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Web Radio Negotiations Carry Poison Pill

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the in-a-tear-over-ripping dept.

Music 243

Adambomb writes "It seems that the deal that saved Net radio at the 11th hour, the new terms that would limit the maximum fee for multiple-channel Web radio broadcasts, contains a hook. To qualify for the cap, broadcasters must work to ensure that stream-ripping is not feasible. Given that the analog hole will always exist as far as I can imagine in such scenarios, is this even possible?" The article mentions the measures Net stations could easily take but have been reluctant to — lowering bit rates, playing jingles over the music, cross-fading songs. How long before they are backed into using these techniques?

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VICIOUS TROLS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19885491)

Don't feed the visiyous trols

Analog hole to recordering Audio (1)

MindKata (957167) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885805)

"visiyous trols" ... with spelling that bad, your entertainment value makes you almost worth feeding ... almost.

Anyway, from the main info page, "Given that the analog hole will always exist as far as I can imagine in such scenarios, is this even possible" ... this hole has existed on radios for decades (ever since tape recorders have existed). So that's no reason to prevent streaming audio.

Re:Analog hole to recordering Audio (1)

itlurksbeneath (952654) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886143)

this hole has existed on radios for decades (ever since tape recorders have existed). So that's no reason to prevent streaming audio.
To any logical person, this is obvious. However, keep in mind that the people that are making these rules are lawyers and money hungry record executives.

Ummmm... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19885495)

I don't think it is right to close web radio, but who the Hell listens to it ? I did a little and it sucked.

Re:Ummmm... (2, Interesting)

mlk (18543) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885515)

I do. Last.fm is great for my musical needs, and BBC Radio 4 & 7 for comedy.

Re:Ummmm... (4, Interesting)

jabuzz (182671) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885917)

Thing is that in the UK they are f*&ked when it comes to stream ripping. Any sane person stream rips either the Freeview (digital terrestrial TV with absolutely no DRM) version if available (has higher bitrates) or the DAB version. You do end up with an MP2, but it is a perfect digital copy and free of any DRM.

If you want music, you can just stream rip the Freeview music channels, the hits, TMF, and E4 (weekend morning only for E4). Full of music videos but here is the deal while the video itself is not suitable for stream ripping, as it is overlayed with channel graphics and other stuff, the audio is and you get a nice DMR free 192kbps MP2 file with no fades when you demux it from the video. It is dead easy to cookie cutter out the tracks if you are so enclined.

It would take at least a decade to force out the existing DRM free TV and radio.

Re:Ummmm... (2, Interesting)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885999)

Probably longer than that. It's based on the european DVB standards (which is partly why the boxes are so cheap) and encrypting the channels has been ruled out - to the point that very few of the boxes produced since the ondigital debacle several years ago even have CAM slots.

To encrypt a music channel you'd have to force 70 million people to buy new freeview decoders (by 2012 everyone will have at least one as the analogue signal will start disappearing). Not gonna happen.

Not only that... (2, Informative)

N Monkey (313423) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886145)

Thing is that in the UK they are f*&ked when it comes to stream ripping. Any sane person stream rips either the Freeview (digital terrestrial TV with absolutely no DRM) version if available (has higher bitrates) or the DAB version.

Not only that, but some DAB radios (e.g. http://www.pure-digital.com/Products/Product.asp?P roduct=VL-60767 [pure-digital.com] ) already come with an SD card slot so you can record the transmission. (It apparently also has a USB connector but I don't know if that can be used to transfer music.)

Re:Ummmm... (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885517)

I occasionally do, and it depends on the channel. Q Radio on the Internet in the UK is identical to Q Radio on Freeview (digital TV) so if you're on your computer and feel like listening to the radio then you can run it through your (already running) PC rather than having your TV on (and in a different room)

Somehow I suspect this legislation was written by legals with no idea of technology. Or even simple logic, come to that. "Well, it may come out as something you can hear, but make it so that you can't copy it, and lets just ignore the fact that if you can hear it you must be able to copy it in some way".

Re:Ummmm... (2, Informative)

Don_dumb (927108) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885555)

As another person has pointed out, all national and local (there are alot of stations) BBC radio is simultaneously streamed online, along with many radio shows to listen to whenever. All in streaming formats, so there is (at least here in the UK) definitely some radio worth tuning in for.
But it is usually just easier to use one of these [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Ummmm... (3, Interesting)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885671)

But it is usually just easier to use one of these.

Actually, I use one of these [bbc.co.uk] . Same form factor and user interface, but with the global choice of stations that internet radio has over standard AM/FM broadcast. There are some very good Jazz stations with good bitrates in Switzerland and France that I listen to a lot, AFAIK there is nothing of the sort locally since Jazz FM became Smooth FM.

Re:Ummmm... (2, Insightful)

rubberglove (1066394) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885659)

I don't think it's right to close television, but who the Hell watches it ? I did a little and it sucked.

Re:Ummmm... (2, Funny)

goarilla (908067) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885679)

you got tired of lost too, didn't you ?

Re:Ummmm... (2, Interesting)

mybadluck22 (750599) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885695)

I used to listen to di.fm quite a bit, and it was pretty cool. I was just getting into electronic music, but it was difficult to find stuff I liked, since no radio stations here (Los Angeles) play it consistantly (Granted, a few shows at night do, but you're looking at either listening to that or nothing, and you are only even given that option between a few hours on a few days.) so the net radio was perfect for me. I found it through iTunes' Radio listing, so I never was taken to the di.fm site anyway (I have since gone on my own, but that's not the point). I wound up ripping the stream for a few weeks, and after eliminating the duplicates and such, it was a nice addition to my music library, not to mention pointed me in the right direction. The stream was only 96 kbps, but that's still not unlistenable. Anyway, the point is, now I know what I like, and if any of the artists I found were performing, I'd see them. Unfortunately, many of the artists are European, so the point is moot. Oh well. Oh, and last.fm is cool for stuff like that, too, but I didn't learn about it until much later.

