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Music Companies Bemoan New High-Cap Portables

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the that's-a-lot-of-lake-woebegone-days dept.

Music 347

An anonymous reader writes "New Scientist reports: 'The music industry this week condemned the launch of two recording systems that will let people copy between 30 and 100 hours of music onto a single disc.'" The Sony system is supposed to use "ultra-efficient data compression system used in MiniDiscs" to fit "30 hours of MP3 music" on a CD-R. (I thought MD used ATRAC rather than MP3, and that ATRAC's standard bitrate was 285.3 Kbps -- can some MD gurus bring us up to speed?) Philips' system skips CDs, and instead uses a DVD burner, with the resulting disks playable in a to-be-released portable player. I wonder what kind of DRM features the companies will use to cripple each system.

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meow (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521755)

meow to labf

Mincing words.... (1)

djkitsch (576853) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521757)

Yeah, but it's hardly the first time hardware companies mix their tech terms, is it...?

Anybody else here love to fart? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521891)

Or is it just me?

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521758)

Anonymous, too

First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521759)

I claim this first post in name of the CLiT!

last post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521760)

urg urg urg

I popped Ellen Feiss' cherry! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521763)

It's true, it's true...

You know, some one should write a good Ellen Feiss troll that depicts her getting pregnant, while HIGH. Or running over a kid on a bike, while HIGH!

Comedy Gold!

Ever see a man's anus, ON WEED? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521793)

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so.... (3, Insightful)

smashr (307484) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521764)

so phillips is going to charge me a good deal of money to 1) buy their dvd drive 2) buy their inevitably propriatary media and 3) buy their player all so i can listen to a ton of music on the go? hey, it sounds like an ipod or archos or nomad can accomplish that already.

ATRAC3 (5, Informative)

bigethespe (548709) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521766)

Minidiscs do use Atrac3 but the newer MD players have adjusted the atrac encoding format (called MDLP) to allow for longer play times with marginal quality losses. try minidisco [minidisco.com] for a great resource and more info.

Re:ATRAC3 (5, Insightful)

ldspartan (14035) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521925)

More accurately:
Before MDLP, minidiscs just used ATRAC, which (correct me if I'm wrong) is a psychoacoustic encoding with a compression ratio of around 7:1. At this point an Minidisc, with a capacity of around 120MB, can store as much audio as a CD.

With the advent of portable MP3 players, Sony realized that minidisc would be drastically outmoded if MD could not store more. They came out with a considerably more lossy codec which extended ATRAC and called it MDLP. This codec was a lot more like MP3, as Sony presumed (correctly) that people would be willing to deal with the quality loss, since MP3 is not a hugely high quality codec. At the lowest quality setting its passable only for Audio Books, but it sounds pretty good (in my personal experience) at higher settings.

This MDLP technology is what Sony is using to make up the statistics on this machine. I also bet they're quoting stats at the lowest, hugely crappy setting.

--
Phil

Re:ATRAC3 (4, Informative)

JebusIsLord (566856) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521972)

I disagree about MP3 being a "not hugely high quality codec".

MP3s encoded at 128kbps CBR (constant bit rate) using an encoder such as Xing WILL result in poor-quality mp3s, easily discernible by the averagle listen using poor quality equipment. However, an mp3 encoded using a recent version of LAME (i recommend 3.90.2) and "--alt-preset standard" will find that the resulting files are virtually indistinguishable from the source CDs (even to audiophiles), at an average bitrate of around 192kbps. This is superiour compression to ATRAC, and the LAME psychoacoustic model is significantly better tuned IMHO.

For more information on ALL lossy and lossless codecs by people who really know their stuff, check out the message boards at Hydrogen Audio [hydrogenaudio.org] .

Remotely comparable with Vorbis? (1)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521936)

Anyone know whether this is remotely competitive with ogg vorbis? I really don't see it as likely, but one never knows...

ATRAC, ATRAC3 bitrates (2, Informative)

kjoonlee (226243) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521999)

from http://www.audiocoding.com/wiki/index.php?page=ATR AC [audiocoding.com] :
Codec is used in Sony's Minidisc recorders and the RealAudio 8 compression format.

Versions used by Minidisc:
  • ATRAC1 Stereo (292 kbps)
  • ATRAC1 Mono (146 kbps)
  • ATRAC3 Stereo Longplay 2x (LP2) (132 kbps)
  • ATRAC3 Stereo Longplay 4x (LP4) (66 kbps)

There are different implementations, they are called:
  • ATRAC-1 (ATRAC1 Version 1)
  • ATRAC-2 (ATRAC1 Version 2)
  • ATRAC-3 (ATRAC1 Version 3)
  • ATRAC-4 (ATRAC1 Version 4)
  • ATRAC-4.5 (ATRAC1 Version 4.5)

They have the same bitstream syntax (ATRAC1), but different quality (like MP3's Xing vs. Lame). ATRAC-1 had many problems (pre-echos, metallic sound, 15 kHz bandwidth). The ATRAC-3 implementation was the first with good quality.

