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Ruckus Closes Down

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the long-overdue dept.

Music 125

An anonymous reader writes "According to TechCrunch, Ruckus, the ad-supported music service targeted at college students, has closed down for good. Ruckus was notable for its poorly-designed client software and .wma-only DRM-laden catalog of 3,000,000 tracks, somewhat less than half the size of the iTunes catalog."

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125 comments

Appalling (2)

UbuntuLinux (1242150) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782113)

Good. That service was appalling.

Re:Appalling (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782709)

People will be missing their music if not the service. From TFA:

Weâ(TM)re told that music that has not passed its âoerenew dateâ still works, but that music that has expired will no longer work because the DRM licensing server has apparently shut down.
Oops. Another hard lesson in why not to trust DRMed media.

Good riddance. (4, Interesting)

vishbar (862440) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782205)

Ruckus plus FairUse4WM made for a good time. The only reason I used it was to download the songs, strip the DRM, and put 'em on my iPod as beautiful, DRM-free mp3s. The client itself was horrible. I won't be missing it one bit.

Re:Good riddance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26782397)

You re-encoded wma to mp3? ... I guess you can't really hear the difference on an ipod though.

Re:Good riddance. (1)

vishbar (862440) | more than 5 years ago | (#26783451)

The quality wasn't bad, actually. I'm not an audiophile so I couldn't really hear the difference...plus, a lot of the songs I downloaded from Ruckus were spoken word albums (e.g. standup comedy), so quality wasn't as important.

The news item is rather subjective though. (3, Interesting)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782421)

Yeah, DRM may not be that nice, but it's there in most commercial cases and WMA isn't any worse than DRMed AAC, probably better.

The "omg only 3 million songs! iTunes have twice as many! Apple rule!" line doesn't help either ..

Personally I have never heard about it before but I think it's sad one ad supported alternative dies because choice and diversity is a good thing, and some people would probably rather have ads but plenty of music than very little music because they can't afford more.

Whole news item summary sounds like an Apple troll.

Re:The news item is rather subjective though. (3, Informative)

workman161 (814490) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782565)

Whole news item summary sounds like an Apple troll.

I disagree. If you've ever used Ruckus, you can't say you liked it. Most of iTunes is DRM-free now anyways. The only reason Ruckus got any popularity was because it was marketed to college campuses as a safe alternative to file sharing. Naturally, paranoid campuses (such as mine) promoted it heavily, trying to keep the RIAA off their backs.

Re:The news item is rather subjective though. (2, Interesting)

Darundal (891860) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782757)

I thought colleges bought subscriptions for their students, not just promoted it.

Re:The news item is rather subjective though. (2, Informative)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#26783511)

I thought colleges bought subscriptions for their students, not just promoted it.

No, they bought it on behalf of their students, and lumped it into their tuition, along with those big paychecks for the administrators.

Once they set up an account "on behalf of the students" and said "here, use this", they didn't give a shit one way or another, since if the RIAA started badgering them, they could point at that and say "We're not culpable, we tried to do it your way". Of course, they're not doing it to protect the students, they were doing it to protect their own asses.

Re:The news item is rather subjective though. (2, Informative)

eggy78 (1227698) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782851)

If you've ever used Ruckus, you can't say you liked it.

That's for sure. If it were just graphical ads (even animated images), it might've been tolerable. With all of the flash and audio-enabled ads, it was just too much. And the audio was usually on by default, meaning I had some random internet lady talking to me while I was trying to check out some music.

That's not to mention the player, which was a little lighter on the ads (you had to go to the website to select any new music, so most of the ads were there), but for some reason always consumed all available CPU power (this is on a single-core CPU with HT, so it is pegged at 50%). It was not only difficult to use, but also made the computer almost unusable.

I am not going to miss it, but I have a few less technically-minded friends who, despite their occasional frustration with it, will probably be sad that it's gone.

Re:The news item is rather subjective though. (1)

michrech (468134) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782981)

Actually, Ruckus was free for students. I happen to work for the ITS department of a college, and I'd never heard about any payments we had to make for it. I do know that, if we got a certain percentage of our students signed up and using the service, the Ruckus folks would place a server at our location to help with bandwidth issues.

It did have a monthly fee for faculty/staff, however.

Re:The news item is rather subjective though. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26783079)

I thought the only reason it got any popularity was because of Brody Ruckus [bloggasm.com] .

There's nothing like the promise of free amateur porn to generate buzz on college campuses...

Re:The news item is rather subjective though. (1)

daedae (1089329) | more than 5 years ago | (#26787833)

I disagree. If you've ever used Ruckus, you can't say you liked it.

