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657226 Posts in 9253 Topics by 3396 Members Latest Member: - vlozan86 Most online today: 239 - most online ever: 494 (Jul 01, 2007, 02:59:53 PM)
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Author Topic: Soulseek - Mobilize!  (Read 9705 times)
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Kath
Registered user

Posts: 95


« on: Aug 02, 2004, 10:00:33 AM »

Since I'm assuming everybody here has good taste in music (judging by the author and subject matter of this website's content), so post your soulseek name and everybody can add eachother for a veritable orgy of pirating.

me: fraidykath
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Lalitree
Administrator
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Posts: 1655


« Reply #1 on: Aug 02, 2004, 10:09:01 AM »

Uh...hmm, I'm not sure I should allow this, guys. It's great to get into new music through each other, but you have to promise to buy the records or something. Really promise, not just pirate-promise.
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John
edit0r
Registered user

Posts: 10925


« Reply #2 on: Aug 02, 2004, 10:15:15 AM »

Eh, what's the use.

For the record, yeah, I find the whole Soulseek/DC/whatever thing depressing except as regards 1) things that are out of print or wildly obscure or 2) live sets. My favorite is when somebody writes to me three months before my album's been released to tell me how much they liked it: "Gee, thanks!"
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boganlux
Registered user

Posts: 1149


« Reply #3 on: Aug 02, 2004, 10:44:27 AM »

Maybe we should set up rounds of mix tape trading? A little more personalized touch is a nice thing! Get exposed to some bands you wouldn't ever otherwise, maybe even make some penpals? Also way less objectionable to the artists, I'd imagine.
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jebreject
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Posts: 27071


« Reply #4 on: Aug 02, 2004, 11:17:25 AM »

Second.
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albertthefriendlyghost
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Posts: 38


« Reply #5 on: Aug 02, 2004, 11:45:18 AM »

slsk => also gd for getting a disc or two off boxsets if you can't afford the whole thing. I got a few off merzbox through it.
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Andrew_TSKS
Registered user

Posts: 39426


« Reply #6 on: Aug 02, 2004, 11:52:55 AM »

concerning soulseek/downloading:

i want to state for the record that i'm very much in favor of the whole thing. i'm well aware of the sketchy aspects concerning whether or not it's stealing, and i have an answer for all that, but i want to address the real reason why i use such things so much.

you see, i'm poor. i spend all of the money i can afford on music, which means i can buy 4 new cds and about 5 used ones a month (plus about 3 cassettes out of the dollar bin). but i like a whole lot of music of all different genres and styles, and therefore i can never even scratch the surface of the amount of music i WANT in any given month. the ratio of music i want vs. music i buy is something like 100/1. now, with the added bonus of being able to download albums off soulseek, i can obtain a whole bunch of other things that i want without putting myself in the poorhouse. the ratio of music i want vs. music i get then goes from 100/1 to more like 20/1. of course, as a devoted music fan, i'm going to see this as good.

some will say that i'm ripping off the bands by downloading their albums. honestly though, i find little merit in this argument. if i'm going to buy an album, i still buy it. i might download it before it comes out, but i'll buy an actual version of it when it's released. that's because what no one in the music industry seems to understand is that a downloaded/burned copy of an album is just the music, without any lyrics, liner notes, or cover art that might be included with the storebought version of the album. and therefore, it's NOT THE SAME as a storebought version of the album.

i've been voraciously collecting music since i was around 10 or 11 years old (the late 80s, for those keeping score). during the 13 or so years between the beginning of my music obsession and the advent of downloadable music, i still ended up obtaining by other means a lot of albums that i didn't have the money to buy. but back then, i did it by constantly borrowing albums from friends and taping them. to this day, i have crates and crates full of dubbed cassettes that feature 14 random grindcore 7 inches or ryan adams' "gold" (which, with the addition of the "side four" bonus disc, fits perfectly on a 90 minute tape) or atari teenage riot's "burn berlin burn" with superchunk's "indoor living" on the flip. i also loaned out tons of my own albums to the same friends who were loaning me stuff, and i'm sure they had (and may still have) crates and crates of their own dubbed cassettes. in the end, i think i probably obtained just as much music through dubbing back in the 80s and 90s as i do now by downloading.