Versions used by RealAudio 8:
  • ATRAC3 352 kbps
  • ATRAC3 264 kbps
  • ATRAC3 132 kbps
  • ATRAC3 105 kbps
  • ATRAC3 66 kbps

Links:

MDLP (4, Informative)

DoctorPhish (626559) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521767)

MDLP recorders use high-density recording to record 2-4x more data on an MD, but it seems unlikely they can adapt something like that to CD-Rs...so you can pretty much rule that out unless they've managed to shoehorn some funky blue-laser to write extra data to existing CD-R media (or they're just lowering the bit-rate and blowing smoke out their asses)

Re:MDLP - Please mod down (1)

DoctorPhish (626559) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521797)

Never mind, I didn't know what I was talking about (despite owning a couple of the damn things). Guess my Japanese isn't as good as I thought...

Re:MDLP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521805)

What? High-density? Has absolutely NOTHING to do with it, you can use MDLP with the same disc that came with my MZ-1 in 1992.
All it is is a reduction in the bit rate. OF COURSE you can adapt that to CDs, that's how MP3s work.

Re:MDLP (4, Informative)

megabeck42 (45659) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521823)

umm, no, the mdlp is atrac3, which is an atrac frame that encodes silence (zero's) followed by a hidden atrac3 frame which has the newer encoding algorithm. MD's algorithm is similar to MP3's (variable allocation of bits to encode the output of a few simultaneous DFT's into a constant bitrate stream - the most important features of the wave are encoded). This way, ATRAC3 discs will play as silence on non ATRAC3 compatible devices. The new NetMD recorders which attach via USB have the computer do the mp3->atrac3 transcoding process, then download the atrac3 stream. See the OpenMD project which is reverse engineering the NetMD usb protocol.

However, I'd like to clarify that the md and mdlp units use the same media, with the same mechanical recording system - the change is in the bitstream and the playing software.

I would suspect that sony is probably placing ATRAC3 on a CD and playing that. Simply an issue of software which is generally cheaper to develop than hardware.

Re:MDLP (1)

gmacek (56790) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521893)

What they'll probably do is allow recording of the ATRAC3 encoded files to a CD. This is how their NetMD software stores audio files on your computer. http://www.minidisc.org/NetMD_faq.html [minidisc.org] I think this is also how their current Network Walkman portables work. Stores the Encoded files to a memory stick. This whole system will probably include some form of DRM, as it's Sony we're talking about.

extra extra read all about it !! (4, Funny)

gelfling (6534) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521768)

Temple priests criticize the distibution of paper.

Printers try to squash the invention of the typewriter.

Music companies try to licence tape recorders.

We used to have fire, but the inventor died.

Re:extra extra read all about it !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521802)

We used to have fire, but the inventor died

Ultra-efficient ATRAC? (2, Informative)

Nick of NSTime (597712) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521769)

I used to be a huge fan of MD, and shortly after I got out of the medium, a new version of ATRAC came out. I think it allowed for MD-LP. Is this the efficient version of ATRAC mentioned in the article, because for years, ATRAC was heavily criticized in audio publications such as Stereophile.

Re:Ultra-efficient ATRAC? (5, Insightful)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521959)

ATRAC was heavily criticized in audio publications such as Stereophile

Stereophile refuses to perform double-blind testing and have been taken in by hoax after hoax. They swore that coloring the edge of a CD green (with a product called "CD Stoplight") improved the sound. I used to subscribe but got sick of the $400 speaker cables, magic line cords, and other unscientific "tweaks."

If Stereophile's reviewers go into a listening session and are told that they are hearing audio that has been subjected to a type of lossy compression, they have a preconceived notion that it will sound inferior. They want, desperately, to hear a difference to prove to themselves, their colleagues, and their readers that they posess both superior hearing and exquisite audio equipment. It's no way to do science and should be rejected as a methodology.

Re:Ultra-efficient ATRAC? (2, Insightful)

JebusIsLord (566856) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521983)

Indeed. anyone who makes claims about audio quality without ABXing (double-blind testing) should be ignored compeletely. The audio industry is full of rediculous claims by "audiophiles", convincing the rich and gullible to purchase absolutely useless shit. They're as bad as "alternative healers".

Condemning doesn't mean much.. (1, Interesting)

SystematicPsycho (456042) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521770)

So what? Unless they have some sort of legal grounds against it condemning will be old news in hours. It is as if they are admitting being dealt a blow.

I'm an expert! (3, Insightful)

unterderbrucke (628741) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521772)

""ultra-efficient data compression system used in MiniDiscs" to fit "30 hours of MP3 music" on a CD-R. (I thought MD used ATRAC rather than MP3, and that ATRAC's standard bitrate was 285.3 Kbps -- can some MD gurus bring us up to speed?)"


Read: "ultra-efficient data compression system" == ATARC. They're just saying MP3 because it makes people go "OOOOoooo!" and buy it.

In other news... (1, Interesting)

mrpuffypants (444598) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521773)

In other news.....

