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Web Radio Negotiations Carry Poison Pill 243

Posted by kdawson
from the in-a-tear-over-ripping dept.
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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Web Radio Negotiations Carry Poison Pill

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  • by Sneakernets (1026296) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @05:39AM (#19885507) Journal
    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: (Score:3, Funny)

      by bmgoau (801508)
      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.
    • by neersign (956437)
      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?
    • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @09:50AM (#19886755) Homepage Journal
      I don't think that the analog hole is the real concern. The question that everyone should be asking is: How many pirates get their music from web radio? Does anyone even bother trying to record web radio?

      It seems to me that the RIAA members are stuck back in the 1980's when everyone used their tape decks to record music over the airwaves. We're not there anymore. Most people care enough about the audio quality that they'll either purchase the song from iTunes (more convenient, less hassle!) or download a copy from P2P that someone else has already pirated. And I can tell you that the "someone else" probably didn't use net radio as a master. He probably went out and purchased a single CD, ripped it, and (if he was enough of a jerk) returned it to the store as defective.

      The RIAA and its members need to get their heads out of their rears and get with modern times. Dollars to donuts says that any study on the piracy of net radio would find it to be nearly non-existent. Their worries amount to nothing more than chicken little crying "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!" If by some miraculous event the studies showed that people were stream ripping, then maybe it would be a good time to embrace services like iTunes to their fullest extent?

      Offering the product that people want at a price the market will bear is the best thing that any music company can do. The people who would spend the time engaging in stream ripping or P2P piracy aren't going to pay for the music anyway, so you gain very little by spending your time trying to stop them. Having DJs talk over music has never stopped freeloaders in the past, so I don't see why it would stop them now.
  • Italian Radio (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bios_Hakr (68586) <xptical@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @05:46AM (#19885541) Homepage
    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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by thegnu (557446)

      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 sin

    • by DrLex (811382)

      In the end, everyone makes money.
      No, in the end, I stop listening to radio and play my own music.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jellomizer (103300) *
        But that is always the natural progression. As people get older they get sick of listening to the new crap and get CDs of their old favorate songs of yesteryear which they use to hear on the radio when listening to the Radio was cool....

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dutchmonkey (1046018)

      "In the end, everyone makes money."

      I understand the point is that many of the people make _too much_ money, but it should be pointed out that they all do deserver _some_ money for their efforts. I know folks at various record lables, and they put in (easily) sixty hour weeks as a normal thing. I know many touring musicians with good CD sales, and they work tirelessly...practice, travel, shows, recording, promotion...it's non-stop almost year round.

      My point is: it's not wrong for labels and artists to

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jedidiah (1196)
        Profit for the artist is just a means to an end.

        The ultimate goal of copyright is to have all of that stuff copied freely and vigorously
        and built upon. The real deal is that Lars gets to make money for a time and then make
        way for the next generation. He was never supposed to be an eternal zombie vampire.

        If you the consumer can not copy or derive from the work then there should be no legal copyright protection on it.

        Lars was the consumer once.
        So were the members of Motorhead.
    • Re:Italian Radio (Score:4, Insightful)

      by value_added (719364) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @09:43AM (#19886693)
      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.

      That's been going on since the 60's that I remember, and probably longer. It has everything to do with the DJ's sense of self-importance (making a living delivering monologues will do that to you), and the station's need to interject commercial sponsor or promotional messages wherever and whenever possible. Any musical intro to a song would invite a voice over. The tail end of a song, if not cut off altogether would similarly be talked over.

      There was a brief respite during the 70s when people started buying LP albums (singles were dismissed), migrated to FM, and drugs became popular. On a given night, it wasn't unusual to hear the entire side of an LP album being played without interruption of any kind.

      Things changed over time, of course. Drugs fell out of use, the "album version" was replaced by the single, and the need to make money became paramount. Some stations even resorted to increasing the speed at which songs played. Today, commercial radio is like AM radio was way back when (lots of commercials, interruptions, self-promotion, and a limited but rotating playlist) and AM radio turned into .. well, that's another subject. I'm surprised to see that people still listen to commercial radio of any kind.
  • Already done? (Score:3, Informative)

    by jgiam (971425) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @05:48AM (#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.
    • Anyone who listens to a music station that corrupts every song with a jingle deserves what they get.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by steveo777 (183629)
      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. N
  • by vivaoporto (1064484) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @05:52AM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Carewolf (581105)
      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.
    • by jrumney (197329)
      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 statio
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by KDR_11k (778916)
      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
    • by Random832 (694525)

      to play the station jingle over three times over the song right over the catchy chorus.
      That's the worst of all - I still remember "Radio Now 93.1 ain't nothin but mammals"
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jollyreaper (513215)
      [quote]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.[/quote]

      Wow, that completely sucks. It's like the broadcast stations these days always squishing the credits and playing
  • by kill-1 (36256) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @06:00AM (#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 (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Joce640k (829181) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @06:35AM (#19885689) Homepage
      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!)

