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Audiogalaxy Returns as Pay Service 282

Triv writes "I just got an email from Audiogalaxy explaining how they have come back from the dead as a subscription service, labelled as Rhapsody."
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Audiogalaxy Returns as Pay Service

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  • Why bother? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Usenet has *much* better quality of music, complete albums, .nfo files, cover scans, and it's not hard to get a request posted.

    Fucking pay services. Course, try explaining to some asshole coworker how to use GrabIt -- despite being easy as poop, they'll never get it.
    • There are a lot of ISPs that don't have their own Usenet servers anymore. Those who do often don't carry the large volume *.bin.* groups. Germany's largest broadband ISP is an example for this. I'm surprised the RIAA isn't sueing the remaining into not carrying the (majority of the) bin groups, their whole purpouse is to violate copyrights, after all. There are free servers, but non-surprisingly, they're crap. The decent ones are pay services. They're pretty cool, though, if you're willing to pay for Warez.
    • I know being legal isn't a big point on Slashdot. But, with everyone on here whining for a legal way to get music electronically, this is one. It may not be the best, but it's the beginning of options.

      Not everyone wants to steal, steal, steal....
    • and gotten no response.

      But since I have the eyes of fellow Usenet users allow me to try again.

      Bottom line: Anyone that has used Usenet knows it is supperior to P2P networks.
      The only advantage that P2P networks enjoy over Usenet is the ability to find whatever you are looking for immediatly. With Usenet if you want something obscure you will probably not find it today. But the beauty of usenet is if you request it, and be patient it will be posted. And during that time you will find tons of stuff to peak your interest. And the audio quality is almost always supperior to P2P networks.

      That being the case here is my question.
      Why is it that the media says NOTHING of usenet?

      I pick up the newspaper and P2P was invented by Satan himself. But usenet is not mentioned anywhere.

      I am not complaining mind you. I have always just kinda shook my head whenever I read about the evils of P2P wondering this.

      • The reason p2p is vilified while usenet is ignored is simple:

        Ever since Napster, P2P apps have allowed total n00bs who barely know how to use a browser to swap files.

        Usenet, on the other hand, is something which is still mainly used by hard-core geeks, and is below the radar of nearly everybody.

      • Better yet, Usenet is organized by category of interest. Like garage? alt.binaries.sounds.mp3.garage. Punk? alt.binaries.punk. Usenet is a great resource for discovering new music from others who share your interests and tastes. I can't recall the last CD purchase I made that wasn't the result of a newsgroup download.
  • by joebp ( 528430 ) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @03:44PM (#4216834) Homepage
    5. Can I download MP3s?
    No. Rhapsody is a streaming-only service and does not offer MP3 downloads.
    So, I'm paying $10 a month for no tangible product?

    Woo, come here Microsoft, I want to rent a new OS!

    • by Squareball ( 523165 ) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @03:49PM (#4216862)
      well you pay for cable TV right? No tangible product.. AND you have to have a TV. This wont work becuase you have to have broadband to use it really.. and $10 a month on top of 50 a month for broadband isn't worth it as long as there is still systems like Kazaa
      • well you pay for cable TV right? No tangible product.
        The distinction being you can record cable and keep (but not distribute) the tapes as long as you like. With this, you can't even keep the streams for your own use.
        • In exchange for not recording you can stream anything whenever you want. I would personally pay for non recordable cable if I could do that, even if I was forced to sit through reasonable quantities of advertising. The problem with this is that the computer is not the optimum place to play music, nor watch TV. I wouldn't pay shit to have any cable at my computer, nor music.
        • You can record anything you hear. There's always analogue recording as a last resort, but I doubt they'll manage to keep out programs like Total Recorder [].
      • I pay for cable to watch on my TV, which is where I watch television anyhow. On the other hand, with this service I'd be paying to listen to music on my computer which is not where I listen to it. I listen to music on my stereo system, or in my car, or on my portable when I go for a walk. I'm not about to pay money for a service that makes me listen to music in a way that is inconvenient to my life.

        Is this worth $10/month over free Kazaa? Not in its current form. It's way worthwhile if I can actually download music in a non-proprietary protected format. Hell, it's worth $20/month. Why? Because with Kazaa and the like, I have to dig to find the music I want, it's not always in good quality, and it's never organized as an album. I will pay for that convenience, and I think a lot of people would. I also think most people would rather that the artists were getting money and would prefer to pay a little and insure that than just outright steal the stuff.
      • and $10 a month on top of 50 a month for broadband isn't worth it as long as there is still systems like Kazaa

        There's also these:

        If you know if any others in a similar vien, especially gothic or ambient, please let me know.
    • streaming only ?
      thats kind bad %-/

      i really dont think it worth paying for something like this...
    • If you can call a file tangible.

    • they better hope they don't use MP3 streaming cause they're gonna find out real fast that its succeptible to stream ripping.

      Even if the stream can't be ripped directly -- it's been said millions of times - if you can hear it, you can record it.
    • Unbelievable crap. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by User 956 ( 568564 )
      So, I'm paying $10 a month for no tangible product?

