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DRM Free Music is Everywhere

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the do-you-hear-what-i-hear dept.

369

guisar writes "I continue to endure stories on Slashdot and elsewhere complaining about EMI, itunes and other organizations maybe (or maybe not) releasing material in DRM free format. Well- here's some news there's LOTS of material out there. So instead of complaining, download what you like. There are plenty of artists releasing their material in FLAC and other DRM free format. Just look around. Most artists are doing their part by releasing their music in the hopes they can gain enough exposure to earn a living at what they love. If you're complaining about major labels not releasing material, it's probably too late and you are part of the problem." I think this point is often unfairly ignored: the existence of DRM is a fantastic chance for new distribution to reveal new bands. Unfortunately this music is difficult to find because there is simply so much of it.

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DRM hurts, copyright hurts - recording = marketing (5, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182594)

As a very very small music producer (basically, I give bands money to record or tour, and I hope to recoup some of that investment in the future), I work very hard to get the bands I finance to repudiate not just DRM but copyright in general. Small bands have no real reason for either -- recording music is just a marketing process to try to get people to come to your shows. Sure, without copyright, some big producer might steal your lyrics and music and have the newest pop boy band re-record it, but this too would just be a great marketing tactic -- the Internet would jump all over it.

Small bands need to give their recorded music away freely online in order to get more people to come to their shows. My brother's band Maps & Atlases [maps-atlases.com] just went on a 7 day tour to the East Coast and ended up in a tiny university town called East Stroudsburg, PA. Instead of showing up to no crowd, the venue was packed -- a rarity for the town and venue. Why did this happen? Maps & Atlases released their EP for free online. They sold out of their first EP (2000 copies) during their 2006 tour, and they're coming up fast on selling out their second pressing, even though the music is easily downloaded online. Why do fans pay for albums? They get face time with the band, they get autographs, and they know that buying the merch direct will keep the band writing and touring.

DRM is terrible for any band but the absolute largest, and even for them it is bad because the new fan base wants to have nothing to do with it. I look at it this way: DRM for the adult contemporary crowd just makes life harder for them, DRM for the teen crowd is easily bypassed. But it isn't just DRM that makes things difficult, it is also the fact that copyright really throws fan distribution a curve -- even the fans who openly distribute the music know it is "piracy" but they feel they're helping the band.

I look at the Internet as one big radio station waiting to be harnessed by smaller musicians all over the world. Write music with one purpose: to attract fans to your live shows where you can make your income by continuing to work, rather than hoping to write one hit once and earn royalties for the rest of your life. Who here works a regular job and wishes that they could work a few months in exchange for years of income? Life doesn't work that way -- unless you work with the distribution cartels that are quickly watching their futures slip through their fingers. If you're in a band, tell your fans to copy your music for their friends in hopes that those friends will become the new fans. Viral marketing is key to making a solid income in live music.

Sidenote: If you're in a band and you disagree with me on making a living, it is because you're trying to keep a "steady job" while also trying to tour. You can't do both. My brother's bandmates all quit their jobs (some of them have master's degrees!) to handle a tour schedule that includes typically 20 shows a month. Stop whining and dig in.

Wow! (4, Interesting)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182778)

Twenty paying shows a month? You're absolutely extraordinary.

I'm serious: I worked with a woman who did your job for a while. She spent the days making phone calls to venues who generally never called back. The band I worked for was extraordinarily talented (download some of their music for free here [myspace.com] ). They quit their day jobs for over two years. They toured up and down the East coast and as far as Detroit. They had a devoted but small audience.

If they could have booked 20 paying gigs a month, they'd still be in existence. Most venues want cover bands, not original music. The venues have the power and so they get to treat me rudely. I bow before your superior nagging-people-on-the-phone skills.

(It's because of that that the "Hey, give the music away and make it up at the live shows" argument on Slashdot makes me furious. But if you've got the secret for booking venues, please let me know and I'll retract everything I've said about it.)

Re:Wow! (5, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182888)

Twenty paying shows a month? You're absolutely extraordinary.

I don't book shows -- they have someone who handles that in exchange for a cut of merch sales. She handles dozens of bands, and she gets them shows constantly. I can't think of one band I work with that can't get 10+ shows a month by hiring a booking agent, even small bands.

She spent the days making phone calls to venues who generally never called back. The band I worked for was extraordinarily talented (download some of their music for free here). They quit their day jobs for over two years. They toured up and down the East coast and as far as Detroit. They had a devoted but small audience.

She didn't follow through well with her contacts. Venues want to see warm bodies buying beer, if you send bands to them that don't attract even a small crowd, they won't call you back ever. The best way to get a band out there is to get them involved with show promoters (we have www.mpshows.com in Chicago) and get them opening for small bands. A lot of bands don't want to invest the 1-2 years it takes opening up for bands that they think are worse than them. I know, I watch bands all the time give up because they won't move forward with the risk. Many people invest 4-8 years in college to further their career; a band needs to invest 1-2 years of even more work, and they don't have to pay as much as college costs.


If they could have booked 20 paying gigs a month, they'd still be in existence. Most venues want cover bands, not original music. The venues have the power and so they get to treat me rudely. I bow before your superior nagging-people-on-the-phone skills.


I have never heard of a venue that wants cover bands over original music. The indie pop scene is huge right now, I just went to an indie show last night in Chicago for 4 bands that I've never heard of, and they were all excellent and the crowd was thick. Cover was $7, but all 4 bands sold a ton of merch to people who liked their sound -- and I think I heard one cover song the entire night. I go to 2-3 shows per week in the Spring and Summer, and I have yet to visit one venue in Chicagoland, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and the Bronx that had cover bands. Most of the bands I talk to fail because they refuse to invest the time it takes to get notoriety.

(It's because of that that the "Hey, give the music away and make it up at the live shows" argument on Slashdot makes me furious. But if you've got the secret for booking venues, please let me know and I'll retract everything I've said about it.)

Plan on investing as much time honing your writing and performing skills -- make it like a future career. You go to college for 4 years and spend up to $100,000 learning a trade or a skill, why should a lifetime of performing be any different?

One thing, though: there are a LOT of bands that just don't have it -- just like there are programmers or CAD operators or lawyers who don't have it. It is easier to pick up a guitar and a mic and find 3 friends and call yourself a band than it is to become a lawyer, so of course there is a higher drop out rate. Yet I still see venues dark 3+ nights a week for a lack of bands committed to playing and bringing in warm bodies.

Re:Wow! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183126)

The indie pop scene is huge right now...

And it was huge a decade ago (see Slumberland, March, Simple Machines, K, Shinkansen, Elefant, etc). And it was huge a decade before that (and even somewhat mainstream in the UK) (see Sarah, 53rd & 3rd, anything jangle/shambling/twee). And it will continue to be huge a decade from now. Basically, indie pop ain't going anywhere...

