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MP3.com Hastily Re-launches -- But Will It Fly? 127

macdaddypunk writes "Today CNET Networks unveiled the service that has taken them five months to build: the new (but not-necessarily-improved) MP3.com. The site offers free downloads and a place to upload music, but it lacks the extra features of the original MP3.com, and it has a meager selection of barely 2,000 artists. The best part: their charts are literally random (songs are sorted by number of downloads, currently zero for all songs!). Smells like a hasty launch, perhaps rushed by last week's news that the original MP3.com archive (1.7 million songs) has been resurrected by another free MP3 download site, GarageBand.com."
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MP3.com Hastily Re-launches -- But Will It Fly?

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  • w00t (Score:3, Funny)

    by mastergoon ( 648848 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @11:02AM (#8984161) Homepage
    At least theres even more advertisements than last time, something to look at while I download right?
    • Re:w00t (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      uh... what ads? I didn't see any on the site.
  • by REBloomfield ( 550182 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @11:04AM (#8984182)
    It was http://www.mp3isback.com, which redirects, but they obviosuly though better of using it...
  • The layout is ugly, it doesn't work right in browsers other than IE, and is tied in with that stupid Download.com. Any day now they'll be wanting you to install some stupid (IE only) browser plugin to download anything just like they did with GameSpot (anybody remember that pre-CNET?) and with half of the listings on Download.com.
    • It looks fine in Firebird 0.5.....
    • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

      by mastergoon ( 648848 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @11:11AM (#8984278) Homepage
      Yeah looks fine in Firefox. One thing I was actually impressed with was their use of CSS. In Firefox you can switch between the stylesheets, they offer multiple text sizes, and a layout stripped of most graphics. The button to switch them in firefox is in the bottom left corner.

      The color scheme may not be great, but the use of CSS is above average (though that is no use at all often).

      • Sorry, didn't test it in Firefox. I was basing it on Konquerer, and things that look right in Konquerer usually look right in Firefox and things that don't look right in Konquerer tend not to work too well in Mozilla either. Next time I'll be sure to check better. :-)
      • Sorry to be such a noob, but I use FireFox and I don't have a button for chaning between CSSs...I though it was perhaps an extension but I don't see anthing like that on the extension download page either.
    • What is it that doesn't work right exactly?

      If something doesn't, make sure you email them to let them know...
      • Already have. They're using non-standard comments in some of the CSS blocks that cause ICE and other embedded browsers to puke horribly.
    • It does. What browser didn't work with for you?
  • by cTbone ( 632308 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @11:05AM (#8984197)
    People interested in downloading music might also want to check out the Internet Archive's Live Audio Archive [archive.org] which offers both mp3 and lossless shn compressed audio for free.
    • People may also want to check out FurthurNet.com [furthurnet.com] for legal P2P live music downloads, mostly jam-bands (Grateful Dead, Phish, CSNY), but some others you might not expect (AC/DC, Beastie Boys, Frank Black). I should mention it is concert-set oriented, not track oriented, so things are not set up to let you download just one song you are looking for. Instead, you download whole live shows.
    • Or. IRC/KaZaA/Morpheus/etc.

      But for downloading music legally, I recommend iTunes. I'm just a huge fan of Apple and Pepsi, and iTunes is a really good program.
  • Mp3.com's archive (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Nick of NSTime ( 597712 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @11:05AM (#8984206)
    I am very pleased to hear that mp3.com's archive of songs has been resurrected by another site. I was blown away when I read that the mp3s were being deleted. It reminds me of those Dr. Who episodes that are forever lost because the BBC didn't think it important to archive them.
    • Re:Mp3.com's archive (Score:3, Informative)

      by Yaruar ( 125933 )
      Shame that they are charging artists an exorbitant fee to recover the songs and put them back up.

      99 dollars to resurrect the account then 3 songs recovered for free then after that 7 odd dollars every song recovered.

      One of my friends was a top selling mp3.com artist and he had hundreds of songs on mp3.com and it would literally cost him thousands of dollars to get them on there again.....
      • Are you sure? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Dlugar ( 124619 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @11:59AM (#8984914) Homepage
        Maybe they've changed it ... according to this page [garageband.com], you can recover the account, plus three songs, for free, and get additional songs hosted for $6.99 each.

        Or, alternatively, you can simply pay a one-time fee of $99 to get all your songs back, no ads on your band's page, and unlimited hosting for all your songs for life.

        Well, so says the site, anyway. Can anyone verify if it's true?

