Efforts to understand, improve, or do less harm to the world around me.


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Problems of legal music

The ethics of file sharing are an issue I've been wrestling with for some time, but meanwhile I've been looking at fully legal options:
  • Internet radio - there are some terrific sources but this has progressively gotten more annoying, ironically from the often totally unique tracks. When you hear something you absolutely must have, its often not really available due to the pervasive nature of remixes. Often they can't be found through any means legal or otherwise.
  • Recorded radio - using Screamer (for Windows) provides an automatic recording function that will grab any net radio stations you listen to.
  • Commercial services with free sections - Several free and fully legal sources. (Thanks to Kimberly for this one.) iTunes doesn't exactly come with a catalog of free files like Amazon, but there are several sites that attempt to cover free music through Apple's service.
  • Unique formats - paradoxically, higher quality music is often more openly available than MP3 format music. If you don't mind converting your audio from a high quality, large file size format to something that will play on your portable, you can get quite a selection. This type of audio, known as "lossless," or near-perfect quality audio available, presumably comes from music enthusiasts who record concerts and collaborative music projects that have no clear owner. (Many retailers are gradually jumping on this bandwagon.)
  • Tip-Jar albums - Radiohead and NIN both have notably given away albums that encourage people to pay what they think is appropriate for an album. Gradually more artists have been trying this method.

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