delirium happy

Just keep on trying till you run out of cake

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Two questions about music
delirium happy
A while back, I used to use various peer to peer file sharing programs to download mp3s. And I always used to say that my main motivation wasn't that it was free, but that it was convenient, and if ever the music industry got the stick out of their arses and started offering a half-decent pay to download service at a reasonable price, that I'd be happy to use that instead. It's been a while since I've downloaded music, but I believe that pay to download legal music services now actually exist, but I don't know whether any of them actually manage to be half-decent (or better).

I'm vaguely aware of the existence of the iTunes music store, but I believe that that sends you the files in some dumb proprietory format, and requires you to use the iTunes player. Even setting aside concerns about the moral implications of selling music and putting a limit on how it can be played, and concerns about how closed source proprietory file formats give a single company a monopoly, and all that sort of stuff, I simply don't like the iTunes player. I don't particularly like winamp either (which is what I use) but at least I'm familiar with it, and it does what I expect it to do the vast majority of the time, which iTunes doesn't. I've heard that it's possible to download, then burn the files to a regular audio cd, and then use an mp3 ripper to convert to a sensible format, but by the time you've gone through all that, you're losing the original point of the whole thing, which was convenience.

Ultimately, though, I just don't know a whole lot about any of it, but I'm sure that someone reading this must do. So the questions: are there any other good alternative legal music download sites out there? Am I giving iTunes an unjustified bum rap? Is there anything else that I ought to know? Enlighten me.

And on an entirely different note (pun intended), which only belongs in the same entry since it is also a question about music, I'd like to ask for recommendations for classical music. I was reminded the other day that I don't listen to nearly as much classical music as I feel that I would like to, and one of the reassons for this is that I'm hopeless ignorant and don't know where to start or what I would like to listen to. My tastes in music generally tend towards the energetic, but I also appreciate pretty music and clever music. So really, I'd appreciate any recommendations you had to offer.

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iTunes is kind of a pain, for all the reasons you mention. I use, which is extremely cheap and has a very big selection, plus you can customize the format and bitrate.

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LOL, they may well be!

I was going to suggest my current workplace's service, but it seems their encoding is a bit dodgy. WMA format only, with DRM it looks like, and I don't want DRM on my music. I think I'm going to stick with buying CDs for now. Or rather, not buying them, since I don't tend to buy stuff I haven't heard already. Bah.

So instead I'm going to recommend Magnatune. You can stream everything to try it out and find out if it's worth buying. I recommend Cheryl Ann Fulton in the classical section as pretty music.

Other classical music... The 1812 Overture (along with the 1712 overture for entirely different reasons) and various other Tchaikovsky. The William Tell Overture. Beethoven's fifth symphony. Grieg's piano concerto. Bach's Toccata and Fugue. Various bits from Bizet's Carmen. Elgar's Enigma variations.

Dammit, now I'm going to have to listen to Hooked on 'Hooked on Classics'.

Oh, and Apocalyptica aren't entirely classical, but qualify under clever and energetic, if you think cello metal might be your kind of thing. Oddly enough it's reminiscent of the Lord of the Rings score in places.

As far as clever music, Bach and Mozart do pretty well. So does Schubert. (Some portions of the cleverness require more background than others, though.) Mozart operas are often very clever, but it helps if you know the plots and what they're saying.

There's a bunch of "introduction to classical music for kids" music out there - some of it is really very well done. Your local library may have some too.

I also just found this: which might be of interest. Also the links here:

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On a vaguely related note, I stumbled across this and was suitably scared. I thought you ought to know.

But anyway. I've been getting into Rachmaninov's piano concertos lately, which probably qualify as both energetic and clever. It might just be the air-piano opportunities that appeal to me, though.

That is, indeed suitably terrifying. I believe that that was copied from an ls -r (or whatever the option for recursive is; i think it's -r) of my mp3 list, which was then shoved up on a web server. It was copied over two years ago as well, since that was back when I was still in Canterbury and had a web server on my local network, making putting random things up on the web much easier and therefore more likely.

It is fairly ingenious though, from the looks of it. Copy down a huge list of song titles from other people's mp3 lists, put them on a page that makes it look as if they're available for download, and then have a prominent link to a pay per click ad place which looks like it might give you information on how to download. You've got to admire cunning like that.

And I'm almost afraid to ask this but... what were you searching for to find that?

Oh, it's innocent enough. I was searching for '"ghosts are good company" audiogalaxy', because I have that same uncredited mp3 and was curious about who the band were. (Bishop Allen, apparently.)

1. Use iTunes t get the tunes in the M4A/proprietary format.
2. Burn those tunes to a regular CD-A (audio CD) as you would any MP3, with iTunes.
3. Re-rip the tunes to iTunes as MP3s, and you have normal, playable anywhere MP3s.

I know, I know, it's an extra step and I can already hear you telling me "it's the princple of the thing," but it seems to me if you purchased music you'd want a backup anyway. (I back my 41+ GB MP3 collection up to DVD regularly). CD's aren't that expensive here and, well - it'd work.

(Maybe you'd rather not have to get around copy protection but I can't see the recording industry, especially the Big 3 or 4 or 5 or whatever it is, allowing unprotected songs to be legally downloaded en mass anytime soon.)

The principle matters, but the practicality is the primary reason I wouldn't want to do this. One of the nicest things about downloading music is that you only need to take individual songs rather than full albums. If you're writing an audio CD just to convert one single song to a sensible format then that's way too much hassle, and the cost would really start to mount. And yes, backups are Good and Sensible, but I know I'd want to keep backups of the mp3s themselves, rather than the CD-As.

As far as mp3s go, I'm like you except that iTunes is my player of choice. Even then a lot of the music I want is old and therefore not available on the music store and even if it is I'm not prepared to faff around burning and re-ripping it so I download illegally.

For classical music I would recommend Beethovens Violin Concerto (I believe he only did one, but if not, I'll look up the key for you). It is my favourite piece of music in the world in space especially the first movement.

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