What the.... fuck... was this? (3, Informative)

Sneakernets (1026296) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885507)

Impossible. Nothing was saved. As long as microphones and Full duplex cards exist, and a headphone jack, you cannot...

Why is my nose bleeding?

Re:What the.... fuck... was this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19885879)

Thats the thing with the analogue loop: noise will be added regardless. Digital streams don't suffer from this as they do not need to be resampled. Maybe decrypted, but not resampled.

Re:What the.... fuck... was this? (2, Funny)

bmgoau (801508) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885953)

In other news: Several defendants in cases against piracy, bought to the courts by the RIAA, have mysteriously disappeared, died of cancer, heart attacks and car crashes. Amazingly all of their families have donated their entire estates to a charity setup to support artists forced into poverty by the growing piracy epidemic.

Re:What the.... fuck... was this? (1)

neersign (956437) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886261)

Who thinks of this crap? Some one talking or cross-fading doesn't keep me from recording...it just means I record some one talking or the cross-fading. Is this not like using a cassette deck to record a regular radio stream? People have been doing this for years. People will be doing this for years to come. I guess if it saves net radio then I don't care, but seriously, what are these guys smoking and can I have some?

DRM anyone??? (1)

darutha (1128221) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885511)

This will be used to force AACS on end users. Instead of web radio paying the bill, it will be consumers.

Re:DRM anyone??? (2, Funny)

Tatarize (682683) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885569)

No. Just close the audio hole. Total audio saturation, even at the analog level.

Lowering bit rates? (1)

Anonymous Cowled (917825) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885535)

Alll the radio stations I've heard are 96 Kbps - and that's crappy quality as is... who would want to listen to anything with a lower bit rate?

Re:Lowering bit rates? (2, Informative)

DaveCar (189300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885573)

Try an AACPlus stream at 24Kbps. Yes, you read that right: 24.

Something like one of the channels at di.fm.

For the kind of listening I do with the radio (casual, background stuff) the quality is really quite incredible.

If you use Linux the FAAD GStreamer plugin decodes it.

Re:Lowering bit rates? (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885651)

96k? There seems to be a huge gulf between commercial stations broadcasting at 32kbps (mostly WMA) and non-commercial ones at 128kbps (MP3) among the one's I've listened to.

Italian Radio (5, Interesting)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885541)

When I lived in Italy, I noticed the DJs always talked over the first and last 20 seconds of every song. A friend told me it was so that people don't record the music.

It's kind of annoying, but understandable. The RIAA wants to use MTV and radio as an advertisement for CDs and DVDs. The artists want to use the CDs and DVDs as an advertisement for live performances. The radio stations want to use music as a filler between their own advertisements.

In the end, everyone makes money.

Re:Italian Radio (2, Interesting)

thegnu (557446) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885801)

The RIAA wants to use MTV and radio as an advertisement for CDs and DVDs
Yes, but they charge for every play, then pocket the money. They're full of it, and treat consumers and artists (their suppliers) like shit. The reason why MTV and VH1 don't play music videos anymore is because the RIAA decided that music videos were no longer valuable as promotion (WHAT!!!?), and so they started charging per play. So MTV examined their books, and said fuck it, we're running Real World.

And it's been that way ever since.

The artists want to use the CDs and DVDs as an advertisement for live performances.

Some of the artists care about making music, too.

The radio stations want to use music as a filler between their own advertisements.

That's why I don't listen to the radio.

I'm sure I'm not alone in this, but I don't watch MTV because they don't have music videos, and if a radio station talks over a goddamn song, it's OVER. So thank you, RIAA.

PS: Oh, and RIAA? I know I may be the minority, but when Napster was around, and you guys hadn't enlightened me to the fact that you're total assholes, I purchased an average of 1 CD a week. Because of music downloads.

[/blockquote] (2, Funny)

thegnu (557446) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885813)

[/blockquote]
[/blockquote][/blockquote][/blockquote]
errrm....
[/blockquote]

Re:Italian Radio (1)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886303)

MTV as a music advertisement? Don't be silly... MTV stopped playing music years ago.

Re:Italian Radio (1)

DrLex (811382) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886361)

In the end, everyone makes money.
No, in the end, I stop listening to radio and play my own music.

Already done? (3, Informative)

jgiam (971425) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885547)

Sky.fm and Smoothjazz.com are already doing crossfading. Plus they crossfade jingles into the end of a track, so if you try to stream-rip, the jingle gets saved too. I can't speak for the other Internet Radio stations.

Re:Already done? (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885963)

Anyone who listens to a music station that corrupts every song with a jingle deserves what they get.

Re:Already done? (1)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886147)

I've listened to sky.fm's Alternative Diagnosis quite a bit, and haven't heard any advertising or crossfading. Actually, a while ago I did hear some adverts urging people to visit the savenetradio.org site, but that was the first time I'd heard any kind of advertising.

This is, I presume, the premium feed -- my ISP (Internode) carries their streams at 192kbit as a value-add to their customers, while the free streams on the sky.fm site are lower bitrate.

It might just be that this stream doesn't have enough listeners so they don't bother poisoning it with ads, of course. They also seem to have a pretty short playlist with a lot of repeats -- which would be appealing to anyone who wanted to rip those particular songs, I guess.

