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They Might Be Giants Open Their Own Music Store

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the there-must-be-giants dept.

Music 281

slothdog writes "They Might Be Giants have opened their own music store, featuring "highest quality" (256kbps LAME) un-DRM-encumbered mp3's. There are only two CDs currently available (at $0.99/song or $9.99/album), but presumably more will be added as time goes on. Looks like a great way to directly support the artists."

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Talking of that... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9603884)

Time to tell Sderot's children the truth
By Gideon Levy

What will we tell the children of the kindergarten in Sderot who last week lost their friend Afik Zahavi Ohayon, aged three-and-a-half, who was killed by a Qassam rocket? What can one say to children who lose their classmate this way, next to the kindergarten?
Psychologists, the kindergarten teachers and the parents involved will try to ease the trauma by means of the usual psychological methods. But what if one of the children asks why the Arabs opened fire at them, why they killed Afik? Will we tell them the whole truth, or will we revert to declaiming the worn slogans about the bad Arabs who want to throw us into the sea, compelling us to fight a desperate war of survival whose whole aim is to safeguard the children in the kindergarten?

It is precisely in the wake of such a cruel terrorist attack, which sowed fear through an entire town, that the truth must be told to both children and adults. Only the truth can strengthen their spirit, instead of obscuring matters with empty promises of computers and budgets that will now flow to the town - only after two of its residents were killed - and with talk of an "appropriate military response."

The Qassam rockets were fired at Sderot from its neighbor, Beit Hanun. The kindergarten children have to be told that in Beit Hanun there are already dozens of demolished homes, the homes of innocent people, who paid the price of the previous rockets that were fired at their town. In Beit Hanun there is no work and there is no hope. Anyone who wants to go from Beit Hanun to the only place in the area that is offering work - Israel - encounters a barbed-wire fence. The children of Beit Hanun who go with their parents to visit relatives and friends in Khan Yunis or Rafah face a lengthy and exhausting trip through the checkpoints of the Gaza Strip - a trip whose end no one knows and which could be accompanied by humiliating incidents. On the way, the children pass by the handful of settlements. They see how thousands of Gaza Strip residents have to stop and wait while the settlers' bus passes. When the ice cream truck of the settlement children approaches, the soldier who sees all but is not seen will turn on the red light of the netted traffic lights and traffic will come to a halt, sometimes for hours at a stretch. Palestinian children and adults will sit in the blazing sun in their cars, which they are forbidden to leave, and wait for the soldier's order.

The children of Sderot have to be told that most of their peers on the other side of the fence have never seen a computer and that it's unlikely they will ever see one; that they are compelled to watch soldiers humiliate their parents; and that thousands of children of their age have no home, because the army demolished their homes even though they did nothing wrong, and in some cases even though their parents committed no crime. In Rafah they can see especially harsh scenes. A thousand more people were left homeless by the latest operation alone, people whose meager belongings were crushed and buried by Israeli bulldozers. The children's toys and clothes are also buried under the ruins.

We should explain to the children in Sderot that not far from their homes, more than 2 million Palestinians have been suffering for 37 years under the Israeli occupation, living in a huge prison compound. For the first 20 years of the occupation, most of their neighbors were quiet, submissive subjects. Their parents undoubtedly remember how they swept the streets in Sderot, built the houses there, worked the surrounding fields and washed the dishes in the local cafes and restaurants. They were the menial workers, even in poverty-stricken Sderot. We thought that situation could last for all time.

Another thing the children of Sderot have to be told is that their state killed - albeit not deliberately, and with weapons far more sophisticated than Qassam rockets - about 540 Palestinian children. And they should be reminded that the Palestinians, too, are responding - to an extensive campaign of assassinations in which Israel has killed most of the leaders of the Palestinian organizations, harming innocent people while doing so, a campaign that reached its inglorious peak with the killing of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.

At the same time, their state continues to strengthen the settlements, which are the major obstacle to the attainment of peace with the Palestinians, which alone can put an end to the firing of rockets at Sderot. Two days after the killing of the children's friend Afik, the Finance Committee of the Knesset decided to add another NIS 150 million to the budget for protecting the settlements. Their parents, the great majority of whom voted for right-wing parties in the last election - 33 percent for Likud, 15 percent for Shas and 10 percent for the National Union, as opposed to 3 percent for Labor and 2 percent for Meretz - chose the continuation of this path, which can lead only to the firing of more Qassam rockets at Sderot.