      Seriously. Is such a paid, streaming content model really a viable solution? When Thomas Jefferson put the idea of intellectual property into the Constitution of the United States, he did so because he realized that information leaks; once people learn something, they can reuse that knowledge. If there was no protection to intellectual property, people would not be encouraged to share knowledge with others. Writers would not write, inventors would not invent, artists would not . So in the US Constitution, it says:
      Congress shall have the power [...] To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
      The reason why this is important is spelled out in Jefferson's own writings:
      If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of everyone, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it...He who receives an idea from me, receives instructions himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should be spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature ... Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.
      His assumptions are based on the fact that you can not control what people do with information that you give to them. If you hand someone a book, they can transcribe it. If you give someone a physical invention, they can disassemble it. But if you give them a new form of media, say, a song on a copy-protected CD, and they can no longer listen to it except on approved devices that they cannot copy from, why should the government provide the same protection to you? The record companies and movie studios want to have their cake and eat it too. They want traditional copyright protection, technological copyright protection, and a government guarantee of technological copyright protection. They want to deprive all those bearded Linux hippies their DeCSS, so they can't watch bootleg Buffy the Vanpire Slayer DVDs in their parents' basement. But if they have technological protection, then why should the government give them traditional protection? It was only there because information was hard to protect as property.

      How far are we going to let the copyrighters go? We need to remind people that copyright, like most laws in the US, is a balance between two forces, and the scale should not be tipped too far to one side.
      • by mickwd ( 196449 ) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @04:47PM (#4217108)
        "If there was no protection to intellectual property, people would not be encouraged to share knowledge with others. Writers would not write, inventors would not invent, artists would not....."

        Well I guess this explains why Britain has never had any art or culture or scientific discoveries to speak of. Or France. Or Italy (what was all that Reneissance stuff anyway ?). The (Ancient) Greeks. The Egyptians. The Chinese. The Japanese. The Indian sub-continent. Many other countries I haven't got room to mention, or know little enough about. What heathens we've all been compared to the current cultural output from the USA.

        Sorry - I know there is some good art, literature, music and science being made in the USA today. I'm just saying you're over-stating your point.
        • Sorry - I know there is some good art, literature, music and science being made in the USA today. I'm just saying you're over-stating your point.

          Darn right! Here in Montanna we have entire museams dedicated to work of, and related to drunken cowboys. Not going to find that anywhere else. In your face Japaneseland!
      • Re:Unbelievable crap (Score:2, Interesting)

        by perfects ( 598301 )
        I realize that I am in the minority here on Slashdot when it comes to my opinions about IP law, but there are some serious flaws in your logic. For example,

        if they have technological protection, then why should the government give them traditional protection? It was only there because information was hard to protect as property.

        By that reasoning, if I buy better locks and window bars for my house the police should no longer patrol around my house. The only reason they drive around my neighborhood is that it's so easy to break into houses and steal things, right?

        Technological protection isn't intended to be a replacement for legal protection. The fact is that there is widespread, blatant disregard for the existing laws when it comes to copying intellectual property, and new digital technologies are making it easier and easier. And while new laws are in the pipeline it is unlikely that the U.S. government will provide additional enforcement. So companies that own the rights to digital music recordings (for example) want to find new ways to protect their property. They paid for the creation of the music, and they did that in order to be able to sell it and make a profit, and they want to be compensated when people use their property. This is true of both huge corporations and independent producers. And of software developers, movie producers, etc. etc. etc.

        I have a lot of trouble understanding the current furor over all of this. It's as if the citizens of a city with a high crime rate are standing up and shouting "This isn't fair! We have been able to steal things for years and years without fear of being arrested, and now they are passing new laws and enforcing the old ones, and people are installing new security systems in their houses to keep us out! We have done it for so long that we now have a RIGHT to steal things!

        I would love to see a poll taken about people's attitudes about this issue. I'd be willing to bet that there would be a direct, inverse correlation between 1) dislike for IP laws and technological copy protection and 2) the amount of creative work that a person has done. The more truly creative work that a person has produced in their lifetime, the more they would be in favor of strong copyright protection, both legal and technological.

        And that would produce an indirect correlation with age. The younger the person, the less genuinely creative work they would have done and the more likely they would be to think that it is their "right" to make free copies of other people's creative work.

        That, as far as I am concerned, is the "Unbelievable Crap".
      • If there was no protection to intellectual property, people would not be encouraged to share knowledge with others. Writers would not write, inventors would not invent, artists would not.

        If I look at the crap that people put out today with the protection of IP laws, I think this would actually be a good thing. The profit motive seems to lead to lots of writing, art, and inventions, but little of it any good.

        History shows that the artists, writers, and inventors who remain seem to do well enough. You know, like most of the great artists, scientists, and writers who lived before the 20th century and mostly worked for hire, on comission, or supported themselves with other work.

      • Jefferson was *against* copyrights and patents. He thought them unnatural. He only left them in as a compromise.

        James Madison was the person who viewed copyrights (and patents) as necessary.

        Here's something to consider (from an article at MSNBC):

        "While Jefferson acknowledged that a limited copyright could potentially encourage creativity, it had not been demonstrated. Therefore, Jefferson wrote, "the benefit of even limited monopolies is too doubtful, to be opposed to that of their general suppression." "

        Read the article at this link: ""

        If you go to Monticello, the curators will proudly tell you that Jefferson invented a new type of plow that became popular, but he never patented out of principle.