does this mean i was stealing then? well, i know some furor over "home taping is killing the music industry" occurred in the early 80s, but by the time i was cognizant of all that stuff, it was seen as patently ridiculous that home taping did anything to hurt sales of albums by all concerned. and i realize that the difference between me dubbing stuff from my friends and album downloading on the internet is mostly a difference in scale--but for the hardcore music fans, i'd be willing to bet it's the exact same experience to download an album now from someone they know and trade with online as it was to borrow a slayer cassette from a kid who sat next to you in study hall, take it home and dub it, and bring it back the next day. sure, there are more albums out there for download. five years ago, if you or one of your five other music geek friends didn't have an album, you were screwed. now it's more like your five MILLION other music geek friends... and someone is bound to have it. but in the end, it's really no different.

you see, if i download an album instead of buying it, it's not that i am looking at it as "I GOT IT FOR FREE MUHUHAHAHAHAH!!!" it's more that i'm just excited to be able to have it at all. by the time i'm downloading an album, i've already run out of money with which to buy music for the month, and it got spent on stuff i wanted more than i want the record i'm downloading. but i mean, you music collectors surely understand when i say that wanting something slightly less might still mean that i want it REALLY REALLY BAD. so yeah, i download it, and i get to listen to it, and that makes me feel a bit better. i'd probably feel even better if i could get a copy with the lyrics and cover art, pressed onto a real cd instead of some crappy cd-r that will probably develop skips and have to be re-uploaded to my computer and burned again within a year or two (the equivalent of dubbed tapes ending up with dropouts and spots where your walkman ate it and it sounds like shit for 15 seconds or so)... but the fact is, i can't. i can't afford it.

this, incidentally, is why i find it so ridiculous that companies are putting led zeppelin and red hot chili peppers albums on online stores for download for about the same price you'd pay to buy the album in a store. what the fuck is the point of downloading something that you're essentially paying store prices for? i certainly wouldn't buy a dubbed cassette of a slayer album in 1991 for $9--if i was going to shell out 9 bucks for it, i wanted the storebought version. while i think that selling single songs for 99 cents a pop is brilliant--and again, i'd do it if i could afford it (yes, i can afford a dollar, but it's more complicated than that. my credit rating is so shit i can't even get a bank account, let alone another credit card... though they still send me the applications, so maybe i COULD, i'm just smart enough now to realize i shouldn't). but selling full albums for download is insane and it won't ever make much of any money.

ok, i've made my point and talked for far too long, and i realize that certain of you (i.e. john, who is a recording artist for a major label and probably feels pretty ripped off by anyone downloading his music) will never agree with me. but i just don't like how the debate about this issue gets framed in terms of theft, and how a lot of the people who are pro-downloading seek to justify their downloading AS theft, rather than attempting to describe the difference. which i think definitely exists.

oh, and if you're looking for me on soulseek, i'm easy to find. i use the same username for everything on the internet.
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I just want to be myself and I want you to love me for who I am.
sedita
Registered user

Posts: 261


« Reply #7 on: Aug 02, 2004, 11:58:44 AM »

....mix tapes are SO much sexier. much more fun.

sign me up for the mix tape roster!


j.
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mute
Registered user

Posts: 15


« Reply #8 on: Aug 02, 2004, 12:05:04 PM »

So, here's a thought-- would file-sharing have taken off so much if radio didn't suck so much?

Back in the old days, people heard new music for free on the radio. There were lots of stations, and they played a reasonable variety of music. Mostly pop, sure, but there was some sort of variety in most areas. Even super-obscure music was covered, as most public radio stations had some kind of late-night music programming run by locals who wanted to play what they wanted to hear, and there were enough college stations around that there was usually something non-mainstream to listen to.