Re:Wow! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183230)

A lot of bands don't want to invest the 1-2 years it takes opening up for bands that they think are worse than them.

I find this absolutely hilarious. Few things make so much impact as when the "real" band utterly fails to follow the openers.

I saw Seaweed (they fucking sucked) and Green Day open for Bad Religion one year in Santa Cruz. Green Day was quite good, didn't steal the show or anything, but everyone was on the floor for them whereas anyone on the floor for Seaweed was standing around talking. Just a few years later, Bad Religion was opening for Green Day. Okay, so that's a travesty, but it still underlines the point that putting in your time is part of the game.

Re:Wow! (4, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183368)

Okay, so that's a travesty, but it still underlines the point that putting in your time is part of the game.

I'm not sure it's a travesty (I love Bad Religion but I think Green Day does a better job interacting with fans, and they've always been that way), but I agree 100%.

If you want to make money as a band, stop pretending you're "just an artist trying to be heard." Anything you do for income must be entered in with a business perspective. If you want to be broke performing, that is easy to do. If you want to pay the bills and live off of performing, you have to understand that you are now in the market of entertaining others, and this requires investing the time it takes for people to know that you will always be there for THEIR needs (entertainment), so they will support YOUR needs (financial).

Re:Wow! (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183334)

Thank you for your advice. I'm told that it's partly the area they made their home base (Washington, DC) which books more cover bands than indie bands. They also partly blame their interest in rather complicated, non-radio-friendly, non-hook-driven music. I'm not a musician myself, and I don't go to many bars, so I can't really say.

I'm very sorry that this band had to break up. They had extraordinary musical talent, and did put in the time and energy and follow-through, but even in the best of circumstances the odds were against them. I'm sure the musicians will find new bands, and when they do I'll relay what you told me.

Re:Wow! (4, Interesting)

theStorminMormon (883615) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183026)

What you are describing is the *real* reason for DRM. It's not about sales from records. It's about control. The real money comes from building hits. A DRM-free world would mean a democratization of music, and at worst the disappearence of "hit bands" and at least the lack of control on the part of industry execs to predict or even manufacture those bands.

Consider especially the boy-bands of the late 90s. It was literally a money-making machine owned from the industry from start to finish.

But to do this, the industry requires tight control over who listens to what. I'm not some sensationalist saying that they can determine who likes what. But through the use of DRM they can monitor and influence choices. I like emo/screamo. There are DOZENS of bands who play very good music of this genre. About 3 are on the radio. Why? Because it's more profitable to have 3 popular bands than 12 semi-popular bands.

The industry needs to keep the pyramid-shape of the market to be able to siphon the rich profits off the top, and they need to be able to stay at the top of the pyramid.

This is what DRM is really for.

http://kiriath-arba.blogspot.com/2007/01/big-surpr ise-drm-not-about-piracy.html [blogspot.com]

-stormin

Re:Wow! (1)

rizzo420 (136707) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183076)

there's a venue here in providence, AS220 [as220.org] , that only allows original music.

from their site:

Will you book our cover band?

No. AS220 aims to support original music. In addition, as of November 1st, 2004, a boycott of all music licensed by ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC is in effect. This means that all material performed at AS220 must be original or must be in the public domain. Please contact the office if you need clarification on this policy.
so, not all venues are the same. AS220 hosts a huge variety of music of all genres and the shows are always cheap (no more than $9 i think), the beer is cheap (and they got some good beers there), and the space is nice. the music is almost always worth listening to. many of the artists that have gone through there got there start at AS220 and went on to more regional and sometimes national recognition (sage francis, for instance).

Re:Wow! (1)

ioshhdflwuegfh (1067182) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183278)

AS220? oh yeah... I saw some wicked shows there about 5 years ago... highly recommended!

Re:DRM hurts, copyright hurts - recording = market (2, Insightful)

CyberSnyder (8122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183164)

There are a couple local bands that I like and have seen at free outdoor concerts. I've even bought their CDs twice after already buying a copy previously because I don't mind the money going to the artist. Then pass on the CD to someone who might be interested. With those guys, I would be less likely to rip their music to MP3 and give it to someone because it's more personal. I'd be "stealing" from the guys that I talked to.

Re:DRM hurts, copyright hurts - recording = market (4, Informative)

dada21 (163177) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183222)

Exactly! The cost to manufacture a nice CD, sticker and a T-shirt for a band is around $8 in low quantity. The fan is usually willing to pay up to $25-$30 for the merch. Sell 20 sets a show and do 90 shows a year is about $30k in profit -- not including door entry share, beer share or up front money from promoters. It isn't great money, but it is decent enough to do what you love doing in one of the MOST competitive markets in the US. I know quite a few "professional" touring bands that share 6-figures a year between their 4/5 band members, but they're touring constantly -- and they love doing it.

At the risk of flamebait.... (3, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183174)

There are the arguments that say that data wants to be free. Go to Memphis, Nashville, LA, London, NYC, and find some great lyricists whose copyrights earned them a few bucks for some long and hard work.

I have no problem with the argument that the system is broken, and that Indie bands have little to no chance of success based on the model used by the media megaliths. Yet you're throwing the baby out with the bathwater by arguing that copyrights shouldn't exist. As a writer, I expect to get paid for my work, just like the baker down the street, the cop at the corner, and so on. If all I wrote didn't return any money, I wouldn't write for a living-- there would be no living.

As a musician, I went out on the road, snoring in the band bus, tried to stay sober, and be musically creative and deliver what I was paid for-- good music, sometimes really great music. I knew that the record companies were highly unlikely to buy into us because we were out on the edge. We cut numerous tapes, CDs, and so on. A few adventurous and kind people bought them. But we also knew they weren't for subsistence-- our time on stage was what we were being paid for.

Now that there are distribution channels, we found two bands that took two of our songs and essentially dry-ripped them. We have recourse if we want to sue. They haven't made any money with the songs, either (I'm not surprised, nor is my ego bashed). If they had, we'd be likely to want to stop them for the theft they made of our hard work.

There's the gigs, where we made money. There's the media, where we made money, all outside of the 'system'. If we'd done things differently, we might be working for the devil (I mean Sony/BMG/etc) and expecting much different ends to our work. But realistically, we know that's not possible.

Your single solution set doesn't fit all cases. Copyright has justification. DRM is probably a bad idea, because we might be interested in spreading our music far and wide. It's not necessarily a given that bands need or want to do this. Sure, we'd all like some fame, but we're not narcissistic. We'd rather just live, eat, and create. You place too much emphasis on distribution in the same sense that consumerism is a double-edged sword.