Not true. It was great for sampling music, or for listening to my music at work when I didn't have my Zune around. It was a little sluggish to open, but iTunes and Zune are both really slow to open too, especially with a reasonably large library. And for the other commenter complaining about audio ads--it was easy enough to skip the front page. I just bookmarked (or rather, Firefox's awesome bar took care of it for me) an album page and I always used that as my landing page. Just had to click past one ring tone site ad and then it was just graphical ads. What a shame, I was hoping to check out the new Thornley and Luna Mortis CDs tomorrow before going out to buy them. Guess I'll have to see if Spiralfrog has improved since the last time I checked and if they'll have either of those CDs.

Re:The news item is rather subjective though. (0)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782995)

Yeah, DRM may not be that nice, but it's there in most commercial cases and WMA isn't any worse than DRMed AAC, probably better.
Sorry? A DRM encoded Microsoft proprietry standard is better than a DRMed MPEG standard? Not to mention ofc that Apple don't use DRM any more.

The "omg only 3 million songs! iTunes have twice as many! Apple rule!" line doesn't help either ..
It doesn't? It's purely factual, ofc, iTunes actually has 11.5 million tracks, so close to 4 times as many, not twice as many.

Whole news item summary sounds like an Apple troll.
So saying "wow, the companies that don't sell DRM free music are shutting down" is apple trolling now, simply because apple don't sell DRMed music?

Re:The news item is rather subjective though. (1)

vishbar (862440) | more than 5 years ago | (#26783119)

I'm not totally against the DRM that they put in place--with a subscription-based service, that's what you're gonna get. I didn't like it because the client itself was a piece of shit.

Re:The news item is rather subjective though. (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784217)

Still you used it so it was probably better than not having it.

Though as I said I have never heard about it before or used their client so.

Re:The news item is rather subjective though. (1)

vishbar (862440) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784339)

I used it only because I could strip the DRM and it was provided for free by my university. Otherwise, I wouldn't have touched it--I certainly wouldn't have paid for it.

Re:The news item is rather subjective though. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26784367)

Yeah. My submission, so I'll defend myself a little.

The previous replies speak to the fact that the client was really a piece of junk. The line about catalog size was for context. I'll grant you that DRM-laden may have been a bit much.

Anyway, like a bunch of the rest of the people who used it, I'd download the music, strip the DRM, and keep the music for good. Pity it's gone.

Re:The news item is rather subjective though. (1)

Darth (29071) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785215)

Yeah, DRM may not be that nice, but it's there in most commercial cases and WMA isn't any worse than DRMed AAC, probably better.

In what way is DRMed WMA better than DRMed AAC?

The "omg only 3 million songs! iTunes have twice as many! Apple rule!" line doesn't help either ..

I read that line completely differently. It seemed perfectly reasonable to me to compare an online music service to the 800lb. gorilla in the market.

Personally I have never heard about it before but I think it's sad one ad supported alternative dies because choice and diversity is a good thing,

I would generally agree, but in this case it seems like the market did choose. They weren't put out of business by a competitor. They were put out of business because their offering wasn't compelling. Judging from the comments on this story it sounds like their software was crap.

and some people would probably rather have ads but plenty of music than very little music because they can't afford more.

That's probably true, but these guys failed to capture that audience due to their own failures. Either that market is too small to sustain a business, or these guys just executed too poorly to be attractive to their audience. Either way, the market did exercise choice.

Whole news item summary sounds like an Apple troll.

The news item barely mentioned anything related to apple and what it did mention was an appropriate comparison of one aspect of the failed company to the leader in online music distribution. That doesn't sound like an Apple troll to me.

Re:The news item is rather subjective though. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26785805)

>Yeah, DRM may not be that nice, but it's there in most commercial cases

What? If it's there in any commerical "cases" right now, they are being suicidal. Slept through the anti-DRM consumer backlash?

It's not actually that subjective (1)

basicio (1316109) | more than 5 years ago | (#26787863)

As someone who used to occasionally use Ruckus, it really was pretty terrible for a lot of reasons:
-very little music from independent artists. I couldn't find 3/4 of what I wanted on there. (Although I can't find a third or so of what I listen to on Amazon either, so your mileage may have varied.)
-absolutely horrific client software that only worked on Windows (because the DRM was available only there). This was a big deal when 60-70% of your campus was running OS X.
-wma's don't work on iPods, which are far and away the most popular mp3 players.
-you had to pay to put the songs on an mp3 player that *did* support FairUse4WM (it was something like $5 a semester, but still)
-the music catalog was labeled terribly and frequently had mislabeled tracks or albums, and albums were often missing songs. (Whoever marked albums with the explicit tag also apparently decided it was a fun idea to go through and mark about a third of the purely instrumental music 'explicit', which was really quite obnoxious.)