        • Re:Are you sure? (Score:4, Informative)

          by chimpo13 ( 471212 ) <slashdot@nokilli.com> on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @01:58PM (#8986543) Homepage Journal
          Yes, great idea there. mp3 never paid my band the money they owed us and they wouldn't answer email's asking about the money. At first it was "We'll answer within 5-10 business days" and months later it became "You need to pay us to answer your email".

          Will it be the same thing at garageband? Why should I pay them money so they can make money selling my songs? I was signing up with garageband and said, "ah screw this". Dang kids these days.

          As Sykes said in Wild Bunch, "Caught you didn't they? Tied a tin can to your tail. Led you in and waltzed you out again. Oh my what a bunch. Big tough ones huh? Here you are with a hand full of holes, a thumb up your ass, and a big grin to pass the time of day with."

          I've put the songs on my server with a donation box (not that I'm expecting donations). So if you're looking for free generic punk rock Star Trek songs....

      • Geeze.. I'm glad they sent me an email that "the couldn't find my account." They want a hundred bucks to resurrect it. you gotta be freekin kidding.
    • Perhaps I was one of the few (out of millions of plays) who liked some Trance music bands like Lagoona but I don't see them there on www.garageband.com [garageband.com] or several others I tried. PPK [garageband.com] was the only one I found (sounds like Faithless and Scooter? I don't think so...). Is it there yet or ComingSoon(TM)?

    • The difference is that the BBC wrote and produced those shows. They owned them and lost them.

      Mp3.com never owned those files. They weren't theirs to give to anyone else. If anything was lost, it is lost solely because the original author did not think to use a $0.10 CD and put it in a vault (and periodically back up the data).

      I was a little miffed when they took down the archives -- I had a few remix pieces I did for others and gave them all the media associated with, in which they put them on MP3.com
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @11:07AM (#8984230)
    MP3.com hasn't relaunched, you only have your splash page there along with a link to a separate free service provided by cnet as a part of download.com. Not the same thing.
    • Yup that's true

      From music.download.com's FAQ

      Q: What is the difference between MP3.com and Download.com Music?

      A: Download.com Music will be a free artist upload and download site that is part of Download.com. We are currently accepting submissions for this forthcoming site, which is launching in mid-April. MP3.com will evolve into a comprehensive information and discovery site for music fans, helping them enjoy the exciting world of digital music to the fullest.

      Is it me only or do both the sites
      • I believe mp3.com will become a "Music Portal" for info about digital music -- without acctually hosting any music. Where as music.download.com will be a place to download music other people have uploaded (much as download.com is a place to download software, yad, yada...)
  • by Paulrothrock ( 685079 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @11:08AM (#8984249) Homepage Journal
    "Release the legal hounds." - Steve Jobs
  • Indies (Score:3, Interesting)

    by platypibri ( 762478 ) <brian@@@platypionline...com> on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @11:09AM (#8984255) Homepage Journal
    I am completely in support of any system that supports local and independant artits. That is where the real musical soul of America is. (apologies to international users) I'm tired of just accepting what ever the industry decides is worth of my attention. Not that there is not talent in the industry. I just feel the industry squashes artistic development. Welcome back MP3.com. There is ALWAYS room to grow.
  • by Bill, Shooter of Bul ( 629286 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @11:10AM (#8984262) Journal
    Ye olde mp3.com was cluttered up with all of these stupid free songs from big commercial artists. While that was sort of good, it skewed all of the rankings and pushed all of the undiscovered talent down. Thats what used to be good about mp3.com back in the day. I think it would be a much better idea to seprerate the big well known groups from the indipendents. Hopefully, because MP3.com is nolonger owned by a record label it will just be a venue for discovering new independant artists. And that would make me happy.
  • Even though you have to pay to get it back, Garageband has the old material. Mp3.com got 99% of their old hits from artists like me doing stuff with their pages from their houses. Without that bedroom industry support, they will be lost in the sea of half-RIAA-sponsored shelac. Might as well use live365.com to listen to mp3 radio of whatever you want -- at least then you don't have to pay too much to get commercial-free radio in your favorite genre. I will continue to make music, but I will only link to it from sites like this (back to my own site)... i'm not paying money so that my hard work gets lost in a sea of RIAA red tape.
    • Better yet ... pitch in on community-owned server setups, such as ampfea.org [ampfea.org] which is kinda 'bbs-like in terms of support/financial structure.