Re:DRM hurts, copyright hurts - recording = market (1)

cyclop (780354) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183266)

You are damn right.

Having DRM-free music to download is nice. But practically all music on so-called "piracy" file-sharing is DRM-free. So what?

What we need is not to find workarounds and be okay with the crumbs that fall from the mouth of **AA. We need instead to stop actively all this "piracy" demonization, and to make sure that the free, non-profit sharing of information (bits) becomes absolutely legal. I hope one day "piracy" will be a word reminescent of a primitive, embarrassing past just like "nigger" is today.

Re:DRM hurts, copyright hurts - recording = market (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183378)

"Small bands have no real reason for either -- recording music is just a marketing process to try to get people to come to your shows....Small bands need to give their recorded music away freely online in order to get more people to come to their shows..."

Wow..sounds like the 'old' days when I grew up, but, wasn't small bands doing it...all the bands did this. We used to buy their albums, usually a group of us agreeing to each buy different ones, and trade them to make tape copies. But, this basically whetted our appetite to go SEE the bands live. I liked this...a band had to be able to really PLAY their own instruments and sing worth a shit, so they could do it live. If they could play that well, they in turn could make good records. I think the past trends to record only bands, created the 'throw away band'...since most of the bands were picked out for good looks, and their talent was studio tricks.

If DRM has started to force the reverse of the recent trend, and promote bands that have talent and can perform to release their music DRM free...maybe DRM has had a positive side effect.

"I look at the Internet as one big radio station waiting to be harnessed by smaller musicians all over the world."

I guess this is true, and is a by product of major corps owning all the radio stations, and working arm in arm with the record companies. I really find this to be sad. I miss the old days of not having to go out and search for my new music. I was nice to hear a continuous stream of new and good music off the radio. Many of us spend a lot of time in the car...with a radio on. Kids today have the time to hunt down and explore for new good music, but, once you get a "real job"...that time really isn't there, and I hate that I cannot find music by new bands that I like because I just don't have time to go on the internet, and actively hunt and ferret out new music (ok, I prefer and 'old' sound, blues based, guitar driven, etc). I guess another strike against radio, is that music has become SO fragmented, and what radio is out there...is so niche oriented. I remember in the days, that you could hear a VERY diverse mix of music on the same station. In one afternoon you'd hear, Bob Welch, Fleetwood Mac, John Denver, AC/DC, Firefall, Marshal Tucker Band, Orleans, Rupert Holmes, Steely Dan, Cat Stevens...and all the great one hit wonders...all on the same station, all loosely labled at rock or rock/pop. I long for the days of a station that would play such a mix....some old, but, with new bands too mixed in there. It is hard to surf the net on the commute into work.

Anyway...I'm sure I've betrayed my years with my comments so far...but, I really do long to know good rock music again, and GO see bands. I've got LOTS of disposable cash, and I'll pay to go see them, I'll pay to buy CD's or whatever (I'm also old enough to afford a high end stereo system, so I prefer my media in lossless formats)...I just need to find them out.

I also hope that the past years releases of old bands on DVD like Queen: LAW, the Zeppelin DVD, The Who: The Kids are Alright...will find their way into the hands of the next generation of rock bands. I hope they can see what a good rock show is supposed to be...I'm happy so far, that I've actually seen young kids wearing rock tshirts and playing music from bands of my day...so, I feel there is 'hope'.

I wonder if there will ever been another Klaatu tho....

*TOO (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18182600)

> Unfortunately this music is difficult to find because there is simply *to* much of it.

C'mon. Seriously. Proofread?

Re:*TOO (0, Offtopic)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182640)

You must be new here if you expect the 'editors' to actually proofread anything.

Re:*TOO (1)

iceborer (684929) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182742)

C'mon. Seriously. Proofread?

Yes! I expect to find crap grammar like that on a blog, not on a news site.

Who has time? (5, Interesting)

HBI (604924) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182606)

I certainly don't have time to listen to 100 bad tunes to find one good one.

I need filtering, or i'm just going to keep on listening to Zeppelin.

Re:Who has time? (4, Interesting)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182700)

The major labels do perform the filtering service for you, but you'd be amazed at how much excellent stuff gets filtered out. Over the last 10 years or so I've been able to expose myself to a lot of music from all over the world that I didn't even know existed back when I was a slave to the majors, and it pisses me off that I didn't discover it earlier. Your favorite music? Probably you haven't heard it yet...

Dylan, Joplin.. indie rock throwaways (5, Interesting)

pkbarbiedoll (851110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182884)

In today's glossed over vapid music climate artists like Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and many others would not be taken seriously by the majors. I can hear it now.. Not marketable. Too nasally. Screams too much. Won't sell enough product. Not worth our investment.

Re:Dylan, Joplin.. indie rock throwaways (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183112)

In today's glossed over vapid music climate artists like Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and many others would not be taken seriously by the majors. I can hear it now.. Not marketable. Too nasally. Screams too much. Won't sell enough product. Not worth our investment.
Sounds like a great business opportunity for someone who wants to start their own up-and-coming major picking up all these gems that the real majors ignore.
 

Re:Dylan, Joplin.. indie rock throwaways (1)

rizzo420 (136707) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183180)

you're correct. just look at american idol creator, simon cowel, for that. he made a comment that he finds bob dylan to be boring. while dylan isn't a pop artist by any means, his music and songs are certainly far from boring.

the major labels won't even promote someone who's really ugly, even if he/she has an amazing voice, writes perfect songs, and plays awesome guitar. little girls won't scream and cry over someone that ugly. that's how we ended up with john mayer... so-so voice, mediocre song writing skills, and uninteresting guitar playing (yes, even with his blues band).

Re:Dylan, Joplin.. indie rock throwaways (4, Funny)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183298)

the major labels won't even promote someone who's really ugly

That would really pose a problem for Mick Jagger then.

Re:Dylan, Joplin.. indie rock throwaways (1)

rizzo420 (136707) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183474)

in the 60's, this didn't happen (hence the original comment about joplin and dylan)... mick also happens to have been with some seriously hot women over the years. i don't think his looks mattered.

Re:Dylan, Joplin.. indie rock throwaways (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183326)

just look at american idol creator, simon cowel, for that.
Simon Cowell is a judge on American Idol, not the creator. The show as envisioned/created by Simon Fuller.

it's sociological (3, Insightful)

MarsBar (6605) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183032)

The problem isn't that the unsigned unknown music is bad, or that there's too much of it to find the good stuff. It's a sociological thing: I want to hear what my friends are hearing so we can say "do you have the latest XYZ album" or whatever. There's probably a scientific word for it but I'm not a sociologist!

