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Music Media The Almighty Buck

Magnatune - a Non-Evil Record Label? 457

Posted by michael
from the brain-explodes dept.
jea6 writes "As seen on Fark and sure to intrest non-crossover Slashdotters, Magnatune is a record company with a catchy slogan. They highlight: 1) We're a record label. But we're not evil. 2) We call it 'try before you buy.' It's the shareware model applied to music. 3) Listen to hundreds of MP3'd albums from our artists. Or try our genre-based radio stations. 4) If you like what you hear, buy our music online for as little as $5 an album or license our music for commercial use. 5) Artists get a full 50% of the purchase price. And unlike most record labels, our artists keep their rights to their music. 6) Founded by musicians, for musicians. No major label connections. We are not evil. So if you are anti-RIAA (artist or consumer) and looking for an option (albeit a small option), this may be a start. The music is Creative Commons licensed, which is the brainchild of the eminent Lawrence Lessig."
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Magnatune - a Non-Evil Record Label?

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  • hmm (Score:4, Funny)

    by B3ryllium (571199) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @12:49PM (#7078468) Homepage
    Evil will always triumph over Good, because Good is Dumb.
    • yeah.. makes me nervous. "we are not evil". Reminds me of "I am not a crook". Or "I dont have a wife".

      I am not a karma whore
  • by Quixo-tastic (663394) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @12:51PM (#7078480)
    To the first tinfoil hat owning AC to suggest the RIAA submitted this to get their competition /.ed off the face of the planet. =)
  • by willll (635932) <yakgoatcamel@nosPaM.myrealbox.com> on Sunday September 28, 2003 @12:52PM (#7078487)
    but it still sucks unless its got good music.
    • by IRNI (5906)
      Well it is the idea that really matters. As more and more musicians get word of this, the more likely you will be to find good music. It will just take time but this is definately a step in the right direction. This gives the artists so much more potential to prosper from their music. My friends in the Genitorturers quit their label and formed their own. They are making a LOT more money than they did with Cleopatra but aren't getting distributed as much. They have a huge fan base so it is still working out
      • They are making a LOT more money than they did with Cleopatra but aren't getting distributed as much.

        Pardon my possibly naive economic reasoning, but...

        This begs the (horribly rhetorical) question: if you make more by calling the shots yourself, but get a smaller distribution, of what use is the larger distribution anyway?

        Plus, if you're smaller, you've got more room to grow.

        • I should probably rephrase that. a LOT more per cd.
    • by jsmyth (517568) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `htymsrej'> on Sunday September 28, 2003 @12:58PM (#7078539) Homepage
      but it still sucks unless its got good music.

      Depends what you consider good music. From what I can see, the RIAA and cronies tend to be pushing mass-market pop and "easy listening", so they can get their money back and much more.

      This way, good music can get to the top so much more easily, if it's all word of mouth and independent of mass-marketting, rather than hyped.

      • Depends what you consider good music. From what I can see, the RIAA and cronies tend to be pushing mass-market pop and easy listening, so they can get their money back and much more.
        Absolutely right. Sure the quality (tech side) of what they release is highest, cause they spend so big $ on it. But besides this - it's all the same pop again and again, they don't want to release something really new, cause it's risky. And people (when talking about millions of people, the majority) don't really want somethi
        • they don't want to release something really new, cause it's risky.

          It's risky, because sometimes people "experimenting with interesting sounds" just plain suck.

          The fact is Music IS a definable thing, though taste is subjective. A lot of music now days very barely falls into the definition of music. This goes for some pop music, but a whole LOT of indie music.

          Indie music, on the whole, DOES suck because the people either lack talent, lack recording skills, they lack the funds to get proper equipment, or
          • by metalhed77 (250273) <<andrewvc> <at> <gmail.com>> on Sunday September 28, 2003 @03:26PM (#7079559) Homepage
            Your argument is as old as time and it is eternally on the losing side. You could say the same thing about the impressionists. Oh, the true test of a good painting is if it is a perfect incarnation of man's splendor via realistic modeling / rendering. Well, let's get rid of Monet, Manet, and all art made after the neoclassical period. In fact we can apply this to every period of art history! I don't have any problem with your taste, you're entitled to it, just as I am entitled to mine. Let's not forget that it wasn't so long ago that the Beatles weren't considered music by many, and now they seem quite mild.