Apple Released a 100 GB iPod, to much fanfare

Re:In other news... (1)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521796)

I've thought about a DIY high capacity portable, but havn't had the balls to risk that kinda money. I'm reasonably sure it would be possible to take the HD out of my Archos Jukebox [archos.com] and replace it with a larger drive, as its my understanding that its core is just a standard laptop drive

Re:In other news... (1, Interesting)

ecchi_0 (647240) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521861)

There's actually a guide on how to do it right here [funmp3players.com] . Seems kinda scary, but then again I haven't done any hardware mods before (but the thought of losing my archos is scary...). It's also possible to upgrade the RAM from the standard 4mb to 8 - reduces skipping as well as HD access. The only link I found for it is dead... but I remember reading about it before.

Re:In other news... (1)

bobbozzo (622815) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521844)

Apple Released a 100 GB iPod, to much fanfare

ISTM This is a joke or a troll. Why has it been modded Informative?

Re:In other news... (2, Insightful)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521870)

I don't think it's either a joke or a troll.
The poster is just saying that it's non-news, just a new/different/updated way to store music.

"Insightful" may be overstating it, but possibly more accurate than informative or interesting.
But since when did moderation become an exact science?

Re:In other news... (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521878)

Just 5, 10 and 20 for now.

I hear the 5 gigs are in short supply. Toshiba has 30 and 40s in the 1.8 form factor on the way.

dvd eh? (2, Insightful)

trmj (579410) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521774)

Philips' system skips CDs, and instead uses a DVD burner

More importantly than DRM is how much will this cost? DRM is important, don't get me wrong, but no matter how little copyright protection is on the thing, if the DVD audio player costs $250 in addition to the rest of the audio system, not many people are going to buy it unless it sounds better than all else.

Sony is Schizophrenic (5, Insightful)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521775)

Sony has become a rather schizo company. Their consumer electronics division seems to want to make cool, sleek gadgets and their music division seems to want to prevent this from happening.


My favorite quote from the article speaks for itself:



Mike Tsurumi, a president of Sony Consumer Electronics in Berlin, insists that the move makes sense. "The music companies need to change their business model, he says.


This is an executive within Sony talking, mind you. Fucking amazing. Is there any centralized coordination? Isn't there a CEO of Sony corporate who keeps his divisions in line with the goals (i.e. bottom line interests) of the company as a whole?

It actually is (5, Interesting)

JWyner (653364) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521786)

The music division of Sony has sued the consumer electronics division multiple times. The CE division is no longer allowed to make MP3 devices (like an iPod).

Re:Sony is Schizophrenic (5, Interesting)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521801)

Isn't there a CEO of Sony corporate who keeps his divisions in line with the goals (i.e. bottom line interests) of the company as a whole?

Japanese companies seem to have a thing for conglomerates. I suppose it helps to diversify, but how can something as scattered as Sony be said to have a coherent vision? The only unifying theme I can think of is tech - Sony makes just about anything that holds a computer chip, but they don't do snacks, and they don't do textiles. Strangely, they do make thermoses.

Re:Sony is Schizophrenic (1)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521967)

The Koreans are even more into conglomerates (chaebol), though they're breaking them up. Hyundai makes everything from DRAMs to crappy cars.

Re:Sony is Schizophrenic (1)

bobbozzo (622815) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521857)

Yeah... Too bad for the music division that the CE division has 5X the revenues.

Re:Sony is Schizophrenic (4, Funny)

limekiller4 (451497) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521879)

Fnkmaster writes:
"Is there any centralized coordination? Isn't there a CEO of Sony corporate who keeps his divisions in line with the goals (i.e. bottom line interests) of the company as a whole?"

I think this is what is known as "hedging your bets."

Re:Sony is Schizophrenic (1)

mayns (524760) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521890)

Wired had an article on this very subject a few months ago. Read it here: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.02/sony.html

Compete with yourself (2, Interesting)

M4verick (631831) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521939)

Indeed... and it in fact makes great corporate sense. If you see the opportunities, attack/compete with your own company - if you don't, someone else will and you will lose all.

Re:Sony is Schizophrenic (1)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521949)

Isn't there a CEO of Sony corporate who keeps his divisions in line

In other news, Mike Tsurumi, a president of Sony Consumer Electronics in Berlin, resigned from his post yesterday, saying he needed to "spend more time with his family".

The president of Sony International praised Mr. Tsurumi as "one of the visionaries of the consumer electronics field. He will be sorely missed".

Replacing Mr. Tsurumi is Mr. Weregona Getyerass, who last worked as a janitor at Sony Records.

Re:Sony is Schizophrenic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521970)

the ceo (or aother appropriate bigwig) probably sides with the CE Division - my (educated) guess is that they rake in more dough than does do Sony Records, and that the difference is manageable.

now why the ceo can't influence some type of business model change out of Sony Records is beyond me.

Re:Sony is Schizophrenic (1)

digidave (259925) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521974)

This behaviour is not uncommon among large companies. Take IBM, for instance, who aren't quite sure whether or not they want to support Linux. On one hand, they put a lot of development and marketing into Linux, but on the other hand they didn't bother to beta test Websphere 5 for Linux before launch, but they did beta test the Windows version.