    • It's tangible enough if I always happen to want to listen to the music at a computer. This is, for most people, not the case. What I want to be able to do is download the music, so I can put it on my portable player, or, maybe even play it on one of my linux boxes (since this is a windows only program that would be out of the question).

      Will I pay $10/month for an on-line music service, yes. In fact I already have done this, using emusic. And with that service I get mp3's that I can download, move around, and enjoy wherever I want. Hell, I'd probably pay up to $20/month if the quality of the music was good enough and diverse enough to make me want to keep coming back for more.

      This will flop, just like all the other ones. The logic espoused by the record labels will be that they could make money on this sort of service if it wasn't for all those P2P pirates. In reality it is simply a matter of them not providing a quality service. I love that my privacy and freedom will get trampled because they can't make a quality service. My message to the RIAA: give us what we want, and we will pay for it. Don't give us what we want, and YOU will pay for it.
    • by RussGarrett ( 90459 ) <russ.garrett@co@uk> on Sunday September 08, 2002 @04:17PM (#4217000) Homepage
      Lots of people ask me what the goal is.

      The goal is for you to be able to play any song, anywhere you are, in CD quality, for less per month than the price of a cd. If you're too cheap to pony up, then you can listen to ads instead, but no more than 10m worth for every hour you listen. A light DRM in place is fine provided the technology exists to stream this anyplace you are. Who wants or needs downloads if you can just stream it whenever you want. Disks are so overrated. If the tech isn't there do make that happen, then screw the DRM and let those that will pirate pirate and those that will pay pay. You'll never get them to behave otherwise anyway.

      That's the goal. First person to make it happen wins everything.

      Tom Pepper, Nullsoft

      Think about it. If you had unlimited cheap streaming access to any music anywhere in the world, what's the point in downloading? There is none. You save many gigabytes of hard disk space too. With increasing bandwidth to the home, this is only going to get more popular. If AG can pull this off, and they can pull it off well, they will have my great respect (and my $10).

      • Unless, of course, you want to put some tunes onto your iPod or Nomad and get the hell out of your house for a change.
        • Which is of course where your 3G mobile with audio support comes in. Granted today you pay hundreds of dollars per gigabyte of mobile data transfer, as with all things technological, in 8 or 10 years, you'll get 10Gb of 512kbps transfer for free with your $10 a month mobile contract. Any song ever sung, available instantly from anywhere you have mobile coverage (which is almost everywhere here in England).

          I wasn't in the slightest suggesting that this idea was ready for the big time yet, I was suggesting that when it does (and the only thing to stop it will be the record companies and their unreasonable pricing schemes) our lives will change almost unrecognisably. How I wish for that day.
      • by Kjella ( 173770 )
        In the car.
        On the tram/train.
        Family cabin (no phone, not even cell phone).
        Jogging (riiight.. let's just say, outside).

        And heaven forbid, what if the server or whatnot is down? DoS'ed? Or my ISP?

        Sorry, but unless your life is confined to your WLAN coverage area, mp3 is extremely much more portable, reliable and supported. Tell me again the advantage?

        • Not in a car!
          Not on a plane!
          Not in a bus!
          Not on a train!
          Not in a house.
          Not in a tree.
          Not with a mouse.
          Sam, LET ME BE!
          I do not like AudioGalaxy!
          I do not like it, Sam-Is-Me!
      • I remember reading in some magazine, Popular Science I think, the words of some company representative about how cheap "press pay" music would be compared to CDs. Say that it costs 10 cents a song. A low estimate of 10 songs per CD would be 1.00 per full play, much cheaper than the $10 or $15 a CD costs.... but this assumes that whoever buys CDs only listens to them a few times! In reality, people play the same CDs over and over and press pay costs would obviously add up. This also ignores the idea that music CDs are too expensive in the first place. I stopped renewing my subscription to the magazine after that.

        The bull people are expected to believe today... Company representatives who smile and willfully lie through their teeth, telling us that the dog food we're being offered is chocolate ice cream. Bleh.
      • How are they going to do this anywhere? Satelite connections? Even that can't go everywhere that a Nomad Jukebox can.
      • How does this help me in my car? Should I spend thousands to get some crazy broadband, wireless connection for my car? No fucking way. Hell, I don't even have broadband at home. Streaming isn't an option for me, and it's not an option for millions of other people. I'm willing to fire up something like Kazaalite and let some music download for a few hours, because I know that when I'm done, I can listen to whatever I want, whenever I want, whereever I want, however I want. Streaming is cute, but only at, say, work. Otherwise, it's useless to most people.
      • Think about it. If you had unlimited cheap streaming access to any music anywhere in the world, what's the point in downloading?

        Riiiiiiiight.... you know there is a world outside of the US, and most of us have to pay by the MB, tha is of course those that even have enough bandwidth to stream cd quality.
      • Think about it. If you had unlimited cheap streaming access to any music anywhere in the world, what's the point in downloading? There is none.