This is the right time to tell the children of Sderot the simple truth: Their neighbors in the Gaza Strip live under an occupation regime, which the residents have decided to fight with force, as people all over the world do in similar situations. Is it cruel on their part? Yes. Is it unjust? You have to ask the children in the kindergarten, after they are told the whole truth.

Re:Talking of that... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9603897)

Dude, I don't have time to read all that, I don't even know what point you're trying to make, just replace it with a single sentence: are you for/against occupation. Sheesh.

Sounds good. (5, Insightful)

spacecadetglow (790516) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603888)

Hey, if I can download particle man, then all is good in the world.

Re:Sounds good. (3, Funny)

MikeXpop (614167) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603906)

You can't on there, but it is available on the iTMS

Re:Sounds good. (1)

kantai (719870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604022)

particle man or particle, man?

If the second one, then I'm glad you have good taste in music- Particle rocks!

Nice. (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603889)

Haven't gotten to look at the site yet. I hope they have "Particle Man" and "Blue Canary"

Re:Nice. (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603907)

Nope. :(

Re:Nice. (4, Informative)

Flounder (42112) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603959)

"Blue Canary" is actually called Birdhouse in Your Soul. Both "Birdhouse" and "Particle Man" are off "Flood".

Currently, only two TMBG albums are available. "NO!", their children's album, and "They Got Lost", a collection of rarities. But I'm going to assume that they will eventually have all of their albums available. Of course, I already have all of their albums on CD (and several on vinyl).

Re:Nice. (4, Interesting)

TexasDex (709519) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604079)

I'm sure they'll distribute their own music... unless they don't own the copyrights to it!

Sadly this is more often than not the case. Recording contracts are generally "contractual work" and due to recent changes that were snuck into U.S. copyright law this definition is now binding. If the artists did this for a record label they'll never own it, and have to pay to sell their own music. Which would be such a horrible shame.

I don't know what sort of label TMBG played under, so this may not be the case. They may be free to sell their music whenever they want, and are just starting slowly. I sure hope so.

Re:Nice. (1)

Wateshay (122749) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604139)

Do you have a link to the contractual thing? I'd heard that before, but I thought I also heard that it had been struck down/not passed.

The Empire... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9603891)

...Posts First!

What about outside the US? (5, Funny)

MikeXpop (614167) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603893)

Will they be available to customers in Istanbul (not Constantanople)?

That's nobody's business but the Turks (3, Funny)

Avenel (603755) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603937)

So mind your own business!

That's nobody's business but the Turks! [n/t] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9603938)

i like a shoe horn

the kind with teeth

Re:What about outside the US? (5, Funny)

paul248 (536459) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603943)

Will they be available to customers in Istanbul (not Constantanople)?
That's nobody's business but the Turks.

ah...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9603963)

what a TMBG set up!

Re:What about outside the US? (1)

orthogonal (588627) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603986)

Will they be available to customers in Istanbul (not Constantanople [sic])?

I loved their video with the dwarfs dancing around a miniature Stonehenge!

Er, or was that another band?

Re:What about outside the US? (2, Interesting)

John Courtland (585609) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604045)

Wasn't that The Safety Dance by Men Without Hats?

Re:What about outside the US? (2, Insightful)

dmaxwell (43234) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604089)

That was another band. And no we're not going to do fucking Stonehenge again!

Re:What about outside the US? (1)

and by (598383) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604169)

That was Spinal Tap. I don't remember which consonant to put the heavy-metal umlaut over, so "Spinal Tap" will have to do.

Re:What about outside the US? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9604015)

More importantly, will a band that does not suck do this some time?

Do not suck? They got a cameo role... (4, Informative)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604179)

...in Terry Pratchett's Soul Music ! They've gotta be good!
'So what do you call yourselves?'

'Er - dwarfs, Mr Dibbler,' said the lead dwarf.

'"Dwarfs"?'

'Yes, sir.'

'Why?'

'Because we are, Mr Dibbler,' said the lead dwarf patiently.

'No, no, no. That won't do. That won't do at all. You gotta have a name with a bit of-' Dibbler waved his hands in the air, '-with a bit of Music With Rocks In . . . uh . . . in. Not just "Dwarfs". You gotta be . . . oh, I don't know . . . something more interesting.'

'But we're certainly dwarfs,' said one of the dwarfs.

'"We're Certainly Dwarfs",' said Dibbler. 'Yes, that might work. OK. I can book you in at the Bunch of Grapes on Thursday. And into the Free Festival, of course. Since it's free you don't get paid, of course.'