            I like experimental music. You can rant about it all you want, and that's fine. Just don't try to impose your unenlightened views upon me. Almost ALL experimental musicians are classically trained before they decide to try something new.
            • If anything could be considered music why do we have a seperate word than sound or noise? All music is sound, but not all sound is music. Experimental "music" is most often just sound and not music at all. And thats okay, but its not music just sounds.

              I do find it interesting though, that in a follow-up post you yourself make a value judgement on what is or is not music. Long live musical elitist hypocrisy!
          • by anon*127.0.0.1 (637224) <slashdot.baudkarma@com> on Sunday September 28, 2003 @03:49PM (#7079715) Journal
            Well, if you're happy with the major music labels deciding for you what it good and what sucks... more power to you. There seem to be an awful lot of people like you.

            I don't mind doing my own "quality control". I don't mind sifting through a bunch of crap to find a few gems. I'd rather have a few pearls and a bunch of dross then a sea of mediocre crap. Besides, if you follow your instincts and listen to the opinions of people you trust, you'll find good stuff more often then not. Stephen Hawking said that MC Frontalot had talent.... and by golly, he was right.

          • by sterno (16320) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @04:04PM (#7079827) Homepage
            Where this goes is that with the large volume of bands out there that can be so readily distributed, the value of critics and editors will increase. You find somebody who seems to agree with your tastes and follow their recommendations. Right now, the opinions of certain power brokers determines the fate of bands.

            The adventurous listeners can go out there and try all kinds of new things and then bring back what they like to the masses. Word of mouth will become a far more powerful engine for generating popularit than RIAA marketing. This is already true for many who've grown sick of pop radio.

            To speak from personal experience, I don't listen to the radio (except for NPR). But I listen to lots of music that never gets played on the radio. I've got a friend who's in a really good local band [gaskit.com], and I've got some friends who are really into music that always point me towards new things. So I get their recommendations, and I find that I like a large portion of what they recommend. Finally I experiment a little, usually finding crap, but occasionally discovering something new that I like.

            That's the future of music. The RIAA is screwed.

    • Rapoon [magnatune.com] is very good indeed.

      ~jeff
    • I'm playing around with their selection now. Be aware that any label just starting out isnt going to be producing stereotypically popular artists immediately.

      I am enjoying this group [magnatune.com] however. It vaguely reminds me of a combination of dylerium and dead can dance mixed in the style of hybrid.

      There is one thing thats good about this label thus far - they're not going for the stereotype. They're looking for artists that produce a unique sound, which is the only place to put your label on the map.
    • Marketed != Good (Score:4, Informative)

      by yintercept (517362) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @01:14PM (#7078660) Homepage Journal
      Our biggest problem is that we, as a society, have confused well marketed with "good." There's thousands of great musicians running around that are not well known.

      What main stream America wants is the marketed music. Well, guess what? marketing machines are about making money.

      Imagine who cool it would be if all the effort thrown into pirating the marketed stuff went into creating an underground force for marketing independent music?

      The cool thing about the creative commons license is that it is a start in making such an underground force.
      • Re:Marketed != Good (Score:4, Interesting)

        by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @01:48PM (#7078913) Journal
        Our biggest problem is that we, as a society, have confused well marketed with "good." There's thousands of great musicians running around that are not well known.
        That's why the ability to hear songs before buying is so important, and this label addresses that issue.

        I will not buy music before I've heard it. Bt where can I hear stuff outside the mainstream? Not on the radio (they won't play them), and not in the record store (too damn inconvenient to ask to listen to more than a few CDs there). Being able to download songs or listen to streamed music is a big help in selecting artists who have not been previously 'marketed'... so now we can continue to give the RIAA the finger and put our money where our mouth is.
      • >> ....we, as a society, have confused well marketed with "good."