        Must be nice to live in a world where the network is never down.

        You save many gigabytes of hard disk space too.

        This week at compusa-80 GB HD, $80. Broadband access for 1 month: $50. You do the math.

        With increasing bandwidth to the home, this is only going to get more popular.

        How much bandwidth do you have going to your car? Your Rio/iPod/whatever?

      • Think about it. If you had unlimited cheap streaming access to any music anywhere in the world, what's the point in downloading? There is none. You save many gigabytes of hard disk space too. With increasing bandwidth to the home, this is only going to get more popular.

        Actually storing stuff on my own devices is much better, as I pay for it once. 80 Gig disks cost $100 today and will only get cheaper. I can store all my CDs on 80 Gigs.

        But the other point is that I also listen to music I record myself, or record with my friends, or music from musicians who are not on the top forty charts (eg. lots of obscure blues and jazz). Who will stream these? It's much easier to distribute MP3 files.

    • step one: connect digital out to md in, or if they prevent that, analog out to md in.
      step two: press record
      step three: press play on windows media player.

      you could do the same with an archos jukebox, and then upload from the jukebox to the hard drive. line to line analog sounds fine, it's not a big loss in quality

  • See subj :-)

    Haven't they learned anything? Subscription in this
    form doesn't work as a businessmodel!

  • Ooooh...Freebie (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Lshmael ( 603746 )
    ...for 8 days at least. I predict they'll see a massive drop-off in users then.

    Does anyone see any future in subscription services, or will we stay in p2p anarchy for the rest of our days (or until the megacorporations take the networks down)?
    • The "Freebie" is a preview of the services, which means you only get the first 30 seconds of a song. Yep, that's right .. ONLY 30 seconds.
      Oh, and they don't have The Beatles .. common people, get with the times! :p
      • This isn't correct, I installed the app, registered and everything, into my second full album now, full length songs.

        Now Playing Rage Agains the Machine - Bullet in the Head
    • Anyone remember swapping files before Napster? We didn't need no stinking P2P network! FTP, IRC, and alt.binaries work too. File sharing is here to stay. There is nothing they can do to stop it.
  • No Linux Support (Score:2, Interesting)

    by whoisjoe ( 465549 )
    Audiogalaxy used to have a command-line agent for Linux. The Rhapsody software is Windoze only. Sigh.
    • You know this thing will be dead in 3 months anyway.
    • I completely share your sentiments. In fact, I was one of the many who have built an entire computer dedicated to Audiogalaxy on Unix, with RAID disks for fast access to storage and 24/7 100Mbps connectivity. We ran AGSatellite all day every day, and our neighborhood could queue songs to download from anywhere, having them download instantly while you do other stuff. No micromananging of downloads!

      Ahh...those where the days. Now the only Unix filesharing servents are Gnutella (no thanks, I'll pass) and eDonkey2000 []. GiFT or whatever its called is not cross-platform and cannot run on BSD, so its useless to me.

      Fortunately, eDonkey has quite a user base, and even a full-blown GUI which runs on Unix, hands down. Sites like ShareReactor [] and PP (warning: not work safe) [] provide all your warez and video--which is well established on the Donkey Network, but MusicDonkey [] is emerging to provide quality MP3s and Oggs. None of that Xing crap. High-quality stuff. And it looks like its going to be superior to Audiogalaxy, as one can package CDs in single files (this was possible but kludgly on AG) to ensure all tracks came from the same place. Hurray for eDonkey.

  • Still the best program for downloading music is Soulseek (especially if you are a real fanatic of music, it seems all the real music freaks show up there).

    They have had some domain trouble recently, but can still be found at The SLSK website [].

    As an immensely satisfied user, i recommend this to all. Not to mention the fact that there is an open source unix version as well (that also works on OS X).
  • Erm, no. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Mwongozi ( 176765 )
    It's streaming only, you can't download MP3s, and you can't share your own collection.

    Oh yeah, and it's Windows only.

  • "CD quality audio INSTANTLY, no downloads" ? err I could not find the tracks on my disk..did I miss something, or did AG discover some cool new protocol that doesn't need bandwidth to stream and not sound like intergalactic radio interference ?

    Survey says, "AG dead in 2 months....again"
  • US Only... (Score:2, Informative)

    by =weezer= ( 180393 )
    "For U.S. Residents Only
    Due to licensing restrictions, Rhapsody's on-demand music subscription service is available to U.S. residents only."

    You know, it's mostly not from lack of will that I download music off P2P networks rather than paying for services like this one... it's pure lack of options. Not to mention the music I download is usually from bands whose albums I can't buy here (Brazil).

    It also looks like this service will be credit card-based. Great. Exclude another group of users right there. I'm not saying Audiogalaxy/Rhapsody should be forced to cater to anyone, but that the RIAA should look into more viable online music payment systems if they don't want to alienate the customers who currently can't legally obtain music online.


    By downloading the Software and registering to use the Application, you will have access to:
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    (iii) a subscription-based streaming music-on-demand service which will enable you to stream music files, in WMA format, an unlimited number of times, faster and with higher quality than other streaming music applications. You can even create and save playlists of your favorite music and email them to your friends who are also subscribers! While we sometimes offer a free trial period, the music-on-demand feature of the Application is available only to paying subscribers.
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    • Whoops. Section 1 - iii got munged.