      We all 'just pitch in' on the monthly bills, and since we know each other pretty well, whenever someone gets a hit and their bandwidth usage goes up, we all know about it! :)

      There's really no 'technological' reason these days for small bands of like-minded souls not to continue aimlessly roaming the plains, together ... if you know at least 4 or 5 other hobbyist mus
      • ... i should mention that the ampfea community is close to being 8 years old ... and still going strong. maybe we're only 'small enough' to cover it, though, but still, 8 years of internet up-time serving mp3's ain't bad ...
    • If you selected the box for Trusonic when you uploaded your songs to the old MP3.com it still is available but if you did not it is gone. The revival of the archive is just a come on to get people to pay for hosting songs on Garageband that previously was free. I like the CNet Music download.com it is not jammed full of major label people. The also dont feed visitors cookies and then email them Madonna news. The music is screened for quality, something the Old Mp3 did not do. If all it does is increase traf
  • by GatorMan ( 70959 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @11:11AM (#8984283)
    Try other sites like www.myglobalsound.com instead. Everything MP3.com should have been the first time around. It was created by a couple geeks and runs on Linux, too! Think MP3.com value plus ITMS ease-of-use plus Google variety. I'm filling up my third custom music disc as I type. Always find something good (and new!) there.
    • This looks really good - thanks for the pointer.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Global?! The search form has a separate drop-down menu for American states. Most of the music is American. There's nothing global about this. It's just more American-centered crap. Worst, it's American crap that tries to pose as "global." Fuck this.

      And if you think mp3.com should have been a collection of mainly American music, fuck you too!
      • Argentina, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Israel, Italy, United Kingdom and lastly United States. It's there in plain text. Looks 'Global' to me, especially for a new service. Want to see more folk music from Qatar? Tell a musician in Qatar about the site!

        I'm not going to fight a bunch of AC posters on something I don't make money from. But if you're going to attack me, at least have proof. I'm happy with what I've found, and so is the only other non-AC to post here.
  • 2000+ artists (Score:5, Informative)

    by serenarae ( 154753 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @11:11AM (#8984285) Journal
    My boyfriend is an artist on mp3.com, and the somewhat small artist count is due to the fact that they only let artists start signing up about 2 weeks ago. To top that off, if you were trying to sign up, you were going to run in to some sort of net traffic due to the other hundreds of artists trying to sign up. Give them some time, they're still rebuilding.
  • The Free Alternative (Score:5, Informative)

    by poptones ( 653660 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @11:15AM (#8984336) Journal
    iTunes Mac OSX Files Now available on Magnatune [magnatune.com]

    New format available: all albums are now available for download as highest-quality Apple Macintosh AAC files, compressed into a Mac-native Stuffit archive. All the meta-information (song name, artist, year, album) is stored in the AAC file so that you can just drop the files into iTunes and they're perfectly recognized. And unlike AAC files bought from the iTunes shop, these AAC files are as unemcumbered by DRM (digital rights management).

    If anyone here hasn't yet checked out magnatune, you should. There are some great acts and you can get exactly what most of us have been screaming for: un-DRM files of the highest possible quality and YOU set the price.

  • by List of FAILURES ( 769395 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @11:20AM (#8984406) Journal
    I wish MP3.com well as they may yet provide another outlet for independent artists that are having trouble getting through the "old boys" network of the RIAA. Just because someone doesn't have a contract doesn't mean that they suck. And that's what the RIAA is afraid of.

    Being a musician in my own right, I've been considering the idea of using a P2P client for distribution of my music. Since *I* would be the copyright holder, it would be completely legitimate and get my music heard. In the effort to destroy the RIAA's stranglehold over the music business, I would encourage any of you with a creative bent to distribute your works via P2P. After all, fame is worth a lot more than money because fame can get you places that money can't. I have been experimenting with P2P clients like MUTE [sourceforge.net] and the interesting new file sharing pardigm Konspire [sourceforge.net]. Konspire has the interesting side effect of turning P2P around into something like what Usenet used to be, only it's a LOT cooler.

    My suggestions:
    -Try out MUTE
    -Try out Konspire
    -If you are creative, focus on getting your name known via P2P
    -Once you have an established reputation, you can keep your fans happy with some free tracks/videos/writing and some exclusive stuff that they would happily pay for. It's the best of both worlds.