I had one friend who still used it, I think. She's sorry to see it go, but I don't know of anybody else who was.

So, to summarize: I'm just about as close to the opposite of an Apple fanboy as one can get, but when I saw that article summary I just nodded my head in agreement.

Re:Good riddance. (1)

djseomun (1119637) | more than 5 years ago | (#26783185)

I read you. I must have quintupled my music collection thanks to XP Pro SP2 + WMP10 + FairUse4M.

Re:Good riddance. (1)

Asky314159 (1114009) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784435)

I just checked, and almost half the music on my iPod is from Ruckus. I had hoped to gradually start buying CDs to replace the Ruckus music as I got closer to graduating from college, but now I've got a huge collection of stuff that I don't even have a "license" for.

There's an upside (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26784709)

Look at the bright side of this; for all the college students that used the service, this is free education in the perils of allowing DRM in your life.

Uhhhh.....free? (4, Insightful)

martin_henry (1032656) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782207)

Ruckus was notable for its poorly-designed client software and .wma-only DRM-laden catalog of 3,000,000 tracks, somewhat less than half the size of the iTunes catalog.

I think it was far more notable for that fact that it gave away almost half the size of the itunes catalog for free.

Re:Uhhhh.....free? (4, Interesting)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782285)

I think it was far more notable for that fact that it gave away almost half the size of the itunes catalog for free.

Now that they're closing down, how long can the customers use those tracks?

Re:Uhhhh.....free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26782507)

but iTunes still has DRM. so what is your point about this? Any company with DRM is a time-bomb.

Re:Uhhhh.....free? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26782789)

iTunes is phasing out all DRM on music. It's still present on movies (rentals and purchases), but their DRM system doesn't depend on a polling a central server once a computer is authorized. If Apple shut down their DRM servers, the DRM files would still be 100% usable until you replace/reformat your computer.

Re:Uhhhh.....free? (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782821)

100% usable until you replace/reformat your computer.

Umm.. for me, that happens more often than companies go bankrupt.

Re:Uhhhh.....free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26782965)

ugh, blind fanboi.

Apple is not on your side, they only care about increasing revenue and profits just like any other monolith. Also, you made that last part up completely. Explain how a DRM scheme works that doesn't require some verification system, please I'd love to know.

Helping you understand (2, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26787315)

I'm happy to help you understand the things that seem beyond you.

Apple is not on your side, they only care about increasing revenue and profits just like any other monolith.

And (shocker) it turns out being customer friendly (as in forcing studios to give up DRM) brings more profits to Apple! Duh! Just because that's a primary motive of Apple does not mean the end result for you the consumer is the same as if they "were on your side". If your side is one that brings a company more profit, then in fact they are driven to be on your side. You just have to know what they consider profitable to understand if the actions they take will be agreeable to you.

Also, you made that last part up completely.

He described how the system actually works, rather the opposite from "made up".

Explain how a DRM scheme works that doesn't require some verification system, please I'd love to know.

See, here's the part where you need to learn to read more carefully. He didn't say there was no verification system, just that once you bought the music it did not need to contact Apple to work (and here we are talking about the legacy DRM music stuff, not the majority of Apple's music which is now DRM free).

The reason is that with the Apple DRM, your whole computer is authorized to play the DRM files you receive from Apple.

Thus you can buy a song, it's downloaded to your computer with the DRM wrapped around tailored to the authorization from your computer. You can play the audio/video file until the end of time with no network connection. If you like, you can think of it as your own computer being the authorization server.

Similarily, devices are authorized and the same holds true there - music sent to your device works there as well indefinitely, with no network connection.

Apple saves a ton of headaches and money not having a DRM authorization server that has to be up 24/7 in order for people's music/video to work, by authorizing up front they scale the load back to a single effort instead of repeated requests (almost true, since of course from time to time you may need to authorize a new computer or device but it's still basically O(1)). There's that whole "company saving money is the same as your best interests" thing again.

The patronizing tone of this reply is brought to you by the arrogant tone of yours.

Re:Uhhhh.....free? (1)

_Hiro_ (151911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26787713)

The Apple DRM scheme works by authenticating a PC or device once, then leaving it authenticated until formatted or de-authenticated.

So if you were to authorize iTunes on a PC, disconnect it from the internet, download a bunch of songs via iTunes on a different PC under the same account, and move the files over on a thumbdrive, they would work. If Apple shut down iTunes, then you would not be able to re-authenticate a computer later, but you could still play the files on computers that were authenticated in perpetuity.