      • Yep, I ripped a DRM crippled song from itunes yesterday by using the record what you hear option on my sound card.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rtb61 (674572)
      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

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by joto (134244)

          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 n

          • by CastrTroy (595695)
            I don't want a physical product provided I can re-download anything I buy at a later date if I happen to lose my copy. Having a CD as a hard copy is necessary because I can keep them in a safe place, and don't have to worry about losing my music. I use e-music, because it lets me do just that. Download whatever I've paid for as often as I want to, with no hassle. Digital media really is superior to CD media, provided I don't have to be a backup systems engineer to make sure I don't lose my music.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by rifter (147452)

        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.

        A major pull for web radio for me is the opportunity to be exposed to different kinds of music. If all I wanted was radio on the computer, the local stations have that and you can tune in to any regular radio station onlin

    • I doubt the actual wording of the law uses the term "stream ripping"; that's just the summary.
  • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by danpsmith (922127)

      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 me

    • by init100 (915886) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @08:34AM (#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.

    • [quote]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?[/quote]

      For that matter, who the hell carries camcorders into American theaters to record the movies? Everything is digital now, it's not like you suffer generation loss when making copies. There only has to be one good rip made in the entire world and now the movie is out. If I want a copy of the
  • But WHY? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aliquis (678370) <dospam@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @06:10AM (#19885615) Homepage
    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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      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

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by drspliff (652992)

        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.
      • Re:But WHY? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by CastrTroy (595695) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @08:56AM (#19886323) Homepage
        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? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @08:28AM (#19886167) Homepage
      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.
      • by Kimos (859729)

        My world has lots of people that stream rip.

        The stream ripping you describe is very different from what SoundExchange et. al. are trying to stop. Copying the entire radio show to CD or a music player to listen to later is pretty much impossible to stop. You will get you the same experience as every other listener, just at a later time. They are targeting people who meticulously rip and cut up tracks off of streaming radio and add them to their music collection. That kind of stream ripping is supposedly a

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by discogravy (455376)
        just fyi, the car talk show is available as a podcast. phc also has a podcast but only for the news from lake wobegon segment.
    • by ThePyro (645161)

      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.
    • by wrook (134116)
      I rip streams occasionally. But to be honest, I only do it to save bandwidth. I *like* listening to radio. I like hearing random songs that I may or may not have heard before. So when I rip streams, I do it with all the ads and cross-fades etc, etc. Then I just listen to it. Sometimes I'll rip a stream for a few hours and listen to it on my mp3 player. Sometimes I'll do it so I can listen to the stream at work without using up bandwidth.
    • Justification.


      It's a road block. It's a provision webcasters cannot easily adhere to. It's a license to shutdown/strong-arm stations selectively.

    • by kEnder242 (262421)
      I used to keep streamripper http://streamripper.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] going on tags trance and pick out the songs I liked.

      There's nothing better that thinking "wow! this song is awesome, I wish I had it" and then be able to play it back on my laptop/mp3 player.

      I remember a conversation concerning streamripper stating that the song info (id3 tags etc) were actually mandated by the DCMA, and that stations that mangled that information in order to make it impossible to separate songs were in violation of it.
  • Crossfading songs?!? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jbarr (2233) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @06:13AM (#19885621) Homepage
    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.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @07:44AM (#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.
      • by megabyte405 (608258) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @11:24AM (#19887911)
        I think you're confusing skilled crossfading (probably with beatmatching, which is generally appreciated) with automatic, "train-wreck" crossfading, where a computer (or a person) simply starts playing one track before the previous one ends, fading between them. That effectively "ruins" the beginning and end of a track, whereas what you're describing adds value to (at least the live) listening experience.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Reziac (43301) *
          Yep... there's a vast difference.

          When I was DJing, I used seamless segues whenever I could work them out -- it's fun to go from one genre or style to a contrasting genre or style by way of such transitions, and it draws the listener along with you, even when the next cut might not otherwise be to their taste.

          But as you say, the automated crossfading is just annoying. It creates several seconds of outright NOISE, in no way related to the music. And it ruins songs that have a special beginning or end.

          One of t
    • by cosinezero (833532) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @08:44AM (#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.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @06:18AM (#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?
    • by kimvette (919543)

      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?