It doesn't really matter how good the major labels' tunes are, whatever gets played on the radio will become a hit. This has been shown many many times, with a few rare exceptions of underground hits that work themselves up to the point where the radio can't not play them any more. And it's not because people just buy what they hear, it's because they buy what everyone else is buying.

You even get the same result in elections: floating voters will often (subconsciously) vote for the party they think is going to win (ie the more popular one), even if they have no idea about policies.

Re:Who has time? (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183182)

The major labels do perform the filtering service for you, but you'd be amazed at how much excellent stuff gets filtered out.

I think his point is that this particular site (which hasn't emerged from under the Slashdotting, so I have no idea if it's true) doesn't provide any filtering. As opposed to GarageBand, Live365, Pandora, LastFM and all sorts of other routes to finding new music.

Re:Who has time? (1)

snarlydwarf (532865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183466)

<quote><i>The major labels do perform the filtering service for you, but you'd be amazed at how much excellent stuff gets filtered out.</i> <p><p>I think his point is that this particular site (which hasn't emerged from under the Slashdotting, so I have no idea if it's true) doesn't provide any filtering. As opposed to GarageBand, Live365, Pandora, LastFM and all sorts of other routes to finding new music.</p></quote>

<p>
    From the Whois entry (since I can't get to the site ATM), it appears to be Nettwerk, which is all fine and dandy: they are one of the larger indie record companies, and have some "brand name" artists in their stable (Avril Lavigne is one that comes to mind... not my taste, but she is successful). Of course they do filtering; they don't sign contracts with anyone who shows up at their door with a guitar. They just seem to have more of a clue that the usual payola schemes to get music on the radio is not scalable and not to their benefit (the big 4 have a lot more money to bribe radio stations).
</p>
<p>
      Nettwerk has sold their music un-drm'd online for years: they have helped pay for lawyers in RIAA lawsuits (especially amusing since some of the "stolen" music came from Nettwerk artists who didn't -care- if someone "stole" their music... is it theft when the "victim" says it is okay?)
</p>
<p>
      If you like their artists, sure, buy from them online. Their shopping system works well. If their artists are not what you like, buy from others: <a href="http://www.dgmlive.com">DGMLive</a>, for example, sells mp3s and FLACs of various rare King Crimson and Fripp performances. For most artists, visit their sites and see if they let you buy online. It certainly helps me spend money: when a recording is a true "impulse purchase" and I get instant gratification (well, after download), I tend to buy more...
</p>

Re:Who has time? (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182714)

"...listen to 100 bad tunes to find one good one."

I put it to you that this is no different than radio, with the difference that it seems to me that 100 songs is the entire live catalog of a pop station at any given time.

May I recommend
http://www.jamendo.com/ [jamendo.com]

They have an embeddable player, ratings, everything you need. No DRM anywhere in sight; in fact most of the music is free to share

Re:Who has time? (1, Funny)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182846)

Don't be silly. Zeppelin are on a major label, therefore they suck. If they were any good then no one would have heard of them and they'd be playing to six art school students in a disused lavatory in the basement of an old boot-black factory somewhere.

Re:Who has time? (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183564)

Yeah, seriously.

For example, my own band is know to exactly three of my brain cells, thereby making it the most obscure and therefore the best band EVAR.

Re:Who has time? (1)

slim (1652) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182890)

I certainly don't have time to listen to 100 bad tunes to find one good one.

I need filtering, or i'm just going to keep on listening to Zeppelin.
Don't we all, don't we all.

But some people do have time: proper, music oriented, DJs.
I'm talking about people like the late lamented John Peel, his BBC semi-replacement Huw Stephens, and many of the good people at Seatte's wonderful KEXP.

Now, Peel was broadcasting bands' self-issued vinyl releases back when that was the most open way of distributing your own music -- he'd read out the addresses of the homes where people had stacks of 7" singles waiting to ship out by mail order. This was stuff you couldn't hope to discover without him, and of course he must have listened to hours of crap in order to play us the gems.

The same kind of DJ is now gradually starting to dip into the world of internet-released content. Without people like them, most of us, as you rightly say, will never have the time or the energy to do our own filtering.

Re:Who has time? (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183318)

I'm talking about people like the late lamented John Peel

Now that is very true. A legend in his own lifetime. He must have listened to loads of crap, as you say - but the difference was that was his entire livelihood, so he did have the time to do it.

Re:Who has time? (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182892)

I don't have time to listen to 100 bands and filter out the good ones but I have time to listen to a few bands. So all you need is a centralized rating system somewhere. I found several great bands on mp3.com that way back before they screwed up with that my.mp3.com thing and got sued down the toilet.

Re:Who has time? (1)

greginnj (891863) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183100)


And how did you find out about Zeppelin, exactly?

Why don't you just keep doing that?

It's ok if you want to get off the find-new-music train, but don't blame it on the music. Blame it on your unwillingness to put a bit of effort in your search technique. One of those streaming recommendation services like http://pandora.com/ [pandora.com] should be within the means of even a lazy old fart such as yourself....

Re:Who has time? (1)

HBI (604924) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183212)

Actually my brother used to bring home a 12-pack of Lowenbrau every night back in the late 70s-early 80s. I'd hang out in the basement with him drinking beer and he'd play me new stuff.

Later, I had a few friends who would bring over stuff that they found good and we'd do the same thing (but with better beer).

I'm starting to get a little old for that. I get recommendations from friends and I act on them still, but not as many, and not as good anymore.

Re:Who has time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183138)

You know what kind of music you already like, right? So my advice to you would be to find a review website or two that covers that kind of music primarily. Check out the reviews, and when you find a band that you think you might like, download their album on a peer to peer network. If you like it, buy it, otherwise delete it. After a while, you'll get used to the reviewers' tastes, you'll figure out which ones you typically agree with and which ones you don't which speeds up this process somewhat, and it will give you a way to discover great music you probably wouldn't have heard of otherwise.

(I'm posting this anonymously so that my mod points don't get wasted)

If you Want Something Interesting (1)

Morosoph (693565) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183486)

BBC Radio 3 [bbc.co.uk] has some very good avant-guarde stuff on it; it's not all classical.

Check out [bbc.co.uk] Late Junction, Mixing It, Hear and Now, in particular. Their Jazz is pretty cool too, if you like that kind of thing.

I don't know if they stream outside the UK, but I imagine that they must; Radio 3 is part of an ex-pat's staple diet...

Freakin Balloons (2, Interesting)

gamepro (859021) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182622)

If I have to fight with a balloon to navigate a site then it's not worth my effort.

Poor marketing hurts, too (3, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182654)

download what you like

I went to the site linked, and found that the only way to select music was by the artist's name. Considering that I didn't recognize a single artist, this left me totally in the dark as to what the musical genre was, and the only way that you could get a sense of the musical genre was to select each artist, one by one, where sometimes a note would tell you - but often not.

