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2003 Dec 17 16:15

The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: [vox] RIAA-safe music
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Re: [vox] RIAA-safe music

On Wed, Dec 17, 2003 at 09:33:15AM -0800, R. Douglas Barbieri wrote:
> I am a classical music fan, and I have discovered a non-RIAA record
> label--Naxos. They are able to bring a full CD to market at prices that
> are reasonable. For example, I can get a recording of the Berlioz
> Requiem from Amazon for $11.99, a two disc set. The equivalent RIAA
> price would be more like $23.98.

I've been meaning to post about the one I came across the other day...
thanks for reminding me ;)

The site is Magnatune.com, and I came across them linked from

"Magnatune is an Internet record label, but they're not evil. You can
listen to all their entire albums. When you buy or license music, 50%
goes straight to the musician, and you can download
OGG/FLAC/WAV/MP3-VBRs versions of the album. No DRM, ever."

But I haven't bought anything yet, and I can't seem to find anything on
their site that says anything about the formats you can download once
you buy...

> They also let you listen to every track (from the album [at a low
> bitrate, of course]) so you can determine if you like the recording. The
> bad news is that they are using windows media.

Magnatune gives you a few choices for listening. First, each album has a
hi-fi and lo-fi link for listening. Both are .m3u files (which is just a
list of mp3 files for your player to grab over http). Hi-fi is 128KBit.
I haven't checked the lo-fi. You can also listen per track the same way.
They've also got a per genre m3u, both shuffled and not, and also a
per genre shoutcast stream.

The thing I like the most about them though is their attitude towards
both the artist and the listener. The artist gets 50% of all monies
coming in. When you click the buy link for an album, the first thing it
asks you is how much you want to pay. Your choice is anywhere from $5 to
$18 (defaults to $8) with a reminder that half goes to the artist.

They also advocate "Open Music":

What is "Open Music" ?

Open Music is music that is shareable, available in "source code" form,
allows derivative works and is free of cost for non-commercial use. It
is the concept of "open source" computer software applied to music.

All our music is available under the
"Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike " license from Creative Commons to
promote these goals. Specifically, this means:

    * You can listen to our Internet radio stations, download our free
music, and share with anyone you like.
    * Derivative works (for example: remixes, cover songs, sampling) is
explicitly allowed. Many of our artists publish the "source code" to
their music so you can rework and improve it. This includes scores,
lyrics, MIDI files, samples and track-by-track audio files. If you make
a great new version of our music, we'd love to know so that we can
promote it!
    * Non-commercial use of our music and its "source code" is free.
However, if you make money ("commercial use") with our music, you'll
have to "share the wealth" and give us and our artists a share. 
[end paste]

Ok, I've rambled enough... And no, I don't work for Magnatune, I just
like them a lot. ;)
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