The last line proves that Terry really does know about the music industry. (-:

Re:What about outside the US? (1)

TheVoice900 (467327) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604064)

I'm feeling generous. Your gmail invite is on the way. Please send soul soon by cheque or paypal ;)

why why why! (-1, Troll)

Coneasfast (690509) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603903)

why can't these music stores use a more superior format. they can then give more bang for your bitrate. they still stick with the old mp3.

there are portable vorbis players out there, we need more online stores now.

well, if they don't want to, nothing we can do about it.

Re:why why why! (3, Informative)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603930)

why can't these music stores use a more superior format. they can then give more bang for your bitrate. they still stick with the old mp3.

there are portable vorbis players out there, we need more online stores now.


Yeah, because when you want to reach the widest possible audience with your new e-tailing venture, you should always endeavour to avoid selling popular products or using popular technologies in favour of more obsure goods or less supported formats.

Oh, wait, that business model's been patented. Do you remember boo.com?

Re:why why why! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9603979)

It's not like you could provide both MP3 and Vorbis like machinae supremacy is doing [machinaesupremacy.com] to reach *both* normal people and Vorbis geeks. Machinae has gained quite some publicity under geeks for their Vorbissupport - they were one of the first after all.

Re:why why why! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9604024)

Why not cater to the APE geeks? and the FLAC geeks? And the WM9 geeks? And the SHN geeks? And the AAC geeks? And the WAV geeks? And AC3 Dolby Digital geeks?

Exactly. What makes the Vorbis people any more special than people who want uncompressed audio, multichanned AC3 audio they can send to their stereos, WM9 audio for Windows, AAC audio for their iPod, etc? I'll tell you what: absolutely NOTHING.

Re:why why why! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9604068)

What makes the Vorbis people any more special than people who want uncompressed audio, multichanned AC3 audio they can send to their stereos, WM9 audio for Windows, AAC audio for their iPod, etc?

@ FLAC, APE, ...: First of all it's lossless so it doesn't matter which one is used because you can transcode without quality loss. Second it costs more bandwidth so this might be a reason for not providing flacs.

About the other ones - I have never seen anyone who "demands" a specific format besides MP3 and Vorbis. This makes Vorbis somewhat "special".. wouldn't you say so?

The reason for MP3s is obvious and clear: hardware MP3 players.

The reason for Vorbis is obvious too - it has much better quality than MP3. (especially when using GT3bX)

I know that there are other formats with comparable quality and I would be fine if they provided Musepack encoded songs or something similar but first Vorbis is more popular, so it has better hardware support (yes) and the fact that it's built upon free technology & not patented is a nice goodie.

Re:why why why! (1)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604052)

It's not like you could provide both MP3 and Vorbis like machinae supremacy is doing to reach *both* normal people and Vorbis geeks. Machinae has gained quite some publicity under geeks for their Vorbissupport - they were one of the first after all.

If you can show me one digital music player that plays Vorbis files but won't play MP3s then you might have a point. But you can't do that, can you? Even then, as the other person who's already replied to your post pointed out, why stop at the tiny fraction of one percent of the market that wants Vorbis but won't accept the same music in MP3 format? Why not go after every other "xxx but not MP3 at any cost" market?

Yeah, I'm sure there's a lot of money to be made converting, storing and serving files in every possible audio file format under the sun. To hell with the law of diminishing returns, streamlining your business to be as efficient as possible, or anything else resembling a sensible business model...

Re:why why why! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9604107)

Yeah, I'm sure there's a lot of money to be made converting, storing and serving files in every possible audio file format under the sun. To hell with the law of diminishing returns, streamlining your business to be as efficient as possible, or anything else resembling a sensible business model...

I didn't say "every possible audio file format". I said Vorbis. It's not that unpopular anymore. On SN there currently apppear about 2 or 3 Vorbis album releases every day. I'd say this makes it the second-most popular format on SN. And SN is not the typical "foss-linux-zealot-lair".

You won't find much WMA on it. And quite some people do care about quality there.

Still you can download many WMAs from "legal" sites. What do those bussiness rules say about fucking selling what the customer wants?

Re:why why why! (1)

SnakeJG (719306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604154)

Oh, wait, that business model's been patented. Do you remember boo.com?

Actually I don't, and a google search doesn't give me any information either. So, care to enlighten?

Re:why why why! (0, Redundant)

VicStar (792615) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603941)

Because vorbis is not as popular as mp3, I would rather have FLAC though for best quality

Re:why why why! (4, Insightful)

Sancho (17056) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603952)

Just like most of the world, people tend to cater to the majority. Most people do not use Ogg. Most people use MP3. Fact of life.