Re:Already done? (2, Funny)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886399)

It's actually pretty easy to get rid of the crossfading.
1. Grab some nice sound editing software (probably just steal it, you know, because you're a pirate).
2. Record tracks and split them up so that you catch the crossfades at both the beginning and end.
3. Once you have two versions of the same song, with different crossfades, use your new software to find and extract only the waves with "double strength". And subtract half of that from your actual songs until all you have is the add, or another song.
4. Now subtract what you have left from the track you want to keep. Voila.
5. ???
6. Profit!

Okay, so nobody is going to spend this much time on recording smooth jazz, or any other music format, as it would be cheaper to just buy the CD's. That's besides the fact that the file is going to be a bad quality 24, 48, or 96kbs file anyways... I'm only saying that it can, in fact, be done. I've done similar work, not removing crossfades, but taking out background noises from recordings and the like.

Payola killed the radio star (5, Interesting)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885557)

lowering bit rates, playing jingles over the music, cross-fading songs. How long before they are backed into using these techniques?
That can be really annoying. I remember listening to over the air radio in Brasil, in the middle nineties. FM radios were beginning to consolidate, and to cave into the pressure of the Majors, they began with this annoying habit to cut the music, crossfade into the other, to play the station jingle over three times over the song right over the catchy chorus. The list goes on and on.

Today, it is impossible to listen to radio there, not because of all these problems, but because payola there is rampant, and if you are lucky, you get to listen the same 50 songs over and over and over again. Once I recorded 24 hours of radio programming, and I was able to identify a group of 8 songs (I can remember the exact number) that played at least 4 times that particular day, and one that played every 2 hours. That was a special spot on the programming called "the song of the week", played every two hours, every day, for 7 days. The other radios had a similar sport, with variations in the name ("the best of the week, the hit of the week"). It is a mafia, and it is not exclusive on U.S.

Payola killed the radio star, and the internet will kill the payola star. Well, at least one man can dream.

Re:Payola killed the radio star (2, Informative)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885581)

Danish Radio P3 has a "song of the week" too, called "the unavoidable of the week", but that's is usually new upcomming music noone has heard off, and completely outside what the mafiaa is pushing. This creates hits for new independent artists all the time. So the concept isn't necessarily bad.

Re:Payola killed the radio star (1)

joto (134244) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886317)

Yes it is. It doesn't matter if it's a good or bad song. The point is that you have to listen to it every second hour for the whole week you're at work (if you listen to radio at work, that is!)

Re:Payola killed the radio star (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19885687)

Burbage dies on pg. 12 Hedwig dies on pg. 56 Mad-Eye dies on pg. 78 Scrimgeour dies on pg. 159 Wormtail dies on pg. 471 Dobby dies on pg. 476 Snape dies on pg. 658 Fred Weasley dies on pg. 637 Harry gets fucked up by Voldemort on pg. 704 but comes back to life on pg. 724 Tonks, Lupin, and Colin Creevy have their deaths confirmed on pg. 743 19 years after the events in the book: Ron has married Hermione, their two children are named Rose and Hugo Harry has married Ginny, their three children are named Lily, James, and Albus Severus. Draco Malfoy has a son named Scorpius The epilogue shows all of the children boarding the train for Hogwarts together.

Re:Payola killed the radio star (1, Informative)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886067)

Darth Vader is Luke's father ...

Re:Payola killed the radio star (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885691)

Lowering bitrates is more than annoying, it makes the station unlistenable, and I'll find another one that plays the same type of music. Playing jingles over the song is annoying if its in the middle of the song, but if its over the fadeout, I don't mind, nor do I mind crossfading. At least these measures are compatible with the growing number of hardware devices that can be used to listen to internet radio, unlike some of the other copy-protection or banner-ad-enforcement schemes that internet radio stations are starting to use.

Re:Payola killed the radio star (3, Insightful)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885893)

50? That sounds like way more than the stations here seem to play, they got maybe one hour worth of music that they shuffle and reshuffle all day while making horribly bad jokes and retarded lottery games. It's hell to work in a job where coworkers want to have the radio running for the whole time (not an office job though, mostly manual labor). Pop songs have way too mcuh repetition in them if you listen to them only once (they loop the chorus at least ten times after the verses are over, just to hammer it into your brain), adding reruns should be against the Geneva convention. I'm not sure hammering music into someone's head is a good way to make sales, when I hear a song 20 times a day the last thing on my mind is to buy it and hear it EVEN MORE.

Besides, we don't have any indie stations here. There was one once but it got bought out by a big station and now runs the same stuff everyone else is running. You could probably shut down all but one or two stations without decreasing the musical variety at all.

Analog hole and stream ripping (2, Insightful)

kill-1 (36256) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885577)

I'd say that making an analog recording isn't stream ripping. I think stream really means the digital bit stream, so no problem here.

Digital hole (5, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885689)

All the sound cards I own have an option to record "what you hear".

If you can hear it you can record it digitally.

Even without this there's SP-DIF connectors, etc., no analog conversion needed.

It's all moot though. So long as the RIAA sells CDs in shops then all music will have perfect copies available on P2P, no matter how much DRM they put into the online versions (sorry to break it to you, but your emperor's naked!)

Re:Digital hole (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885927)

Yep, I ripped a DRM crippled song from itunes yesterday by using the record what you hear option on my sound card.

Re:Digital hole (3, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886217)

All the sound cards I own have an option to record "what you hear".


Even with the sound hardware integrated onto many motherboards these days with the regular VIA, etc., 5.1 audio chipsets, the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture pretty much allows you to capture anything the sound card is putting out. So if it can be played on Linux, it can be captured on Linux.

Makes me wonder if they'll preclude open source platforms from listening to Internet radio streams.