      Please note that when you subscribe to our streaming music-on-demand service, you agree also to the terms of the Subscription Agreement, which you can find at here []

  • But after I read their FAQ... I don't think I like it :(

    $10 a month for the rights to listen to music... how about, no.

    Cable TV service is enough of a farce as it is, have to pay to get the privilege of being advertised to every 15 minutes. Now audio galaxy wants to do it with radio.. The inline advertisements haven't started yet, but I'm sure their license allows them to add them at some point..

    Dissapointing since Audiogalaxy was really great. I was always able to get the most obscure music in the world from the service. Too bad.

    Can I download MP3s?
    No. Rhapsody is a streaming-only service and does not offer MP3 downloads.

    Can I play MP3s or other music files with the Rhapsody player?
    No. Rhapsody only plays music that is streamed from our servers. It is not an MP3 player.

    Can I burn CDs?
    No. We are currently negotiating the rights so you can burn the music you enjoy in Rhapsody. When we get access to CD burning rights, we'll let you know. Be sure that you are signed-up for our Product Updates email newsletter to be alerted to all of the new features and music added to Rhapsody. To check if you get Product Updates, go to "Manage My Account" inside Rhapsody and scroll-down to "Email Services" under "Account Summary."
  • This is going to go over like a lead balloon. Yahoo has been trying to do this same crap with PressPlay for awhile now and nobody is interested. When they decide to sell music that fits *my* terms, and my needs... I'll pay for it. But, I'm not paying a monthly fee to get told how, when, why and where I can use something.
  • "Listen in CD quality sound instantly - No waiting for downloads"

    Wow, these guys must be true wizards, if they can guarantee CD-quality sound "instantly, no waiting for downloads" on my 300 bps Hayes.

    • Wow, these guys must be true wizards, if they can guarantee CD-quality sound "instantly, no waiting for downloads" on my 300 bps Hayes.

      Bad joke. They don't. The site makes it clear that they highly recommend broadband, but 20 kbps streams are available for dial-up users.

      However, in some areas, the cheapest available broadband is a $500/mo T1 line, which coincidentally is about as expensive as a 30-year mortgage on a new house purchased in an area served by cheap cable or DSL. (The proceeds from the sale of the old house would barely cover the moving costs and the downpayment.)

      By the way, 32 kbps mono Ogg Vorbis audio (encoded with oggdropxpd) is very listenable.

      • > "The site makes it clear that they highly recommend broadband"

        Does it []? They do [] say "Active Internet connection (broadband/128+ kbps recommended)" - they only _require_ active internet connection and they promise me cd-quality sound "instantly, no waiting" with that requirements. Well, I quess it's a pretty lousy CD-player they use as reference here.

        They also require "sound card". Will by Soundblaster from 1989 do? My point is that this "CD-quality" statement IS a bad joke. It is used way too often nowadays for void promises.

    • Wow, these guys must be true wizards, if they can guarantee CD-quality sound "instantly, no waiting for downloads" on my 300 bps Hayes.

      I think it'd be a miracle to get any sound to play from a computer using a 300bps Hayes Modem.
  • that all of these former filesharing programs don't know when to stay dead. Audiogalaxy was good back in the day, but it's just plain dead now, and an attempt to resurrect itself is just pointless. Now it's back with a new name, and is simply a streaming service... wow, I can listen to Digitally Imported [] for free, and the music is better.
  • So audiogalaxy has come back to life as a prototype Mac OS based on OpenStep?
  • from the FAQ:

    Can I download MP3s?
    No. Rhapsody is a streaming-only service and does not offer MP3 downloads.

    Can I burn CDs?
    No. We are currently negotiating the rights so you can burn the music you enjoy in Rhapsody. When we get access to CD burning rights, we'll let you know.

    Is Rhapsody available outside the U.S.?
    Due to licensing restrictions, Rhapsody's on-demand music subscription service is available to U.S. residents only.

    Hmm, a proprietary streaming-only format (i.e. your music disappears if you unsubscribe), DRM prevents you from burning, and U.S. only. Well, I suppose it's a good deal for someone who always has a fast net connection, and would otherwise spend the $120/year on CDs. But personally I am not interested in any format that gives me less freedom than MP3 or Ogg Vorbis.
    • Imagine...lots of people, not buying music, but just renting it for as long as they decide to keep it available and at whatever price they decide is "fair".

      And no worries about the legalities of whether somebody rips it or not. The users have no legal rights to this music. They're just paying to rent access. They have no right to keep a copy.

      The RIAA designed this one well for their "needs".
      • And if it fails (and it will fail, because nobody in his right mind would pay for this crippled stuff), they will go whining to Congress that the "value" of their "legitimate services" is being undercut by the existence of the general purpose computer.
  • by Cyph ( 240321 )
    AudioGalaxy did not design this service (unless they did, in which case, they are now guilty of copyright infridgement). Rhapsody is a service of, there is no way for you to download the MP3s from there, basically, these are just pay streams.