    • I started an artist forum on Grokster, then they allied themselves with one of those A&R services that are supposed to help people get in the music biz for a price. Suddenly, I became a non-entity there. P2Ps like advertising not artists. I dont mind people sharing my music on a P2P its a great way to become part of a persons share files that others browse thru. The hassle is people mess with the tags and just the popups and garbage that goes with the P2P. I think a lot of artists dont mind people shari
  • Upload my song, it could make no 1!
  • Sounds like a time to try some alternatives like GigaTracks [gigatracks.com]. (I have no affiliation with them, I just like the service).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @11:27AM (#8984479)
    From mp3.com:

    The all-new MP3.com will launch by late spring 2004. We're excited to unveil our new look for MP3.com users both old and new.

    There is a banner on that page for music.download.com, which has been there for a long time. music.download.com is another one of CNET's services, but it is not the new mp3.com! mp3.com will be relaunched soon by CNET.

    The story is incorrect!

  • meh.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by mrelectricocean ( 771591 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @11:28AM (#8984500)
    my band used to have 2 mp3s up on mp3.com.. are all the old archives back up? here in the UK all the local bands started using www.acidplanet.com or www.purevolume.com as a substitue for mp3.com, purevolume is pretty good from what ive seen. example : www.purevolume.com/appease
  • Soundclick (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jack Wagner ( 444727 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @11:34AM (#8984577) Homepage Journal
    Soundclick [soundclick.com] is where all the cool kids hang out. It's FREE (like NPR) and has tons of Indie crap for you to listen to.

    Warmest Regards,

  • Maybe if they bring back the entire thing that was there before, then yes. But why in the name of all that is good and pure did they remove everything? What was the bloody point of that?
  • "Will it fly?"


  • We only accept 192Kbps MP3 files in stereo with 44KHz sampling. and you get 50MB free space so that sounds like about half and album.

  • by alienprotocol ( 163384 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @11:55AM (#8984867)
    I realize that a concept like "quality of music" is pretty abstract, since beauty is usually always in the eye of the beholder... but being flooded with poor quality music was really the thing that caused mp3.com to eventually become a site i visited less and less.

    so now mp3.com relaunches. yawn. is this 1996 all over again? how long before they assemble a mountain of crap that makes the true gems even harder to find?

    i'm using http://www.mp3jackpot.com and http://www.mp34u.com these days to save time finding the "quality" free mp3's from those artists smart enough to give away a track or two in order to compete.

    and hey, i'm also helping to find songs for mp34u.com - and it has been pretty fun so far.

  • It's not the most stable piece of software I've ever used. Pages randomly vanish (ie trying to get Pop selected, or infact most sub-sub genres causes problems) searching is screwed and the site is very limited. I would say that the software is way way alpha and really you can only upload individual songs to individual artists.

    Have experimentally uploaded a track by MEME vs XAN [download.com] to see how it works but at the moment it seems the link is screwed. Maybe it'll work later.

    Not sure where they are going with t

  • by Eric Savage ( 28245 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @12:18PM (#8985180) Homepage
    Which of the 2000 is the good one?
  • i go through purevolume ... there is a lot of indie crap, but it seems like they are picking up nicely ... and i like indie crap, so it all works for me!
  • Screw CNet. Sure, they've resurrected the concept, but I'm guessing they'll also resurrect the idea of paying 20 dollars to be permitted to show more than 3 songs. And maybe they'll even invent their own format, maybe CNP3, that will require you to download the appropriate codecs and maybe a player program from them. Remember, it's all "Free to Try, $99.99 to Buy!"
  • by MP3.com ( 774959 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @12:30PM (#8985339)
    MP3.com Hastily Re-launches -- But Will It Fly?
    I'm not a pig, you insensitive clod!
  • ..unfortunately. We, who had an MP3 artist account, had all our songs converted to RealAudio. Because of the firewall setup in my company, now it's impossible to get RA streams through, even though it is possile with MP3.
  • by tedtimmons ( 97599 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @01:00PM (#8985752) Homepage
    Worked at MP3.com from the IPO until the beginning of 2003- nearly four years. Others were there longer and knew more, but some of my observations:

    * Too much crap. Free uploading means that anyone who thought they were an artist could upload music. No business model can support this. MP3 really needed to charge artists a few dollars a month. That wouldn't limit a real artist, but it might limit the guys that churned out crap.

    * No way to find good music. There were "top 100" charts, but that's about it. How about Amazon-style relevance? Michael Robertson hated anything that forced a listener to listen to something- why wouldn't people want to choose each and every track? Well, some people don't care, or don't want to take the time. Give me a stream and leave me alone.