Re:Analog hole and stream ripping (2, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885833)

The reality is there is very little stream ripping going on. Who really would bother, listen to an hour of music to rip three minutes, when it is so easy to get it else where and most often from a friend who already has the music your after.

You listen to web radio basically when you couldn't be bothered turning on a regular radio or you want to listen to a range of music that is no available via regular radio and mots importantly you are really interested in listen to any specific music your just after a musical background.

Expectations about the income web radio can deliver are just totally unrealistic and spending additional money in trying to 'secure' it is pointless. The more hassle every body has with the current media empires the quicker the independent music scene will develop and dominate.

Re:Analog hole and stream ripping (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885913)

You just turn it on, wait a few hours and see if it caught anything useful. I sure as hell won't listen to web radio live because then I can't skip a track I don't want to hear.

The more hassle every body has with the current media empires the quicker the independent music scene will develop and dominate.

I'm not sure about that, many people could end up not knowing about the less popular stuff and just abandoning the market completely. That's what I did between my early childhood and the rise of MP3, only after I was no longer constrained to the crap they play on the radio did I learn that they actually make music I'd want to listen to.

Re:Analog hole and stream ripping (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886231)

However, if you're just listening to the stream, you might as well back it up to your hard drive, and then if you hear something you like, you can pluck it out later with some audio program. Granted most web radio is pretty bad quality, max 128 kbps with most of it being 96 or even less. I think it would be nice if you could download whatever songs they played, say in 64 kbps, and then that would convince more people to buy the hi-fi CD version when they felt their audio quality was suffering.

Re:Analog hole and stream ripping (2, Insightful)

joto (134244) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886391)

However, if you're just listening to the stream, you might as well back it up to your hard drive, and then if you hear something you like, you can pluck it out later with some audio program.

Or more easily, you could get download the playlist of the show, and search for the songs in your favourite file-sharing program. What the radio-stations really need to keep secret from us pirates, is the names of the songs they are playing.

Granted most web radio is pretty bad quality

Exactly.

I think it would be nice if you could download whatever songs they played, say in 64 kbps, and then that would convince more people to buy the hi-fi CD version when they felt their audio quality was suffering.

Maybe I'm a bit ahead of most people, but I no longer want a physical product. What I want, is to download the music from the Internet. Having to physically ship and get hold of a CD, and then rip it and throw it away, is a waste of time and money. And I don't want DRM either. I don't mind paying for my music, as these days I have a lot more money than time, but so far, only the pirates are able to give me what I want. If I pay, I have to go through hoops.

Stream ripping vs. "stream ripping" (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885991)

I doubt the actual wording of the law uses the term "stream ripping"; that's just the summary.

Why would anyone stream-rip? (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885597)

We have P2P, usenet, friends, and even clever use of google to find illegal music ripped straight from CD. Does the record industry seriously believe thayt stream ripping is seriously affecting their sales?

Re:Why would anyone stream-rip? (1)

Lavene (1025400) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885995)

We have P2P, usenet, friends, and even clever use of google to find illegal music ripped straight from CD. Does the record industry seriously believe thayt stream ripping is seriously affecting their sales?
I have never ripped a stream in my life although I listen to online radio quite a lot. I do however always have my p2p client open and if I like a piece of music I hear I'll download it... I usually have it on my HD before the station finish playing it.

But hey... let them waste their time preventing stream ripping... maybe they forget about the hundreds of better ways to pirate stuff.

Re:Why would anyone stream-rip? (2, Insightful)

danpsmith (922127) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886169)

We have P2P, usenet, friends, and even clever use of google to find illegal music ripped straight from CD. Does the record industry seriously believe thayt stream ripping is seriously affecting their sales?

No, that's just what they say they believe. People have been recording FM for years. The truth of the matter is that the RIAA doesn't like online radio because online radio isn't controllable via payola whereas terrestrial radio is. They'd rather bankrupt it than lose their stranglehold on all mass media. If the online radio stations were smart, they'd start accepting tracks from anyone who: a) is not a member of the RIAA and b) is willing to allow their music to be streamed without restrictions. People online would then just get music from artists that are pro-freedom and aren't scared of having to compete quality wise with other artists. I would take this crap as a direct affront if I ran a radio station and would put the question out to the airwaves. There are non-greedy non-RIAA artists available, it's time that supply kicked in online.

Re:Why would anyone stream-rip? (3, Interesting)

init100 (915886) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886207)

One difference is that the RIAA can lurk on filesharing networks, sending you an invoice if they see your IP address, but there is no way that they can know if the radio stream is saved to the harddrive when a user listens to a webcast. It is thus completely safe from a legal standpoint.

But WHY? (4, Insightful)

aliquis (678370) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885615)

How many do rip music streams? Really? I have listened to lots of di.fm and similair back in the days when I was to lazy to download new MP3s but I have never ripped any stream. I know one guy who did but he only burned the whole mix to a CD-R to play in his car anyway, so it was just a sort of delayed playback.

What's the problem here? The money lost must be so very small.

Same with radio station nowadays, do they really need this kind of system longer? How many people care about casette tapes and record from radio?

They need to understand that we just download our illegal music file by file at even higher quality instead of ripping streams ;D, this is a non-issue.

Re:But WHY? (2, Interesting)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885657)

It's a convenience thing. Recording stuff to cassette then separating it out to get more or less what you would have bought on CD is/was a pain in the ass and took a lot of time. Stream-ripping might be theoretically equivalent but it's a lot easier - click a few buttons, go to work, come back and you have a ton of MP3s more or less identical to what you could have bought. Yes I know people wouldn't actually buy every track they hear on the radio, but even if you assume the average person might buy 1 in 100 songs they hear on the radio, with streamripping that's still lost sales because they have no incentive to do it.

