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Article by Steven R. Rochlin
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KaZa

 

  In last month's editorial i covered all the various shows. This month comes as we experience the online music companies vying for sales. Those of you who visit the Enjoy the Music.com Industry News page will be familiar with the recent events. As we update our Industry News page every weekday, one of the recent articles said:

Accessing music via the Internet has really been heating up over the past 24 hours. First we have Sharman Networks' KaZaA with their new peer to peer file sharing software. Following this is the rebirth and huge marketing push of Napster 2.0. Lastly, the ugly head of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) once again on the legal rampage. KaZaA, who is now offering version 2.6 of their software, now allows people to have multiple searches to make finding files faster. Part of the perceived problem with KaZaA is that their software has been called a Trojan Horse with alleged "spyware" called Gator as being part of the KaZaA software. The Gator fiasco gets thicker as it cases generally unwanted targeted pop up advertising that is said to annoy many computer users. In fact the reputation of Gator has been such that days ago the company has officially changed its name to Claria Corporation. Getting back to KaZaA, a prepared statement from the company concerning their new software said, "This latest version is designed to enable artists to offer music, video and promotional material in a digital package or 'Kapsule.' Musicians will now be able to offer a much greater variety of material, such as images, audio, video, lyrics, tour dates and band information in one place."

Rolling with the punches is Napster, once the end-all be-all file sharing software, that went from millions of users to virtually zero following many legal battles. The brand name was eventually purchased by Roxio who has now developed a more legal way to offer music files online. Napster 2.0 offers downloads for 99 cents per song or $9.95 per album. The new software allows access to over 500,000 music files for CD burning and transferring music files to portable devices. Napster 2.0 allows for a simple "Shop" feature or "Premium" service. The differences are as follows:

Store Features
Listen to 30-second clips 
$.99 per song and $9.95 per album
CD burning with a drag-and-drop functionality
Detailed artist and album information
Create play lists
View music videos
Search for music by genre, artist, track title or popularity
Transfer music to various popular devices
Send music to friends

Premium Service
$9.95 per month
Unlimited streaming and downloading
Access to professionally programmed radio stations
Message boards to share opinions and offer suggestions

Meanwhile the RIAA has filed 80 new lawsuits against alleged file swappers, furthering their reputation of strong-arming music lovers who are not following the letter of the law by sharing copyrighted music files. This is the second time they have filed a vast amount of lawsuits as in September they targeted 261 individuals. Of the 204 people who received warning letters from the RIAA from the first round, it has been reported that 124 of those people attempted to find a resolution without going to court. RIAA President Cary Sherman said, "We are pleased that our efforts to extend illegal file sharers an additional chance to come clean and work out settlements are proving successful. The fact that the overwhelming majority of those who received the notification letter contacted us and were eager to resolve the claims is another clear signal that the music community's education and enforcement campaign is getting the message out."

 

Audiophiles may scoff at the fact of downloading lossy, compressed music over the Internet. While this type of attitude may be well-deserved today, the future is wide open. The day may come where not just high resolution music is available, but of a bit depth and sampling rate higher than 24-bit/192kHz that we find on DVD-Audio discs. Any laws made today concerning music via the Internet could have far reaching consequences! While many audiophiles are not running out to buy a portable MP3 player, nor an iPod, you can bet many of us are keeping a close eye as the online music delivery system matures. As always, in the end what really matters is that you...

 

Enjoy the Music (Genie Nilsson Wildflowers "Someday" right now),

Steven R. Rochlin

 

"Someday...
We will spread our wings and fly away
To a place
Where there's no more pain...
And children play

Someday...
Far away....
Further than my mind can reach
A place of peace
Where i fall asleep
Perfect peace
I will wait...
For someday..."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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