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Shifting From P2P To Stream Ripping 577

An anonymous reader submits "As users continue to try fending off the ever more litigious music industry, some seem to have dropped P2P entirely, moving to ripping instead. While they lose some control over what they are downloading, it's a untraceable way to download music (no way for the RIAA to track users or sue). With some of the more powerful software that's been coming out recently, stream ripping has become more main-stream. Some of the more well known software packages, like StationRipper, allow users to download several thousand songs on a daily basis. And, depending on how you read the law, it's 100% legal. How will the RIAA respond? As more users move to this type of technology to avoid the P2P lawsuits, how will the music industry respond?"
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Shifting From P2P To Stream Ripping

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  • Good idea but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sH4RD ( 749216 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:09PM (#8934479) Homepage
    I have tried playing with a couple stream rippers before, only problem is streams tend to be real low quality...
    • by revmoo ( 652952 ) <slashdot.meep@ws> on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:18PM (#8934554) Homepage Journal
      I have tried playing with a couple stream rippers before, only problem is streams tend to be real low quality...

      Ever considered streaming from high-quality stations then?
      • by pla ( 258480 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:39PM (#8934730) Journal
        Ever considered streaming from high-quality stations then?

        Feel free to name a few - Either >256k/s, or >160k/s VBR (I don't know of any VBR streams, since streaming inherently tends to require CBR content)...

        Although, I've asked before, and I'll probably ask again - Why not just rip from CDs borrowed from friends (or the library)? Equally untraceable (if not more so, since although they can't tell what you do with the stream, I'd imagine it must look exceedingly strange to see someone listening to half-a-dozen stations at a time, 24/7), and you get to have 100% control over the resulting rip. Best of all possible worlds - You get the songs, you get as high of a quality as you want, you get whatever format you prefer, and not even the person you borrow the CD from needs to know what you've done (although at least for friends, most really don't care, beyond asking for some reciprocation).

        Like many /.'ers, I enjoy the use of the internet for almost all my informational needs; but sometimes, SneakerNet still offers advantages you just can't get anywhere online.
        • Re:Good idea but... (Score:5, Informative)

          by Suidae ( 162977 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:47PM (#8934786)
          Why not just rip from CDs borrowed from friends (or the library)?

          Libraries are great sources, and so are used music and book stores. They will generally buy stuff back after you've had it for a while too. The music ends up not being totally free, but it only costs a couple of bucks per CD, which is better than anywhere else.
          • Given the reasonable assumption that the 'fair use' guidelines would permit me to make a copy of a CD I have
            bought, what then happens if I sell or give the original
            away? Am I somehow legally obligated to destroy my copy,
            be it a duplicate of the original cd or mp3s ripped from it?
            • by greyfeld ( 521548 ) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @08:36AM (#8937703) Journal
              Actually burning a friend's CD with an approved device and approved media is completely legal as long as you are not selling the CD's. The Audio Home Recording Act was basically the government giving into the music lobby. They record companies (many owned by the makers of the recorders) realized that there was nothing they could do about home taping and the manufacturers of recording devices agreed to levy a tax on their product and everyone would look the other way. If you are using a device that is made specificaly for copying, then copy away!!

              There is a catch though, you must use a device that is "commonly distributed to individuals for use by individuals" and for which the primary purpose of the device is to make such recordings. What are these devices? Well they are DAT tape recorders, Cassette recorders, and CD recorders sold in places like Best Buy that are set top units. CD-ROM drives and computers are not "marketed for the primary purpose" of making digital audio copies, so they don't fit the law. You must also use blanks that are for the express purpose of copying music. They must also contain the SCMS (serial copy management system) that prevents you from making copies of copies. Source disks must be originals in these devices. Obviously, these controls do not exist on CDROM drives or computers.

              There is a tax on these devices and blanks that is distributed out to the artists as royalties based on their popularity, etc. That's the crux of the issue - CD-ROM drives are not marketed as primarily CD copying devices, nor are computers and they do not contain the record copyright controls. But these set top boxes have only one real function, and there is a additional tax levied on them in the U.S. to legitimize their use.

              Find a copy of the law here. []

              Section 1001 defines a "digital audio recording device" as: "Any machine or device of a type commonly distributed to individuals for use by individuals, whether or not included with or as part of some other machine or device, the digital recording function of which is designed or marketed for the primary purpose of, and that is capable of, making a digital audio copied recording for private use ...".

              Section 1008 says "No action may be brought under this title alleging infringement of copyright based on the manufacture, importation, or distribution of a digital audio recording device, a digital audio recording medium, an analog recording device, or an analog recording medium, or based on the non-commercial use by a consumer of such a device or medium for making digital musical recordings or analog music recordings."

        • Heh.. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Schezar ( 249629 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:00PM (#8934865) Homepage Journal
          I don't know anyone who buys or has CDs. Seriously.

          I'm the president of a huge club on campus, and I know many, many people. NO ONE has CDs. No one. ...