Do people streamrip? Well, most stations I listen to (and I listen to net radio a lot) have text on their website saying "don't do that" so I assume it's not entirely obscure.

I suspect this will be quite easy to fix though, without DRM. Cross-fading/jingles are all simple solutions because they are fairly harmless for an actual listener, but if somebody wants to stick that track on their iPod or whatever it'll [a] be annoying for them and [b] be obvious to all their friends that they record their music off the radio, which is lame.

Re:But WHY? (2, Interesting)

drspliff (652992) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885767)

One of the main radio stations I listen to in the UK has a no-pirating policy:



  •  
  • Everything's streamed at 96kbps which is good enough quality to listen to.

  •  
  • There are no track names on the stream like other radio stations (this would be very tedious to do anyway, because it's all mixed live from vinyl)

  •  
  • If a record hasn't been released yet, the DJ's obliged to talk all over it or (after a few beers) try and sing along to stop people ripping it.

  •  
  • The DJs randomly talk over it anyway.

  •  
  • Most of the DJs are producers too, and will happily give you a preview copy if you ask nicely enough (or if you DJ professionally or semi-professionally).

  •  
  • All the shows are archived at 128kbit or higher mp3 anyway.

Oh, and nobody plays mafia^WRIAA music unless it's part of a mashup, in which case it's the least of their problems.



In such a niche area like this, there's hardly any piracy; the problems only start when you're playing music "owned" by large corporations or copyright federations, which I think is very damaging to the music industry.

Re:But WHY? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885935)

Is ripping from the radio actually piracy? Wouldn't this be just like having your VCR/PVR running for a while? Since those devices can be sold I'd assume recording a live stream is not against copyright.

Re:But WHY? (2, Interesting)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885973)

In the UK even using a VCR is technically a copyright violation - we never updated our laws to cope with the 20th century (and we have no hope with the 21st).

Of course no court in the land would prosecute someone for recording a TV programme, so the law is widely ignored, creating a worse situation since nobody gives a crap about it.

Re:But WHY? (1)

mungtor (306258) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886031)

I don't think so, since the VCR/PVR provisions fall under personal use guidelines (which may be part of "Fair Use", IANAL). Streamripping for personal use is just about the same as time shifting. The problem comes under the media company's fears of "perfect digital copies". Since some listeners are copyright violators they have made the (shaky) decision to treat every potential customer as a criminal.

Re:But WHY? (1)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886075)

Except the music is being broadcast at shite quality to begin with. Which pretty well makes it unlistenable anyway. 96kps is garbage. Why don't the indie labels get together and try to organize their own internet radio network? Or can't they? Is the law structured such that even if you're distributing music with 100% permission and endorsement by the owners, if you're doing it in a radio-like way you have to pay the RIAA or its local counterpart money? I wouldn't be surprised if they've rigged the system that way.

Re:But WHY? (3, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886323)

Crossfading and jingles is not harmless to the listener. It destroys the music. If it was harmless, then it wouldn't deter people from streamripping. How would you like it if you were watching a movie, and they decided to play some jingle instead of the dialog from the final scene? I can't remember which country it was (Finland?) but I hear they weren't allowed to play commercials or cut scenes from movies when they were played on TV, because it ruined the artistic integrity, and it's not the way the movie was meant to be seen. Although much music and movies today is lacking in artistic integrity, it's still wrong to cut up and play something over someone else's song.

Re:But WHY? (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886167)

I do. I rip a NPR stream, specifically the car talk and prairie home companion on saturdays to listen to in my car during the week on my commute. No I do not see the reasoning behind buying it in a form that is not playable on my mp3 player (I dont use the ipod in the company car, I use an iRiver) ignoring the fact that I already paid for the show anyways with my taxes and generous donations to my local NPR station.

So I use an automatic stream rip to time shift. I know of guys that time shift "Bob and Tom" radio show because they travel 240 miles a day for work and cant stand having to tune in a different station every 60 minutes.

My world has lots of people that stream rip.

Re:But WHY? (1)

ThePyro (645161) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886199)

How many do rip music streams? Really?

I certainly do - and it's my understanding that it's perfectly legal. I've got about 8 gigs of high-quality streams ripped from a favorite Internet radio station. I'm a subscriber to the station, but I must confess that I would cancel my subscription if unable to rip streams. The subscription fee is not worth it to me unless I can rip stuff and play it back later.

Crossfading songs?!? (2, Interesting)

jbarr (2233) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885621)

Cool! Now, I can hear music just like the DJ's played it back in the 70's!

Seriously though, while crossfading makes separating songs pretty much impossible, that presentation style was so distinctive. It really is a lost art, because it took real finesse for DJ's to get it sounding right with vinyl.

Re:Crossfading songs?!? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19885933)

I'm a DJ at a local radio station, we're on both online streams, and the AM band. My co-host and I _always_ cross-fade one song into the other. We don't like delays, and we hate that second of dead air between songs. It took me a while to get the hang of it, and it really is an art. It takes timing, skill, precision, and an ear for music, being off by so much as a tenth o a second completely ruins the transition. It takes planning, we don't just take a a bunch of songs out at random and cue them in succession. Some tracks just don't transition well into others. It even allows us (or allows me, anyway) to broaden and diversify our sets by getting away with playing tracks that, stylistically, are outside the confines of our designated programming. Hell, last week, I pulled off a seamless transition from Black Tape for a Blue Girl to oldschool Enslaved, just to prove that point. I'd never have gotten away with it without cross-fading.

