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15 Step - the drum samples sounded really glitchy - like low-rate MP3 artifacts, Provigil gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release. Is Provigil addictive, The rest of the tracks don't have the same issue, so I think the choice was intentional, rx free Provigil. Provigil without a prescription, Still, not a good way to lead off what will be many listener's first MP3 purchase, Provigil pictures.

Bodysnatchers - things are picking up, but the guitar at the beginning sounds like it filtered through an AM radio, Buy Provigil Without Prescription. Provigil over the counter, I like the dueling riffs.

Nude - Nice slow song, and I liked it, but this is the sort of Radiohead song I end up skipping because I'm driving late at night it I don't want to run the car into a ravine.

Weird Fishes/Arpeggi - If they were still making X-Files episodes, this would make a great soundtrack to an episode where long-dead ghosts are given hope.

All I Need - A good song for a bad mood. Buy Provigil Without Prescription, Faust Arp - Every Radiohead album needs a song with urgent, repetitive phrases. Thsi one is a little too short.

Reckoner - At this point I'm getting a little tired of the string section. Not a bad song, but I need a little more rock.

House of Cards - The guitar and percussion make this song surprisingly intimate - I could almost picture myself in a small bar listening to some band from England.

Jigsaw Falling Into Place - Great song with some nice spots where different instruments are layered over each other, but it stopped just when I thought it was really going to take off, Buy Provigil Without Prescription.

Videotape - This is as good a place as any to close the album - very pretty but low-key.

Overall I thought In Rainbows was yet another good album from Radiohead, but there wasn't a lot that really stood out. A little bit more like Jigsaw Falling Into Place would have been nice, just something to breakup the mood a little. The album does get better with a little more listening, so well worth the $7 I paid for it.

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Pay More for DRM-Free Music at iTunes

Earlier we wrote about why people will pay for free music. Apple's Steve Jobs wrote that he would happily remove all the DRM locks from iTunes if the record companies would let him. Now one company is. EMI and Apple reached a deal to allow totally restriction-free songs for sale. The kicker is that the songs will cost 30 cents more that the locked-down DRM versions. At ZDNet, they think the success of this move rests on three factors: will this bring in more customers, will the new customers stop file trading, and is the extra $0.30 per track worth it to the record companies? I think the first question is a good one but the last two miss the point completely. The problem here is the way the issue is framed: the record companies have long been more concerned with stopping file trading and suing "pirates" than actually making money. File trading is here to stay. The nature of the Internet makes it a technological inevitability. You cannot sue a whole technology out of existence. Whether or not EMI (or any of the other major companies) allows DRM-free tracks to be sold, the minute one person buys a CD the whole entire system of locks and encryption and watermarks and whatever else has been completely broken. So what do you do? You figure out why people are using Napster or whatever to download songs, and then you compete with it by offering a better value. No one was even willing to try selling song downloads until Jobs convinced them to, and iTunes has been able to sell billions of tracks. I'm not sure the higher price is such a good idea. I agree that DRM reduces the value of the song downloads. But you have to look at the bigger picture: iTunes is still competing against free mp3s on peer to peer networks. I think Apple picked the $.99 price point for logical psychological reasons - it's much easier to justify spending the money if it's not even a dollar. In any event, this is a good move and I think both iTunes and EMI will see real benefits from this.