In fact, I suspect that there are a huge number of MP3 hardware players compared to Ogg. I only know of one or two dedicated hardware players capable of playing Ogg files. A few more that do WMA, and I could list probably twice as many MP3 players. Do the math. You want to sell to the most people, you give them the format that's used most often.

Re:why why why! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9604007)

uh. Vorbis isn't so much better than MP3. Certainly not worth the loss of compatability. If anything wm9 or AAC are superior to Vorbis still and all players are WM9 compatible and many more are compatible with AAC than with Vorbis.

I fail to see how your argument supports Vorbis audio over other alternatives.

As for the bitrate thing... it's a bunch of bullshit anyway. MP3 player capacities increase all the time. Nobody uses 40 gb, they don't even use 20 gb in an iPod. Also internet connections are fast enough so that a tiny smidget better bit rate is a non-issue for downloading considering the size of mp3 audio files. A 1.5 mbit DSL connection is less than $30 in my area now. I can even get 3 mbit for $40 and often times faster for even cheaper. Who gives a fuck if it's 1.2 mb vs 2.1 mb? It takes about 1.5 seconds either way.

Re:why why why! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9604031)

Well really 160 vs. 256 is more like 5 megs vs. 10 megs which on a 64 meg players makes a big difference.

Not everyone has cash for the latest toys on MTV.

Re:why why why! (1, Interesting)

Maestro4k (707634) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604066)

  • why can't these music stores use a more superior format. they can then give more bang for your bitrate. they still stick with the old mp3.

    there are portable vorbis players out there, we need more online stores now.

    well, if they don't want to, nothing we can do about it.

First of all Mp3 is the format with the widest support -- period. You may not like this but it's reality. Secondly this is a small store run by the group, it's a bit unrealistic to expect them to support multiple formats. Thirdly we should be thankful they're releasing them in a format that doesn't have DRM restrictions. If they were using DRM restricted files I'm quite sure everyone would be complaining about that instead.

Ogg's a nice format (for audio, I have had nothing but problems with it in video files) but it's support is still limited. You really can't expect a small store like this to support it. (Well you can expect it but realistically it's probably not going to happen). There's nothing wrong with promoting the format and hoping it's more widely adopted but until it is online music stores won't support it. It's a bit of a chicken or the egg problem.

FTFTMBGW: (1)

DrunkenTerror (561616) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604082)

Why are you using the MP3 standard?

We want to make things simple for you. MP3 is the standard Internet audio format, and the easiest to work with. MP3 files are compatible with all popular media applications and home/portable digital audio devices. TMBG MP3s are encoded at 256kbps using the LAME MP3 encoder for superior audio quality. In this case, LAME means good. TMBG MP3s are professionally encoded to ensure a much better quality file than MP3s downloaded over P2P networks by brigands and thieves. MP3 files are also easier to download over the Internet because of their smaller file size. (Roughly 1.5MB per minute of audio)

some day... (4, Funny)

maxbang (598632) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603910)

Some day middlemen will die and I'll get the money...

Re:some day... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9603948)

RIAA leans down and says 'My sentiments exactly, you son of a bitch'

Re:some day... (2, Funny)

Flounder (42112) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603980)

Slashdot leans down and says "My sentiments exactly."

Re:some day... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9604053)

Phooey ... I was hoping that response wasn't already taken.

Kevin

Skippy Snack Bars! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9603911)

First you take Skippy and you spread it, you spread it.

Then you take granola and you crunch it, you crunch it.

Skippy, that's what's in the jar. The very same Skippy that's what's in the bar. Skippy snack bars!

Now all they need is someone to back them. (3, Insightful)

2MuchC0ffeeMan (201987) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603914)

Some huge artist needs to join the bandwagon...

without that, or some pepsi backing, it won't win the 'music store race'

(where's limp bizkit, after their last album they would do something like this for the publicity)

Re:Now all they need is someone to back them. (1)

NemesisEnforcer (654033) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603945)

AYE VIVA LA REVOLUTION!!!!

The Johns are Gods (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9603974)

Either you're trolling, or you're an idiot. You obviously don't know a damned thing about them. They've been doing this for fscking 20+ years, it's never been about winning any god damned race, it's always been about the music and the fans. That's why they've got such a die hard base to work from.

Re:Now all they need is someone to back them. (1)

FlipmodePlaya (719010) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604023)

Seriously. As nice as it is to see someone offering an unDRMed music download service, this is really just a band selling their own music. If it caught on, and tons of bands started doing it, that would be cool. Otherwise, this is of no consequence to anyone but TMBG's fans.