    Also, according to a piece of spam I got from my ISP (Speakeasy) a few weeks ago, there are Mac and Linux versions of Rhapsody coming early next year.
  • What the hell is this huge 257MB file in the install directory. How did it get this much info so fast? The install was only 1.6MB or something like that

    1. It's streaming radio, not even close to what it was before.
    2. It's $9.95 a month for _radio_ -- hardly worth it.
    3. It's sad to say, but it's a great idea, torn down by the recording industry, reborn as a manhandled beaten child of a played out idea.
    4. AG's Satellite was almost revolutionary, it was very cool and semi-cross platform --- this has none of that.

  • So what's going to stop me from firing up Sound Forge, record from the wave device, encode to MP3, and add it to my MP3 directory?

    If someone desperately wants a song, I'm sure they wouldn't mind taking a few extra minutes doing that.
  • What i'd pay for (Score:2, Interesting)

    i know this lacks realism, but let me dream a bit:

    large archive, and if there's something i want and they don't have, they try to get it

    i get to choose the quality: 64kpbs mono for a quick preview to cd-quality, with some bitrates in between

    nice and/or usable (+quick) interface with working search function (ever tried searching for A [] on cddb [] or freedb []?)

    since they'll generate a user profile based on my downloads anyway, they could suggest other artists (like amazon)

    pricing could (loosely) depend on traffic, so previews would be cheap or free and high-quality would still cost less than the cd

    lyrics, links, booklets, etc.

    i'm sure you can think of more...

    • This service is of no use to me. The old free Audiogalaxy used to carry stuff like JPOP and HKPOP which the new pay Audiogalaxy no longer has available. I guess you could call it "value-subtracted."

      However, I'll concede that most Americans have no interest in Asian pop music so I could see this rebranded [] being moderately successful IF they did one little thing: Allowed the user to print out 10 coupons a month each for a dollar off one retail CD. If the user buys 10 CDs that month, then the service is essentially free. Meanwhile, product gets moved, consumers are profiled, everybody's happy.

      Now ask yourself why coupons for CDs aren't already widespread the way they are for food, shampoo, even cars (in the form of cashback offers) and then remind me again how the RIAA isn't a price-fixing cartel which deserves to be broken up.
  • If you don't like breaking the law and/or to a certain degree see that music should be either bought by you or given to you by the author ( RIAA, DMCA[, ABCD and the rest of the alphabet soup] is way too restrictive and enforce silly laws that doesn't protect the artist ... ERROR! BUFFER OVERFLOW *** WARNING! CPU TEMPERATURE WAY TO HIGH ...) you should use a subscription service such as emusic [] which lets you download the music. Or you could by the actual records and rip them (which according to some copyright notice isn't legal, under no circumstances.)
  • This is just a slightly-rebranded version of's Rhapsody, and the price is the same, so I don't see how this is likely to save AudioGalaxy.
  • Too bad, I was feeling like plundering anything I could during the free period...

  • Warning, I'm really pissed off.

    Audiogalaxy Satellite(save for the eventual spyware)was one the most amazing things ever to happen on the internet. On the original service I was able to find new artists and sample their music in full before making a purchase decision. This included very indenpendant artists that I would have never heard on the radio and certainly aren't available on Rhapsody.
    I was able to find all the tracks from the soundtrack to the movie Real Genius, which is one of my favourites. The soundtrack wasn't ever even released for purchase!
    All in all I bought a large handfull of discs that I never would have before thanks to their service. Hell, some of the artists I would have never discovered had it not been for the "If you like this artist, try this one" feature. On Satellite, it seemed, no album/musician/track was too obscure to be found.

    On the other hand, Rhapsody costs $10 a month. You can't download anything. It uses WMA for encoding. Music is only added as the central company adds it, which makes it very difficult for non mainstream music to compete. You can't share anything. None of this music(which you are paying for)can be downloaded to a portable mp3 player. Last I checked, Radiohead wasn't available as a listening option. I looked around in the David Bowie category and sauntered up to the Low album, which is a favorite of mine. It was missing half the tracks.

    This is f*cking rediculous. I would have been quite happy if they could just revive Satellite with a subscription system, paying the artists as they go for downloads. It doesn't seem so farfetched to me anyway. Once again this situation gives the RIAA way too much power and leverage. And the modern brilliance of taking your independant record, releasing it on P2P, and watching your music propagate throughout the networks and into people's view is dead.

    For $10 a month, go to a local record store that lets you listen to CDs, and check shit out for free. Then look for a used copy, and give the RIAA the hot and bothered middle finger.

  • I've used audiogalaxy ever since it's launch. It was my only source for music. I refuse to buy cd's, at least not the ones under RIAA labels. When they shut down, I was lost. I can't bring myself to using a P2P. The problem with them is that they make it too easy for anybody to use, making the networks crowded, unreliable, slow, etc. At least with AG, you had to have a certain degree of ftp knowledge etc., something that kept the teenie boppers off and the geeks in control. Now I find myself struggling to find music. Screw you AG, screw you.

    I also have a question? What is to prevent somebody from releasing some open source software that is a clone of AG? Surely it is not complicated, basically a database with online addition capabilities, search functions, and a crawler. Legal implications? If there was an easy to use open source solution, the databases would be created faster than the legal process works, something that happened with p2p clients.
    • Wow, what a horrible post. I wish I had moderator so I could mod this down to troll.