          We do, however, have two OC-3s and a T-3...
          • by cide1 ( 126814 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @09:14PM (#8935284) Homepage
            I know on slashdot, there is always someone who will prove you wrong. Today, I am that guy. I'm 21 years old, live on a college campus with a fat pipe. I pretty much don't remember when we didnt have MP3s. I own between 500-600 cd's, and I feel that it is money well spent:

            l: It's not illegal.
            2: A hard drive crash doesnt erase my collection. Burned cd's, backups, what have you get scratched, and aren't reliable. My factory made cd's will last much longer.
            3: I can legally rip them at a high-bitrate in whatever the common format is.
            4: A lot of my collection is indie / small label punk, these bands probably make less than I do, stealing their cds instead of buying really does affect them.
            5: The main reason I buy cds is that when I rip them, there are no pops, none of my tracks are cut short, there are no duplicates, and the tags are 100% correct. I can put them in a database, and magically all the songs by the same artist end up together. When you buy cds, you get much better quality.

            If I do use an MP3 service, it is just to see if a cd I'm thinking about buying is any good. I generally use Limewire, and store what I download in a seperate folder away from my collection, so I can easily delete it.

            The RIAA does some stupid things, but I still think it is worth the money to actually buy the CD, and I view boycotts as one of the most in-effective tools to combat the RIAA. I think a well-written letter will do so much more than 1% of the population boycotting cds.
            • by dknj ( 441802 )
              2: A hard drive crash doesnt erase my collection. Burned cd's, backups, what have you get scratched, and aren't reliable. My factory made cd's will last much longer.

              Ha ha ha, not likely. I no longer carry original cds around because they get scratched way too quickly. When I get a cd it gets ripped to my computer and I make a copy. On average a cd (copied or not) lasts about 10-12 months in my car before it becomes unplayable (this is also partly my fault since I no longer attempt to put cds back into
            • Not for $16 (Score:5, Funny)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:13PM (#8935549)
              No CD is worth that much money.

              I buy from BMG Music Club, which has monthly sales, and if you buy during those sales, you get CD's for just under $7 each.

              That's a decent deal, and I find I'm willing to buy 6-10 at a time for those prices.

              But for $16, Brittany better give me a BJ and agree to not talk when I'm around.
            • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @11:04PM (#8935767)
              1: It's not illegal.

              2: A hard drive crash doesnt erase my collection. Burned cd's, backups, what have you get scratched, and aren't reliable. My factory made cd's will last much longer.
              3: I can legally rip them at a high-bitrate in whatever the common format is.
              4: A lot of my collection is indie / small label punk, these bands probably make less than I do, stealing their cds instead of buying really does affect them.
              5: The main reason I buy cds is that when I rip them, there are no pops, none of my tracks are cut short, there are no duplicates, and the tags are 100% correct. I can put them in a database, and magically all the songs by the same artist end up together. When you buy cds, you get much better quality.

              Here is why we download music:
              1. Contrary to popular belief, downloading music (pirated or not) is NOT illegal. Since all you have to rely on is the NAME of the file you are downloading, you can claim negligence. Hey, how are we supposed to know if the song is pirated or not? What if we live in a cave? Brittney Spears, who?

              2. Backing up mp3s (ogg, whatever) is cheaper than backing up CDs. (And you're going to backup your CDs anyway unless the RIAA intends to reimburse you for your scratched CDs.)

              3. If we like the music, we'll "legally" rip the song at a high-bitrate in whatever format we like from another source (ie. library CDs, friends, used CD stores, etc.).

              4. A lot of indie bands release their music for free online, [] because they dont have enough $$ to distribute CDs. Sometimes they'll print their music on real CDs (not mp3 burns), but only if the demand comes. Hence, a better business model than printing 400,000 Cds, driving around to every CD store and FM radio station and risking a load of $$ if noone is interested in your music. Sometimes the artist is from another country and not on the radio, so no luck in finding the CD here. You can try to buy CDs for your favorite indie, but if it exists it will probably only be an mp3 cd. Sometimes if you ask the artist you can find out if a REAL CD will be released, but only if the demand is there.

              5. the main reason for downloading is not to to fulfill your deepest orgasmic audiophile desires, but to test the water. We know CD quality is better, but why pay for something you've never heard, or for an album which has only one song you like? Or sometimes you can find out what the music sounds like in different countries, like say the DJ/Techno/Rave scene in UK (as opposed to the crap they call DJ here in the US).
            • by merdark ( 550117 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @11:28PM (#8935898)
              1: I'm 21 years old, live on a college campus with a fat pipe.

              2: I own between 500-600 cd's

              Sooo. At $20 average cd price, and choosing the lower of the range you gave, $20*500 = $10,000. Ok, let's be REALLY conservative and say they were only $15 each. $15*500 = $7500. AND, you claim you are a student.

              So, either you are bullshitting, or you are admitting to everyone here that you are from a family that is very very rich. Either way, your opinion is clearly from teh point of view of a very very small minority.

              I view boycotts as one of the most in-effective tools to combat the RIAA.

              Did you see their profits plummet? I think the boycott is working quite well. I can't believe you seriously suggest writting a LETTER to them. Give me a break. These are the same people who were convicted of price fixing by the US government. The prices are STILL high, and only seem to be goin higher.