These days, radio stations are all pretty much the same, thanks to ClearChannel and the need to compete for listeners in ClearChannel dominated areas. College stations are becoming less common, and public radio stations are all doing what we in the Boston area refer to as WGBH-izing-- most of the public radio stations around here now are either all news or play the same mix of classical, jazz, and Prairie Home Companion shows. In fact, one local station that used to have a couple of good late-night weird and osbscure music shows kicked hte late-night DJs out in favor of a syndicated jazz program that was also played on WGBH, a mere 40 or 50 miles away and easily picked up by local listeners.

It appears to me that file sharing has stepped up and replaced radio. Would we be here today if it weren't for ClearChannel and the homogenization of radio?

Comments?

Josh
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Andrew_TSKS
Registered user

Posts: 39426


« Reply #9 on: Aug 02, 2004, 12:15:04 PM »

interesting point, josh. i have to wonder if i'd have gotten so into downloading in order to feed my new music jones if i'd lived near a listenable radio station anytime in the past decade. back in high school, i used to live near university of virginia, and i'd listen to the rock programming on their alternative radio station (they had two--one was a top 40 station) a lot. that's where i discovered slint, spacemen 3, drive like jehu, and (ahem) the mountain goats, among many others. i'd make tapes of the shows i liked, and hunt down the records by bands i really enjoyed. if i still had access to that station today, of course, i might just download albums by every artist i heard on it that i liked. but i would probably also spend a good part of my day listening to the radio, so i wouldn't spend as much time downloading.
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I just want to be myself and I want you to love me for who I am.
jebreject
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Posts: 27071


« Reply #10 on: Aug 02, 2004, 12:20:39 PM »

There's an "essay" (if you can call it such) in the liner notes for Guyana Punch Line's Irritainment to accompany the song "Home Fucking is Killing Prostitution":

Quote
The greed inherent in the music industry has been widely discussed.  It's strange to see an artist go from a point where he/she is grateful to have a handful of attendees at a performance to a point where they fly off the handle at the notion of not making as many millions of dollars as humanly possible due to used CD sales, home taping, and MP3 trading.  The record companies have tried unsuccessfully in the past to ban recordable tape players, tax blank tape, and ban the sale of used CD's.  Now they are trying to squash internet music trading.  Multi-millionaire artists step into the public arena to bemoan their lost slaes, when it was tape trading among music fans that served as their original sole form of promotion.  (TV and Radio certainly weren't interested in touching these bands when they were starting out!)  Well guess what music bizzers?  Home taping is killing your industry, and home fucking is killing prostitiution...it's all the fucking same.


Of course, there's a big difference between Metallica crying about potential record sales (because I've never understood record companies saying they are losing money--to me there's a difference between losing money and money you could be making, depending) and some no-name band being wholly against file-sharing (although it seems like it helps most no-name bands much more than it hurts them).  I don't know.  It's a really tough and touchy issue.  To me it'd be a good thing if all of the major labels went the way of the dinosaurs, and it'd be nice to think that file-sharing could do that, and it'd be even nicer to think that the reason the music business is so afraid of file-sharing is because they see it as an actual threat to their empire, but the truth is, file-sharing will be co-opted just like everything else and the giant record companies will remain.

I download pretty much for the same reason as Andrew, because I can't really afford to buy many records (lately, I've been lucky if I can purchase one a month) and sure, I'd much rather have the lyric books and something I can actually hold in my hand, but that's not something I can have right now.  I don't know.  It's such a sticky issue.  Is downloading stealing?  Is music art or just another commodity?  Blah blah blah.  I don't know.  I promise to buy all the records I have downloaded.  As soon as I win the lottery.   :wink:
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sedita
Registered user

Posts: 261


« Reply #11 on: Aug 02, 2004, 12:28:30 PM »

i see downloading music as a tool to be a discriminating customer.

i download stuff i'm interested in hearing,
and if it's a band i like and want to support,
i go buy the album, give them my hard earned money
so they can keep making good music.

slsk is the electronic equivelant of
taste samples at the grocery store.
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sashwap
Registered user

Posts: 1316


« Reply #12 on: Aug 02, 2004, 12:32:39 PM »

soulseek is just a good way to help me spend my limited funds wisely. anything that i download and like, i will buy eventually. anything i don't like, well i don't like it and that's that. if i couldn't download music, i'd have a lot less music to listen to, which is sad.

and of course, there's a ton of unreleased/live/obscure things that can't be purchased.

back in the golden days of napster i randomly stumbled across a track about peanuts called "golden boy" by some band that went on to become one of my favorite artists ever. you know never know what kind of great stuff you can find just by typing in a random word. i think soulseek is, in that way, magical and wonderful.
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jebreject
Registered user

Posts: 27071


« Reply #13 on: Aug 02, 2004, 12:34:47 PM »

Quote from: "sedita"
slsk is the electronic equivelant of
taste samples at the grocery store.