Re:Sony is Schizophrenic (1)

timothy (36799) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521986)

"This is an executive within Sony talking, mind you. Fucking amazing. Is there any centralized coordination? Isn't there a CEO of Sony corporate who keeps his divisions in line with the goals (i.e. bottom line interests) of the company as a whole?"

Probably not -- since no one *really* knows where the money is except Willie Sutton :)

Large companies are a lot like countries / societies ... there are going to be common strains, but the larger and more diverse the company, the more likely it is you'll find contradictory directions and ideas. Think of how surprising it would be, actually, (well, to me, anyhow) if a very large corporation -- though I am not counting the Church of Scientology for right now* -- managed to instill in its employees a perfect conformity in purpose and beliefs, a perfectly machined set of values and opinions unshakeable except by a new edict from the top.

Any company's board of directors are going to argue with each other about the direction that the company should pursue, even if they all are agreed on certain overall goals (which in the case of a public corporation, had better in large portion be money, or there may be a stockholder lawsuit ;)). Even if they don't *really* disagree with each other very much, they'll take up contrary positions and amplify them (and some guys will play peacemaker, however sincerely) just to jockey for position as the most dynamic, bold, forward-thinking member of the goddamn board around, that Johnson is just a golf-playing Yes man without a new idea or a really good Powerpoint presentation and certainly without a confident midwestern voice. Etc.

There's a quote I'm probably butchering from the first Hitchhiker's book, in which A. Dent says he feels "like a military academy. Bits of me keep passing out." Sony is the military academy -- organizational charts aside, true central direction is an illusion imposed by distance ;)

At least .. .that's my two cents about it ;)

timothy

*Boy, it's a good thing I excluded the Scientologists

As usual (5, Insightful)

JWyner (653364) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521777)

The record companies never learn. People want portable music. People want to choose which songs to listen to, instead of carrying an entire CD with 80% crap. So, of course, the industry will try and destroy it. If the record companies were to allow, nay, even financially support this kind of work, they would make much more of that green stuff they so desperately desire. Stop living in the dark ages, damnit...

Re:As usual (4, Interesting)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521818)

""It's a no-brainer. Anything which lets people pirate more music like this has to be very bad news for the music industry," says a spokesman for Britain's record industry trade association, the BPI."

Because consumer copying, now equals piracy...

...even if you've bought the original music you're transferring.

AOL (yes I use AOL and I don't care what you have to say on that subject) has on their exit screen an advert for the MusicNet thing.
It says:

"MusicNet on AOL: Burn CDs safely and legally with satisfaction guaranteed."

Erm... since when was burning a CD illegal... or risky (assuming low burn speeds?)

I mean... safely... is that a threat? :)

Re:As usual (4, Insightful)

geekee (591277) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521998)

"Because consumer copying, now equals piracy... even if you've bought the original music you're transferring."

No. The real problem is you can't protect against one without restricting the other. Record companies don't really care about backup copies. They're more concerned with downloading 100 songs from Kazaa and burning them, rather than buying the music.

Re:As usual (4, Insightful)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521909)

The record companies never learn. People want portable music. People want to choose which songs to listen to, instead of carrying an entire CD with 80% crap. So, of course, the industry will try and destroy it. If the record companies were to allow, nay, even financially support this kind of work, they would make much more of that green stuff they so desperately desire. Stop living in the dark ages, damnit...

Lots of people might want to have massive orgies, too. If you can look at only the upsides of something, and not the consequences, lots of things can come off as quite attractive.

I don't know how the numbers wind up. I don't know whether it's actually the case that record companies supporting this would be good or bad for them. However, I do know that saying that CD companies would make money doing something just because people want it doesn't mean that it's a good idea, if it puts people in a game-theoretic position where music is a public good -- and stealing it is better for any individual, though it screws everyone over long run.

So you can't claim that "people want it" is a good reason for a company to do something (particularly as people don't have perfect information, and tend to be short-sighted about the consequences of this). Think about the article that was run on Slashdot a while ago about what happened to the Chinese music industry because of mass piracy. It's not dead, no, but it's nowhere near as productive as the US industry, either.

Heck, if people didn't want to do things that were stupid ideas, you wouldn't see people doping up.

Re:As usual (1)

Crashmarik (635988) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521977)

Learn ????

The record companies don't even do their own jobs well.

http://www.asia.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml;jses sionid=VVSOVFFJR31DUCRBAELCFEY?type=technologyNews &storyID=2370496
The above is a link to a reuters story about an AI program that predicts which songs will be hits. All I have to say is I am reminded of the old game MULE, I guess my investment in artificial stupidity has paid off. Crash

Sony had an interesting stance. (4, Insightful)

Crashmarik (635988) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521780)

Sony music came out saying that record companies had to develop new business models. It looks like they have decided that the tide can't be held back and its either surf the wave or be swept away.
It will be interesting to see if this is the start of a trend, Innovators just saying no to hollywoods ancien regime. Or, if its just a one off fluke.

Crash

I understand the music industry concerns (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521782)

With 30 hours of MP3 music on a CD-R, the sound quality will be crap, and people could wrongfully blame the music industry.

