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Gnomoradio: Creative Commons Music Sharing 147

Posted by michael
from the share-the-love dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I just stumbled upon Gnomoradio, a file sharing jukebox based on Creative Commons licenses. This program looks like a garage band's dream come true! It recommends songs based on each user's ratings, and has the capability to share them. Announced less than a year ago, the program has already made a great deal of progress, as can be seen from these screenshots. I downloaded the Debian package, and aside from a few interface quirks, the program works flawlessly. Is this the future of digital music, or should we be looking for something less centralized?"
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Gnomoradio: Creative Commons Music Sharing

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  • by nizo (81281) on Friday September 10, 2004 @10:52AM (#10213302) Homepage Journal
    This looks awesome, but how long before the RIAA starts feeding copyrighted music into the system and then gets it shut down? Things like this have to be their worst nightmare.
  • Only time... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by StevenHenderson (806391) <stevehendersonNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday September 10, 2004 @10:52AM (#10213304)
    Sure this is fine for the garage bands, but it will never catch on with the "mainstream" bands. This is for one reason. No money.

    Just as mp3.com used to be a great resource for me to find bands, the bigger artists tried to get in on it, but would never allow songs for download. Especially with the widespread adoption of "legit" music stores, I doubt this will catch on outside of indie groups (which is where I will continue to get my music).

  • by bizpile (758055) * on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:00AM (#10213378) Homepage
    This looks awesome, but how long before the RIAA starts feeding copyrighted music into the system and then gets it shut down? Things like this have to be their worst nightmare.

    Even for /. that statement seems a bit paranoid. I doubt that the RIAA would try to entrap people that are legally trading music the RIAA doesn't own when they have plenty of people actually illegally trading music they can go after.
  • The name (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MikeMacK (788889) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:01AM (#10213390)
    Perhaps the biggest stumbling block to wide-spread adoption - the name, "Gnomoradio". Come on guys, we can be a little more creative than that - not everything that is created for Gnome needs to use "Gnome" or a derivative there of in it's title.
  • by Thunderstruck (210399) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:02AM (#10213402)
    History is nothing if not cyclical. I've often lamented that local music is so hard to find now-a-days, and I honestly can't believe I'm the only one. For all but the last 200 years of human history, music was played live by local talent. Now, we have better technology and more people... there should be more local music rather than 10,000 radio staions all owned by clear channel with the same 35 song playlist. I for one welcome our new music source.
  • by tolan-b (230077) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:07AM (#10213436)
    It threatens their ditribution monopo^H model.
  • The Classics (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KrackHouse (628313) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:08AM (#10213437) Homepage
    Correct me if I'm wrong but nobody owns the works of Mozart. Now if all songs were incoded in Ogg format wouldn't it be feasible to create a legitamate radio station or stations based on Classical music that would be totally legal?
  • by tsg (262138) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:08AM (#10213439)
    Even for /. that statement seems a bit paranoid. I doubt that the RIAA would try to entrap people that are legally trading music the RIAA doesn't own when they have plenty of people actually illegally trading music they can go after.

    Unless their primary goal is to protect their obsolete business model, but they wouldn't do that....
  • Re:The name (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MaestroSartori (146297) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:10AM (#10213454) Homepage
    I quite like the name - "No More Radio"...
  • by Ignignot (782335) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:10AM (#10213455) Journal
    I think a better way to look at this is to say "is this the future of radio." Instead of the broad sweeping "...future of digital music." Ultimately the RIAA doesn't like things like this, but clearchannel must be sweating hard. They can see the chopping block, and maybe someday their head will go on it. Same thing goes for virgin records stores, sam goody, etc. The whole distribution network is getting beat up.
  • Re:The Classics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bill_Mische (253534) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:12AM (#10213481)
    er...only if the orchestra were also long dead. Otherwise they would hold the copyright to their performance. Nice try though.
  • by gosand (234100) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:18AM (#10213534)
    As per topic: it seems to me that centralization is a good thing when no copyright violations are taking place. It allows easy sorting/searching/etc. based on data that is easy to find (the central server) - I think this is a great thing for indy/garage/etc artists looking for another place to promote themselves.

    Funny how now we now assume something is illegal unless proven otherwise, instead of the opposite.