        I doubt that. You're assuming that, given free choice, people will always buy "good" music. That's not true. People will buy music they like, whether or someone- even the buyer -- thinks it is good.

        That's why the books at the top of the bestseller lists are usually not at the top of anyone's "Good Books" list. When people want to be entertained, they buy something that entertains them. When they want to read a "good" book, or lis
    • Parent should not be modded up as it is two main reasons.

      A) Good music to you could be awful music to anyone else.

      B) This lable JUST started. I'm sorry they haven't signed thousands of artists in a matter of days.
    • That's what I thought too and I was plesantly surprised. I really like Shiva in Exile from their World Section and in classical Ensemble Sreteniye is exactly what I have been looking for. I really like eastern church music.
      Given their ecclectic selection this label should be every Slashdotter's wet dream.
    • May I take this opportunity to suggest you check out emusic.com [emusic.com]. I signed up for the 3 month at $15 a month subscription a few weeks ago and it's already MORE than met my expectations. I have over 1.5GB downloaded of high quality LAME encoded VBR non DRM mp3's already and there's NO LIMIT to how many you can get. Yes, sadly, they're part of Vivendi, but profits are split 50/50 with the artists.
    • But it doesn't suck if it's not good music as much as buying albums sucks if they aren't good, because you it only costs you 15 second of your listening time to try something. It can't really suck; at worst, it's useless (if your taste and theirs don't intersect at all).

      Furthermore, it doesn't even take up any of your listening time if you get your friends to listen to it and tell you what's good. It would be a neat hack to set up your mail client to provide the "X-Now-Playing" header, and, when reading a
  • by knowles420 (589383)
    50% sounds great. plus to retain creative control ove your music? not bad. this is a meme worth persuing.
  • by OmniVector (569062) <see my homepage> on Sunday September 28, 2003 @12:54PM (#7078506) Homepage
    What about all those people who have already signed their soul over to the devil? I'm sure if it were as simple as "switching" from one record label to another, many bands would. The choices today are getting better, but the contracts those people have to sign just to get their music on a cd is insane. The record company basically owns their ass for years before they can choose to go somewhere else, and even then in many cases the new record label they go to still has to pay a cut to the previos label.
    • I fear that the people who are locked into contracts are screwed, but the good news is that, if we can develop economic models that let musicians do better in the Free World than in RIAA-world, new musicians won't join, and established musicians won't renew contracts once their commitments are up. More and more musicians are going to start to realize that detaching yourself from your label and going independent can get you more money on 1/10 the sales, because you get to keep it.

      But if anyone is an unsi

      • by scoove (71173) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @01:25PM (#7078737)
        But if anyone is an unsigned band: don't sign with an RIAA-connected label

        Absolutely, and if you have any talent, it'll probably be wasted at a major RIAA label as well.

        There's been a lot of coverage the past few years about the real problems of these labels, including the absurd advances to dated artists like Michael Jackson (who never make back the advance money and end up costing other less prominant artists their chance), promotional efforts being spent on the tired old artists at the expense of up-and-coming ones ("Hey folks. That new Madonna album's out. Let's put lips on that pig!"), termination of thousands of smaller and newer artist contracts, fewer releases, etc.

        Compare that with a label like Metropolis Records [metropolis-records.com] which has amassed a base of artists like Funker Vogt, KMFDM, VNV Nation, Juno Reactor, Apoptygma Bezerk, Frontline Assembly, Project Pitchfork, De/Vision, etc. - much of the EBM and techno-industrial sounds come from this label.

        How do they play with the Internet community? They support royalty-free shoutcasting (which is how I found them and ended up spending a few $$$ on their artists!).

        Support these labels by buying direct whenever you can, and let them know each time you buy that the reason you're sending them business is because of their support for great artists and the promotion of a music marketplace free of RIAA manipulation and anticompetitive behavior.

