brought a copy of the CD. However, he or she cannot give, sell or upload MP3 to others. Beware due to MP3 piracy, record companies have recently developed technologies that do not allow you to rip mp3 from CD. Add to that, they are dozens of websites on the internet proclaiming to be able to download mp3 and movies legally when they are not!

How to determine whether you can download MP3 legally?

Technically, any MP3 posted on file-sharing programs without the permission of the artist is illegal. Most commercial MP3 on file sharing networks are illegal, so my advice would be to avoid them altogether.

There are a few reputable MP3 download sites on the internet you can trust. The most famous of all is itunes from Apple. Napster has a subscription service per month that allows you to download more than two million mp3 legally. Technically, you do not own the mp3 so do not give, sell or upload to file sharing networks.

Mick Jagger Made My Day

Monday, August 3rd, 2009
Claudia Jonze asked:

This is the news from Times today:

"Sir Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones are preparing to follow Sir Paul McCartney and Radiohead and abandon EMI, the crisis-stricken British record label.

The likely defection of the world’s most commercially savvy rock band is a further blow to the credibility of EMI’s new owner, the venture capitalist Guy Hands, who is striving to cut costs amid an artists’ revolt. Sir Mick met Mr Hands during the negotiations over a renewal of the band’s existing EMI contract, but the financier whose best man was William Hague, did not make enough of an impression to persuade him to commit to a new deal."

The music industry, as we know it, is changing right under our noses. How many people buy CDs? Well, a lot more than three years ago, and to blame is, of course, the digital music outlets, like iTunes and Napster and of course, the illicit file sharing. Now, I love to buy a CD, to go to the store, take a look at all the offers, check the cover and the playlist on the back and ultimately take it home, tear the cellophane wrap and put in in the CD player. But when was the last time I did it?; that’s right, almost one year ago. Because when you have iTunes installed on your computer, and you have all the music in the world so accessible and eager for you to download it, that you just want to skip the foreplay and go for it right here and right now. Also, who carries CDs with them any longer? Because once you buy it and you add it to your music library for your mp3 player, the CD it’s just a nice piece of decoration on your dusted CD rack.

Now, what’s that got to do with Mick Jagger, you may ask? Well, a CD is inevitably the product of a record company deal. They sign you up, help you produce the album, promote it for you, sell it for you and ultimately pay you the royalties. Does Rolling Stones need all of these? Nada. They can do it easily all buy themselves and sell the music digitally, like the savvy people from Radiohead did it before them. So, basically, companies like EMI lost their negotiation power with their artists, because they have nothing much to offer them. So they need to change their optics, and you what, I’m glad, because so much shitty music I have listened, whether I wanted it or not, just because the people from EMI and the likes pushed it and pushed it on the commercial radios to promote their "stars". Well, apparently they can’t do that any longer now, in the peak of the digital era, people can’t be so easily manipulated. Because you have so many sources to procure your music. The music that you truly like.

So this poor Guy, hehe, landed in the music business in the worst possible moment. Until six month before, when he bought the company, he owned a successful financial company. But I guess he got tired of it, and he wanted to be cool, to hang out with cool people, like Thom Yorke, Macca and Mick Jagger, but they just didn’t accept him. Bummer.

I’ve seen Rolling Stones live, and trust me, they don’t need anyone to start them up.

4 channels of adding music to iTunes for iPod and iPhone

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
likeachamp asked:

The following article focuses on different channels of listening to music on iPod and iPhone. To enjoy music on iPod and iPhone, you first need to get the music in iPod/iPhone format onto iTunes library and then sync the music to your iPod/iPhone.

Channel 1. Buy music from iTunes Store for iPod/iPhone

To find and buy music from the iTunes Store, just click on the “iTunes Store” link under “Store” in the left column of iTunes. Once in, you’re greeted with the iTunes Store interface, with links on the left-hand side that take you to Music, Movies, TV Shows, Music Videos, Audiobooks, and Podcasts. After you’ve chosen a song or album to buy, just click on the “Buy Song” or “Buy Album” button for that selection.

Channel 2. Import your CDs into iTunes for iPod/iPhone

If you own a few CDs, you can import them into iTunes for your iPod/iPhone. Since you’ve already spent money on this music, there’s no reason why you should have to buy it all over again just to get the songs into iTunes. Apple made it simple to rip a CD to your library.

By default, iTunes rips songs to AAC format, and although AAC is a very high-quality format, it isn’t as widely-supported as the ubiquitous MP3 format, which enjoys support from virtually every digital music player known to man, including iPod and iPhone. To ensure greater portability of your music (and prevent you from feeling locked into one product just because you’ve ripped all your music in one format), I suggest ripping your CDs as MP3s. To do so, go to Edit -> Preferences. In the General tab, click the Import Settings… button. In the pop up dialog window of Import Settings, select MP3 Encoder from the Import Using dropdown menu and Higher Quality (192 kbps) from the Setting dropdown.