              Boycotting CD sales is the only way to combat the RIAA. Copying the songs only give the RIAA more excuses to justify their absurdly high prices. I have not bought a single RIAA affiliated CD in the past 3-4 years, and I urge everyone here to do the same. The only way to get through to these people is by hurting their bottom line. When they cannot afford their Ferraries anymore they might start to listen.
              • I seriously doubt that indie label punk would even average $15. I have bought so many CDs at 3 dollars or less that I don't think your argument holds up. For argument sake let's say 5 dollars.

                So let's say the collection took 6 years to build up (starting at 15 years old is not unreasonable), that would make it about 300 dollars a year, or around 30 dollars a week. Not entirely impossible for even an enterprising minimum wage worker.

              • Unless you're in Canada or somewhere where they don't have real money, CDs are *not* $20. Try $7-$10. $14 at the most, for brand new releases. So your so-called "REALLY conservative" estimate, $15, is close, if you only buy the new releases from major label bands at a Best Buy or something, and are unfortunate enough to live somewhere with sales tax.

                Also, plenty of students have a lot of spending money. It's called "not being a lazy ass" or "having a job". $7500 over several years isn't that much, if music
        • by HermanAB ( 661181 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:38PM (#8935112)
          Yup, never underestimate the bandwidth of a minivan full of CDROMs...
        • umm.. public libraries usually have some nice CDs.. and u can borrow them for free...and *cough*rip*cough*
        • Re:Good idea but... (Score:4, Informative)

          by Hwon ( 773464 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @09:34PM (#8935377)
          There are many high-quality stations on Shoutcast. Some go up as high as 320k/s, though there are very few of those and genre is fairly limited. Though there are plenty of streams around 256 just have to sort by bandwidth.
        • The only thing I have against ripping from my local public library is that the discs are very commonly scratched beyond recognition/ripability.

    • Re:Good idea but... (Score:3, Informative)

      by nkh ( 750837 )
      When you connect to a Shoutcast station, the server sends you a buffer of the music being played, and IIRC stream rippers just make a lot of fake connections to have the whole song by appending these buffers, that's why the quality should be the same.

      What bothers me is that the program StationRipper [] claims it can record up to 300 streams at one time, when a usual 512k DSL connection is limited to 4 CD quality streams (128k mp3)...
      • by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @05:10AM (#8937049)
        When you connect to a Shoutcast station, the server sends you a buffer of the music being played, and IIRC stream rippers just make a lot of fake connections to have the whole song by appending these buffers, that's why the quality should be the same.

        And here I thought that you could just connect to the station, record the bytes of the stream to a file as they comes, and later cut the file to individual songs (with possible human intervention).

        I didn't realize that you would need to keep on connecting and cutting connection and then parsing the resulting buffers together, when there was so much easier and more reliable solution.

        But you must be correct, because you got modded informative. Moderators wouldn't be moderating comments up without both reading and understanding them, no would they ?

  • Just make sure... (Score:5, Informative)

    by i_want_you_to_throw_ ( 559379 ) * on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:10PM (#8934484) Journal
    The station you rip is streaming their songs with the ID3 tags otherwise the software won't know when to stop one MP3 and start another one.
    • Re:Just make sure... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Quasar1999 ( 520073 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:13PM (#8934511) Journal
      Actually this really sucks when ripping from DI.FM... I find that it cuts the song off too early, and starts the next song too early.

      The one time I let it rip a channel for an entire day and ended up with every song being useless, unless I play it back in the same order DI did, as a good 3 second shift occured in every song compared to the ID3 tag being broadcast... pain in the ass!
      • Re:Just make sure... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by peragrin ( 659227 )
        You just have to find the right channel.

        When congress was trying to get web radio to pay royalties, my favorite station was acting funny. So i setup a box to rip the entire library. took a week, but I got 6 gigs of music, none identical.

        Now when i hit random play my radio station comes back on the air.

        just for the RIAA, I have been buying the songs slowly through second stores. You won't ever see my money.
      • Re:Just make sure... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by lavaface ( 685630 )
        Actually this really sucks when ripping from DI.FM... I find that it cuts the song off too early, and starts the next song too early.

        radiolover for the mac allows you to shift the cutoff point by whatever amount to rectify this situation. I'm sure there are comparable solutions on other platforms.

  • by eaglebtc ( 303754 ) * on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:10PM (#8934485)
    They would put a tape recorder up to the radio and capture the latest songs, then make copies for their friends. Sure it sounded bad but they didn't care. And neither did the RIAA, because their albums sounded better than the crappy copies the kids made, so they figured they would still want to go out and buy the latest album because of the high fidelity sound. Now that we can get digital copies they are sorely afraid. THe next move will be toward an encrypted stream, but as I always say...if you can hear it, you can rip it.
    • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:23PM (#8934605)
      Not to mention, recording the analog out of a DirecTV box or another sound card sounds pretty clean as long as you've got good wires...

      Analog copies aren't as lossy as they used to be, especially when you're recording a source that did most of its travelling digitally until the last moment.
    • by pauls2272 ( 580109 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:29PM (#8934658)
      "Sure it sounded bad but they didn't care. And neither did the RIAA..."