        *scoove*
    • What about all those people who have already signed their soul over to the devil? I'm sure if it were as simple as "switching" from one record label to another, many bands would.

      One step at a time. First there has to be a better record label to switch over to.
    • by Amiga Trombone (592952) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @01:14PM (#7078665)
      What about all those people who have already signed their soul over to the devil? I'm sure if it were as simple as "switching" from one record label to another, many bands would. The choices today are getting better, but the contracts those people have to sign just to get their music on a cd is insane. The record company basically owns their ass for years before they can choose to go somewhere else, and even then in many cases the new record label they go to still has to pay a cut to the previos label.

      Well, yeah, there are a few pitfalls here. It's not just a matter of recording your stuff and throwing it out on the net. The Big Evil companies also do things like pay for promotion and help underwrite the cost of touring, exercise influence with the radio stations and MTV and whatnot to get the music played and brought to the attention of consumers. I'm not sure these guys have all the resources at their disposal to perform these functions. It wouldn't hurt to have an already highly successful artist or two sign on to this to help push it along. A stable of competent but unknown artists is fine, but is unlikely to generate the kind of revenues necessary to be able to afford to provide the kind of services the Big Evil companies provide.
    • The people that signed big made a mistake. Some genuinely did not understand the ramifactions, others might have, but were too greedy to care. Labels like the one featured are nothing novel. Small labels like that have existed for ages, and artists know about them. They generally still choose the oppressors because it is a choice between having [Insert Small Town] knowing your work and [Insert Large Portion of the Globe]. Or at least the chance of that; as I said, greed. I'm not saying all of the ones under
      • by zenyu (248067)
        The people that signed big made a mistake. Some genuinely did not understand the ramifactions, others might have, but were too greedy to care.

        My favorite band "Pee Shy" signed up with a small label that promoted them and generally treated them well and got their music sold to people like me. Then the label was bought by one of the big RIAA labels and all of a sudden no one at the label knew they existed but their contract said they had to make more CD's that the label approved of before they could move on
  • by Ubergrendle (531719) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @12:55PM (#7078518) Journal
    I've been trying this site for the past 48 hours. Their music selection is limited, but its a starting label...its a chicken & egg scenario i think -- Need customers to attract musicians.

    I found its offerings to be professional and compentent, if unremarkable. So far the site seems to deliver on what its promising. FREE downloads, FREE streaming audio. Their business model appears to be ethical (by my standards).

    Basically I'm waiting a week or two to see in the media if things are kosher before buying something: e.g. this is a legitimate venture?; they're on the up & up?; people don't have nasty customer service problems, etc.

    Slashdot users -- this is probably THE busienss model we've been biatching for. If this venture fails, lets try to make sure its not because of lack of demand.

    NOTE: I have NO affiliation with this site whatsoever. I can can barely read music. ;)
    • Indeed! This is exactly what most of us want. An ethical record label that lets us try the music and gives most of the money to the people who deserve it: the artists.

    • I found its offerings to be professional and compentent, if unremarkable. So far the site seems to deliver on what its promising. FREE downloads, FREE streaming audio. Their business model appears to be ethical (by my standards).

      Basically I'm waiting a week or two to see in the media if things are kosher before buying something: e.g. this is a legitimate venture?; they're on the up & up?; people don't have nasty customer service problems, etc.

      I've bought one CD from them after listening to the

    • Five dollars an album has always been my sweet point, which is 1/3rd the cost of existing CD's. The added bonus of artists getting 50 percent and keeping their rights seems to be the icing on the cake!

      I hope this takes off to the point of actually having the albums as CD's in the stores. I don't mind downloading, I just like keeping my purchases over the Internet to a minumum to prevent security and fraud problems.

