If you’ve got a broadband connection (DSL or cable) and you want to listen to some music, don’t overlook AOL Time Warner’s and Microsoft’s MSN Music. Both allow you to choose a channel from a long list of narrowly-targeted choices (Big Band jazz, Dixieland Jazz, Fusion, Ragtime, Smooth Jazz, and a couple of dozen more jazz channels, for example). […] continued

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Now that Napster has gone, other services are slowly coming up to speed for file sharing. It’s a slow process – the record companies have successfully created an atmosphere of fear and paranoia. Here’s an article about AudioGalaxy, a new service that operates similarly to Napster. It sounds like it’s on the verge of being overwhelmed by new users – and more importantly, I can’t imagine that it will be around for more than the blink of an eye before the record companies turn their doberman attorneys loose. […] continued

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The conventional wisdom has been that the record companies would target services like Napster with threats and lawsuits, but they would never attack individuals – for practical and PR reasons.

Forget it. The copyright police are watching.

The new services popping up to replace Napster – Gnutella and the like – do not use central servers. […] continued

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There’s a lot to learn about the copyright issues symbolized by the war against Napster. Copyright owners are waging a concerted battle with a single-minded goal: to make your every exposure to copyrighted material into an event that costs you money. In 1998 the Digital Millennium Copyright Act was presented as a benign update to old law, but its horrible consequences are going to reshape our world. […] continued

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I’m a fan of Media Jukebox for playing, recording, and organizing .mp3 files. Each of the main players – Windows Media Player, RealJukebox, and MusicMatch Jukebox – have annoying quirks or shortcomings that drove me to distraction. Media Jukebox does a lot of things with a minimum of fuss and a great deal of control. […] continued

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A fascinating article in today’s Wall Street Journal discusses some of the ways that software manufacturers are going to cooperate with the recording industry and attempt to kill the .mp3 format. The competing formats – Microsoft’s Windows Media Audio, Real Networks’ Real Audio, and others – all have more or less effective ways to lock up the files and prevent you from burning CDs, sharing the files, or loading them onto portable devices. […] continued

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My lawyer friends will appreciate this story. Last week jurors in a federal court trial in New York awarded $300,000 to an independent record label for copyright violations – delivered as 145 individual awards, one for each infringed song. The defendant,, was ecstatic, since it’s already been stung with multimillion dollar verdicts in other cases, and the plaintiff in this case was seeking $8.5 […] continued

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Here’s a good article that explains all the issues about file formats and pricing for downloadable music from the record labels – and concludes that they stand a good chance of getting it completely wrong.

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Here’s a glimpse of the future according to the recording industry.

Like the announcement with RealNetworks a couple of days ago and MSN yesterday, MTV and VH1 are rolling out a service with the cooperation of the major record labels. It’s routine – Internet radio and the option to buy songs by downloading them. […] continued

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RealNetworks and three of the five biggest music companies announced a new Net music service yesterday. Notably absent was Universal – the biggest catalog, but also the most vociferous opponent of online music – and Sony, busy developing its own service.

RealNetworks intends to operate the infrastructure and make the entire back catalog from the three companies available for download or streaming into your computer. […] continued

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Napster is gone. Its death may be more or less protracted, but it’s all over. There will now be a period of confusion – most of you will be well served by waiting until the dust settles. I’m a big fan of Media Jukebox, so I like their offer of $3 billion to the record industry to begin a new subscription-based source for legal online music. […] continued

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Even if Napster survives the court case, it won’t be fun for much longer. In addition to its plans for paid subscriptions, Napster now plans to add a “protection layer” to .mp3 files during their progress from someone else’s computer to your computer. The “protection” would prevent you, for example, from making an audio CD from the .mp3 […] continued

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