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Permanent link to archive for Thursday, August 03, 2000. Thursday, August 03, 2000

John Gilmore on Napster 

John Gilmore: "Generic technology for copying or sharing of files does have real and substantial uses for all sorts of legitimate things. The Web is such a technology, so is the Internet. So are Xerox machines and personal computers. Napster and its ilk are the baby-steps of a new leap in this capability. Clearly it should be impossible for any copyright holder, or group thereof, to shut down such socially useful creations, no matter how easy it is to use them for 'evil'. It would be like banning pencils because bookies use them to record illegal bets."

Memory of a memory 

A year ago we were re-rolling out the old outliners.

Over on the outliners discussion group they're still lamenting the lack of a good outliner on Windows. When we get done with the first release of Radio UserLand I'll post a bulletin over there saying "Come get it." Then, no doubt, I'll get a bunch of complaints about why it doesn't do this or that that some outliner they love used to do.

A corner turn day 

Oh the life of a programmer!

I started the day, eleven hours ago, with a mission to get Radio UserLand to do the right thing with ID3 information. One thing lead to another, and I was commited to a from-the-ground-up rewrite of one of the core Radio UserLand routines, the one that loads a folder of information into the object database.

It was the right thing to do, now we have a three-level-hierarchy, if the information is available. Artist-album-song. And double-click simplicity for song-launching. And a foundation for multiple folders. Much more complete support for ID3. A callback that overrides all this if you have your own way of figuring out where a song belongs.

I also started a page for the callbacks. As with all our projects, scripting plays a big role. It's nice to have a friendly playlist editor and runtime (we're not there yet) but it's even better if you can make it work exactly the way you want it to. A different kind of music programming environment? That's what I hope this is turning into. But of course I have absolutely no sense of perspective right now!

Gotta go for a walk.

Community community 

A wise man sent an email saying that being able to crawl through other people's songs is the key to all this stuff. I agree totally. That and much more.

On the DG here a question arises, what happened to the Two-Way-Web. It's alive and cooking. You better believe we're going to do some kick-ass writing about music once all the pieces are wired together. We're programming at beyond-Internet speed. Fast! We gotta get there quick.

It's all about community.

Apple lawsuit backfires? 

News.Com: Apple suit calls attention to iBook rumor.

BusinessWeek: "Apple's chief executive is a bit too controlling and devious for me."

Morning stuff 

DaveNet: A reminder to the music industry.

Read Robert Occhialini's story of his life as a music user. "I'm a huge music consumer. I mean really huge. I buy at least two CDs a week, sometimes more. I have a huge CD and record collection, and music has always played an important role in my life. I look around my apartment and realize that I am the record label's idea of a best customer. I use Napster every single day at work. Rarely is it to check out music that I have never heard of, and almost never is it to download music I don't already own."

A reader named Calvin says AOL has a deal with the music companies.

Clearing something up, Radio UserLand is Pike, but better.

We're working on ID3 this week. Bob Bierman has improved our code for loading information about music into the Radio UserLand object database. An update will go out shortly. I asked him to post a page of pointers to specs about ID3. I'd like this to become a focal point for our work here. I'm learning a lot, and am a complete newbie. But it's really interesting community-oriented stuff.

Red Herring: "Charging a subscription fee to its users, for instance, could allow Napster to pay the industry a healthy percentage to stay in business. But so far, Mr. Barry says his entreaties have fallen on deaf ears."


Last update: Thursday, August 03, 2000 at 6:09 PM Eastern.

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