I would be more than willing to support a site like this if they make it reasonably easy. Even Wham-a-lart takes the time to sort music by genre so shoppers don't have to weed through all the styles they don't like to find something to listen to.

When they get the genre thing figured out, track preview and sale by track are the next items required to get them up to the bare-bones standards of online music sales.

Re:Poor marketing hurts, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18182836)

When they get the genre thing figured out, track preview and sale by track are the next items required to get them up to the bare-bones standards of online music sales.

They already did, it's just that they're all Rock [freedb.org] .

Check out magnatune.com for non-DRM music (2, Informative)

mpp (18866) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182668)

I've downloaded a fair amount of music from them -- they have some interesting non-mainstream artists. They ask for $8, but they'll take as little as $5. Download in many formats, lossy and lossless.

DRM Free Music is Everywhere (3, Funny)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182690)

Well duh, it's the easiest to pirate.

Re:DRM Free Music is Everywhere (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183478)

I use a mac because I'm better then you are

Apparently you are not better at spelling than I am.

Taco speaks sense? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18182696)

Unfortunately this music is difficult to find because there is simply to much of it.

What Taco is implying is that record companies fulfill a purpose in society by promoting music that people will probably like and ignoring the masses upon masses of other music.

Well without DRM how are these companies going to survive? Answer that and you've got an open and shut case for no DRM. Fail to answer it and DRM seems to provide a useful function to society by preserving the status quo in which you can find good music that you like, by going to the major labels.

Re:Taco speaks sense? (2, Interesting)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182852)

True. It's just unfortunate that they filter by +6 (population is brainwashed)

I would like to see record companies moderate at -1, release at 3.

"Actually, I think I just thought of a new peer 2 peer scheme UBER money making scheme! Register users who could get free music if they trial & rate bands for promotion on a 1-5 scale. Then, all bands who get say 10,000 votes & have a 3 or better, get cut to CD and released. " ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

You have to patent it (2, Informative)

Ahnteis (746045) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183284)

It's a process, so you need a patent, not a copyright. :P

difficult to find? (4, Funny)

sulli (195030) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182702)

this music is difficult to find because there is simply TOO much of it

Sounds like something Yogi Berra [baseball-almanac.com] would say. As in "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded."

Couldn't Agree More (2, Interesting)

jeevesbond (1066726) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182716)

Hear, hear! I couldn't agree more!

This is the reason why big labels are finding themselves to be irrelevant, why should we buy manufactured pop-cruft that's encumbered with DRM when a much better alternative is available?

Let's ditch these money-grabbing middle men by voting with our wallets. The only thing missing is a good online community for upcoming bands. Something like music charts (but better and more community driven), which will show the best bands in each genre.

The next triumph will be when an unsigned artist makes more in royalties than one signed to a major label. That will break their monopolies.

Re:Couldn't Agree More (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183256)

Actually, independant artists typically make more per album sold than major label acts, and since only a handful of major label acts reach the kind of superstar status required to make millions off their music, it's fairly common for someone to make more money on their own or with an indie label vs. what they'd make on a major.

The Bastard Faries... (1)

cliveholloway (132299) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182736)

...have got it right [myspace.com] . And they have a good sense of humor [myspace.com] too. My fave is currently Whatever [myspace.com] .

^ The Bastard FAIRIES dammit (1)

cliveholloway (132299) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182774)

need... more... coffee...

DRM free content is usally not worth the effort (2, Interesting)

nomad63 (686331) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182744)

The DRM free content available to download legitimately, usually is not even worth the time you sift thru them to find the one piece that you can barely tolerate among 100s of trash metal bands (I am speaking of music only here but it can be stretched to cover any art form) who thinks louder they play better it is, or some talentless hack, who thinks whatever he/she plays is instant classic.

On the other hand, we have the metallicas for heavy metal and Beatles for classic pieces, yet they are crippled by DRM and I really do not want to waste my time or my money to be able to listen to them on two different platforms, i.e., on my iPod and on my non-itunes ready computer.

Am I asking too much after paying $1 to a single song ? In what justification can the IP owner can ask me to pay for the same thing twice ?

Re:DRM free content is usally not worth the effort (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183044)

The DRM free content available to download legitimately, usually is not even worth the time you sift thru them to find the one piece that you can barely tolerate among 100s of trash metal bands (I am speaking of music only here but it can be stretched to cover any art form) who thinks louder they play better it is, or some talentless hack, who thinks whatever he/she plays is instant classic.

dimeadozen.org [dimeadozen.org] offers quite a wide array. Here's a sample from the two pages of torrents:

OASIS - First Time Out 2000 (Jools Holland 11/02/00)
Page and Plant - 1996.02.17 1996 - Century Hall, Nagoya - AUD - "10 Days" (Hoochie Coochie)
Deep Purple - 1973-06-23 Final Truckin'
The Cure -- Glastonbury 6.21.86
Rush - 1981-12-20 - Tempest
Rush - 1994-05-07 - Animated Remaster (RESEED)
Bob Dylan 1975-11-27 Bangor (2 aud sources) flac
Yes - Columbia - 8/13/72 (Reseed by Request)
Eric Clapton, Touch of Class, Birmingham, England March 1st & 2nd 1985 (Beano)
Damien Rice - Passau, Germany - 2002-03-22
Prince -The Artist, The Cross, The Ride. Washington DC 10th Jan 1997 (AUD)
Whitesnake - Glasgow Apollo 29-10-1978
Bob Dylan Ischgl, Austria 1999-05-01 (Bach Recording)
Damien Rice 2004/03/12 Firenze, Italy
Bob Marley & The Wailers San Diego Sports Arena San Diego 1979-11-24 aud
Black Sabbath 1990-10-01 Palasport Bolzano, Italy (Good Audience)
Belle and Sebastian - a kind of magic
Van Morrison 1993 03 04 Utrecht The Netherlands Muziekcentrum Vredenburg Reworked

Yeah, that really looks like you have to pick through...

Emusic (4, Informative)

Conception (212279) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182752)

I've been using emusic for months now and though I'm not super big into the indie scene, they always surprise me with some interesting stuff. They also have a pretty aggressive writing team that gives no end to recommendations on what you should check out.

They have free 50 download trials all over the place. Worth checking out and all DRM free mp3s. It's a great service and one we should be supporting.

Re:Emusic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183360)

50 free downloads?? Where? I'm in the middle of my free 25-song download trial, and I only have a few songs left. Damn. Even if they do 50-song trials, I'm sure I'm now ineligible.