The DRM in WMA requires a periodic check of DRM credentials. If it can't contact the DRM server for any reason, it revokes the license on the file.

So it's not so much that the Apple scheme doesn't require verification, it's that the Apple scheme doesn't require re-verification on a fixed timetable.

Re:Uhhhh.....free? (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782799)

but iTunes still has DRM. so what is your point about this? Any company with DRM is a time-bomb.

Exactly. I didn't say iTunes was better.

Re:Uhhhh.....free? (1)

FireFlie (850716) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782841)

but iTunes still has DRM.

From http://www.apple.com/itunes/whatsnew/ [apple.com]

High-quality, DRM-free music. iTunes Plus is the new standard on iTunes. Now, you can choose from millions of iTunes Plus songs from all four major music labels and thousands of independents. With iTunes Plus, you get high-quality, 256-Kbps AAC encoding. All free of burn limits and digital rights management (DRM).

No they don't.

Re:Uhhhh.....free? (1)

ameyer17 (935373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786947)

Actually, iTunes (probably) does still have DRM. They're planning to be completely DRM-free by the end of March.
And IIRC about 80% of the music on the iTunes store went DRM-free when they announced that they were going DRM-free.

Re:Uhhhh.....free? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26787351)

The licenses lasted around three weeks before you'd have to check their servers and renew them

Re:Uhhhh.....free? (3, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782337)

And those DRM-laden tracks are going to keep working? Keep in mind that removing the DRM on a track -- even if you legally purchased it -- is illegal in the United States and other countries that have laws similar to the DMCA. It's also possible to to interpret the law to mean that once the DRM stops working, the tracks you illegally removed the DRM from are also considered pirated material.

Free as in you-can't-have-it-anymore (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782377)

I wish this story would get some mainstream ink; it would hopefully give the free-as-in-X discussion a little more mindshare.

Re:Uhhhh.....free? (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782697)

Are you sure? I thought the issue with software like Requiem under DMCA was that you couldn't distribute legally. But possession, creation, and use were all legal.

In any case it's a moot point. Requiem will soon be obsolete with iTunes going DRM free.

Re:Uhhhh.....free? (2, Informative)

Myopic (18616) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782795)

Yes, we all hate the DMCA, but I don't think a court has ruled on whether it is illegal to take DRM off of a legally purchased file. Remember, the law is what the courts say it is, not what the legislatures say it is.

Re:Uhhhh.....free? (1)

multisync (218450) | more than 5 years ago | (#26783161)

Yes, we all hate the DMCA, but I don't think a court has ruled on whether it is illegal to take DRM off of a legally purchased file. Remember, the law is what the courts say it is, not what the legislatures say it is.

Well the courts have certainly ruled that it is illegal [2600.com] to even link to a program that is capable of taking the DRM off a legally purchased file, so I wouldn't press the point unless you can afford a legal battle and the fines that result.

Screw the law, ethically wrong (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26787423)

Yes, we all hate the DMCA, but I don't think a court has ruled on whether it is illegal to take DRM off of a legally purchased file.

Come on. With subscription "purchase" like Ruckus you don't have to be Perry Mason to distinguish the various shades of grey at work here, subscribing to music and then keeping around the recordings without payment to the artist is simply ethically wrong regardless of what you think the law may or may not say.

I'm not going to say it's stealing as it's not. But lets not bullshit and claim you legally "bought" 3 million songs for $10. No, you have a copy of the song for which the artist got nothing. Now perhaps they suck or they do not deserve money for some other reason, but do not justify it as a transaction where you are wholly in the right.

Re:Uhhhh.....free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26782907)

The songs were licensed for a month last time I used Ruckus. So at the most the songs will work for 30 days.

Re:Uhhhh.....free? (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782913)

No! You are, in fact, wrong. Circumvention is not illegal, but distributing circumvention tools is. If you manage to accidentally develop a circumvention tool, then you may use it to circumvent. You may also keep the files, as they are perfectly legal. You may not distribute the information to anyone else.

I guess the rational is that people who own the media won't want to circumvent (I know, false premise) and they are not the targets of the legislation, rather the people who obtain bit-for-bit copies, and can't play the files.

Re:Uhhhh.....free? (1)

multisync (218450) | more than 5 years ago | (#26783295)

No! You are, in fact, wrong. Circumvention is not illegal, but distributing circumvention tools is.

Are you sure about that? Because I have followed issues with the DMCA for years, and my understanding has always been that circumvention is prohibited. In fact, the very first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry for the DMCA state this explicitly:

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as Digital Rights Management or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works and it also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself.