Dial a song (4, Informative)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603915)

Don't forget their dial-a-song site!

They've got some intersting old stuff on it.

Dial-a-Song [dialasong.com]

Re:Dial a song (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9604098)

http://www.dialasong.com/songs.txt [dialasong.com]
interesting stuff indeed

wha? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9603917)

please do not trade them with your friends or post them on-line as this service is how we are making a living

I hope they don't honestly expect to make a living selling a handful of $0.99 cent tracks.

I hope they don't honestly think that people aren't going to trade them with their friends.

I hope they realize their terms of use is 404.

Disclaimer: I never really got into TMBG (read: I don't like them).

Re:wha? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9604021)

I hope they don't honestly think that people aren't going to trade them with their friends.

I hope they realize their terms of use is 404.


Maybe this is why most others in the music/software
business assume that the customer has criminal intent & use stuff like DRM/Activation etc.

Re:wha? (4, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604051)

I hope they don't honestly expect to make a living selling a handful of $0.99 cent tracks.


TMBG has been around and "making a living" for literally decades. I doubt you need to worry about Them. They'll be okay.

Re:wha? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9604072)

Whyever not?

TMBG do have a large fanbase that would pay the $10/album rather than cherrypick the individual tracks. Those not-really-fans who do buy individual tracks probably wouldn't have ever bought the CD anyway. And even if they only sold 2 tracks to everybody they're probably still going to make more than they would from royalties on a whole album.

They obviously believe that some people are going to trade them with their friends or they wouldn't have even made that statement. But they are _trusting_ their fans, and hoping that trust is repaid.
Every DRM article on /. results in the collective opinion that DRM is bad because not only does it infringe on our freedoms to maintain backups or use the music that we pay for on portable devices, but also that we're pissed off with being treated like scum and that actually most of us have ethics and morals, and should be treated as such.
Yet when a band does that you're critical?! What gives?

I bet they know the score. Kids and poor students will do as they've always done, with vinyl, with cassettes, and with CDs. Prioritise their spending for their absolute favorite artists and copy the rest from friends. People with real incomes tend to buy more.

To give you an anecdote, recently I mentioned to an online friend that he might like one of my favorite bands and pointed him to a server where I had all of their music available in high quality mp3s. He downloaded _one_ track, listened to it and promptly ordered all _ten_ albums. He could have easily downloaded all of it from me, but chose not to. He chose to support the artist. The band in question, Jump (www.jumprock.co.uk) are from my hometown and since I've been watching them gig since 1990 I've got quite an affinity to them. It was a calculated gamble on my part to make my server available to him, perhaps a gamble that was not mine to take (and that's a whole new /. discussion.) But it paid off handsomely for the band.

Don't be too surprised if this pays off for TMBG.

Re:wha? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9604100)

I never really got into TMBG (read: I don't like them).

And why, exactly, do we give a shit what you don't like?

Awsome!!! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9603920)

I hope more artists go down the same path.

LOL ... it's DOT COM! (4, Informative)

cagle_.25 (715952) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603923)

From the website:
TMBG and the fine folks at homestarrunner.com are teaming up for a number of projects. The folks who brought you Strong Bad are working on an animated internet video of "Experimental Film" TMBG's upcoming single off "The Spine." John and John also recently sat down to an impromptu jam session with the Homestar puppet and performed "A Little Help from My Friends" and some Billy Idol songs nobody knew the words for. Hear TMBG music at www.homestarrunner.com (email #99)
hehe.

Great songs.... (5, Funny)

MagicDude (727944) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603928)

Music Store man, Music Store man Doing the things a Music Store can What's he like? It's not important Music Store man Is he a dot, or is he a speck? When he's underwater does he get wet? Or does the water get him instead? Nobody knows, Music Store Man Music Store man, Music Store man Music Store man hates Napster man They have a fight, Music Store wins Music Store man I-Tunes man, I-Tunes man Size of the entire universe man Usually kind to smaller man I-Tunes man He's got a watch with a minute hand, Millenium hand and an eon hand When they meet it's a happy land Powerful man, I-Tunes man P2P man, P2P man Hit on the head with a frying pan Lives his life in a garbage can P2P man Is he depressed or is he a mess? Does he feel totally worthless? Who came up with P2P man? Degraded man, P2P man Music Store man, Music Store man Music Store man hates P2P man They have a fight, Music Store wins Music Store man

best part is (2, Funny)

cosmicrob (577842) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603929)

They've built a little birdhouse for my soul.