  • by gcaseye6677 (694805) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:19AM (#10213552)
    The RIAA has a history of trying their hardest to stop ALL online music distribution. Remember the early suits against the makers of Diamond RIO MP3 player? The thing couldn't even copy music, but they sued simply because they wanted to stall digital music. Then there were all of the lawsuits against MP3.com which didn't even carry RIAA music, but it was theoretically possible that it could be used for copyright infringement, so their lawsuit said. Like I've said all along, the record labels aren't so much bothered by kids downloading Britney Spears songs; what scares them is a digital distribution model so efficient that a band decides to use it rather than sign over their souls to a record company.
  • by stratjakt (596332) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:27AM (#10213645) Journal
    I should say it's not just Americans, it's everyone.

    People want to listen to the same songs and music because it helps them identify with each other. If you're the only fan of unknown band X, then you can't use that to link yourself to a particular crowd or lifestyle.

    Which is what the RIAA really sells, prepackaged "lifestyles".

    Want to be a non-conformist? Buy these CDs, and wear these cloths, pierce this, so you fit in just like every other non-conformist. (Yeah, the ass-backwardsness of that remark is on purpose).

  • by Chaotic Evil Cleric (622653) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:31AM (#10213690) Journal
    I would think this is worse for the RIAA, if it catches on. Like Microsoft, who turns a blind eye to widespread piracy but has secret Hallowe'eny-type meetings on how to covertly kill One-Percent-Of-The-Market Linux (through SCO, etc.), the RIAA knows that piracy of their music is not as bad as people ditching them completely to pirate OTHER people's music. Irrelevancy is their greatest worry right now, not piracy. And rightly so; they're easily replaced. At least piracy means they're still relevant.
  • by plasticmillion (649623) <matthew@allpeers.com> on Friday September 10, 2004 @12:15PM (#10214104) Homepage
    I don't think you're taking into account the effects of new technologies, some of which are already exploited by Gnomoradio (the internet, for example).

    Why do music companies market inane girl and boy bands instead of good indy music? Because their business model is based on the idea of high marginal costs for distribution. If there are 10,000 people in the world who will like a song enough to pay $1 for it, and it takes me two days in the studio and other two on my Mac to make the song, at a total cost of say $2,000, then it's a profitable enterprise and I should do it (ignoring opportunity costs but you get the point). The hitch is the cost of actually distributing the music. I can't really send 10 copies to 100,000 different stores in the hope that a few stores will sell a copy.

    Therefore it's more profitable for big music to concentrate on megabands that will justify the expense of creating a CD in X copies, shipping it to a bunch of stores and having to deal with unsold merchandise and returns. This is all changing now with the iTunes Store and the rest. Two things are still missing IMO:

    • A really good recommendation system that helps me find music that isn't backed by an enormous marketing budget.
    • A micropayment system.
    (Notice that I didn't mention DRM.)

    Personally I think the web, P2P technologies and micropayments are going to result in a renaissance of indy music.

  • by dpilot (134227) on Friday September 10, 2004 @12:31PM (#10214253) Homepage Journal
    Now we have gnomoradio, irate, and somewhere else they mention magnatune.

    Forget the programs, we need the standards. Isn't that what we've been saying about the Web and file exchange.

    These buggers all need to interoperate. I haven't looked in detail at all of them, but let's say that gnomoradio has hit the key points:
    1: publish the music
    2: publish the license - keep it legal
    3: ratings feedback
    I'd say we also need
    4: option to send money/payment/exchange to the artist

    We need standards, and let gnomoradio, irate, and magnatune all run on those standards. Then pick the one you like, that runs on your platform.

    3 disparate systems splits the catalog, and it's going to be tough enough to reach critical mass, as it is.

    Some sort of license check is necessary as a fundamental part of the infrastructure, to keep the ??AA of their backs.

    Provisions to pay the artist are a good idea. I wonder if percentage-wise voluntary payment works better or worse than spam.
  • by wounded_drake (455886) on Friday September 10, 2004 @01:54PM (#10215149)
    Perhaps this technology isn't the future of digital music, and maybe not even digital radio (although it certainly could be) -- but I believe it will play an important part in music discovery.

    And it might not be iRate or Gnomeradio in particular, but the idea behind them.

    Even when just applied to indie artists, I've found dozens of bands who are fantastic using iRate. In the process I've thrown out even more music that I didn't find enjoyable at all, but in a reasonably short time I was discovering music that would have taken me ages to find in any other way.

    Could this be applied to mainstream music? I don't see why not. How far away is the technology that allows me to have a custom radio station in my car and at home. I streams music, I rate it and a profile is built for me that is compared against other listeners from around the world. Seems better to me than listening to the various radio stations play the same songs every day, occasionaly adding something new . . . maybe even something I enjoy listening to.

    Chris. (And I do help with iRate development, so I'm somewhat biased.)

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