On what are you basing your belief that the act of circumvention itself is not prohibited?

Re:Uhhhh.....free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26782887)

I think it was far more notable for that fact that it gave away almost half the size of the itunes catalog for free.

Uh, no. Universities paid big bucks to provide the Ruckus service to their students. It was absolutely not free.

Re:Uhhhh.....free? (1)

hedrick (701605) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784273)

There was a charge in the beginning, but not recently. Recently the universities haven't paid. I was involved in the implementation at a university.

Re:Uhhhh.....free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26787151)

I heard their spiel at a University as well. Even if they quit charging, their service was not very impressive.

And if they quit charging, it was only a matter of time before they went under. Perpetual motion just doesn't work.

Re:Uhhhh.....free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26785079)

No, no. It was "free" in the way that the rank-and-file Slashdotter believes things are "free," as in "I can get any file I want without paying the asking price, therefore it's free unless you find a way to keep me from doing so."

Re:Uhhhh.....free? (1)

ReptilianSamurai (1042564) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784687)

Agreed. I hated the buggy client, the DRM, the ads. Yet this news really saddens me.

I was willing to put up with them for the chance to legally try new music. If I heard a song by an artist that sounded interesting, my first step was always to see if Ruckus had them, download an album or two, and check them out. If I found myself booting up that crummy player over and over to listen to it more, I would go buy the CD.

In fact, the very crappiness of their software further incentivized me to actually buy the music sooner, since it was painful to use it all the time, and I couldn't put it on my mp3 player or play it in my car. But again, I liked that you could check the music out for free. I bought a lot of albums I wouldn't have otherwise if it weren't for Ruckus and this legal opportunity to 'try before you buy'.

This is the only case where one could justify DRM. Since the music is free, stripping the DRM amounts to piracy.

Guide to Ninnle Posts (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26782215)


1. 'Ninnle' must be in the subject line. This way, any search for commentry about Ninnle can be easily found.

2. The story can be anything about Ninnle Linux, NinnleBSD, Ninnle Office, NinWM or Ninnle Labs, and must contain at least one in the body of the comment.

3. The CEO and CFO of Ninnle Labs are P. O. Prune and Joseph Bloggins respectively. Either or both ofthese may be used in proper context.

4. 'First Ninnle Post!" and variants are offtopic and silly.

5. NinnleninnleninnleninnleninnleninnleninnleninnleBATMAN posts are completely offtopic and have no connection or endorsement of Ninnle Labs. This is also silly.

6. Any reply suggesting Ninnle is a fake should be referred to Niggerbuntu.

7. Spread the word about Ninnle.

Happy Ninnling!

Never used it. But... (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782219)

A bad business model usually causes a company to fail, even more then the quality of their product. The WMA DRM is really not a big deal. Perhaps the quality of their software my be a larger factor. But I would say having a smaller amount of tracks available then iTunes, and that it was Targeted toward College students a group who is more willing to pirate music of their colleges high speed internet, with a since of entitlement as they are paying so much for college and everyone is telling them that they will be the leaders of tomorrow, and probably the only sector which would have real issues of WMA,DRM,and Poor quality software.

 

Re:Never used it. But... (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782297)

I strongly suspect that WMA was a really big deal. Remember WMA DRM = Doesn't work on iPods. Based on the usual market share numbers, that is pretty much a dealbreaker for over half the population(and college students are probably more likely than the population at large to be using iPods).

Re:Never used it. But... (5, Funny)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782395)

"Remember WMA DRM = Doesn't work on iPods."

lol, everyone uses Zunes, who cares about iPod. Also everyone uses Internet Explorer. And Windows.

Re:Never used it. But... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26783357)

"Remember WMA DRM = Doesn't work on iPods."

lol, everyone uses Zunes, who cares about iPod. Also everyone uses Internet Explorer. And Windows.

It didn't work on Zunes either

Re:Never used it. But... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782415)

Over half the world's population owns an iPod? Really? Wow. I guess we're beating all those global poverty and hunger issues, huh?

Re:Never used it. But... (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782457)

But then again, WMA DRM = Works in Windows PCs without installing additional software, + it also works in almost any music player except an iPod (eventually, I don't know if they only support non-DRMed WMA or not.), with DRMed AAC you're stuck with iPod. So I know which one I'd prefer of these two bad Apples.

Re:Never used it. But... (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782537)

I'm no fan of DRM period(and, running Linux, it isn't as though either DRM system supported me). In this case, though, Ruckus had a (terrible) client even though Windows supports WMA DRM by default, so that was no advantage.