      Actually they DID care. That is why a royalty is paid to record companies for every blank tape sold. To compensate them for the copying people did at home.
    • by no longer myself ( 741142 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:47PM (#8934783)
      Damn... Make a guy feel old. I remember taping off the radio myself, and it was a skill I performed with exacting precision. Can anyone else recall the difference between Type I, Type II and Type IV tapes?

      "CD's? Bah... Who needs 'em! They cost twice as much as the cassettes and LP's, and you've got to be some kind of music nut if you think you can actually hear that much of a difference. Besides that, you're just going to end up making a tape of it anyway so you can play it in your car."

      Ah... Them memories... <sigh>

      • I remember the tape types. But I forgot which is which.

        I think it had to do with the tape material. Ferrous Oxide (Type I?), Silver Oxide (Type II?), and some other expensive metal (Type IV?)

        My type of high quality recording back then involved a mono tape recorder. It was a 6 button one with a pause button. I placed the condenser mic 8 inches in front of the stereo radio speaker (in FM mono mode) and positioned the mic element halfway between the center and edge of the large speaker element for best quali
      • by dgmartin98 ( 576409 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <emanresutodhsals>> on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:52PM (#8935173)
        He's talking about sticking a separate tape recorder next to an independant radio, and recording the output of the speaker. What it sounds like you did, and which I did as well, was use an integrated radio/tape recorder.

        And yes, I have a cassette deck next to my computer, hooked up to my sound card's line out. My car is getting kinda older, so it doesn't have a CD player - never bothered to get one. I record MP3s from the computer onto the cassette deck, so I can use it in the car. I use Type II cassettes - I was too cheap to buy the Type IV 10-15 years ago, whenever it was that I last bought one. I've just reused them over the years, taping over old radio songs, and tossing them when they wear out.

        Type I and Type II have a drastically different frequency response. Type IV is only slightly better than the Type II, in my opinion.

        Hmmmm... maybe I should consider building a Line In for my car cassette deck, so I can hook my portable MP3 player directly into it.

      • by tkrotchko ( 124118 ) * on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:21PM (#8935593) Homepage
        Type I - Standard tape, useless except for radio recordings and voice
        Type II - Better sound than Type II. Good for stuff you just wanted to listen to in the car.
        Type IV - Metal tapes. Good enough to tape an album and listen to in your home stereo. Expensive, so you had to wait for sales.

        I seem to remember
        Type III - Chrome tapes. Good enough for most stuff, but tended to be noisier too.

        This is all from 25 years ago, so its a bit tough to remember everything.
    • "because their albums sounded better than the crappy copies"

      You just have to love the RIAA's arguments. Remember the anti piracy bit they had on the beginnning of video movies. In Australia it went like this:

      "Have you ever owned or rented a movie that wasn't quite right... poor sound and picture quality... " (I can't remember the rest).

      They argued against copying back then because the quality was reduced and would "harm" their reputation as the viewers enjoyment was reduced.

      Nowdays, they argue against c
    • Now that we can get digital copies they are sorely afraid.

      They should be afraid because their business model has not changed over the past decades. I want more content for my $.

      I recently purchased a CD for $12 that came with a live concert on DVD. I think this is a great idea. I doubt that the larger labels would do this because they could sell the two items seperately and make more $.

      Are you listening RIAA? I am happy to spend my money but want more content.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:11PM (#8934495)
    Why, bribe^h^h^h^h^hLobby Congress to make it illegal, of course.
  • by Zork the Almighty ( 599344 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:12PM (#8934505) Journal
    If a respectable number of P2P users switch to this, internet radio itself will be attacked. It has already been attacked, actually, but P2P was a bigger boogeyman.
  • home taping (Score:5, Insightful)

    by potpie ( 706881 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:13PM (#8934516) Journal
    In the 80's, it was believed (by large record companies mainly) that home taping of radio broadcasts was killing music. This is the exact same thing as home taping, and home taping is perfectly legal (is that time shifting or space shifting or something)! So really, there is no legal or moral reason not to do it, and the RIAA can't very well (unless I have too much faith in human reason- I hope not) sue people for taping the same broadcasts they get from the radio if they get it from the internet. That just seems far too arbritrary a lawsuit to happen... but the thought still scares me for some reason.
    • Re:home taping (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BCW2 ( 168187 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:21PM (#8934597) Journal
      Go back to the early 70's, the death of the music industry was going to be the - cassette tape. Actually heard the exact samr quotes from industry execs back then as the ones they used against Napster. I mean word for word, like the quality of their product, the good speach writers are from the past.

      The funny thing was that no matter how good a system you had, a home recording never beat store bought.
    • Re:home taping (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GlassHeart ( 579618 )
      In the 80's, it was believed (by large record companies mainly) that home taping of radio broadcasts was killing music. This is the exact same thing as home taping [...]