We pride ourselves on being able to pull off transitions so seamless at times, our listeners have actually had to check our online playlists to tell when we go from one track to the next. I think it shows that we really love what we do. It makes putting together a 3-6 hour show more fun for us, as it isn't simply cuing music, as much as it is an actual performance. and we'd like to think it makes the show more fun and entertaining for the listeners. Our feedback suggests that our listeners do indeed appreciate the extra effort.

Neither of us have ever really had the thought of how this may complicate the process of ripping streams cross our minds. Frankly, I don't see a point, nor do I care much.

It's not as if you can't find the bulk of what we play (unless it's a promo direct from the record label, or some obscure live recording sent to us from the band, or some of our own original material) on BitTorrent or SoulSeek. You have the artist and title, all you need is bloody 30 seconds to run a search, and given a decent connection, two minutes to download the song.

Re:Crossfading songs?!? (4, Informative)

cosinezero (833532) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886257)

"It really is a lost art, because it took real finesse for DJ's to get it sounding right with vinyl."

-->It's not a lost art at all; djs in clubs do it every night, with much greater technical skill. Many match beats, some even match key, others even use various tricks with the mixer to provide greater range of blending options.

Really, the art is not dead; in fact, it's come a long, long way.

No matter, it still beats normal radio (2, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885629)

Even if they cut songs, talk into them and play some annoying jingle, compared to standard radio it's still gold. How often can you listen to the same crappy song before the urge to shoot the box is overwhelming? Currently, I measure my work hours in "umbrellas" (ya know that audio pollution called a song, right?). When I've heard it 8 times, my day is over, my 8 hours are done.

Does anyone really "record" off internet radio? Sit there for 12 hours like we used to in the pre-internet times in hopes that "your" song comes up and you can hit record? Oh, of course you can today just use software to do that, but still, simply sucking it from some P2P is easier.

Not to mention a "hole" that is more important than the audio hole. It's just like in real estate: Location, location, location. What keeps me from tuning into a station from Genericstan that doesn't care about the mafiaa?

take my bandwidth...please (1)

rubberglove (1066394) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885641)

from the article:

Like the music industry, Web radio stations aren't big fans of stream ripping. They'd rather have you come back to their site each time you want to listen to music.
Maybe that's true for stations with advertising in the stream (ugh), but why would the webcaster want me to use more of their bandwidth?

Get your terms straight (2, Informative)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885719)

Stream-ripping isn't analog recording. Stream-ripping becomes unfeasible with DRM (well unless the hack is trivially accessible and not pursued or fixed... which is never the case).

So the analog hole doesn't mean anything. They want to prevent direct digital ripping of the music on the station.

Re:Get your terms straight (1)

ookabooka (731013) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886087)

Well, my sound card has something called "What U Hear" which basically loops the output back into the input. . .internally. I think it is entirely possible (I don't know this for sure, it is just a logical assumption) that it doesn't even convert it to analog but instead takes the wave stream (series of floating point values at 44.1khz, dont know the technical name) from the OS/driver, and just puts that back into input without using the ADD converter. In this sense it is entirely digital, it skips the analog parts of both input and output; no analog conversion at all. There is no way DRM can stop that (short of maliciously crippling the driver) as it's about as low-level as you can get.

Now that I think about it, im not too sure what a DRM would do. Stop people from saving the actual stream and playing it back later through their player? Stopping people from taking the data before it goes to the soundcard and saving it? I'm sure you could find a software sound card emulator that does just that, takes whatever any program gives to it for it to output and instead saves to disk or something. I think the only way to stop people from recording it would be to introduce jingles and such into the music itself. . .what a joke.

Re:Get your terms straight (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886185)

Now that I think about it, im not too sure what a DRM would do. Stop people from saving the actual stream and playing it back later through their player? Stopping people from taking the data before it goes to the soundcard and saving it?

Your soundcard doesn't receive the actual stream, it receives decoded PCM sound, the actual stream could be protected. I agree with music just re-recording and recompressing isn't that big a deal, you'll lose some quality but not too much.

With video it becomes more tricky though.

Sword of Damocles (4, Interesting)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885721)

I'm convinced that all this (rate hike, denied appeals, last-minute "change of heart") was orchestrated expressly to get every web broadcaster into a deal that favors the recording industry. It's disgusting, in a "Lex Luthor teasing Superman with kryptonite" sort of way.

Gosh! Wonder why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19885727)

The article mentions the measures Net stations could easily take but have been reluctant to lowering bit rates, playing jingles over the music, cross-fading songs.

I dunno, maybe it's because some of those Net stations are by people who like and respect music for people who like and respect music? You know, music by "artists" who are actually worthy of the title? What a concept.

Easy solution from japanese porn (1)

Woy (606550) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885759)

Make reversible changes and let the (modified) player fix them for you.

Set record source to "Stereo Mix" (1)

residents_parking (1026556) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885829)

And voila! Who says you need analog?

Re:Set record source to "Stereo Mix" (2, Interesting)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886293)

Sir, I'm sorry to inform you that you have broken the law according to the DMCA. Our lawyers will contact you soon.
 
:( Really. Do you remember the case of the guy who spoke about the shift-key [slashdot.org] ?

Streaming Radio (2, Interesting)

verybadradio (1129207) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885853)

I've run my own radio station (a popular one at that) from my home for about 3 years. I stream at 80kbps. I've nobody complain about quality and I havent heard a single word from anyone about legality. The only thing I ever hear about my radio station is a stream of emails from indie bands who want air time OR people requesting playlists (to download I presume).