Notice how Sony's music division... (4, Interesting)

idontgno (624372) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521783)

carefully avoided condemning the Sony recorder? Good political move. I guess it's piracy only if you don't sell the cd-burner. I wonder if there was any infighting in Sony's executive suite about this.

Mike Tsurumi, a president of Sony Consumer Electronics in Berlin, insists that the move makes sense. "The music companies need to change their business model," he says.

Now if only the "content industry" were to hear and believe this.

Re:Notice how Sony's music division... (1)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521810)

Actually, their Music division has condemned things before that their electronics division has done...

Philips (5, Funny)

Spytap (143526) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521785)

Philips' system skips CDs
Sounds like most of the Philips audio products I've bought...

Re:Philips (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521946)

even the sound in my philips tivo occasionally gets weird sounding.

It's a no-brainer (5, Insightful)

Malor (3658) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521806)

"It's a no-brainer. Anything which lets people enjoy music too much is bad for the industry. If they can just move their songs around anywhere they want, how are we supposed to make money selling multiple CDs? If music is too convenient to transport, we can't sell people whole stacks of different CDs at different locations. They'll be able to listen to all of their music anywhere they are. Can you imagine?

"Further, we believe that people that listen to their music too much are also depriving the artists of revenue. If you listen to an album more than 10 or 12 times, you're morally obligated to go buy another copy. Anything else is stealing food from the mouths of starving artists."

When asked whether artists were deliberately kept starving, the spokesman refused comment.

Re:It's a no-brainer (4, Funny)

joebagodonuts (561066) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521846)

"It's a no-brainer. Anything which lets people pirate more music like this has to be very bad news for the music industry," says a spokesman for Britain's record industry trade association, the BPI.

The record industry is an authority on "no-brains"

Re:It's a no-brainer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521876)

Next time I mod, i'll hunt down one of your posts and mod it up. Just because I don't have mod points now...

Re:It's a no-brainer (3, Insightful)

geekee (591277) | more than 11 years ago | (#5522009)

I hate slashdot-speak. You can't make up an arguement and attribute it to your opponent, you moron.

Amazing (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521809)

I just find it totally amazing what neat little gadget come out that are actually usefull... Just to be squashed by by media companies or crippled so they become useless. All in the name of copyright protection. Give me a break... Unless I can listen to music on my terms and where I want, I am not interested. And I am not talking about stealing music but using what I purchased when I want and where I want.

Veruca Salt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521817)

You sound like the bitch from Willy Wanka. "I want it now! I want it now!" Sit down and shut up.

Penis! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521815)

Penis! Penis! Penis! Hehehehe

Oh, well...

I'm sorry (2, Funny)

bobbozzo (622815) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521816)

How does this help me get my 90GB collection into a portable device?

Re:I'm sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521836)

How does this help me get my 90GB collection into a portable device?

Quit your whining. At least your collection will still fit on a single hard drive.

See, the problem is... (5, Insightful)

MP3Chuck (652277) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521819)

... they automatically assume it's going to be used to pirate music, and that it somehow makes pirating "easier". What if I want to put all of the MP3's I legitimately downloaded from MP3.com or 1Sound.com or Ampcast.com or Besonic.com or JavaMusic.com or... (see where I'm going with this?). Or even from someplace like like emusic.com where the music is paid for and everyone gets makes out well!

Mike Tsurumi, a president of Sony Consumer Electronics in Berlin, insists that the move makes sense. "The music companies need to change their business model," he says.

Seriously, if the industry hasn't gotten the hint at this point, I doubt it ever will...

That's not the problem.... (3, Insightful)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 11 years ago | (#5522011)

> What if I want to put all of the MP3's I legitimately downloaded from MP3.com or 1Sound.com or Ampcast.com or Besonic.com or JavaMusic.com or...

You don't seem to get it. The RIAA doesn't acknowledge the _existence_ of legal MP3 files (or any other type of files - divx, etc.). To do so would make people see the gaping hole in their 'proof' that file-trading is the same as stealing a CD. Don't _ever_ expect the RIAA to 'get it'. They get it - and they're lying their asses off (and likely PAYING off) hoping the legislators WON'T get it.

Yes, they could make shitloads more money by making use of new technology - that's not the point. The RIAA know this. Their big thing is CONTROL over the entertainment products (and the artists that create them). This is all about control, not the initial revenue. AFTER they have grabbed total control, THEN they can choke the money out of everyone. It's just like MS - they'll take a massive monetary hit in initial revenue to take over a market and destroy their competition. Yes, Xbox, I'm talking about you.

Unofficial poll (4, Funny)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521821)

I'm sure most people have seen this poster...

When you pirate MP3s you're downloading Communism [24.125.76.224]

But I was inspired to update it to reflect the current administration's agenda...

New and improved! [24.125.76.224]

Only, I'm having some difficulty deciding who to put in the background, so I thought I'd let the Slashdot crew help.

Who should star in this new public service announcement?

A) A generic arab
B) Osama bin Laden
C) Saddam Hussein
D) Richard Reid (aka the Shoebomber)
E) Write-in: Please nominate someone

As for the top right symbol, I think that should be up for debate, but to start the ball rolling, might I suggest a flaming jetliner? Or the twin towers?