      I can only hope that existing artists are smart enough to start using this system instead
  • Cool... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by akmolloy (686919) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @12:57PM (#7078533)
    Nice. Between this new label and cdbaby [cdbaby.com], maybe the artists will start to actually make something off of their CDs, and make me more apt to buy as well.
  • We call it 'try before you buy.' It's the shareware model applied to music.
    Many seem to prefer the freeware model of Kazaa! Recently read in TIME magazine --->" If you have coke coming from faucet at home, how much would you pay for a bottle? "
    • by daveo0331 (469843) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @01:01PM (#7078556) Homepage Journal
      If you have coke coming from faucet at home, how much would you pay for a bottle? "

      Same amount I would pay for a bottle of water, probably.
      • by Dr_LHA (30754)
        Same amount I would pay for a bottle of water, probably.

        If Evian came out of my faucet at home I wouldn't buy bottled water. Instead what comes out is some foul tasting sludge that only once put through the Brita filter is drinkable and then still tastes off. This is why I buy bottled water. So what's your point here? :-)
        • by danila (69889)
          People in Zurich have better water in their faucets and city fountains than Evian. They do in fact drink water from fountains and sometimes fill the bottles from them, but AFAIK they also buy some bottled water.

          People like free stuff, but they are also comfortable with paying for stuff. Hell, some people will even pay for land plots on the Moon, surely you can find some customers for your music.
    • Coke out of the faucet tastes awful... They put so much chlorine in it you can hardly taste the coke. The filters do an okay job, but I still buy my coke in the bottle.
    • White powder coming from your faucet?
  • Not New (Score:2, Interesting)

    by blinder (153117)
    This isn't new, in fact independent labels (like Victory Records, Drive Thru, Jade Tree etc.) have been going this for a long time (download full MP3's, completely legal)... and they are not any way tied to the RIAA.

    Why this is news, is ridiculous... this type of model is just good business if you are an independent label, because this is what gives you your edge over the majors, your ability to be flexible, without sacrificing the bottom line.

  • If it works (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dotwaffle (610149)
    If it works, and the artists use the label, then good luck to them. Personally, I'll buy music if I like it, and the only place I can hear it (and therefore form an opinion on whether I like it or not) is on the radio. A try before you buy is good, but without a radio station, it's useless. Thankfully, they've realised this, and it should be a great success! Maybe we'll see some non-evil bands (like Radiohead) join the label as well! Who knows! Anything can happen in the next half hour!
  • hmmmmm... (Score:2, Funny)

    by TWX (665546)
    Overheard in a Best Buy or Virgin Megastore as someone reaches for a CD from a major distributor:

    "It's Evil! Don't Touch It!"

    POOF!
  • Finally (Score:5, Interesting)

    by soliaus (626912) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @01:02PM (#7078565) Homepage Journal
    I like it, and have just bought 3 albums myself. Im happy to see there is finally a LEGAL solution. Now, if only the RIAA would wake up.

    One feature I think is extremely unique is that people can choose what they pay. From $5-18, and the recommended amount is $8.

  • I checked it out (Score:5, Informative)

    by iamacat (583406) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @01:06PM (#7078597)
    They don't have that much stuff yet, but what they have is not bad. It's regular music rather than just "experimental" stuff. Definitely better than what you hear on radio. I am definitely buying a few of their albums.

    Now, how long before big labels realize that they have to start making more variety of music? With Apple music store I can already preview, download and burn on CD so they would be making some money.
  • I just listened to one of the classical music ones (Bach on the Violin or something), and I found it to be pretty good. I'd buy it, but I think they just got slashdotted... :-| Anyway, I'll probably buy that and maybe a few other albums from them once their site's back up. See, RIAA? This is the way to sell music!
  • by Animats (122034) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @01:20PM (#7078697) Homepage
    Well, let's see. Under "rock", there are a few techno-pop songs, all kind of lame. Under "metal", effects pedals without much backing them. "Classical" here means medieval/renaissance, Bach on the cello, and choral works from the former USSR. "Electronica" lists most of the stuff from "Rock", and some of the stuff from "World Music" again.

    Downloading works fine. Everything plays with open-source Freeamp/Zinf. If you care.