      1) AudioGalaxy didn't screw you over. They were shut down by the RIAA.

      2) Audiogalaxy was among the simplest of simple programs to use. You installed it, the application was less then half a meg, and then you are online searching and downloading music from others. I don't understand how you conceive this as difficult.

      3) Audiogalaxies service required a central database to function, much like napster. Audiogalaxy was better then napster, because they did more then just have a database of mp3s. They linked the mp3s together, so that each song was represented within a category, and then linked to places where you could buy the album, and forums about the artist, etc etc. This is not possible (IMO) with a distributed p2p client. That's why it's not been done yet. (I guess it's *possible* but it would be very very difficult to get any reliability out of such a network)

      4) Any service that utilizes a centralized server, is going to have legal problems in the current climate, period. Not even your buzzword usage of 'open source' can get around this.

      Bottom line, audiogalaxy was unique, and it's a shame it was lost. Probably the reason why it lasted so long, is because it obfuscated its usage statistics and didn't try to gain attention like Napster did.
    • by jacobito ( 95519 ) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @07:10PM (#4217664) Homepage

      What is to prevent somebody from releasing some open source software that is a clone of AG?

      Actually, the Open AGS project is working on an open source Audiogalaxy server. I believe that all they have right now is a design document [], but I wish them luck, and look forward to their results.

  • I don't think this really has anything to do with Audiogalaxy, I think it's through a different company altogether. Anyway, I've been using rhapsody for a while as a free trial through my ISP, I was never into downloading music illicitly. I've got diverse tastes and a fast network connection. I spend almost all day in front of the computer working. I kind of like it, but it has its flaws.

    The good

    • large catalog
    • good editorial content & categorization
    • sound quality
    • files start playing very quickly
    The bad
    • major holes in catalog
    • custom radio stations include more than just what you specify. Why?
    • in-front-of-the-computer-only
    • no "space-shifting"
    • the interface is an enfuriating 90% of the way there.

    Many of the "it sucks 'cause it's streaming" critics here don't get it. It's not about having a bunch of songs to download & collect as tangible property (that would be a product). This is a service, like a night in a hotel, a taxi ride, a massage, Netflix, cable TV, a DVD rental from blockbuster, renting an apartment. When you think about it, this model may make more sense, you don't really own copyrighted music when you buy a CD (if you think I'm wrong, try to copy & sell it to people). Since you no longer really need CDs to listen to it, why not move away from buying the music and start just listening to it, at no marginal cost.

    The problem with this is that people like to collect music. It is a big source of their identity. They like the experience of choosing a piece of music to buy, and knowing it's always there.

    There was a big short-sighted article on Salon a while ago about how great Netflix is, and how music services should be like this. The problem with the analogy is that DVDs are copy protected in such a way that most people don't even bother to try and that people only want to experience movies a few times, and always in the foreground. You can listen to good music over and over, and in the background while you work, drive, cook, whatever. People generally don't "steal" their netflix movies. People will "steal" any music they possibly can.

    I've had fun with Rhapsody these last few weeks. I've discovered some new stuff and listened to some old stuff I haven't heard for a long time. But because people like to collect thier music, they can't make it possible for me to download, burn, and listen where I want to (the car, mostly). Someone could sign up (or do the free trial, even) download everything they could possibly want and then cancel their subscription. As a result, I'm probably not going to sign up.

    Imagine a future where you have a low montly "media bill" that allows you to see what you want, when you want, listen to what you want, where you want and with no additional cost for the next thing. I would love it and actually want to pay for it. Would you?

  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @05:15PM (#4217222) Homepage
    Once again... I'm willing to pay, but I have to GET something as good as I used to get.

    There's no way that "Over 17,000 albums by over 7,000 top artists" is going to come close to the richness and variety we got from of individual fans trading their individual favorites.

    I am now going to make a quick test on four items I obtained from the "real" Audiogalaxy a few months ago. This is an authentic test, I do not know yet what I am going to find. Bernard Cribbins, 'Ole in the Ground; Harry Champion, "I'm Enerey the Eighth;" Nervous Norvus, "Ape Call;" and the MIT Chorallaries, "We Are The Engineers."

    Well, it seems you can't search for individual titles unless you actually join, but with great labor you can page through the artist list, and I find:

    Bernard Cribbins: Nope.

    Harry Champion: Nope.

    Nervous Norvus: Nope.

    The MIT Chorallaries: Nope.

    Now, someone is saying "What kind of market is there for the MIT Chorallaries, for pete's sake?" Well, all I can say is, when Audiogalaxy was for real, _I_ wanted to hear them and _someone_ out there wanted to share them.

    Without SHARING, all you're ever going to get is Britney Spears and Elvis Presley.