Except you don't usually get to eat a whole pizza before buying it.
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Andrew_TSKS
Registered user

Posts: 39426


« Reply #14 on: Aug 02, 2004, 12:42:02 PM »

i have to admit that i think people who make the statement "if i like something i download, i buy it" either a) don't download much, b) don't like much, or c) are lying. i guess there's a possible d) are rich, but the concept of rich people is very foreign to me and i find it hard to believe they'd be on the same internet music forum as i am.

i say fuck it--own up to the fact that sometimes you download stuff and listen to it but don't buy it. there's no shame--we're not made of money.
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I just want to be myself and I want you to love me for who I am.
Lalitree
Administrator
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Posts: 1655


« Reply #15 on: Aug 02, 2004, 12:47:20 PM »

I don't think anyone has a problem with downloading for the purpose of trying stuff out & then buying what you like. I certainly do that, though not through SoulSeek. I really dislike discussing this issue, but here's one way to look at it:

Imagine you were a graphic artist, and you made your living solely on your designs. You sold your work to companies and individuals who needed graphic or web design, and you used a company (let's call them an 'agent') to help you distribute your work--they helped you with production costs and publicizing your talents. Occasionally you went on tours to speak at conferences about design, maybe, and got paid for your trouble, but mostly you made a living off of sales of your designs.

So imagine people started just trading your work, using it w/o getting it from you. Maybe sales start to decline so much that your 'agent' is unhappy with how much work they have to do for you, with less reward for them, so they decide to not work with you anymore. People who were taking your stuff say it's a new paradigm, that 'agents' are evil anyway, and plus you can make money off of your speaking deals. But you don't want to spend your life on the road, and even if you put our your own discs of your work, people would still trade them. Of course a good percentage of them will pay you, but the rest won't.

Sure, it's not a perfect parallel (and yes I know graphic design doesn't work that way), but I'm just trying to see it in a different perspective--if a lot of musicians had to get day jobs, you can bet you'd see fewer bands come through your town since most jobs only offer 2 weeks of vacation time. Whatever it is you do (or plan to do) for a living, imagine that people found a way to get what you do for free.

Naturally I don't think it's going to come to that, but it's worth it to think of it from all sides. Just because CDs are so easy to rip and download, somehow all the rules of engagement got tossed out the window, and some people forget that there are people and livelihoods behind those CDs.
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mute
Registered user

Posts: 15


« Reply #16 on: Aug 02, 2004, 12:49:03 PM »

Quote from: "Andrew_TSKS"
i have to admit that i think people who make the statement "if i like something i download, i buy it" either a) don't download much, b) don't like much, or c) are lying. i guess there's a possible d) are rich, but the concept of rich people is very foreign to me and i find it hard to believe they'd be on the same internet music forum as i am.


...or, say, option e) "Have a real job and very little debt."

I buy 10 or 20 CDs a month... I just figure that's part of my monthly budget and plan for it. It helps that there are a couple of decent record stores around here, and they tend to have CDs at 10-12 bucks rather than the more typical mall prices of 16-18 bucks a disc. With prices like that, I have no doubt that the record industry is shooting itself in the foot.

Josh
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jebreject
Registered user

Posts: 27071


« Reply #17 on: Aug 02, 2004, 01:14:05 PM »

As long as I can continue to rationalize my own downloading of music, it's all fine by me.  Feel however you want.