Almost... (4, Interesting)

bokmann (323771) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603933)

I haven't purchased a TMBG album since FLOOD (a lifetime ago, I know), but was ready to purchase both the albums just to show support. The little help window mentioned specific browser versions needed on Windows and Mac, and I would have preferred to either see Linux mentioned in that window, or some explanation as to why specific versions were necessary to download. Not sure what would happen with Mozilla, so I figure I'll wait until someone posts here.

I also didn't like the '6 hour time window' in which to download my purchase... I'd like more time to resolve any issues that might come up doring download - in fact, I'd like them to create an account for me, and let me download them at any time - and possibly again in the future if for some reason I lose them.

Re:Almost... (5, Funny)

GnomeAttic (97126) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604065)

bitch bitch bitch.

p.s. bitch bitch

Re:Almost... (4, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604148)

Perhaps you should send these ideas to their contact email danamil@mindspring.com. I doubt specific versions are needed, usually versions on a website means "don't bug us if you use something older". And anything that works on Netscape 4 or later has a 99%+ chance of working under Mozilla.

Think of this as the store version 1. They wanted to get something up, I'm sure they'll take ideas for improvements.

Thanks for the non-flash version guys! (5, Funny)

nmoog (701216) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603934)

Clicking on the "You dont have flash - click here for the text version" pops up a TMBG guy telling me "Get flash you hippie"

Way to shame me into it.

They Suck (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9603936)

They were the end of the techtv channel. They Suck!

Note to other bands thinking of doing this (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9603940)

I'm not keen on giving out my credit card number to every single band's website. I've enjoyed lots of music I bought via Bitpass [bitpass.com] and have found the process to be easy and fast. I've even got a few bucks left in my account earmarked for the next indie band I like.

If you're going to set up a store, please make Bitpass one of your payment options. Thanks.

Already up for sharing... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9603942)

If you want full quality 'samples'.

this is great (2, Funny)

jdkane (588293) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603954)

Wow, and I'm not encumbered by the choice of which music to buy. I hope they don't add to much more music. It's just perfect as is! It's also great for the /. crowd: one site, one crowd, two CDs to rule them all.

Not practical or profitable (3, Interesting)

adzoox (615327) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603958)

less people will know that They Might Be Giants have their own stuff.

They would almost certainly be more profitaable in the long haul even if they get less from iTunes/Apple, but I guess having the two is a good idea too.

They seem to be on all the major online stores and have their own - good move.

What they should do is offer a discount of whatever they get from iTunes/Apple for those that have bought iTunes Music Store Songs.

Pricing (4, Interesting)

magarity (164372) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603960)

I realize that simplicity in pricing is their goal, but it seems odd that little between track oddities lasting 34 seconds are priced the same as a 'real' song.

TMBG put on the most entertaining concert I've ever attended. The skit with the puppet heads in the spotlight 15 feet over the stage was a scream. And lugging the glockenspiel all the way to Colorado for one note during one song was a nice touch.

Re:Pricing (4, Interesting)

line.at.infinity (707997) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604122)

It seems like iTMS is just as simple-minded when it comes to pricing. E.g. for the album "Pull My Finger [apple.com] ," an album full of fart tracks that don't last more than 10 seconds* - much shorter than the 30 seconds preview - however they all cost 0.99 cents each.

* To be fair, I should mention that a few tracks last longer than 10 seconds, including the best selling track on the album, "Yankee Doody Daddy," which is 1:18 long.

Laws of Karma (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9603962)

My band has given away online tunes free for a couple of years now. At least you can play it through the site, you can probably figure out how to save them with a bit of geekery and craftiness, I am sure.

Despite giving away the music, we get at least a couple of CD sales through the internet every week!

Karma seems to be working in this case, because people often email in and say they heard the band on the radio, loved the music, did a web search, listened to a lot of the tunes, and wanted to own a copy for themselves or as a gift.

Not sure if this will work in 5 years if people don't buy CDs any more, but it's working for us at the moment.

Shameless plug - go to www.oninvisiblewings.com to see what I mean. If you listen to some tunes and decide to buy the album, then you will have proved the theory! A good intoduction the music is A Formidable Marinade.

Regards,

The Baron von Babyface

(with the face of a boy on the body of a middle-aged man)

baron@oninvisiblewings.com

Re:Laws of Karma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9604165)

since you are getting your five minutes of fame on /.

you should recommend us all with a mp3
in apache so we can listen to it without
hunting something down.

i would gladly switch from gunsmoke stream i am listening to, to yours. but alas i am lazy.