Thanks, I can't wait to finish it!

PS Please take note, it's a work in progress, so cut me some slack if you notice some minor flaws...

Nice going, thief (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521855)

Alteration is fine, but at least leave in the bit for the original copyright holder, modernhumorist.com.

I bet you rip GNU licenses and copyright notices out of the source code people give you too.

Re:Nice going, thief (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521980)

It's a parody. Specifically it's a parody of a parody. When creating parody under the fair use law (i.e. without a signed license from the original creator), you cannot copyright what you made from the original material. You also cannot attribute what you create to the original author. That might be construed as libel or slander or something. The original author did not create your modified work, thus you cannot attribute them for the modifed material.

Re:Unofficial poll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521864)

I vote for Saddam! (He just looks funnier)

Or could you maybe make one saying "When you pirate MP3s, you're downloading gutlessness" with a picture of Jacques Chirac on it?

Re:Unofficial poll (2, Funny)

DreamingReal (216288) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521924)

Only, I'm having some difficulty deciding who to put in the background, so I thought I'd let the Slashdot crew help.


Given America's inability to track down Osama bin Laden's whereabouts for nearly two years, I say leave it as is.

Re:Unofficial poll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521937)

I vote for Hitler! That guy rules.

If you pirate MP3s, you're downloading Waffen-SS.

Re:Unofficial poll (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521956)

No, you have it wrong. The RIAA public service announcement for the Jewish demographic, would be...

"When you pirate MP3s, you're downloading genocide!"

But that's a totally different poster. Let me finish the terrorism one first, then I'll do more of them.

Re:Unofficial poll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521953)

That's more real than you think: look at this... [kuro5hin.org]

Re:Unofficial poll (1)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521961)

Go with Osama: Reviled, feared, supposedly powerful, Big Fish. Easy and obvious, but more impact and relevance than the other choices.

As for the symbol, how about "Al Qaeda" in Arabic script?
I don't know if this is it:
Al Qaeda [www.rnw.nl]
Or
Al Qaeda [blueprint-magazine.de]

[From a Google Images search.]

It's time... (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521822)

that music industry realizes that they should charge the music, not for the media where it could be.

Sony's encoding (5, Informative)

subsonic (173806) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521827)

I'm a big user of minidiscs, however I'm not a profesed "guru", but here's what I understand of ATRAC and MD:

Sony is currently using ATRAC3. It is capable of encoding up to 320 minutes of stereo audio at a bitrate of 36kbps.
To quote from minidisc.org: "[ATRAC3]differs substantially from the original, existing ATRAC system, having twice the transform window size (1024 samples [23.2ms], vs. 512 samples [11.6ms]), encoding tone components separately from other spectra, splitting the input signal into 4 bands instead of 3, and using Huffman coding on the final bit stream to squeeze out redundancy." However, Sony has probably gone to a new version of ATRAC3 for this new application of writing to CDs.
Sony has basically scrapped the idea of using minidiscs as a data storage medium, at least to the genral public. However, Sony did release a digital camera that wrote to MDdata discs, and there are some professional recorders that record multitrack MD data discs. It is interesting that they're only now starting to apply ATRAC technology outside of the MD format.

For more info on MD and ATRAC encoding, i reccomend Minidisc.org

poster's note (1)

subsonic (173806) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521839)

at the top there that should be 96kbps, not 36. guess i didn't recheck hard enough.

Re:Sony's encoding (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521880)

Suggestion: Shove your audio equipment up your pasty white ass, you ugly geek!

Who knows, maybe it'll even turn you on...

Face it, sail-makers: (4, Insightful)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521830)

Steam propulsion will revolutionize the sea.
You can keep building your clipper ships; we'll admire that intersection of form and function for years to come, to be sure.
Ultimately, smart money will evacuate the market before it is crushed by better technology.
Dumb money will stand around whining, or, worse still for all, attempt to prop up its impotence with lawsuits.
Easy for me to say; it's not my career.
Nevertheless, let common sense and long-term planning be your guide.

Re:Face it, sail-makers: (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521950)

Except it's not the steam ships people want.

They want your sails, but they want them for free.

And a thousand other holes in the analogy abound...

Re:Face it, sail-makers: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521995)

"And a thousand other holes in the analogy abound..."

I think his analogy is sinking.

What would really rock... (3, Interesting)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521832)

Mini-DVDs. Like the small format mini-CDRs you can burn with ~200 megs of MP3s. I love my Memorex mini-CDR/MP3 player, for the portability of the discs, which I can easily carry 4 or 5 of in my jacket pocket when I go skiing. If they made mini DVD-R/MP3 players, I could fit my entire music collection on one mini DVD-R. And that would convince me to finally buy a DVD burner.

I Must Be Missing Something (5, Interesting)

magnum3065 (410727) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521837)

This article claims they can fit 30 hours of music on a CD using MiniDisc compression, which from what I've read only provides a 5:1 compression ratio, or about 6.7 hours on an 80 minute disc. In order to compress 30 hours of music into 700MB you'd need to compress it at about 53kbps, which I don't know of any compression format which provides decent audio quality at that rate. Even the claims of 100 hours of music on a DVD (assuming a standard single layer 4.7GB recordable DVD) would only allow for 110kbps which is getting kind of low.