Re:Streaming Radio (2, Funny)

SableTek (963685) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886355)

"Our lawyers will be joining the FBI and BATF investigation of your domicile." - RIAA

Re:Streaming Radio (1)

verybadradio (1129207) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886429)

Yes, I realized that posting that on /. probably opened me up to all kinds of new problems. On the other hand, thank god, although american, my residence is in Europe and my site is registered to an Australian registrar and hosted elsewhere in the world. Things could get complicated.

Not that bad... (1)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885855)

Okay, so now that the music industry has killed radio over the air they're trying to kill radio on the internet as well, that makes sense. To those of you who would say this is a bad thing, just remember, they can only shoot themselves in the foot so many times before they run out of feet.

Crossfading? (3, Interesting)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885901)

I actually like cross fading of music. Am I really in the minority about that? Given the number of music players that have the option, I can't believe that I am.

Re:Crossfading? (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886219)

It's the first thing I turn off in all of those players.

I'm not so impatient that I can't cope with the gap between songs, but I hate - hate - when an album who's songs were meant to flow from one to the next is ruined by stupid cross fading. I suppose it wouldn't be a problem for people who like to listen to the "string of singles" types of playlists, but if you like to listen to whole albums, cross fading is evil.

Re:Crossfading? (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886321)

It depends on the songs. Cross-fading can sound really tacky, especially if the songs are close, but not identically pitched. You're right in that it's one of the least obnoxious analogue copy-protections (lol) that radios apply. Worse is when the last third of the song is chopped in favour advertising. I guess that listeners aren't the radio station's customers.

Independent distribution network (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19885907)

I believe that any restrictions from the RIAA can only pertain to music owned by its members. I'd love this to result in online sources providing a separate and competing channel for distribution of music not controlled by the RIAA.

The RIAA's power currently stems from one real source. They control the major channels for the marketing and distribution of music. In the past, control of recording studios and equipment has also been a big deal, but with the decreasing costs of recording equipment and improving technology, that has become less of a factor. These two factors have resulted in their ability to own most of the music that many people want to listen to.

If the online music sources were pushed away from music that was controlled by the RIAA, it could push them into providing an alternate distribution network, completely beyond the RIAA's control.

Ban FM? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885925)

What's next, force conventional radio to switch to DRM-encumbered PCM?

Re:Ban FM? (1, Funny)

Cheerio Boy (82178) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886113)

What's next, force conventional radio to switch to DRM-encumbered PCM?

You'll have to pry my analog ears from cold dead hands...erm...head!


As for your suggestion in a serious light - you know they'd do it if they could. Anything to get a "captive paying audience" rather than change their business model.

My Story (3, Interesting)

Zo0ok (209803) | more than 7 years ago | (#19885965)

I used to listen to music quite much. I bought everything on CD. My iPod made me listen to my music more, and I bought more and more music. After a while they started putting copy-protection on CDs. Around that time I more or less stopped buying music - not as a statement... but I was annoyed and I didnt really find so much interesting music either.

A few days ago I tried www.live365.com, which I havnt used in years. It is great! If it remains open I believe I will subscribe to it (to get CD-quality no-ad radio, that I can play in my HIFI-system at home). I also think I will start buying CDs with those artists I discover at live365. Really. No promises, no threats. I just think live365 may help me find CDs to buy. If they close it I doubt I will discover those artists.

Seems like an OK compromise--wait don't shoot!! (2, Interesting)

u-bend (1095729) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886017)

You know, I don't *like* it, and yes, I'd like to be able to rip a stream so that I can store the file and listen to it later to decide if I want to buy it, but it seems to me that the only onus on the radio stations under this "catch" is to stay vaguely abreast of those who are breaking their systems. Apple did this, quietly mending their DRM when it was broken to keep the RIAA off their back. When it comes down to it, if the RIAA and record companies are so lame that they feel they need these types of nominal assurances (and there's *always* going to be a way to get around them), then, well, I don't like it, but I'd much rather not say goodbye to Pandora and Last.fm, where I've been exposed to most of the great music I've *legally bought* in the last couple of years. On a slightly related note, I hope that Apple, with the digital distribution leverage that it has, is able to prove with its DRM-free tracks, that the old model doesn't work, but that may be too much to ask from the RIAA.

Web radio? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886027)

What is this "web radio" you speak of, and does it run on port 80?

shows their true hand (1)

zeychez117 (978181) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886091)

Presuming for a minute that the web radio 'reform' would have ensured proper royalty rates being collected, what does 'preventing stream ripping' have to do with that? A stream is a stream, if they can count it (and get their 'royalty pymt'), why does it matter to them if that stream is going right to someones ears, or being ripped?

As far as crossfading, mid-song jingles, etc, if i was web radio broadcaster, I'd say to Sound Exchange, record companies, etc: "if i am playing the song, and paying you for it, I want to play the song, the entire song, and nothing but the song. Anything less than that, meaning crossfading, etc, is more like a fair use excerpt of the song, and should not be counted as a 'play'".

Live venues are striking back (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886107)

Bought a ticket recently? Seen the massive other fees they tack on now? Do you understand what's happening? The musician gets paid a fraction of the 'ticket price'. NOT the extra fees. So when you pay $24 for a ticket and $17 in fees the act only gets a slice of the $24 and the venue pockets the $17 + whatever their skim of the $24 is.

So record companies are eventually going to:

Kill radio
Kill internet broadcast
Kill sharing
Force everyone to live venues;

Which are already screwing them harder than the record companies and live acts are screwing their audiences. And the acts and the record companies are just going to make less money until all the scumbags are broke. Except for maybe 2 dozen acts that make hundreds of millions of dollars for them.

Music will in fact become a lot more like movies than you imagine. There will be a tiny handful of 'blockbusters' each year all pretty much shit and music will die as an entertainment let alone an art form.