Re:Never used it. But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26784145)

Interesting how you know this when you run Linux and wouldn't care about DRM anyway =P

Re:Never used it. But... (2, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782655)

But then again, WMA DRM = Works in Windows PCs without installing additional software

You still have to install a newer version of Windows Media Player than the default. On XP it comes with WMP 6.4 which doesn't have a lot of functionality. WMA DRM works on a lot of different PMPs; however, it doesn't work equally well on all of them or as well as FairPlay works with iPod. That's the main reason the iPod is more popular; it just works.

Re:Never used it. But... (1)

michrech (468134) | more than 5 years ago | (#26783217)

Every version of XP I've seen comes with either WMP9 or WMP10.

But then again, WMA DRM = Works in Windows PCs without installing additional software

You still have to install a newer version of Windows Media Player than the default. On XP it comes with WMP 6.4 which doesn't have a lot of functionality. WMA DRM works on a lot of different PMPs; however, it doesn't work equally well on all of them or as well as FairPlay works with iPod. That's the main reason the iPod is more popular; it just works.

Re:Never used it. But... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#26783805)

I should have clarified: Since XP SP2, it has come with WM9 but for those who still have older discs like me, I would have to buy a new copy just to get a WMP that I don't use.

Re:Never used it. But... (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784187)

Because you can't upgrade WMP in XP? Sounds weird ... I call bullshit.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/player/11/default.aspx [microsoft.com]

Re:Never used it. But... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785015)

No. You missed the point: If I wanted XP with WMP9 already installed; I would have to buy a new copy of XP. Why would I pay for a copy of XP when I already have one so I can get WMP9 by default when I don't use WMP?

Re:Never used it. But... (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26787971)

So why are you writing "buy a new copy" then, and who cares if you have to update WMP. First version of XP is what, 8 years old? Boho, you need to update a piece of software on it! Omg!

You don't need to buy it, guess what, we don't give a shit, if you don't want it or don't want to play WMA, don't get it. But for most Windows users updating Windows is less of a step than getting iTunes.

But I guess you also want Safari and Quicktime and whatever else crap Apple feels like putting in the iTunes installation bundle? Gotta have those, but updating WMP, no can do sir!

Re:Never used it. But... (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784755)

I should have clarified: Since XP SP2, it has come with WM9 but for those who still have older discs like me, I would have to buy a new copy just to get a WMP that I don't use.

No offense, but what on Earth are you smoking?

If you bought an OEM or retail copy of Windows XP Pro or Home you have a license. You are not limited to that install disk, or even the original computer. Microsoft sometimes screws it up a little depending on if you are using an install disk that did not come with your original certificate and license key, but a 10-15 minute phone call and you have a working license key. Have done that only one time for a client with an older key that no longer worked on the newer install disks.

That's all IRRELEVANT though. Regardless of what XP install disk you use you can get your updates directly from MS. You can even bypass the genuine advantage tool if necessary by downloading the full standalone service packs and hotfixes directly. Upgrading WMP is a simple as downloading it and installing it. It's free.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=b446ae53-3759-40cf-80d5-cde4bbe07999&displaylang=en

It requires validation, but if your copy is genuine that is not a problem is it? EVEN THEN you can download it on a machine that is validated and transfer the files to your own system later.

I can't possibly understand how or why you had to purchase another license to obtain another install disk with SP2 built-in. If it was because your license would not work or authorize on newer install disks that your tried, you simply need to call MS at their 800 number for authorizing keys. Ask for a supervisor, tell them you have a licensed copy with the certificate and DEMAND they make it work or provide you with a newer key. You are entitled to this by the EULA. Don't believe me?

http://www.microsoft.com/about/legal/useterms/default.aspx

This page is a little hard to find from searching, but you can use it to download ANY EULA for any MS product. Just read the terms. It's enlightening, trust me :) You have more rights then you thought you did.

Re:Never used it. But... (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784161)

For me the Cowon S9/Archos 5/... would "just work" better, no need for iTunes and no need to convert those DivX clips...

Re:Never used it. But... (1)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786139)

I fired it up, downloaded a few songs, listened to them, noticed they were low-quality WMA files, and then uninstalled Ruckus and replaced it with Limewire.

Pity. Nice concept, bad execution.

Re:Never used it. But... (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782443)

It's probably hard to get a bigger catalogue than the biggest name in the business don't you think?

Also I've never bought music online and never signed up for iTunes store, so for me less choices than iTunes wouldn't matter because FREE > PAID.

But yes, I can get more tunes than iTunes has to, and still free, so ..