    • by anubi (640541) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @02:18PM (#7079145) Journal
      I think they are just starting off, just as we do on a new topic. We quickly accumulate a variety of off-topic, trolls, redundant, insightful, interesting, funny, etc. posts. In their case, they will quickly accumulate a wide variety of music - of all types - just as we have types of posts.

      The gurus at Slashdot devised this really clever little distributed moderation system that works quite well to sort these posts by genre and revelence. I would think that Slashdot itself may provide an example of a ranking paradigm to help moderate the music at Magnatune. Statistics will evolve which show the more meaningful parameters of the music offered.

      If I were working on their system, I would probably try to configure the radio streams so I could detect if the stream was aborted. That is a strong indication the guy on the other end was not much interested in that one. I would maintain statistics on which song of an album was downloaded first. Knowing which track was downloaded first probably will generate data for which tracks are the best ones of the album, based on which spawned off downloads of other tracks.

      The album gets modded up for selling a track, a major mod if the entire album sells.

      Its a brand new site, a brand new paradigm. But they will have the same bugs to work out as CmdrTaco has worked out here. Maybe they can look over here and talk to CmdrTaco for some insights on handling a torrent of data of various quality and how to set up some sort of moderation system similar to the one working here.

      We are evolving. They will too.

  • the test (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GISGEOLOGYGEEK (708023) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @01:21PM (#7078700)
    Ok, Here's the big test! Now that all you music copiers have a way to get music at a reasonable price, that you can hear before you buy, where the musician is treated with respect ...

    What excuses will you use for stealing the music now?
  • I am listening to a classical music track right now - sounds great.

    I have been buying songs from Apple's Music Store - lots of fun, and I think that I will support Magnatune also: really, when people/organizations do something good support them!

    I like the use of a Creative Commons License also (I publish my free web books under a CC license and I was the featured commoner a few months ago - so I am a little biased :-)

    Not to be too idealistic here, but: if enough people buy from companies like Magnatune

  • ...we're going to see the big five labels sue this new one because the songs that the "Good Label" uses notes that can be found in their intellectual property. (Basically to be used as an attack against the Creative Commons license. Something like that, right?
  • I don't think you realize how diabolical the RIAA is. They saw a nice upstart record company, so they got Michael to sell out and Slashdot the site. How does it feel to be a tool of the oppressors?
  • Read this essay [negativland.com] by Steve Albini (producer Nirvana)

    quote "The band members have each earned about 1/3 as much as they would working at a 7-11, but they got to ride in a tour bus for a month."
  • I can't sing or play to save my life, so this it no good for me.

    I do however know a drummer from an unsigned band who hate the industry as it is and this might be what they're looking for. As it happens some of the band know people at music collage and many of them feel the same about the industry.

    The trouble is they're not exactly the types to be reading slashdot or otherwise stumbling across this.

    Time for me to start spreading the word. If some of the better new bands get to know about this and like it
  • ...but it doesn't matter much, since they're dead now.

    Thanks /. !!!
  • There are a (very few) RIAA artists who make ungodly amounts of money for their music (or marketing, or sex appeal...). The majority of those artists get screwed, but you don't hear about that in mainstream media.

    Let's make some independent artist rich. Famous enough to get an article about indie music in Time or similar. Non-mainstream music needs some marketing - to give examples that it can work, and to show the public that there are alternatives.

    We already brought the streaming from magnatune to it

  • I found this site last week via mefi [metafilter.com] and am very impressed.

    While I'll freely admit that they're in need of a few Brilliant Artists, they still have some impressive stuff, especially in regards to their Electronica content.

    But really, the thing that interests me more than anything is the business model and attitude. I mean, seriously, where else can you purchase movie rights to a song, based on movie budget, online? This is absolutely unheard of and should be commended.

    Brilliant ideas and 128kb mp3 stream
  • by Cordath (581672) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @01:57PM (#7078992)
    Small independant labels that give their artists good royalties are nothing new. However, such a label coming up with an online music service that is actually *good* is new!

    Let's compare this service to iTunes, the most popular current service.