      No, it isn't. The really scary thing for the recording industry isn't just that you can make a high quality copy, but that you can redistribute high quality copies with great ease. How many tapes or CDs can you make for friends before it feels like a lousy job? Even if you're willing, how many friends can you possibly have? On the othe

  • by Broadband ( 602443 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:15PM (#8934529)
    As you know, XM Radio has a receiver for the Computer (XM PCR) that shows the music ID etc and a high quality stream with 120 channels. I wonder if any one thought of writing a software to rip the stream digitally?
  • streamripper (Score:5, Informative)

    by quelrods ( 521005 ) <quel@q[ ] ['uel' in gap]> on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:15PM (#8934531) Homepage
    don't forget They have support for just abt every os under the sun and if all else fails you can recompile yourself. I think finding a stream that spends 50% or more of it's time playing music you enjoy and ripping results in nice collection. (I do this because our bandwith at work is overused and streaming doesn't work out so well.)
  • by spoco2 ( 322835 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:16PM (#8934535)
    Seeing as though the posting is a direct copy and paste of the techdirt article... how about we also read the bit that comes straight after that on their site which states that, really, this is hardly a threat to P2P...
    "Well, some of the comments are a bit misleading. It's not clear just how mainstream this technology really is, and it's certainly not nearly as user friendly for users as basic file sharing applications. The idea is that it records songs directly from streaming radio stations (though, right now, it looks like only certain kinds of streaming radio stations work with the software). Also, copying a song off the radio (which is this basically equivalent to) often involves a lower quality offering with songs cutting into each other, DJs talking over the music and other radio-related reasons why it's not the same as getting a full track. "

    I used to tape of the radio too, and ended up knowing songs as ending with 'And that was Vanilla Ice on 2KBY7 with the HOT Ice, Ice Baby... Keep rockin' dude... yeaaah'.*

    It's not the same as a pure track... plus, as it says... crap quality.

    * No, I didn't actually have any Vanilla Ice tracks on tape... no... really.
  • The obvious answer (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BCW2 ( 168187 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:16PM (#8934540) Journal
    how will the music industry respond?

    As stupidly as possible, just like normal.
  • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:16PM (#8934542)
    Actually, for a small monthly fee you can have the nearly the whole world of RIAA music streaming at you by request.

    $9.95 a month to Real Rhapsody will get you access to Real's entire library of 500,000ish songs in Real's streaming format, and $9.95 a month to the new Napster will get you access to Napster's library of 500,000ish songs in Windows Media format. In both cases, they've yet to establish a limit as to how many streams you can get per month.

    Clearly, there's a rather gaping hole if you're able to save either of those sets of streams into any non-DRMed format.
  • .......(buffering)......(buffering).......
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:20PM (#8934571)
    I've been doing that with ALSA under Linux, and SoundBlaster Live! cards for a long time. No need to dowload anything. Here's how:

    Start alsamixer

    Set the capture source to "wave"

    Jack up the "wave capture" setting

    Capture the stream (or anything currently playing in fact) from /dev/dsp

    Just think people have been bitching and moaning about the truly staggering number of ALSA settings for SB-Lives!, now see how it's useful?

  • De-mucking songs? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:20PM (#8934580)
    Most "radio stations", including the all-music channels on digital cable or DirecTV and Dish tend to muck up the starting and ending of songs with at least a crossfade between the songs if not a liner or DJ chatter over the song.

    However, couldn't software recognize the same song being played repeatedly by a station... and then identify the actual layers within the overlaps by what's found in all instances. In the end, it could take 8 hours of music in, and give back the 25 or so songs the station played more than once nice and clean.

    Ohh... would the RIAA hate that. No distribution, just the recording of a legal broadcast.
  • Winamp - ml_www (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lotsofno ( 733224 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:20PM (#8934584)
    One of the cooler new ways of sharing music with my friends that I've been playing around with is the ml_www plug-in for Winamp (It was one of Justin Frankel's farewell gifts). The application lets you or anyone else access your media collection from anywhere, and stream or download your audio/video through a browser interface. Of course you can set up passwords and access privelidges. You can pick a song to listen to on your home computer while in the office; stuff like that.

    All you need is a Winamp running with the plug-in, and someone--probably someone you trust--drops in your IP in a browser and one of these two windows pops up [], depending on which template you're using. You can download the newest versions here [].

    There's a sourceforge project [] going on for the plug-in, but they haven't really brought that site up to speed yet. Most of the progress is in this Winamp Forums thread [], with some occasional updates on Winamp Unlimited [].
  • by InsaneGeek ( 175763 ) <> on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:21PM (#8934587) Homepage
    Sure there's a difference in that you are doing the equivalent of tape recording the radio, but legally there really isn't much of a difference.

    I don't really see much of a difference here. It's not the downloading that the *AA have been getting people for it's the sharing. If you leached only the *AA would let you do it to your hearts content.

    If someone is legally broadcasting that's basically the same as someone legally sharing a file unlike illegally broadcasting content which is the same as someone sharing a file they don't have distribution rights to. Legally it's the same to put out a stream you don't have rights to or put share out a file you don't have rights to.

    Everybody gets wrapped up in the "download" portion and unfortunately get screwed because they've only paid attention to download instead of upload. Maybe if the fined P2P users had been worrying about uploading instead of downloading they wouldn't be getting fined.
  • by no_opinion ( 148098 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:30PM (#8934662)
    Hey, rather than justifying new ways to get music without paying why don't you people shell out a measly $10/month for the 400,000 tracks on Rhapsody or Napster so that the artist can get something for their trouble?
  • bad pun (Score:4, Funny)

    by dj245 ( 732906 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:34PM (#8934698) Homepage
    stream ripping has become more main-stream.