And I for one couldn't be happier. May the RIAA executives drown in the blood of their own children.

the consumer is NOT the customer! (1)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886121)

remember that the customer of the radio station is the advertisers, not the listeners who are merely "bait" to get the advertisers hooked into giving the station money.

... excepting when the listener is paying a subscription; sadly, especially in the case of TV, the consumer/listener often still has to suffer advertising.

you know.. (1)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886203)

>playing jingles over the music, cross-fading songs.

You know, I've always hated it when they did that. It completely messed up my radio recordings... -oh.

There was once a show on a Dutch channel (Kink FM), which would consist of 2 hours back to back music, which you could record to tape. The songlists would come out in a magazine that same week. After a few shows, it was cancelled. I wonder why.

B.

This wont work (2, Insightful)

jonwil (467024) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886227)

All that will happen is that people will continue to do what they do now, that is, when they hear something on the radio (internet or otherwise) they will either buy the song/CD or they will go to and download it.

Just boycott the MAFIAA (1)

cabalamat3 (1089523) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886247)

Perhaps the correct response would be for no-one to listen to Internet radio, and no-one to set up an Internet radio station broadcasting MAFIAA-licensed content. That way the MAFIAA get to keep their obnoxious rules, but at the same time they make no money from them, and hasten their path to irrelevence and bankrupcy.

So listen to other stations (1)

Yfrwlf (998822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886253)

At some point the artists who "sell their soul" will have to regret doing so. Let true internet radio competition begin! Goodbye RIAA, I won't miss you. :)

In order to qualify for the cap. . . (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886291)

In order to qualify for the cap, ensure that Fair Use capabilities such as timeshifting is impossible, so that regular listeners will miss out on your show and lose interest, furthering weakening of the market.

Way to go, RIAA members! Alienating customers on a daily basis. Bravo!

They stop the public from buying their music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19886305)

I am seriously getting tired of the major music groups-- all of them. Do they perform any studies before they launch their campaigns or do they confirm their actions by talking to their buddies?

I have always listened to music from multiple sources: radio, internet radio and other streams, downloading (gasp!), borrowing cassettes and cd's, et cetra. I've even (gasp again!), recorded cassettes from the radio and copies of others' cassettes as a kid. I've stuck to the legal methods where possible to the best of my knowledge. And in all cases in the past, if I've enjoyed the music, I'd either go out and buy a CD/tapes that contains it, or in some cases, other CD/tapes by the artist.

I've always tried to support the artists (or companies) that create things I like. Why? Because, silly me, I'd like to see them rewarded and I'd like to hear more. I'm by no means rich, I can only spend money for entertainment occasionally, but I do when I can. (This is true for me across other products as well.)

Nowadays, every major group that represents an artist or band's interests seems to be taking every step they can to stop me from giving them money. The common one (there are many) is: if I download or stream a song, they lose money. Wrong! If I do, I'll probably listen to it a few times and then trash it if I just don't like it or I WILL GO OUT AND BUY IT. The thing is, if I can't listen to the song first, I won't be buying it. And radio usually doesn't match my taste, so that usually doesn't work. Another one is: if I rip a stream (which I never have to date), I will not return to that internet station. Wrong! If I rip it (which is just time shifting in the same fashion as cassette recording regular radio), I will listed to that song from the rip and from the internet radio. And, again, if I go that far, I'm probably going out to buy it when I have the money. Listening from alternate sources (like, what about CD's?) does not stop me from listening to radio/internet radio. (Don't even get me started on the fallacy of DRM.)

I suppose they are concerned with the truly malicious. Those that collect everything for free and pay nothing. The thing is, the "anti-pirating" methods to date largely will not and cannot stop these people, the people that want it. It does however stop people like me from finding music to buy and thusly it stop me from giving my money to them. I already spend a lot less on music because I have trouble finding new music.

I wonder now... do they actually study the people they sell music to? It certainly doesn't feel like it. They seem so focused on making money that they are spending gobs of it in making sure they don't make it. Have they ever heard about not holding something you want too tightly?

They are crushing their industry in a desperate move to hold on to it. Adapt or fall!
--Dave Romig, Jr.

World's Largest Jukebox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19886369)

The World's Largest Jukebox is BBC Radio Two [bbc.co.uk] . Located in London, it is reckoned to contain a copy of every record ever made. Instead of an array of letter and number buttons, it has a website [bbc.co.uk] and a telephone line for making selections, and the records played are broadcast wirelessly to loudspeakers using Very High Frequency radio waves in the band 88 - 91MHz. Playing 24 hours a day, no fully-automated mechanism would be able to stand up to the thrashing it would take and so a veritable army of DJs are used to carry the records from the magazine (or "gram lib" as it is known in BBC speak) and operate the turntables.

There is even a special Training Camp [bbc.co.uk] for people who wish to become a Radio Two DJ.

Why do we need the record lables anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19886387)

With the now widespread use of the internet to listen to music, it's becoming easier and easier to distribute your work without a record lable. All you have to do is make it available for download on a website for a fee. The only hard part will be getting the word out about your music. That's exactly what Trent Reznor say's he's going to do as soon as he's fulfilled his contract. http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,217 41980-5006024,00.html [news.com.au]

KATT's Seventh Day (1)

spamking (967666) | more than 7 years ago | (#19886403)

Just an FYI for those of you who regularly listen to net radio or are looking for something new. KATT 100.5 FM in Oklahoma City has a show on Sundays called "The Katt's Seventh Day" where they pick several albums and play them back-to-back with little or no interruptions.

In the past when I listened the DJ would actually encourage folks to get their cassette tapes ready . . .

Who knows what you could try during their next webcast.

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