I got the trial because I was interested in a particular artist [richwyman.com] who has a couple of albums only available at various download sites, including Emusic. I got the stuff I wanted, but I can't find any more that interests me. I feel like I should get my money's worth out of this trial. ;)

The primary problem is exactly what was mentioned in the article summary and a few comments already: there's just too much unknown stuff to sift through. I'm not listening to 100 previews to find one gem. And if I find that one gem, what are the odds that it'll be part of a whole album I'd want? I don't have enough free downloads left to get a complete album. Of course I could actually pay for a subscription, but that's only assuming I'd find enough other music there to justify it. So far I haven't.

There's one record label [favorednations.com] that I really like on Emusic, but all of their stuff is readily available on CD. I'll take the physical CD over lossy download any day -- save the downloads for stuff that's out of print or the rare individual songs I want (I prefer complete albums for the most part).

What's a music lover like me to do? I even tried Pandora [pandora.com] , but found that while its recommendations were on the right track, the quality just wasn't up to the stuff I'd actually pay for. I'm sure there's enough good music I'd love to increase my collection (~600 albums) by an order of magnitude, but how do I find it?

The problem (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182780)

Most of these are unsigned bands. Bands are unsigned, or signed to an obscure label for any of 3 reasons:
1. They're rubbish.
2. They don't want to sell out.
3. They're too damn original for the major labels to take a risk.

Types 2 and 3 are probably very worthwhile. They're greatly outnumbered by type 1.

Re:The problem (1)

Elsan (914644) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183472)

I'm sorry(or not) but this is oversimplyfying. There could 100's of reasons given, 3 is not enough. Hell, this isn't even a big outline of the reasons, it's just 3 of the 100's of reasons. Plus it just seems like you're talking about the "indie" genre only.

Thundersongs is DRM free! (1)

Unanimous Crowbar (218804) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182820)

OK, this is a plug for Vertical Alignment, a band that I like. http://www.thundersongs.com/ [thundersongs.com] has downloads in FLAC format, as well as MP3 and physical CDs. If you like progressive rock, give them a try.

Obligatory warning: these guys are Christians, and they may occasionally use the "J" word. OTOH, the major theme running throughout the album is hubris. I don't think these guys would offend anybody but Richard Dawkins.

Obligatory disclaimer: I speak for me, and not my employer. Please do not send lawyers or dogs. Or lawyers' dogs.

Can someone mod parent to flamebait?!? (1)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182834)

The purpose of the DRM free argument that has been made time and time again here is that signed bands do not allow much of what should be considered fair-use. The solution is to eliminate (or restrict) some of the protection to make said music more usable on different devices, not to switch to unsigned bands.

Aha! (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182842)

I think this point is often unfairly ignored: the existance of DRM is a fantastic chance for new distribution to reveal new bands. Unfortunately this music is difficult to find because there is simply [too] much of it.

And therein we have the function of big record companies. In an age where duplication is almost trivial, it's the last function they do. They have scouts and management and all that so they could find gems.

I find is absurd that the industry hasn't made a push like that. "Gems" to them has been what sells, but maybe "gems" could grow to things that are just legitimately good music. I can see the potential slogan now: "We sit through garbage so you don't have to."

You hear about producers and artists using fame and fortune to make their own record labels to promote the types of music they like. It's not too far-fetched that good stuff that gets filtered out by one company would get picked up by another.

Of course, if the big labels in the RIAA had their way, they'd snuff out unsigned bands and their commie-free-distribution tactics so that every person in the world pulls exclusively from them. I mean, sheesh, Clearchannel has succeeded in making radio sound pretty much the same everywhere in the US.

emusic.com (2, Informative)

rueger (210566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182848)

Once again I praise e-music.com [emusic.com] for a really great range of music, great prices, and a pretty good user experience. And no DRM.

You won't find The Eagles or Brittney or other Top 40 stuff, but if you're the least bit adventurous* in your tastes it's well worth a look.

* Johnny Cash, James Brown, African music, Bjork etc...

What's needed here (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18182866)

Is someone to create a meta site for DRM-free music, which would allow user reviews and hopefully have some in-house editorials. It would need funding in order to develop a critical mass. As someone who truly loves music I can't understand the mindset but the vast majority of people only listen to what's handed to them.

Download what you like! Cool, where! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18182868)

So instead of complaining, download what you like

Sure, I like Rush. I'm assuming that once that 503 error goes away from the link there will be the location I can download Rush without DRM?

Oh wait, you don't mean I'd have to download what I like, as long as what I like is some shit for brains unknown band who can't get a real record contract for a reason?

Controlling distribution (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182896)

The RIAA et.al. aren't merely trying to prevent infringement of their own copyrights; they're afraid of open digital distribution channels even when these are used to distribute music whose copyright (or absense thereof) legally permits it. Their bread and butter is in their monopoly control of distribution, and they're acutely aware of this. Even in a world where they have their "perfect DRM" (whatever that is), P2P, BitTorrent, YouTube, and artist-controlled websites would still be a huge threat to them. However, if trafficking in copyrighted materials became less significant they wouldn't have any pretext to continue to attack these channels. Maybe they're realizing this as they loosen their embrace of DRM?

Here's one site with awesome free music (1)

scwizard (941758) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182932)

This guy Nifflas makes some pretty sweet music and games that are freely available. Check out the music section of his fanpage [yaaay.net] .

Try Hornet music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183430)

How come nobody mentions Hornet [scene.org] ? It's been distributing free songs online since 1987! In addition, there are other free sites:

Kosmic: http://kosmic.org/ [kosmic.org]
The MOD archive: http://modarchive.org/ [modarchive.org]
scene.org: http://scene.org/ [scene.org]

Drive Thru Records (1)

guycouch (763243) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182980)

Drive Thru Records has a pretty neat setup through a company called echospin [echospin.com] . They offer DRM-free downloads to your harddrive or media device as well as direct CD burning and even album art printing. They handle all aspects of digital distribution for an artist/label.

Netwerk Bare Naked (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 7 years ago | (#18182988)

I bought the Bare Naked Ladies' new albums on USB key, called Bare Naked on a Stick. The USB memory key is of low quality, but I eventually got it into a port just right that I could copy the MP3s and videos off of it, and saved money over buying the CDs in the store.

I wish more bands used this distribution technique, but they need to use better quality USB sticks.

DRM blah.. blah.. blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18182998)

Wake me when the regular person can download a DRM free song from a major service of some crappy music that is really popular like Justin Timerberlake (dick in a box!). I'm sick of people telling me that I can get OGG Vorbis or FLAC encoded crap for free... yet it is just a bunch of Grateful Dead and Phish shows or worse.. some indie band that has no production or talent.

At least I can listen to the "The Free Software Song" by RMS himself at http://www.revolution-os.com/musicvideo.html [revolution-os.com]

No DRM whatsoever.. No talent either!!!