    How about "Having halfway crossed the legal hurdles, stream ripping still has quite an upriver swim before it becomes mainstream"

    Or maybe "Stream ripping, while not quite the open floodgates that bittorrent is, is gaining in popularity..."

    Or, if you don't like it, "Stream ripping may soon come under the guns of the RIAA and have nowhere to go but downstream."

  • by lsdino ( 24321 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:36PM (#8934707) Homepage
    And, depending on how you read the law, it's 100% legal.

    This is exactly what was said about Napster, look at how long that lasted. I think its a bit of a pipe dream to believe that there will be a legal way to acquire large amounts of copyrighted music for free w/o the consent of the copyright holder.

    And on the off chance it was legal to do this you can be sure that Congress would put a stop to it pretty fast.
    • by sir_cello ( 634395 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:57PM (#8934848)

      Well, UK and EU copyright law allows an exception for "time shifting" on domestic premises (i.e. video recording a television broadcast for playback later).

      It doesn't state whether the time shifting copy could only be used once, but it's implied, and generally the copyright exceptions are subject to an overridding berne three step test that the exception is limited to acts that do not prejudice the right holder. This means that although the exceptions are available, if you abuse them in aggregate then it could be a problem.

      However, theoretically, you could set up stream ripper to rip from thousands of stations, and only play back the song once at a later date, then delete it. Effectively, a music PVR. This would - in my interpretation - entirely justified under UK CDPA 1988 and the other EU national copyright laws that were harmonised in the late 1990s.

  • by Sarojin ( 446404 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:40PM (#8934734)
    It's really annoying when you get bits of the surrounding songs on your saved music. Turning off crossfading will facilitate smooth ripping. Thank you.

    I was doing this for a while. I streamed in about 15 niche stations that played the kind of music I liked, and got a lot of music. The error rate was fairly high, and I ended up with a lot of duplicates, but I found a lot of good music, and filled in some gaps in my collection.
  • Depending on What? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cyril3 ( 522783 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:49PM (#8934801)
    And, depending on how you read the law, it's 100% illegal.

    Notice the small change in the quoted text. And it's still 100% true.

    This is not like the cat in the box where you cannot ever know if it's dead or alive till you open the box and discover it's dead/alive.

    With this law once you discover it is illegal, it's been illegal since you started doing it. So it's a bad plan to do it on the basis that you don't know if its illegal or not.

  • by zapp ( 201236 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:58PM (#8934853)
    You know why the RIAA is going after P2P? Because its used mostly for piracy. Sure, some legit. songs are being downloaded, but the majority of it is blatant piracy.

    Now here we are saying Internet radio is good, legitimate fair use; and then we use it for piracy.

    Just like how Apple tried to be relaxed with their AAC DRM, but people just had to crack it. Sure, ther e are valid reasons for this, but once again people will use a valid, legal technology for piracy and ruin it for the rest of us.
    • You know why the RIAA is going after P2P?

      They aren't; they are going after some users of some P2P systems. P2P is a very wide area- with lots of protocols- most of the internet is P2P- the IP protocol itself is P2P. USENET especially is P2P.

      Because its used mostly for piracy.

      No; well maybe. But that's not necessarily true for all P2P or for all time. For example Skype [] is P2P, but there's presumably little or no piracy going on there.

  • Tired old formula (Score:4, Insightful)

    by iustus ( 773423 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:04PM (#8934895)
    I remember when they shut Napster down. Napster was great, and efficient, but since napster had a centralized server it was easy to target and take down.

    Everyone imediatly when to Gnutella-net. Since Gnutella net was not centralized it could not be shut down. But the problem was, not being centralized meant that propagating search querries was ridiculously expensive in bandwidth, thus it was a slight pain in the ass.

    Then we were worried that they would start sueing individuals, so someone developed free net that would use everyone else as a proxy to hide the origionating IP, thus the IP you see is not that of the person downloading the file. This would have worked but was damn stupid as far as wasting bandwith for anonymity.

    the RIAA held off while on individual lawsuits, freenet never took off, now that the lawsuits are becoming a problem again we come up with stupid solution 'B', this streaming data client.

    Basically, our file sharing clients will get worse and worse, and it will boil down to asking ourselves "do I really want to get this song in a shoddy quality, with skips and pops/waste a half hour in failed attempts to get it, or is it easier to just buy the song online legally?

    And in fact, this is the way it should work. There will always be free clients and you will always be able to pirate music, it just a question how much of a pain in the ass it will be, and whether or not you value your time and quality of music over your money.

    If the RIAA was smart(they aren't), they would lower the price of song downloads to 20 cents (an artist usually makes 10 cents per song on each cd), no one would bother wading through all the fake songs on Kazaa and most people would flock to the pay sites.