Re:I Must Be Missing Something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521901)

Maybe they use one of those lossy zip compressors on top of Atrac3.

Re:I Must Be Missing Something (1)

tunah (530328) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521982)

Even the claims of 100 hours of music on a DVD (assuming a standard single layer 4.7GB recordable DVD) would only allow for 110kbps which is getting kind of low.

Given that most people are fine with 128kbps MP3s, a better codec at 110kbps would probably do fine. The 30 hrs of music on CD is stretching it though.

Philips incentive (1)

HProtag (126888) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521845)

Philips has come out strongly so far against "crippled" copy protected CDs. As a pure hardware company, they'd have no reason to put out a player loaded down with DRM. If they make a simple, functional portable SlimX type player that plays a DVD-/+RW filled with mp3s (oog?) it will become The Next Big Thing, and drive sales and adoption of DVD-/+RW drives. Lets hope the lawyers don't screw it all...

-Hiro

Three Posts for the Price of One (3, Insightful)

Entropy248 (588290) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521853)

The RIAA sucks. Record labels suck. Payola sucks, and pretty much everything about the music industry sucks. This completes the technical analysis of the music industry...

The popular music industry uses a unique business model. Talented (and untalented) people create songs. They then hire a manager or promoter to get them shows and introduce them to and represent their interests with record labels. The manager takes the artist's(') songs and sells them to record labels. Record labels help the artists record these songs onto some form of salable, distributable media. Record labels hire big name producers to assist the recording and creation process. Record labels then enable the artist to receive exposure on television, radio, and whatever format du jour that looks good. This promotion enables artists to sell hundreds of thousands of copies of their songs instead of just hundreds of copies. The money generated from these sales is divided three ways between the record label, the producer, the manager, and the artist(s). Why does the artist, who is creating the product, get the short end of the stick?
Answer: If an engineer creates a product for Company X, and Company X sells this product and makes millions off of the idea, the engineer will not see a large percentage of the money generated from his/her idea.
If an engineer came up with a brilliant product idea, but after one widget was sold, consumers could infinitely copy it... The engineer might be slightly upset if that began to happen.
If an engineer creates a widget that sells millions of copies, and this widget was copied because the original widget broke, the engineer might still be upset. If you broke your widget, then you should have to pay to replace your widget. If you need a backup widget, you should just buy two. If you can't use your widget, then why did you buy it? Remember that if there is enough demand for alternatives to widgets, then someone else could create a wadget and sell to this new market.

The music industry does not like this new technology because now it is not possible for an artist to sell a CD that is full. Have you noticed that some store bought audio tapes can hold up to 90 minutes of music? CDs are a bit of a step backwards. And, even though people recognize the superior audio capabilities of several audio formats, they are not being used or widely sold. Admittedly, that could be due to format wars. But, I would love to go to the store and buy a CD with every single song ever recorded by an artist. This is easily possible with MP3s. I might even be willing to pay more than $20, especially for prolific artists. I could live with the lower sound quality because of the quantity provided. This is not happening. I hate the music industry, which is determined to suicide by means of terrible public relations.

God reveals himself... as a fish (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521862)

From The Observer [observer.co.uk]

An obscure Jewish sect in New York has been gripped in awe by what it believes to be a mystical visitation by a 20lb carp that was heard shouting in Hebrew, in what many Jews worldwide are hailing as a modern miracle.

Many of the 7,000-member Skver sect of Hasidim in New Square, 30 miles north of Manhattan, believe God has revealed himself in fish form.

According to two fish-cutters at the New Square Fish Market, the carp was about to be slaughtered and made into gefilte fish for Sabbath dinner when it suddenly began shouting apocalyptic warnings in Hebrew.

Many believe the carp was channelling the troubled soul of a revered community elder who recently died; others say it was God. The only witnesses to the mystical show were Zalmen Rosen, a 57-year-old Hasid with 11 children, and his co-worker, Luis Nivelo. They say that on 28 January at 4pm they were about to club the carp on the head when it began yelling.

Nivelo, a Gentile who does not understand Hebrew, was so shocked at the sight of a fish talking in any language that he fell over. He ran into the front of the store screaming: 'It's the Devil! The Devil is here!' Then the shop owner heard it shouting warnings and commands too.

'It said "Tzaruch shemirah" and "Hasof bah",' he told the New York Times, 'which essentially means that everyone needs to account for themselves because the end is near.'

The animated carp commanded Rosen to pray and study the Torah. Rosen tried to kill the fish but injured himself. It was finally butchered by Nivelo and sold.

However, word spread far and wide and Nivelo complains he has been plagued by phone calls from as far away as London and Israel. The story has since been amplified by repetition and some now believe the fish's outburst was a warning about the dangers of the impending war in Iraq.

Some say they fear the born-again President Bush believes he is preparing the world for the Second Coming of Christ, and war in Iraq is just the opening salvo in the battle of Armageddon.