Re:Never used it. But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26782849)

then -> than
students -> students,
since -> sense

Re:Never used it. But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26785471)

since of entitlement... tard

Next up: (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782229)

Can the notion that colleges and universities need to pay protection money(I mean, pay for a campus wide site licence to one of the valuable premium content subscription services) lest they be sued for something their students do die in a fire now? Please?

As for Ruckus specifically, no "playsforsure. hurr, hurr" joke seems quite lame enough. The only real surprise is that they lasted this long, with iTunes and Amazon on one side, and Pandora on the other.

Dominated by streaming services (4, Interesting)

vigmeister (1112659) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782239)

I used Ruckus when it came out as my music provider, but moved to streaming music providers like deezer [slashdot.org] when they popped up. To be blunt, Ruckus had nothing more to offer than these services except the joys of installing a poorly written piece of software on your computer. I, for one, am not likely to miss it.

Cheers!

Another music service bites the dust (3, Insightful)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782249)

FTA:

music that has not passed its âoerenew dateâ still works... music that has expired will no longer work because the DRM licensing server has apparently shut down.

Quick, listen to your music before it expires!

Also, the article suggests that Total Music (which recently acquired Ruckus, and was a joint venture between Sony and UM) still has some life in it, but this article [techcrunch.com] (on the same site!) says otherwise and quotes the blog [blogspot.com] of a VP there. I guess these record labels are having a hard time with this stuff...

First time I ever heard of it (2, Informative)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782329)

If it was aimed at college students, they did a poor job of advertising it (using Pandora here).

Re:First time I ever heard of it (2, Funny)

workman161 (814490) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782615)

The way they advertised it here on my campus, you'd think you'd get expelled by just mentioning the words "sharing". Maybe even "fair use".

Re:First time I ever heard of it (2, Insightful)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782669)

I wouldn't know about it either, except my brother's university had signed a deal so everyone was required to use Ruckus. So I think it was less targeted at individual users, and more targeted at universities looking for a reasonable way to let their students have music, but still be able to enforce a strict policy on filesharing.

And looked at it that way, it's kind of like a less sketchy version of the filesharing tax.

My uni apparently didn't get the memo (3, Interesting)

rfunches (800928) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782419)

My university's website still links to Ruckus for "Music--Free and Legal Downloading" and we just had a whole bunch of copyright "awareness" posters put up in our computer labs that I think mention Ruckus.

Of course, every time I heard their name, my first thought was always "Are they still around?" If it wasn't clear before, the music labels don't care about anyone other than themselves, given the sudden shutdown.

Re:My uni apparently didn't get the memo (1)

JayPee (4090) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782779)

I work for a medium-sized University and I'm curious what the CIO is going to say about this. He's the one who pushed the Ruckus thing through on our campus and I suspect this'll lead to a bit of egg on his face.

I dunno, I guess I was just uncomfortable with the thought of putting all of my eggs (my music library) into one basket. (The Ruckus DRM servers)

Re:My uni apparently didn't get the memo (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26787009)

Cornell is one of the universities that promoted Ruckus. The main student-run newspaper had an article on it today [cornellsun.com] where they say their interviewers asking about the university's response was the first the university officials had heard of the news.

nigGA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26782933)

windows, SUN or only way to go: overly morbid and show that FreeBSD

Point of Awareness (2, Informative)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782955)

The Record industry should look at Ruckus and realize that its not free music that people pirate. It is the convenience of pirated music that they want. The Record industry just needs to think and not use DRM.

DRM + ads (4, Funny)

Elder Lane Hour (1430813) | more than 5 years ago | (#26783073)

Wait, wait, wait, so you're saying that this store combines DRM and ads? Wow!

And their range is a fraction of iTunes', which is a fraction of the pirate bay's, you say? Cool!

What's that? The store client is buggy, and there's only one type of uncommonly used proprietary format? No shit!

Oh and you say it closed down? I wonder why something like that would happen...

Re:DRM + ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26784739)

I don't understand why every is giving Ruckus such a hard time. Yes, the client was kind of buggy and the music selection wasn't as big as iTune's, but it still had a bunch of songs and it was _FREE_.

wait...what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26783525)

so why are we talking shit on apple iTunes only to turn around and use them as a referencing benchmake for even a library of songs? iTunes sucks. Go to Bleep.com and get music you didnt even know you liked!

I used Ruckus (1)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 5 years ago | (#26783559)

I'm sad Ruckus is gone. The catalog was actually pretty good, and had most of the (Mainstream) music I'd listen to. It was handy to hear decent (192KBPS WMA) quality copies of entire tracks- I used it to assess multiple albums for purchase.