Next step : better than CD quality (1)

Saffaya (702234) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183010)

I can't wait for DRM to completely fade away so bands can proceed to the next step : make available tracks at better than CD quality.

Every soundcard worth its name nowadays (think audigy, etc .. ) is capable of outputting better sound sampling than done for the last 25 years.

I wish I could hear my favourite bands in 192kHz/24 bits someday .. Right now, I can't even found anything above 44-48kHz/16 bits.

Re:Next step : better than CD quality (2, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183186)

I wish I could hear my favourite bands in 192kHz/24 bits someday .. Right now, I can't even found anything above 44-48kHz/16 bits.
Go to a show. Most live bands sing and play instruments at fairly high bitrates.

What DRM (1)

mikemuch (870535) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183016)

I just ripped a CD to WMP that I'd burned from iTunes. Actually didn't try playing it cuz had to run to work, but is that not possible?

Re:What DRM (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183304)

I just ripped a CD to WMP that I'd burned from iTunes. Actually didn't try playing it cuz had to run to work, but is that not possible?

Congratulations! You've just taken a lossy audio format, and transcoded it into a totally different lossy audio format, with an unnecessary step in the middle provided by Apple. You have caused the quality to degrade significantly; most of the tones in the music will come through okay, but some will be completely trashed. Anything approximating a square wave (any kind of funk groove usually has some of this) will be utterly destroyed. Most of your highest highs will end up completely distorted as well.

This stupid argument about burning and re-ripping is, well, stupid. And yet someone brings it up every time this discussion happens.

Take my hard earned money, please (2, Insightful)

Wintermancer (134128) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183022)

By this I mean, go on tour.

The Police tour is coming to town, and I am going to be handing over fist-fulls of cash in order to see them play live. But you're not going to see me buying their mp3's, as I already own all of their works. I'll just rip 'em, thank you please.

I really do not buy CD's anymore, partly due to the fact that I no longer wish to directly support the RIAA hedgemony, and partly due to the fact that I live in Canada and pay a levy on blank recording media (Handing money over twice just doesn't do it for me, thanks).

CDs, and music in general, should be viewed as a loss-leader to get people in to see them perform. I honestly feel that the days of rock musicians living like kings are pretty much over, with the exception of top-tier talent. It is not to say that they will not be able to earn a living, it just will be more akin to the professional musicians that you see in the classical and jazz sphere, which if you are any good, is a decent wage. If you're not any good, that's the economy saying, "It's time to get a real job."

Simply stated, I have to work to live, why should someone write songs and do nothing more than live off of royalties? Musicians work should be their ability to perform, not their ability cash royalty cheques. The performance driven model also would have the added effect of cutting out the no-talent publicity-machine generated "stars" who cannot play an instrument, rely upon production tricks to sound good singing, etc.

I pay to see you play. Do a good job, and you too can charge $200+/ticket and I will hand over my money willingly and without complaint.

It's not that hard, people.

Re:Take my hard earned money, please (1)

Brummund (447393) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183240)

Simply stated, I have to work to live, why should someone write songs and do nothing more than live off of royalties?

Or why do we got interest on loans or heck, even a stock market. Its a free world. Come up with some good music of your own, buy DRM-less music or just enjoy the silence.

I got to wonder from where the bands are to get the funds to do these huge tours, really. Have you ANY idea how expensive and risky a tour can be? Do you want all musicians to be pub entertainers? Do you think all music is suitable for touring?

You are jealous for the fact that some people, due to their talent, contacts and marketing ability, are able to make huge amounts of cash, and as a consequence, you are projecting your solution to this on all other musicians.

Why even have a free market? Why not get all on a state payroll?

Loss-leader...? (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183300)

CDs, and music in general, should be viewed as a loss-leader to get people in to see them perform.

Unfortunately, right now most musicians consider live gigs to be a loss-leader in order to get people to buy their CDs. How exactly are they to make money if the CDs are to be a loss-leader too? I'm not The Police, and I'll never be able to command those ticket prices.

HAL.

Re:Take my hard earned money, please (1)

aesiamun (862627) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183310)

The problem i have with live shows is this:

I've been to a bunch of shows, Paul Oakenfold, Sasha and Digweed, Chemical Brothers, NIN, and many more lately. But I've also been to shows from other styles: Guster, They might be Giants, etc.

Here's my problem...some shows are excellent, Sasha and Digweed, Chemical Brothers, Paul Oakenfold are great live. You know why? They attract a certain style of concert goers. TMBG does as well.

NIN, Guster, almost any band that gets any form of current local radio play, they attract kids...stupid disrespectful, loud kids. Concerts aren't fun with them around. Even the Stones got this fanbase for some reason. I won't pay $200 to see a bunch of kids with their cellphones recording the show, being loud, jumping around next to me, etc.

I guess I don't really have a point other than, if you make it to any form of local radio (even Rochester has WBER, which is very accepting of independent and semi independent musicians), the shows in this area are going to suck.

Re:Take my hard earned money, please (1)

aesiamun (862627) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183396)

Oh and also, I think the style of musician makes a difference too. NIN, Guster just aren't like they used to be. Guster lost it's flair to me when they stopped using hand drums and added another band member. NIN just may not make a great live show.

Oakenfold, S&D, Chemical Brothers, etc don't have to worry about vocals so much, they concentrate on the music, the lighting, the sounds that come at you from all directions. Maybe that's what makes me enjoy them more. TMBG is just damned fun live.

DRM Free (1)

lazlow (94602) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183058)

I download live concerts from archive.org

Well... (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183062)

This might reveal that I am a sheep with my OS (I don't have the time to convert archicad to a non-windows system right now), but who cares:
You know, you could just record anything off your sound card through a method as simple as windows sound recorder (although you should use something better than that if you want stereo audio and whatnot). All of a sudden songs encrypted in flash, on youtube and heck, even from streaming radio, seem a lot less...inaccessible.
Of course if you didn't know how to download the videos from youtube and convert those to MP3 you shouldn't be posting here.
Personally if I was a band though, I'd check popular youtube series'. Sounds funny I know, but ask them if you can do a tribute song for them. They'll feature it and bam, 900,000 views (see: Kaj or Yugioh Abridged). But this might just work on fools like me who watch videos to find my music.

Submission answers own question (4, Insightful)

Have Blue (616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183066)

The reason people ignore DRM-free music while simultaneously complaining about DRMed music from EMI isn't that they're ignorant or hypocrites- it's that they want the music EMI is selling. Maybe you're after some classic rock act that signed up to a label before not doing so was even an option. Maybe you actually like music that shows up on the pop charts. You can't just say "listen to this instead" and expect an identical experience. Music isn't a commodity that one can simple switch to a different supplier of on a whim; each band is unique and there's personal taste involved. There are dozens of Led Zeppelin cover bands and hundreds of bands with a similar sound, but there's only one Zep and only one place to legally get it from.