  • by psicE ( 126646 )
    I used many different audio searches back in the day, including Audiogalaxy back when it was simply an FTP search engine; it used to scan networks for FTP servers, trying different usernames and passwords, and it was surprisingly successful. Then once they introduced the Satellite, Audiogalaxy stood out as the only place on the Internet where you could find obscure music. If I heard a song on SomaFM, by an artist I had never heard of, I could search for that artist on Audiogalaxy and download all their songs; it might take a week or two before the correct user signed on :D, but I'd eventually get the music. And if I liked it, I could go buy that artist's CD.

    Now, Audiogalaxy has become a neo-Pressplay or Musicnet. It's a "filter-in" music search, except that it's only popular artists from the major labels represented there. I don't care about the streaming, or anything else; I'm just saddened that Audiogalaxy no longer offers the obscure music it was once famous for, and I can't even find out about that obscure music anymore because Soma FM is down.

    AG, it seems, has sold out. Napster, obviously, sucks; FastTrack can hack your registry; the only realistic filesharing protocol left for Linux users is Gnutella, and it of course has scaling problems. As far as Linux users are concerned, then, the RIAA has certainly achieved its goal of blocking filesharing - but when they stop selling records, because nobody knows what to buy anymore, it shall be a problem. (You know, I almost wish that the Copyright Royalty Arbitration (CRAP) panel had required mandatory royalties for old-school radio, too - I'd just love to see the expression on the RIAA dudes' faces when their record sales drop 90%, because nobody knows what records to buy anymore. :D)
    • So, why don't you go look a giFT [] horse in the mouth []?

      At this moment, there are 720 users on the giFT OpenFT network, sharing a total of 5.2 terabytes of files. Sure, it's not as much as Kazaa...but it works under Linux and MacOSX and Kazaa doesn't. And it's not as much as Gnutella...but it works at all and Gnutella often doesn't. And the more people use it, the more useful it becomes. (Yeah, you do have to get it from CVS, and update frequently, but the installation instruction page has tips for doing that and it's really quite easy.)
  • by W2k ( 540424 ) <> on Sunday September 08, 2002 @05:49PM (#4217385) Homepage Journal
    AudioGalaxy seem to be doing their best to resurrect themselves, though of course, the old AG will never be back; it was simply too good to last for very long. Here's what's good and bad about the new system:
    • Good: Well, from the screenshots at AG's site, the interface looks well designed, though it does fill the entire screen in a manner which is ill-suited for those who just want a music player. Like me. There better be a "compact" mode.

    • Bad: From the list of available artists, I'd say they have a rather impressive collection for a RIAA-stomped file sharing service making a comeback. Except of course we're now limited to a mere 300000 or so (probably fewer) tracks, and it's not possible to add your own music to the mix anymore, download remixes, or download rare tracks that are hard to find elsewhere, legally or illegally - just the stuff I used to use AG for.

    • Good: They've got a free preview period. Which doesn't require you to give away CC details. I figure lots of people will sign up for the preview only to dump it 2-20 hours later or when the preview runs out, whichever is sooner.

    • Bad: It's no longer free. Well of course it's not, the users aren't providing the content anymore! Though $9.95/mo would be quite nice provided the downloads were high-quality MP3 or OGG's - heck, even WMA's (wo DRM) would be preferable to the streaming shit they currently offer. Which brings us right down to ...

    • Bad: STREAMS! God, don't we all hate those things? Can't save them. Will definately require a special program to download and play, which means bugging down our systems with even more apps, probably loaded with DRM. Also, most of us aren't on connections that can handle a constant speed of 128-192kbps, especially not people living far away from the servers (which will be centralized, no doubt).

    • Bad: No way to burn music to a CD (apart from analog copying - if I can hear it, I can record it) or otherwise get those streams to somewhere without an Internet connection. That thing alone renders the service utterly and completely useless to me as a music consumer. I believe I'm not alone in feeling that way.

    • Bad: It's Windows only. No further explanation or comment req'd on that one ...

    • Bad: It's only available in the US due to licensing restrictions. I mentioned above that not being able to carry stream music with rendered the service useless to me - well, since I live in Sweden, this "US only" thing kind of ruins it a little more.
    Conclusion: This will crash and burn. It doesn't even try very hard to succeed, the people running AG know what it takes to please the crowds who want UNRESTRICTED, FREE FILE SHARING, not limited access to a closed library of songs from a relatively small selection of artists. This will fail, unless lots of people figure the music that's available is enough for them, and that they can live with the obvious drawbacks and restrictions - in the light that it is still quite possible and easy to get those very same tracks in MP3 or OGG format through any of the file sharing services still available and thriving. I might mention Gnutella [], I might mention Direct Connect [].
  • by Eric_Cartman_South_P ( 594330 ) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @06:16PM (#4217494)

    $0.00/month or $0,000.00/year.

  • If you use Cooledit, you can save the stream of sound coming through your soundcard directly to an mp3. However, its not going to be insanely high quality if you are streaming it, and then compressing that with mp3 will make it even worse.
  • was because you didnt have to settle for "topnotch" artists.

    Like, when ever you see any world music in top100 lists ? Never, unless its crossover like Bahamen or similar ..

  • That's all fine and good but if it's streaming and I can't put it on a format playable in the car, then it's worth nothing to me. I can't play it on my living room stereo system either. Why don't these people get it? So, for $10 we get nothing at all.

The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants. -- Adam Walinsky