    $1-$2 a songs? ppppttttt. . . Pirating methods don't suck that much . . yet.
  • GOD damnit! (Score:4, Funny)

    by zbuffered ( 125292 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:13PM (#8934954)
    Every time I find a new way to get music, you /. pussies have to pick up on it and show the unwashed masses how to do it! Now radio stations can't handle the traffic. Now the RIAA's on the scent. Now I can't stream rip. Damn you for showing everyone the idea!
    [puff puff]
    I'm sorry for yelling. But you guys may have just ruined this by giving it this new audience.
  • by The Master Control P ( 655590 ) <ejkeever@nerdshac k . c om> on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:14PM (#8934961)
    Use their own litigious bullshit against them. If every p2p client simply implemented a one-byte XOR on all outgoing and incoming transmissions, it would be quite illegal for the (RI || MP) AA to attempt to decode it because of that wonderful piece of legislation called the DMCA. Remember? Illegal to circumvent any acess control device? By implementing such a measure (even one so braindead that it could be cracked brute-force by a 20-year-old laptop in a matter of seconds), it is illegal for anyone to decode your transmissions without your express permission. I give express permission to everyone except scum would work for the (RI || MP) AA.

    The best part is the horrible or wonderful (depending on your view) irony of it: Screwed by their own bought-and-paid-for legislation. Geeks the world over will roll on the floor laughing their asses off!
  • For Mac Users... (Score:5, Informative)

    by toupsie ( 88295 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:44PM (#8935146) Homepage
    If you are using Mac OS X, you can use audio hijaak pro []. It lets you record RealAudio, Windows Media and MP3 streams. I use it all the time to time shift radio shows I like to AAC or MP3 for my iPod. Works like a charm. You can set up schedules and file sizes. Really sharp.
  • amazing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mikeg22 ( 601691 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:57PM (#8935197)
    It is truly amazing the lengths to which someone will go to obtain something they didn't pay for. Some people say, "Well, I wouldn't have bought it anyways, so whats the difference?" to which I reply, "If you wouldn't have bought it, why would you go through so much trouble to copy it?"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @09:13PM (#8935281)
    I tried stream ripping using RadioLover on a Mac. As it happens, there's an iTunes station that plays exactly the music I like, and nothing but. That being the case, I get much much better results from stream ripping than P2P, where I've spent far too much time searching for niche music no one is sharing.

    However, as my wife pointed out, the point of saving the streams becomes moot, since I can always switch on the iTunes stream anyway - why duplicate the commercial free radio station? Good point. (On the other hand, the internet station *does* include rare vinyl tracks that are out of distribution, which you can't buy anywhere, and which are very difficult, if not impossible to find on P2P, so there is some value to stream ripping.)

    This seems to be a similar situation to digital TV. The BBC plays commercial free movies at DVD quality. I click record on my EyeTV 400 PVR, and get DVD quality movies. Great again. Love it. However, the irony does not escape me that this makes the BBC the biggest faciliator of "pirated" movies around. It also makes me question the difference between digital TV recording and the olden days of VCR recording movies. What's the difference? The quality is better.

    However, I'm getting quite used to the high quality of the movies, and to be frank, beyond my obsessive collecting and quality control obsessions, it really doesn't make a damned bit of difference. I can't share them on the internet cuz they are too big (1.4GB-4GB). My friends don't have computers for entertainment centres, so the movies I record are as useless to them as a copy-protected music disc, ie. a coaster. And besides, no one seems to think the value of a movie is nearly as high as the people selling them.

    So what's changed? Ripping streams is like recording radio shows to cassettes. Hard disk recording digital TV is basically the same as using a VHS deck to record analog TV. The big difference is the quality is better. And...? That's about it.

    The only people digital media would seem to help are commercial pirates, who with digital media can now make better counterfeit copies - and yet the RIAA/Hollywood doesn't seem to be doing much about them. (Hollywood themselves are responsible for the majority of movies in the wild anyway.) Greedy? Certainly. Insane? Possibly. The only thing worse than greedy insane people are the ones with enough money to buy polititions, high priced lawyers, and too much cocaine.

    Still, it will be fun to tell the grandkids about it. (I was a student during the era of photocopy hysteria, so I've already got a sense of how ridiculous and incredible this is going to seem in the future.
    "But wouldn't photocopying a book cost more than buying the book?"
    "Yes, Virginia. It seems fear and uncertainty drive people to extreme forms of irrational thinking and behavior."
  • Did anybody consider (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lightspawn ( 155347 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @09:16PM (#8935288) Homepage
    ripping from digital cable music channels?

    A smart app could figure not only when the songs change, but OCR the picture to try and parse the artist, album and track info.

  • by Trolling4Dollars ( 627073 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:11PM (#8935541) Journal
    If you are on the Linux platform and you use the Enlightened sound daemon, then you've got most of what you need to do stream ripping. I've used 'esdmon' to "tap" into the sound stream from RealPlayer (for some of my favorite internet radio boradcasts) and xmms. You can also use 'mplayer' to snag RealAudio streams as well. The following combination of tools gives you the equivalent of Tivo for your favorite internet audio streams:

    1. RealPlayer
    2. 'esdmon'
    3. cron
    4. 'oggenc'

    Here's my personal bash script to get these guys to work together and save the stream to an Ogg Vorbis file:

    export DISPLAY

    datestamp=`date +%D%T | sed s+/++g | sed s+:++g`

    esdmon | oggenc --raw -o /home/colin/radio/hos-$datestamp.ogg - & /usr/local/RealPlayer8/realplay /home/colin/radio/wysu.ram


    Make the assumption that the .ram file points to the stream that you want to capture and replace the home dir path and hostname of the X server to reflect your machine.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah... I'm sure someone out there could do it better, but this should get some people started.
  • by jgabby ( 158126 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:13PM (#8935552) Journal
    The RIAA has been expecting this for a while now. Over the past several months they have been lobbying the FCC to put copy protection on the new Digital Audio Broadcasting (IBOC) to prevent this very thing. So far the FCC has held back from doing anything because RIAA has failed to show harm already being done - I wonder if this will be their example?