    * No business model. Can't make money giving free uploads and free downloads. Subscriptions were ineffective, artist subscriptions pissed off the artists, and giving away hundreds of thousands per month was just silly.

    * CEOs that didn't care. Michael Robertson had some vision and enthusiasm, but couldn't save it.

    On the other hand, there were some great people and ideas at MP3.com. Trusonic is one of those- I'm sure they will continue to be successful.
  • Besonic.com ? (global) iuma ? (global) electronicscene.com ? (obviously genre specific) These amongst the plethora of countless multitudes of indie music sites out there have continued to serve the artists forsaken by the majors. Canadians (and everyone else of course) out there might appreciate http://www.newmusiccanada.com And as a cheap plug, you could listen to yours truly.
  • -snip- it lacks the extra features of the original MP3.com, and it has a meager selection of barely 2,000 artists. The best part: their charts are literally random (songs are sorted by number of downloads, currently zero for all songs!). Smells like a hasty launch, perhaps rushed by last week's news that the original MP3.com archive (1.7 million songs) has been resurrected by another free MP3 download site, GarageBand.com."


    Well, doh, the few days after opening, a site *will* have lots of "zero down
  • They've gone with a nice Web standards (XHTML and CSS) based design, but they still have a few validation errors [w3.org].

    It is always nice to see a site change when I hit my 0){var cs=!document.styleSheets[0].disabled;for(i=0;iTogg le CSS bookmarklet. Too bad Slashdot uses shitty fat HTML. I guess Slashdot doesn allow links that start with the javascript: pseudo protocol

    var i=0;if(document.styleSheets.length>0){var cs=!document.styleSheets[0].disabled;for(i=0;i

  • by bensin ( 727667 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @01:52PM (#8986465) Homepage
    I'm the president of http://www.MyGlobalSound.com [myglobalsound.com] and some people had some negative things to say about my company. I would like start off by saying you try doing the same thing with a $5,000 budget and a team of two. We recently launched in March and i know that in do time we will become a force to be reckoned with. I think the people that post on this forum should revisit their childhood before the start posting things If you don't have anythign respectable to say thing keep your mouth shout. If you pride yourself on making people feel little that only shows how big of a person you are.
    • you try doing the same thing with a $5,000 budget and a team of two


      If anyone out there is willing to give me $5,000 (USD), then me and a friend (I mostly code, he goes mostly graphics with a little code) will build you a customized LAMP clone of the site mentioned by the parent! I'd recommend a slightly less "sharp" design.. it really does kinda burn the eyes..

      E-mail krypt at mountaincable dot net
  • I followed their link, "resurrected" only three of my many tunes (that was the limit), and then got a followup e-mail asking me to test-listen their conversion to RealMedia! No thanks. Leave 'em off there if they're not in mp3 format. Real is a tool of Satan and all Beelzebublicans.
  • All of a sudden something struck me; why isn't there a www.ogg.net (or .info or .biz) to push the better format? Sounds catchy too: "awg dot net"
  • by VB ( 82433 )

    What MP3.com promised initially was very encouraging as a songwriter, independent producer of music, but got subjugated by processes very similar to how M$ has garnered it's software inventory: they made it somewhat successful and sold out, leaving the artists who'd invested tremendous time and effort into a project with no potential to gain any benefit from what they contributed.

    I'm sure the next model will be much less viable since these artists have been once bitten. There's always the potential for
  • GarageBand.com (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zeemster ( 738541 )
    there seem to be some misunderstandings about GarageBand.com [garageband.com] here. GarageBand.com *does* offer free MP3 downloads. if you are confused about this, just visit their home page, and click on the links for any of the songs. its true, they do also offer realaudio streaming as a second option, but that doesn't preclue you from using the sight purely as an mp3 download sight. interestingly, GarageBand.com claims to have 100,000 bands (not counting the additional 250,000 coming from resurrecting the MP3.com arc
  • because none of the mp3.com bands that I can still remember come up in a search on garageband.com.
  • You could alternately check out Mperia [mperia.com]. (Which I am the Creative Lead and co-founder of, so I'm a bit biased). We use the BitPass payment system to sell tracks for artists, who keep 70% of their profits. And there's lots of other nice features for both artists and fans of independent music -- like the ability to preview songs in either Shoutcast or Flash streaming formats, and to link up with friends and find out what they're listening to.

    Unlike C|Net, we don't have limits on the number of songs artists c

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