There are many other subscription music services you may already be subscribed to, like Rhapsody, Napster, and Zune Marketplace, which let you buy or rent tracks. But the songs that come from these stores use a Digital Rights Management (DRM) scheme that is incompatible with iTunes and the iPod/iPhone. In other words, these songs are protected from being played in software and hardware music players that don’t support their particular standard (just like non-iPod music players can’t play most music from the iTunes Music Store). There is software tool called TuneClone Audio Converter that claims to be able to remove DRM from Rhapsody, Napster and Zune Marketplace and convert the DRM protected music to MP3, WAV and unprotected WMA with a virtual CD drive. So if you want to transfer your Rhapsody/Napster/Zune music to iTunes for your iPod/iPhone, you mnay download this piece of software to help you get the music DRM removed and converted to MP3 for a try.

However, the online digital music store eMusic sells DRM-free MP3s, and there are many websites where you can download free and legal MP3s that don’t contain DRM and can be imported into the iPhone easily.

Channel 3. Import MP3s into iTunes for iPod/iPhone

Once you’ve downloaded MP3s onto your computer, it’s easy to import them into iTunes. First make a new playlist by going to the “File” menu and clicking “New Playlist” and naming it anything you like. Select that playlist in iTunes, then drag your MP3s from your hard drive into the right-hand pane. iTunes will start importing your music and populating the playlist with songs. After it’s done, you’re free to play back the songs or sync them to your iPod/iPhone just like all the rest of your library.

Channel 4. Import WMAs into iTunes for iPod/iPhone

Importing unprotected WMA files is just like importing MP3 files, but requires one additional step. With WMA files, iTunes will actually transcode the songs and change the format from WMA to whatever default audio encoder you’ve set in the iTunes Preferences. It’s not necessary to know the difference between WMAs, MP3s, and AACs, but you should know that when you import WMAs, your original files are untouched and a new file is created.

Note: For importing DRM protected WMA files into iTunes, you will need to remove the DRM first. I’ve found TuneClone Audio Converter can also be used to convert DRM protected WMA to MP3. There’s a tutorial on its website that details how to convert protected WMA to MP3 for iPod. I’ve followed it step by step to have a try. It worked great as a whole except that it didn’t preserve the music metadata very well though the tutorial offered a reluctant solution.

Music Distribution Companies For the Independent Music Artist

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009
Marius van Dyk asked:

Online music distribution has come a long way since the early days of the web. In this article I briefly introduce you to music distribution companies and the services they offer you as an independent music artist.

Digital music distribution over the web now makes it possible to get your music into the main online music retailers and marketplaces such as…

iTunes Rhapsody Napster MusicNet eMusic Sony Connect GroupieTunes / imvu / SonicTap Amazon MP3 ShockHound Amie Street LimeWire Store

Now, you don’t want to try and submit to each of these stores individually and for this reason I suggest you make use of the services offered by web music distribution companies.

These services will get your music into the main online music retailers marketplaces for a fee and/or a commission. This saves you a lot of hassle and time because it streamlines the process of digital music distribution for you.

TuneCore, ReverbNation, Nimbit and CD Baby are a few examples of web music distribution companies you can choose between. These companies all offer music distribution for independent artists with slight differences in how they charge and operate.

I recommend Tunecore to the independent artists I work with as I’ve found it to be a reliable service at a good price, and it has a great team of people behind it. It has never been easier to get your music distributed at a low cost than right now so when you are ready I suggest you take a look at the services I mentioned in this article.

Remember however that having music on iTunes doesn’t mean you’ll sell music on iTunes, in other words…

…just because you can make your music available doesn’t mean people will find it and buy. You have to direct people to your music and ask them to buy through your promotion efforts on your web site and social network profiles such as MySpace, Twitter and Facebook.

Be sure to check out the links to further articles in my bio below should you want to find out more about how to get your music distributed through the main online music retailers such as iTunes and Amazon MP3.

The History of the Digital Music Revolution

Sunday, June 14th, 2009
Richard Adams asked:

Most of us, when we were kids, listened to the radio to hear the latest, greatest songs in the music world. We listened eagerly for something new, something original, something our buddies hadnt heard before, and when a song made its way into our collective conscience, we would wait for hours for our favorite DJ to play the song for us, sometimes even for days, just so we could hit the record button and get the thing on tape.

At the time, the record companies knew we were taping our favorite music, but they didnt really care, because the quality of the recording was low and the DJ would more often than not talk over the first and last five seconds of the thing, making it worthless as something to swap or sell. Mix tapes were a personal thing, but they couldnt really compare to the real thing  an LP, or, in later years, a compact disc.