Local resident Abraham Spitz said: 'Two men do not dream the same dream. It is very rare that God reminds people he exists in this modern world. But when he does, you cannot ignore it.'

Others in New Square discount the apocalyptic reading altogether and suggest the notion of a talking fish is as fictional as Tony Soprano's talking-fish dream in an episode of The Sopranos .

Stand-up comedians have already incorporated the carp into their comedy routines at weddings. One gefilte company has considered changing it's slogan to: 'Our fish speaks for itself.'

Still, the shouting carp corresponds with the belief of some Hasidic sects that righteous people can be reincarnated as fish. They say that Nivelo may have been selected because he is not Jewish, but a weary Nivelo told the New York Times : 'I wish I never said anything about it. I'm getting so many calls every day, I've stopped answering. Israel, London, Miami, Brooklyn. They all want to hear about the talking fish.'

A devout Christian, he still thinks the carp was the Devil. 'I don't believe any of this Jewish stuff. But I heard that fish talk.'

He's grown tired of the whole thing. 'It's just a big headache for me,' he added. 'I pull my phone out of the wall at night. I don't sleep and I've lost weight.'

Fuck the dead rotting skull of Hillary Rosen! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521881)

Fuck the RIAA! I can't wait to piss on Hilary Rosen's grave!

You could compare this (2, Insightful)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521889)

Not only do I see this being passed in a crippled form, but when it is; I fully expect to see the media we're currently using crippled even more.

I'd imagine anyone who was using vynil when they made the push to CDs knows what I'm talking about.

Dirt Nap (4, Insightful)

DreamingReal (216288) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521898)

Someone please put a bullet in the goddamn music industry already. If the first reaction from these empty suits is fear of copyright infringement rather than excitement about new revenue channels, then they have overstayed their usefulness. Shit man, 30 or 100 hours on a single disc? The possibilities are endless.


How about the Billboard Top 100 Singles by year on a single disc. As a huge fan of 80's music, I would rather drop $50 for each disc to get the hits from '84, '85, and '86 rather than several hundred dollars on individual discs or crappy compilations that are 80% filler anyway.


How about releasing a band's entire back catalog on one of these discs, complete with liner notes, lyrics and videos for $100. The Complete Pink Floyd. The Complete Led Zepellin. The Complete Iron Maiden (no snickering).


How about releasing The Essential Tour Compilation. Take the top 25 live shows from a band's previous tour and add travel diaries, interviews, and massive picture galleries. I'd drop a c note on that.


The best part is that this will fit seemlessly into how I already use my music. I curse those stacks and stacks of CDs that take up space in my closet, no longer used because I prefer the freedom a 24x CD-RW drive, dual 100GB hard drives, and a RioVolt that plays MP3 CDs give me.


The music industry has had its collective head up its collective arse for way too long. The technology is there just begging to be used in new and interesting ways, but they're still crunching the numbers with an abacus! Give me a fair price, flush the DRM bullshit and stop calling me a fucking "pirate" and maybe I'll help save your pathetic industry.

Try this... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521899)

...MiniDisc.org. [minidisc.org]

How about a "DVD-Man"? (2, Interesting)

Captain Beefheart (628365) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521904)

Y'know, like WalkMan and DiscMan. Give me a DVD-Man with 7 or so CDs worth of MP3s. Now yer talkin. Cheap and reliable (in theory).

OpenMG (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521905)

Sony's unit will probably use OpenMG for DRM, just like the NetMD enabled MD units do. What this essentially means is that the tracks on the disc will be encrypted in a way that only allows them to play on YOUR player, and "uploading" tracks will only be possible to the desktop machine that they originated on, and then only if there's still an encrypted backup of the track stored on the hard drive there. Even with that much restriction, the NetMD MD players limit the number of times any particular track may be downloaded onto a disc.

Expect as least that much hassle with the Sony unit. Do a search for "OpenMG" for the full horror story.

-P.

30 hours on a CD around 58~62kbps (5, Insightful)

kjoonlee (226243) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521931)

A CD is 1411.2kbps 44.1kHz 16bit stereo PCM, with basic error correction codes, with around 74~80 minutes of maximum capacity.

30 hours means 1800 minutes, divide 1800 with 74, and you get 24.324324324, so that means 24x times compression. Divide 1411.2kbps by 24.324324324 and you get around 58kbps.

One more try, divide 1800 with 80, get 22.5, divide 1411.2 by 22.5, get 62kbps.

So basically, they use they're saying they're using approx. 58~62kbps ATRAC3 on a CD. Doesn't sound all that nice to me.

Re:30 hours on a CD around 58~62kbps (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521963)

There are many more ways to compress audio than just dropping the kpbs...

The article is simplistic and un-enlightening (2, Insightful)

hillct (230132) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521966)

I look forward to reading more about the respective positions of Sone Electronics and Sony music with regard to these types of products. The article cited provided no further insight over and beyond what is esentially a product announcement. This raises a larger issue. As journalism covering technological subjects becomes more provasive in line with new technologies themselves, it appears that the calibre if journalism is declining at an ever-faster rate. Vary disappointing...

--CTH
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