Where did Ruckus fail?
-Ads were probably not sufficient to cover the cost of everything. My ad blocker detected Ruckus and removed all of the ads from the interface.
-The client was beyond buggy. Many times, licenses for songs wouldn't renew at all. I could redownload them, wasting their bandwidth, but I couldn't use a few KB and renew the licenses.
-It was utterly incompatible with the iPod or the Zune as PlaysForSure DRM was used. If you were adept you could use Tunebite (Fairuse4WM used to work), but the quality wasn't as good as iTunes Plus.
-There was a smaller catalog than iTunes. Part of the reason was track restrictions. Say, Stadium Arcadium by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. You could download the whole album EXCEPT Dani California and Stadium Arcadium, the two album singles (I don't remember if it was the RHCP album I was thinking of). I remember finding albums with less than 1/2 their tracks downloadable.

It provided a legal avenue to listen to whole songs, and if you used an older WMA player, essentially "free" music while you were in college. I think it was a worthwhile experiment. Ruckus' death blow was opening up to all US universities; previously, the universities that offered it basically paid Ruckus.

Re:I used Ruckus (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784431)

Why is it every time the Zune comes up the PlaysForSure DRM becomes even more ironically named? Seems like it should be called NeverWorksRight or PlaysIfYouAreVeryLucky.

Re:I used Ruckus (1)

ReptilianSamurai (1042564) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785371)

Agreed. I too used it to assess albums for purchase and am sad to see it is gone. I think the summary is biased even by Slashdot standards.

I'm not surprised to see it failed though, I'm surprised it lasted this long. (And I enjoyed the ability to trial music from them for as long as they lasted).

Uncle Ruckus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26783601)

Uncle Ruckus knows whose fault it is that such a nice company went under. Marks Uncle Ruckus' words, its those hoodlums with their pirate pods and stealing and singing about 'beetches'. Uh-huh.

Hmmm... (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784957)

".wma-only DRM-laden catalog..."

Ah, a single file format and DRM. This would explain iTunes' failures in the past.

Re:Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26787341)

But iTunes uses a standard format (AAC) and has no DRM on the music

Windows Media Player can even play the iTunes Plus files...

About as good as iTunes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26785119)

I tried it a few years back in college. I loved the concept but the execution was lacking. It was slow, hard to use, and not compatible with anything else. iTunes, on the other hand, is a terrible concept (pay for music that isn't compatible with anything and may not work in 15 years) with a brilliant execution.

I don't buy through iTunes, and I didn't use ruckus.

iTunes no longer has that issue (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26787589)

iTunes, on the other hand, is a terrible concept (pay for music that isn't compatible with anything and may not work in 15 years)

iTunes is now DRM free (a few straggling tracks have not yet made it).

AAC is an open format. In addition to the iPod (of course), there are a lot of other devices that support AAC (including the Zune). Now that iTunes is DRM free you should see the device count skyrocket.

You'll be playing AAC for decades or eons to come, not just fifteen years...

As always, it was the labels that brought us the sucking aspects of the service. Now that they have been strong-armed into doing what is right and also what is best in terms of sales, the concept is free to play itself out as it should unfettered by many technical concerns (though I'll bet we don't see unprotected wireless song device sharing for a good long while yet).

Good Riddance (1)

RandomPrecision (911416) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785777)

While the article metnions the awful client software and (easily bypassed, but still annoying) DRM and WMA format, perhaps my greatest issues with it were the metadata and album completion.

Simply trying to download an album from their selection would usually reveal that several tracks were missing. In my brief time using it, I found very few complete albums. I had wondered if this was a copyright issue with certain songs, but I discovered that some of the missing songs from albums were present on compilation albums by the same artist.

Once you had perhaps piecemealed an album together from Ruckus's offerings, the metadata was often horrible. Even without assembling an album from different tracks, I found that songs from an album would have different album titles, incorrect song names, missing or incorrect track numbers, or sometimes even the incorrect artist. I would often have to correct the metadata on a file-by-file basis instead of trying to identify what song it really was in my Winamp music library.

The fact that the organization no longer exists comes as no surprise to me.

Publicity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26787003)

They also infamously exploited the beginnings of global groups on Facebook (remember they used to be network-only) to make the face group claiming that if it got 100 thousand members (or one million, I'm not sure) the guy's girlfriend would have a threesome. The traffic alone was a story, and eventually Facebook shut it down after it was uncovered as a marketing scheme for Ruckus.
http://www.karyhead.com/2006/09/13/brody-ruckus-marketing-scam/ [karyhead.com]

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