But just as happens with every great hole in supply, eventually technological advances catch up with demand. And so it was that the publics desire for quality (free) music created the double cassette recorder, which made it possible for us to copy our mix tapes for our friends. The record companies tried to ban these devices, claiming they would lead to the end of the music industry. But they didnt&

Then video cassette recorders came along, allowing us to record our favorite music videos from MTV and play them endlessly. The music companies didnt like this either, and tried to get VCRs banned, claiming they would ruin the music industry. But they didnt&

Then along came Compact Discs, which allowed a cleaner recording to audio cassette, and late down the line, CD burners, which allowed people to copy CDs directly. Later still came DVD, and satellite radio. Everywhere you looked, someone was using new technology to make access to music easier, and everywhere that happened, the music industry tried (timidly) to put a stop to it. And then came Napster.

The online music world has led a fraught and tumultuous existence over the past decade. As early as 1996, pioneer internet users were passing around copies of their favorite music using chat servers and email, with equipment and formats that sometimes took as long as a full day just to download one song. But it was Shawn Fannings Napster program that, in 1999, brought the ability to download music freely to every net user.

Napster provided the means for anyone to log in anonymously, search for their favored songs across millions of users hard drives, and download those songs quickly and simply. The fact that any internet newbie could master Napster in minutes added greatly to its early success, but it was mass collectors, largely operating from university and college computers, who turned the system into one of the biggest buzz-makers in computing history.

What Napster did was create a huge central directory of every song owned by users on their system. If you wanted to get a copy of I Want Candy by Bow Wow Wow, you would just type the band and song name into Napster, hit search, and you would be presented with a long list of matches. You then just selected the one you wanted to download, and it would **** down on to your drive.

Of course, when people find a loophole that allows them to get something for nothing, they do often tend to go overboard, and thats exactly what the community of Napster users did en masse. Instead of just finding the music they needed, users were soon downloading everything they could find, hoarding songs and albums that they had little interest in, just so they could say they had them. It was not uncommon for college students to use multiple computers at their school to download thousands of songs on to CD in a few hours, most of which would never actually be listened to. This, obviously, annoyed the hell out of the record companies in ways that double cassette recorders never could.

While Napster made it clear to users that its service was designed to help users find legal music downloads, it also made little effort to stop people from trafficking in pirated material through its system, which led the body that represents the record companies politically, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to take legal action against the company, effectively charging it with mass piracy and the loss of tens of millions of dollars in sales.

Interestingly, rather than kill music downloading completely, the court action had the opposite effect, spreading word of Napster across the globe like wildfire, which saw millions of new users sign up even as the creators of the program were fighting to keep the system from closure. So many people had become addicted to music file-sharing that the prospect of life without Napster seemed a punishment few could take, and so those with the skills began coding Napster alternative programs.

Gnutella was an early variant, created by Nullsoft (the company behind the hugely successful WinAmp music software), and though they quickly took the program off the market, hackers and crackers were soon ripping Gnutella to pieces and reconstructing it to suit their needs. Morpheus was soon on the scene, and as Napster began to cooperate with the record companies by filtering out popular song titles from the system, the new program rapidly grew.

But Napsters shift towards cooperation was not enough for the giant music conglomerates, who threw up hurdle after hurdle designed to take Napster out of business. Even heavy metal group Metallica joined the fray, launching their own lawsuit and earning the rage of many of their fans in the process. Lawyers for the file-sharing software company made the all-too valid point that, if Napster was in any way responsible for the actions of copyright violators, so too were the phone companies that provided the phone lines upon which the music was being shared. They claimed that the ISPs were just as liable as they were, because they didnt actually house any illegal files on their servers, rather they simply facilitated the searching of said files on other peoples computers.

We may never know if the judge hearing that particular legal case understood the difference, or merely figured that while Napster wasnt breaking the law per se, they were acting against the spirit of the law, but either way, the judge told the company in July 2001 that if it couldnt stop illegal files from being passed through its service, it would have to shut its doors. And thats what it did, after a judge stopped record company Bertelsman, who had invested heavily in Napster in an effort to legitimize the company, from taking it over.

Since Napster shut its doors, the company has since reemerged as a legitimate music download source, albeit with far less success than it enjoyed in the early days, and literally dozens of illegal file sharing programs have taken its place to fill the free music download void. These, such as WinMX, BitLord, Kazaa, Morpheus, BearShare, Aimster, Napigator, AudioGalaxy, and Limewire, run the gamut from useful to useless, but they all share a common element  they take the stance that, if theyre not hosting pirated music, they have nothing to do with those using their systems that do. Translated: Use at your own risk.