Re:Submission answers own question (1)

koreth (409849) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183436)

You've nailed it in my case. Most of the music I'm buying these days isn't in genres that are well represented on Emusic or any of the all-the-electric-guitar-and-electronica-you-can-ea t sites. And no, not because I'm buying Britney Spears albums -- my last purchase was an import CD of early 20th century recordings of Chinese folk music, to give you some idea.

If you like listening to trance or house music, you have been overflowing in DRM-free purchase options for years already. If you like alternative rock (whatever that means exactly) or acid jazz, you're in okay shape. Classical, the selection starts to get pretty limited. And if you like mainstream pop or a lot of foreign-language music, you're pretty much stuck buying CDs, putting up with DRM, or pirating it. Music is not a fungible commodity -- you can't just replace your favorite artist with some no-name hack and be equally satisfied.

Guess what... (1)

singingjim (957822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183090)

Maybe the big labels know what a helluva lot of music lovers know, that a lot of "music" that is out there just plain SUCKS. DRM or no DRM.

Maybe we like the artists that the major labels employ. We shouldn't like the artists because the companies they work for suck? The whole "there's other music to listen to" argument is stupid. People want to listen to what they want to listen to. DRM is just a nuisance that will hopefully go away just like the crappy music won't get listened to because it's just crappy.

Bang Camaro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183116)

These guys freaking rock:

http://www.cdfreedom.com/bangcamaro/ [cdfreedom.com]

Just saying ...

Labels already sell all their warez DRM-free (4, Informative)

gsfprez (27403) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183124)

if i like a band - like DMB - i buy the CDs now.

Even itunes has become a PITA when i want to make an MP3 CD for my car. I've decided i'm no longer going to buy from iTunes until i can convert the songs into mp3 in 1 step.

Remember - everything that the lables are telling you is bullshit when it comes to DRM - because they sell ALL of their music RIGHT NOW DRM-Free.... At WalMart, Target, Best Buy, Amazon, etc.

All Steve Jobs asked for was to have the same ability the CD-selling stores have - the ability to sell music DRM-free. Absolutely nothing different.

My DRM-free offerings (1)

toddhisattva (127032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183150)

Prague [freewebs.com]

Proggy music to wash your brain in DRM-free MPEG-4 AAC playable in iTunes, mplayer, WinAmp, and so on.

I'm thinking of a "listenware" license, if you download it you are obligated to listen to it once all the way through.

Especially Make It Stop [freewebs.com] is that the perfect name or what?

The open source Audacity was used for various audacious tasks in the production of this music.

I will try to put new music up a few times a year so check back once a season or so.

I will check back here later in the day for comments, suggestions, reviews, and insults.

If you like it tell your friends.

Enjoy!
-Toddhisattva

Prague [freewebs.com]

ps: no odd meter? WTF? The odd-meter monster is stuck in editing.

I'm Tired of the DRM Articles (0, Flamebait)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183162)

If you want the convenience of buying tracks online from major labels then it's coming with DRM. Deal with it. If you don't want DRM, buy the CD and rip it. Problem solved. Loseless music in a format with no DRM. If you don't want to pay full price for a CD, check out your local used CD store or order a used version online from EBay, Amazon or any one of the hundreds of other similar sites.

Nugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183192)

For those into The Dead, Phish, WSP, Ratdog, Mule, Little Feat and the likes, there's plenty of music here:

http://stash.nugs.net/stash.asp [nugs.net]

What about something like pandora? (1)

composer777 (175489) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183226)

What about something like pandora for DRM free music? That way users could quickly be steered in the direction of music that they are likely to enjoy...

Mixtapes anyone? (1)

sryx (34524) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183260)

At Radio Mixtape [radiomixtape.com] we let people create personal play lists [radiomixtape.com] out of promotional material and then share those play lists freely. And so far it has turned out that music labels are receptive. Our user base has grown to over 2,000 mixtapers already, and we have streamed music over 30,000 times now. It couldn't be easier, we even have the ability to swap mixtapes from a cell phone [mixbox.mobi] . 2007 really is shaping up to be the year of the end of DRM! -Jason

Requiem for mp3.com (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183274)

We had it, it was before DRM existed in any practical sense. I found new good artists, downloaded for free. If I liked it, I payed for it.

Not suprisingly, it was soon crushed by the big record companies.
Slowly they added their craptacular artists sample tracks, artificially inflated their ratings and drowned out the indipendants.
Then when it was so lame and no one used anymore they killed it

Classic embrace, extend, extinguish maneuver.

Somebody to filter your music for you (1)

jacobw (975909) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183324)

I agree with everybody who says the problem with all the DRM-free music by unsigned bands is that most of it is crap. Sturgeon's Law strikes again.

The solution, I've found, is to find an MP3 blog by somebody whose taste you share. That way, they will do the filtering for you. Personally, I'm a big fan of 3Hive [3hive.com] . A couple times a week, they post free MP3s made available by bands who want publicity. But they listen to all MP3s before posting them, and only post stuff they think is worth listening to. They have pretty eclectic taste, so you won't like the genre of everything they post--but they have GOOD taste, so everything they post will be among the better stuff within its genre.

education (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183420)

If you're complaining about major labels not releasing material, it's probably too late and you are part of the problem.

We shalt bow beforee thy knees, my master.
 

Warp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183434)

Time for the routine plug of Warp Records' music shop Bleep [bleep.com] . Warp are a indie label based in Sheffield, England, famed for experimental and avant-garde electronica such as Boards of Canada, Aphex Twin and Squarepusher. But Bleep also sells from lots of other indie labels, covering a very wide variety of music. It's all DRM-free (mostly high bitrate MP3, but some FLAC).

Hey, while checking my link, I notice that The Undertones' compilation [bleep.com] is available on Bleep - MP3 320kbps! 99p a track or £8.99 for the full 32 track double album! Result!

Difficult to find because there's so much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183468)

Not really. Services like Last.fm are a quick and easy solution to this problem.\

1. Find other independently minded music listeners with similar tastes to your own
2. join their 'groups'
3. listen to their music
4. kill labels
5. ???
6. Profit!

And this is where Web 2.0 fails.... (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183568)

Unfortunately this music is difficult to find because there is simply so much of it.

The problem with Web 2.0 thinking is that they insist having lots of metadata allows for a suitable means of editing -- it does not.

Web 2.0's metadata does help accentuate the positive, but Johnny Mercer's formula for success asks us to eliminate the negative. Right now, all Web 2.0 allows us to do is de-emphasise it, which isn't halfway good enough.

HAL.

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