    They argue that ripping programs to individual songs is illegal because it is "librarying" - which is NOT a legitimate fair use. Rest assured, they will come after it.
  • by dougnaka ( 631080 ) * on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:27PM (#8935613) Homepage Journal
    And I've spent a whopping $3.50 and got 4 full albums. It's legal, and like buying CD's doesn't screw the artists anyways. I'll go to shows and buy merchandise from them to pay them directly, where they get higher royalties.

    There's an interesting thread here [] about it, scroll down to the one that starts "OK, here's the scoop on" by ronross.

    $.01/MB is about what I think is fair for online music, you like $.99/track great, I don't, I like $.05/track. If I thought artists deserve to live like rock stars I'd send them parts of every paycheck, or buy them coke, but I don't. If a musician makes more a year than I do for what is obviously less work then they can't complain.

    The URL again where you can legally get tons of good quality music for $.01/MB is []
    The English button is at the top left, FYI.

    Oh, and by the way, I welcome all flames/spam/etc to my personal email address [mailto]

    • by Torne ( 78524 ) <> on Thursday April 22, 2004 @06:41AM (#8937284)
      I also use allofmp3, and I think I should clarify its legality as your post is a bit optimistic about it. =)

      The artists do not get paid; you know that, but it's not neccecarily obvious to others. Some of the music is sourced from a single bought CD, most is sourced from downloaded MP3s. The Online Encoding Exclusive tracks are all CD sourced; the others are at best 320Kbit MP3 sources - yes, all the non-Exclusive OE tracks are being transcoded, not encoded from the original.

      Yes, it's legal for them to operate the service because they are complying with Russian law.

      However, it is not neccecarily legal for you to USE the service. The situation seems analogous to buying stolen goods when you know they are stolen. It's not exactly analogous from a legal POV, though. I don't know the exact position of US law, but piracy law in the UK and much of Europe counts the party receiving the copy as liable as well as the party making the copy. I consulted an intellectual property lawyer and was assured that yes, under UK law, usage of allofmp3 is definately illegal, though it might be treated leniently given that someone who's not really clued in might believe that the site is a legitimate music seller.

      Coverage of P2P lawsuits in the US suggests that US law does not consider the recipient of a copy liable, which would probably make it legal to use allofmp3, but IANAL and my lawyer friend doesn't know US law well enough.
  • by geekee ( 591277 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:52PM (#8935720)
    Home recording laws are an exception to copyright that allow people to record stuff from the radio or TV for their own use without paying any royalties. Congress decided this was fair because taping from the radio was poor quality anyway, and a hassle, so it didn't affect the value of a song in terms of sales.

    Now, as people on /. attest, people want individual songs of the internet, not albums. Also, digital technology makes it easy to sort out the songs you like from a stream relatively easily. Therefore, even though people say it's unfair, home recording laws will not allow recording of digital radio, because it will eat into profits from legitimate sales online, and therefore, is at odds with copyright law. Remember that copyright is a constitutional right in the United States before you start screaming about how ther RIAA is going to bribe congress to take away your rights. Your standing on thin ice if you think you have the right to record internet streaming audio just because you could do it before with analog radio.
  • by Eythian ( 552130 ) <> on Thursday April 22, 2004 @12:15AM (#8936071) Homepage
    iRATE radio [] is a project that downloads music that bands have released for free, and plays it to you. Based on how you rate the tracks you are given, it gives you more that it thinks you'll like by comparing with other peoples ratings. This results in a pile of MP3's that you like (at least to some degree :), and an easy way to get more that fit your tastes. You also have control over how regularly you hear each track, and so on.
  • "depending on how you read the law, it's 100% legal"

    Umm... ok. That's exactly the iron-clad legal guarantee I was looking for!

  • by Daemonic ( 575884 ) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @06:37AM (#8937258)
    Ratajik says he's trying to sell music from StationRipper via Amazon): "if users click the 'Buy' button they can buy the music being ripped.
    So it's not just a case of taping stuff off the radio for yourself - there's morons doing the online equivalent of setting up a stall on the high street selling mix-tapes made off the radio.

    This is where the problems lie. Stop trying to go public with services/sharing/selling. You are stealing from somebody.

    Kids copy a few tracks off the radio, or from their friend's CD, and no-one cares that much. It's what we've had for decades, and we can all live quite happilly thank-you.

    As soon as someone starts distributing en masse to the world at large - to people they don't really know - the balance tips.

    We have a balance between how much hassle/loss of quality we'll endure for free music. The record industry has a balance between how much hassle it is to track/sue people against how well organised they are, and how widely they're distributing their stuff.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982