My Dad is Dead has been doing this for a long time (1)

Derge (683339) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603967)

...for free

http://mydadisdead.com/

Re:My Dad is Dead has been doing this for a long t (1)

deminisma (703135) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604181)

Yeah, but it doesn't count if it is a band no-one would pay to listen to.

Which makes you wonder how "They Might Be Giants" are getting away with it, doesn't it?

Well, They might be giants... (2, Funny)

IamGarageGuy 2 (687655) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603977)

But their site is obviously not.

Re:Well, They might be giants... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9603990)

Yeah, They Might Be Slashdotted...

This is fantastic (1)

stoneymonster (668767) | more than 10 years ago | (#9603988)

This is the sort of thing that will peck away at the music behemoth. However, only certain bands will be able to do this contractually. I wouldn't expect any big names (not that TMBG is not a household name) to follow suit any time soon, but maybe in a few years if a few of the independent bands succeed with this things will change.

Nifty (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9604016)

What a great way to support a boring college band. Neat, and entirely newsworthy.

Re:Nifty (1)

notanatheist (581086) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604059)

Let's hope they're past college as I heard of them about 8 years ago.

Re:Nifty (1)

EvilMagnus (32878) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604146)

Only eight years ago?

Get with the program, bub - their seminal work, Flood, opens with the lyrics 'A brand new album, for 1990...'. And I remember when it came out. :)

Flood is a work of genius. Not too keen on their later stuff, though.

Continuing a long tradition (4, Informative)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604027)

They Might Be Giants were one of the first artists years ago to release an album ONLY in MP3 emusic.com which, while it's not as cool now, for a little while was pretty nice, it was cheap, DRMless and available in multiple formats at multiple bitrates.

Beyond that though, they regularly put songs up on their website, including exclusive unreleased songs (similar to their dial-a-song service where you call up and hear a new song on their answering machine).

Re:Continuing a long tradition (1)

seasleepy (651293) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604149)

As another example of their commitment to online music, it's also worth pointing out TMBG Clock Radio [tmbg.com] , which has several hours worth of full streaming songs... live, album versions, and rarities.

As a note, the "PC" version works swimmingly with Wine under Linux.

Who are they ? What do they want ? (0, Offtopic)

zymano (581466) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604030)

I don't like todays music.

No one can play instruments anymore.

I like Neil Diamond . Don't tell anyone.

Re:Who are they ? What do they want ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9604132)

I like Neil Diamond . Don't tell anyone.

Don't worry, your horrible secret is safe with us.

TMBG has always been into this stuff (1)

NotAnotherReboot (262125) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604044)

TMBG was one of the really early adopters of Emusic.com's service which was around long before iTunes and the new Napster. They even released an Emusic-only album.

It looks like they're using some company named "Back Office Music" to provide the actual payment/delivery system. It would be interesting to know what kind of a cut they take for this service.

High bitrate is all well and good... (1)

winsk (117756) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604057)

and I can understand mp3 (although a choice of other formats would be nice too), but why waste such valuable space by using CBR? They could even use --alt-preset extreme and have files average out to the same size!

Sweet (1)

XMichael (563651) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604058)

Man ohh man am I ever excited! Finally a easy way to get tunes, and support the artist; all without leaving my home!

Ohh wait, who are these guys, ewwwwww, have you tried the "free sample" yuk..

Gosh I hope my favorite artist Justin Timberlake starts doing this ... that'd be sweet!

Security Cameras [completecctv.com]

Flash Required.. yawn! (1)

Vskye (9079) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604061)

Just a personal gripe about needing "flash" to use their web site. Why people design sites like this is beyond me. I can see a flash and a non-flash version, but what the hell?

slashdot hits another low (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9604063)

From the myriad of news and things happening they come with this....

tsk tsk tsk tsk

And yes tag this as a TROLL but you won't wash the thrusth of this post with that.

A step in the right direction (5, Insightful)

acousticiris (656375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604078)

I have to say the one major hurdle that has steered me away from downloading music from the iTunes and others has been the DRM. I'm sure there's few among this crowd that would disagree. I realize, I could still burn my downloaded music to a CD and do what I please with it, but it's really the principal of the fact.