      Simple: knowing that such a beast exists, and the chance of your discovering a streaming site that payola hasn't bought has the RIAA members frightened out of their wits. Why do you think they are working as hard as possible to require that ALL streaming sites pay up, regardless of whether

  • by suv4x4 (956391) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @06:46AM (#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.
    • by ookabooka (731013)
      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 anal
      • by suv4x4 (956391)
        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 th
    • by Otter (3800)
      So the analog hole doesn't mean anything. They want to prevent direct digital ripping of the music on the station.

      Exactly. Pandora already restricts streamripping. Live365 already restricts streamripping. IIRC, last.fm does, as well. This won't affect anything I listen to.

      Unless I'm missing something, neither the linked article nor the article it links suggest analog recording is what's at issue here. It seems to be pure FUD on the part of the submitter.

  • Sword of Damocles (Score:4, Interesting)

    by magus_melchior (262681) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @06:46AM (#19885721) Journal
    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.
  • Streaming Radio (Score:2, Interesting)

    by verybadradio (1129207)
    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: (Score:2, Funny)

      by SableTek (963685)
      "Our lawyers will be joining the FBI and BATF investigation of your domicile." - RIAA
  • 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? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MMC Monster (602931) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @07:37AM (#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.
    • by ivan256 (17499)
      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.
      • Fair enough. But those of us who make custom playlists for an "era" (I have some great playlists of classic rock songs), crossfading is actually not bad.
  • by argent (18001)
    What's next, force conventional radio to switch to DRM-encumbered PCM?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Cheerio Boy (82178)

      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 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Zo0ok (209803) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @07:50AM (#19885965) Homepage
    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.
  • by u-bend (1095729) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @07:57AM (#19886017) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • 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 c
  • 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.

  • >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 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jonwil (467024) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @08:40AM (#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.
  • 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!
  • why now? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mediis (952323)
    Why are they doing this now? I've been ripping streams for years... back when I was a kid we would rip a couple of streams a night... although the terms we used were different... "cassette deck", "record", and "radio station". Now I guess Dr. Demento will knocking down my door for royalties.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @09:40AM (#19886659) Homepage
    What happened to the wave of business books a few years back about the importance of putting the customer first, and showing that the companies that just concentrated on satisfying the customer--actually, I think "delighting, not just satisfying" was one of the phrases--consistently outperformed the companies that engaged in all the clever-clever manipulation and chiseling and trickery?

    If people want to record the stream, let 'em.

    They've been doing it for decades, folks. I remember a guy in college whose nickname was "tapes" because he had a huge collection of tapes of popular music recorded off the air. At 1-7/8 ips on open-reel tapes on an analog tape recorder, which dates me and the period.

    People always have been able to do stuff like that.

    And it never amounts to a hill of beans, in terms of hurting artists or recording companies or whatever, because it's just too much work organizing the recordings and editing the stream to find the starting and stopping points and labelling the tape boxes. And, these days, either accepting handwritten scribbled labels or futzing some more looking for cover art or pictures of the artist or editing CD labels or formatting LightScribe text.

    And it tends to be a lifecycle thing. You do that when you're in college and short on cash. People who are willing to put that much work into it are also people who are deeply committed to listening to music and sooner or later most of them get a job and a salary and suddenly they no longer have six hours to edit and organize recording but they do have a credit card and money to buy CDs or iTunes downloads or whatever.

    It's like worrying about the possibility that someone could pay for one newspaper but take two out of the vending box. Does it ever happen? Sure. Does it make it worth building a complicated, more expensive vending box? Obviously not, and the newspaper folks obviously understand the tradeoff.

    If the music companies just focussed on pleasing the customer, they'd do a lot better than they're doing now. It almost seems as if they're more concerned about the sheer abstract principle of the thing ("but they're robbing me!") than about dollars and cents. They're certainly not showing any concern for their customers.

  • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @02:58PM (#19891211)

    To qualify for the cap, broadcasters must work to ensure that stream-ripping is not feasible.
    The article mentions the measures Net stations could easily take but have been reluctant to -- lowering bit rates
    No, that makes stream-ripping undesireable. To make it infeasible you need to be like HDTV: increase the bitrate. 1920×1080p60 high definition video has a bitrate of 60 Mbit/s using current MPEG-2 compression technologies. 192 kb/s audio? Try 16 Gbit/s audio! Shove enough garbage data out of human auditory range in the stream that the end user can't keep up with a recorder, only push it to a device that can only output it.

    And then you won't have to pay as much in royalty fees as you will be paying in bandwidth costs. Result, you still won't be able to afford to do business against the Big Boys.

    The only thing I can hope for in the light of these royalty demands is that it will bring the radio drama back. Learn the foley arts, write some original scripts, and get some perfomers. Just make sure you use no music to set mood.

    Unfortunately, regurgitating news and political opinions (is there a difference anymore?) is a lot easier, and thus more likely.

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