I will say that most of the stuff I download but do not really intend to buy (unless I find it for cheap in a used bin) are like old Neil Young records and 70s rock and bands that I can feel fairly confident are not starving because I'm downloading their records.  Granted, since moving to Milwaukee, I haven't had much money to buy records period--I think I've purchased two cd's in the two months I've been here--so I've been downloading much more than I would normally.  I'd like to think that once I get a little extra cash, I'll pick up all those records I'd downloaded and really liked, but I'm sure y'all know what will really happen ...

Yeah, this topic never really gets anywhere when it's discussed.
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Lalitree
Administrator
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Posts: 1655


« Reply #18 on: Aug 02, 2004, 01:24:29 PM »

Quote from: "jebreject"
Yeah, this topic never really gets anywhere when it's discussed.


Very true.
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Andrew_TSKS
Registered user

Posts: 39426


« Reply #19 on: Aug 02, 2004, 01:31:39 PM »

yeah, i mean, it's interesting to hear different opinions (and hey, it's also always fun to rant--at least i think so), but no one's really going to change their minds. as music fans, we've all been forced to think about this a ton already, so i'd bet we've all got pretty cemented perspectives on it.

that said, the one thing i have to say in response to lalitree's point is that if i wasn't trading the music i trade, i wouldn't buy it at all. i just can't afford it. so the whole "loss of sales" argument is untrue in my case. but then again, i think it IS true in the case of a lot of other people.

oh, and p.s.--josh, what constitutes a "real job"? is mine fake because i don't wear a tie or work in an office?
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I just want to be myself and I want you to love me for who I am.
John
edit0r
Registered user

Posts: 10925


« Reply #20 on: Aug 02, 2004, 01:32:23 PM »

Yeah, I'm not gonna get too involved in this one, except to say that my objections have nothing to do with money. They're aesthetic and ethical. I don't see how the "I spent what I could afford and, since I still wanted more, took what I could get" works, I must say.
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Andrew_TSKS
Registered user

Posts: 39426


« Reply #21 on: Aug 02, 2004, 01:35:11 PM »

john--not trying to start an argument here, this is seriously an honest question:

did you not ever dub tapes from friends back in the days before downloading and cd burning either?



p.s.--hi, i'm the kid who interviewed you for makeoutclub.com a few weeks ago. just figured i'd introduce myself.
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I just want to be myself and I want you to love me for who I am.
mute
Registered user

Posts: 15


« Reply #22 on: Aug 02, 2004, 01:42:20 PM »

Quote from: "Andrew_TSKS"
that said, the one thing i have to say in response to lalitree's point is that if i wasn't trading the music i trade, i wouldn't buy it at all. i just can't afford it. so the whole "loss of sales" argument is untrue in my case. but then again, i think it IS true in the case of a lot of other people.


Here's a wanky argument-- since I buy music and you don't, I'm subsidizing YOUR MUSIC! I hope you listen to good stuff, since I'm paying for it...

Quote

oh, and p.s.--josh, what constitutes a "real job"? is mine fake because i don't wear a tie or work in an office?


I work in an office, but no tie. Actually, I could probably get away without wearing pants most days, if I really wanted. Hooray for job security.

(I meant a job that pays enough that I can live on it and afford to buy music.)

That has the potential to go off into a whole socioeconomic rant of its own, though-- minimum wage is so little that people can't afford _food_, let alone 18-dollar CDs, and so on and so forth.

Josh
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mute
Registered user

Posts: 15


« Reply #23 on: Aug 02, 2004, 01:44:23 PM »

Quote from: "John"
Yeah, I'm not gonna get too involved in this one, except to say that my objections have nothing to do with money. They're aesthetic and ethical. I don't see how the "I spent what I could afford and, since I still wanted more, took what I could get" works, I must say.


Ayup. It's essentially selfishness, combined with that whole sense of entitlement that seem to be sweeping over people lately...

Josh
...in danger of starting off with "Kids these days..."
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mute
Registered user

Posts: 15


« Reply #24 on: Aug 02, 2004, 01:50:17 PM »

Quote from: "John"
"...took what I could get" works, I must say.


And now I have "You ain't seen nothin' yet" stuck in my head. Thanks!

Josh
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