But my complaint comes out at lossy codecs. Maybe I'm just being too picky, but the less compressed the better. A few years ago I put my whole CD collection in MP3 format for my computer/portable listening enjoyment. All at 160K CBR using XING. Of course, with the availability of an ogg player for my handheld PC, I have converted again much of my CD collection to ogg format for my computer/portable listening enjoyment.
If I hadn't had the uncompressed quality of the CD, I'd be stuck with my older MP3 encoded files. I had heard of a project earlier put forth where the company/band was releasing tracks in multiple formats, including FLAC (curious if anyone has a link or knows what I'm talking about?).
I personally wish that others would go this route--more choice.

I'm done complaining though. Seeing artists walk away from DRM is a great thing. Seeing them recognize the importance of the higher bitrate is also very encouraging. I hope this causes more of a rift between the good bands and the strong arm of the RIAA. It can only be a move in the right direction for consumers.

Re:A step in the right direction (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9604116)

That would be Magnatune at http://www.magnatune.com [magnatune.com]

Live Phish (4, Informative)

dopaz (148229) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604180)

http://www.livephish.com/

They have both MP3 and FLAC of their shows, and they are available within a day or two of the show. They have "every show Phish has played since 12/31/02" along with some other shows too.

Makes a lot of sense (4, Interesting)

line.at.infinity (707997) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604083)

Makes a lot of sense to get rid of DRM since people can already buy audio CDs anyway which are DRM free. And might as well sell it in a format currently most popular amongst consumers, mp3, although I wish they'd also sell it in AAC format (comparable audio quality takes up less space on my hard drive).

Regarding other artists that also give away free mp3s, I find a lot of artists on the Kill Rock Stars [killrockstars.com] label give away free full length mp3s, especially Stereo Total [stereototal.de] (factsheet [killrockstars.com] ) and DeerHoof [killrockstars.com] (factsheet [killrockstars.com] , Puzzling Music Archive [suchfun.net] ).

Back in the day (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9604091)

Personally I think jobs has hired a bunch of people to hype up Mac by posting on slashdot.
It worked.

Even though I will be modded into oblivion by the brainwashed masses consider the following:

1) Macs are expensive vs. performance
2) upgrade??? yeah right.
3) software is limited

I for one don't feel like using a machine designed for the lowest common denominator.

Back in the day macs were for squares, whats changed???

Not a great band (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9604106)

Sorry, I mean it's not that I don't like them, I just don't like them at a dollar a song. What was the last song they wrote? When was that?

It fits them for sure. (1)

ChrisHanel (636741) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604112)

TMBG have had Dial-A-Song since they started (and still do!). It doesn't surprise me at all that they'd find yet another way to get their product direct to their fans. Just give me Ana Ng and Minimum Wage, and i'm as sound as a pound. -Chris

(Sigh) (-1, Flamebait)

Mr. Cancelled (572486) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604115)

While I like to see bands do this kinda stuff, why couldn't it be someone [supersuckers.com] who's [sheep-on-drugs.com] music [iggypop.com] I'm [nashvillepussy.com] willing [hanoirocks.com] to [gwar.net] pay [loureed.org] for [gluecifer.com] ?

News?!? (3, Insightful)

Err (21062) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604134)

Don't get me wrong, I love TMBG...

But what makes this newsworthy?

A lot of artists, like Stuart Davis [stuartdavis.com] have been selling high quality MP3s à la carte for song time. Most of Stuart's are ripped using LAME --alt-preset extreme, now --preset extreme, for even higher quality than TMBG's CBR rips. And, Stuart even offers free songs [stuartdavis.com] .

Re:News?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9604150)

It appears TMBG still holds quite a grip on its fan base from the 1980s. The albums they put out back them were pretty good. They have a uniqe sound.

I am betting that the reason this turned up on this site is exactly the reason above. Slashdot editors are day dreaming about younger days.

I have to say, when you play there music today, some songs truly hurt the ears.

I still want to go see them live, but i think it just wont be the same band i remember from long ago. TMBG probably is long past those days.

Re:News?!? (1)

Err (21062) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604170)

Hmmm... Now I wanna listen to them to see what I think.

The question is, do I want to enough to either fire up my presently offline server or wander across the room and dig through a pile of disks? I suspect laziness will prevail on both counts.

This is good, to be sure... (2, Interesting)

John Courtland (585609) | more than 10 years ago | (#9604172)

but I really wish someone would get up and offer unencoded raw music files. At 48,000kbps sampling rate. This lets me choose what lossy format I want to use, and I would seriously start buying entire albums like candy.

Nice idea (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9604182)

I like their idea, particularly the part about not assuming their listeners are thieves and locking down the content with draconian DRM schemes. Unfortunately I am not a fan of They Might Giants.
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