    Price:
    iTunes - $0.99 per song
    Magnatune - $5.00 an album
    If it's a good album without crappy filler then Magnatune is the big winner here. Classical fans get a great deal, but pop fans may not, depending on the band. Overall, I'd give the edge to Magnatune, but not a big one.

    Format:
    iTunes - AAC with some annoying DRM
    Magnatune - Uncompressed WAV's!!!
    Absolutely no contest here. Finally an online music store has listened to audiophiles! They'd be smart to use a lossless compression format to save on their bandwidth costs though...

    Ethics:
    iTunes - Apple takes it's (big) cut and then the Artist's (frequently RIAA affiliated) label takes most of the rest.
    Magnatune - The artist gets 50%!!!
    Again, no contest. Instead of feeling guilty about fueling a powermad monster when you buy music you can feel good about supporting the people who actually made it!

    Selection:
    iTunes: Lots
    Magnatune: Not a lot
    iTunes is the clear winner here.

    To sum up, you get more for your money with magnatunes, including peace of mind. You just can't get many albums there... yet. If magnatune manages to get off the ground that may change, but they have a long road ahead of them. Their biggest challenge is getting more content. In my opinion they need to forge alliances with other like-minded independant labels. There are a lot out there, but many use mail-order as their only form of distribution! Magnatunes needs to get these labels on board pronto.
  • by orthogonal (588627) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @01:59PM (#7079013) Journal
    They may not be evil, but they may not be too smart either.

    When I went to buy one of their albums, Magnatune wanted me to type my credit card number on a NON-SSL page. Naturally, my attempted purchase ended right there. $5 to Magnatune and $5000 to man-in-the-middle hacker is not cheap.

    According to Magnatune's "forum", they plan to add SSL "in a few days". That this wasn't a higher priority makes me very worried; even if they do set up SSL, it suggests they might not be too careful with say, customer lists and credit card numbers.

    And there doesn't appear to be way to search through the albums for sale.

    Still, Magnatune's a step in the right direction.
    • by mabu (178417) *
      For the most part, SSL is a PR issue more than it is a security issue. I hate to break the bubble, but it's true. As long as you use a credit card (as opposed to a debit card) you are protected against fraud according to the Fair Credit Billing Act of 1976.

      What are the chances that someone is packet-sniffing the connection between the networks looking for credit card numbers, and what could they realistically do with it? Most peoples' passwords between the client and the server are in cleartext and that
  • by magnatune (711623) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @02:18PM (#7079142) Homepage
    Ok, so I discovered that I was slashdotted about an hour ago when Apache slowed to a crawl.

    Things look better now, but still sluggish. (at least it's still working).

    I've moved all graphics to my secondary server, running Squid. That helped Apache, but graphics are taking some time to come up. I'm bringing up another squid server now.

    Audio streaming seems to be working ok (at least for me)

    And THANKS for all the kind words on this thread (I'll respond to them once I get the servers running fast)

    - John (the Magnatune guy)

    • by magnatune (711623) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @02:59PM (#7079337) Homepage
      Ok, web site speed at Magnatune seems back to normal - nice & zippy!

      I'm now running a copy of the poorly-named but amazingly fast open-source "AOLserver" http://www.aolserver.com/ on port 81, feeding all graphics requests through it rather than through Apache. That seems to have alleviated all the (current) speed problems.

      Now, of course, that'll just encourage more people to visit, and I'll have new speed problems in a few hours (grin).

      -john

  • by Psychic Burrito (611532) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @05:08PM (#7080214)
    What's the point in signing on to this "good" label if they don't promote me outside their website? [magnatune.com]

    All they offer is a website to listen to the songs and then buy them. If I need that service, I'll use CD Baby [cdbaby.net], where I don't sign the rights to my music away. And boy do they have many artists already! [cdbaby.com].

    Additionaly, CD Baby takes a flat amount of $4 (CDs) [cdbaby.net] or 9% (iTunes music store) [cdbaby.net], all without signing my rights away. I think I know which one I'm choosing :-)

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