Finally, the Real Reason CD Sales Are Falling

For years, the representatives of the recording companies have issued predictions of doom and gloom for their own industry.  Since suing Napster in 1999 they have fretted over copyright infringement and piracy.  According to the RIAA, file sharing costs the industry $4.2 billion per year. But now CD music sales are down 20% from 2006.  Has file sharing finally destroyed the music industry?  I doubt it.  Even if those lawsuits were having the chilling effect they are intended to spread, shutting down every P2P network on the planet, CD sales would be suffering. Why? It's tempting to say there's no good new music, and that the record companies have brought this on themselves by promoting the Brtiney Spears' of the world.  But I'm sure there's good music out there somewhere, and this sounds more like a subjective criticism than a real hypothesis. What if albums are not just competing for your dollar against other albums?  Most people only spend so much money on entertainment or media, and CDs now have to compete against DVDs and video games.  Most people only spend so many hours a day consuming media, and music has to compete with TV, the Internet, and cheap cell phone minutes. I'm not the first person to think of this, I've seen this brought up on blogs and in forums like Slashdot.  But it has always struck me how little coverage this idea gets in the mainstream press, even the business press.  Finally Aaron Pressman from Business Week has put some hard numbers to the notion that CDs are losing out to other media. His source?  A report from the MPAA, hardly a den of piracy-loving communists.  Time spent on entertainment rose 4% between 2001 and 2005, which doesn't even match S&P 500 growth rate.  People spent less time per week listening to music and more time with TV and the Internet. This tracks pretty closely with my experience (and I realize that this is just anecdotal).  In the early and mid 1990s, I spent a good percentage of my entertainment money on CDs.  As videos started to fall in price around 1995 or so, I bought a few here or there.  Then DVDs hit is big around 2000 or 2001.  Soon after that DVDs of television series started appearing and falling to  $20-$40 a season. My CD spending has slowed to a trickle.  I have never been much of a P2P MP3 pirate, and I never even bothered to install Napster.  I am, on the other hand, a big proponent of downloading all the great free MP3s that bands and labels make available.  I also still listen to some of the same music I bought in the 1990s, now ripped to my hard drive. I only have so many hours in a day and although I can listen to CDs while surfing the Internet, I'm not sure I want to put them in my computer anymore, for fear of rootkits. So where does this leave the music industry?  No doubt they will continue to sue 9-year-olds and disabled retirees, and litigating against technological change is not a good business model.  Maybe the open-source-loving interweb hippies are right and bands will promote themselves using MySpace and YouTube and keep a much bigger piece of the profits.  Maybe not. What they are doing right now, though, isn't working.  It's the limits of human consumption and the invisible hand of capitalism they should fear, not some kids with cable modems.

Steve Jobs is Right Again – People Will Pay for Free Music

Steve Jobs is right again. In a post on the Apple web site he reacts to calls for Apple to open their Fairplay DRM system to licensing with an interesting (and insightful) proposal:
"The third alternative is to abolish DRMs entirely. Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat."
This has gotten a lot of coverage today, from Business Week to the New York Times. Jobs' post was prompted by a number of European countries examining (and in some cases declaring illegal) the digital rights management (DRM) system that Apple uses with the iTunes music store and the iPod. The system is there to make sure that if you cough up $.99 for a song, you don't spread it around the internet for free. These countries say the effect is to lock customers in to iPods and iTunes so they can't buy another player without forfeiting their music. Jobs' response? He never wanted to have a DRM system in the first place. He would gladly dump the whole thing, and let you buy music anywhere you wanted and use any player you wanted - but it's not up to Apple. Although you might buy your Ben Folds from iTunes, Apple doesn't have any of the rights to that music - the vast majority of the time, the rights are owned by a major record label, with just four labels dominating the market. They require DRM. That said, why wouldn't Apple like the idea of DRM? A naive observer (or record company executive) would say it's good for Apple, too, since it means iPod buyers will use the iTunes store and vice-versa, and it forces people to buy songs instead of pirating them. This is why Steve Jobs has been so successful. He thinks more people will pay for free music than music tied up in the rules and inconvenience of DRM. And he's right. To understand why, you need a little history. Starting in the mid 90s but really picking up around 1997, MP3s started popping up here and there on web sites. At first it seemed like most MP3s were available from fan sites for particular bands or genres, but soon mass-popularity mp3 sites started popping up and getting a lot of traffic. Pretty soon most of them were filled with banner ads and made useless by spam. But no matter, because in 1999 Napster came out, allowing peer-to-peer sharing of music files. Millions of people used Napster to download songs. The record companies, represented by their organization the RIAA, took them to court. Napster, they said, was providing the means for the outright theft of millions of songs, and should be shut down. And it was, in 2001. But here's where Jobs (along with many other commentators who don't have billion-dollar companies behind them) saw something the record companies did not - people were downloading songs without paying, sure, but if you wanted to download music there was no way to pay for it. Clearly there was a demand, and where there is a demand, there is a market, but the labels were not interested in it at all. They said these millions of people were just theives, that no one would ever pay for a download. Nothing useful happened until 2003 when Apple opened the iTunes music store, and Jobs proved them wrong. I don't think it took a singular genius to do so, since a lot of people at the time were all saying the same thing: give us a way to pay for downloads, and we will. But he had the opportunity and the ability to convince record labels to try it out. And it worked. Downloads have not replaced CD sales, but they have been growing very, very quickly considering the labels said they would never work and they still compete with free downloads. Why haven't downloads replaced CD sales? They are different media, and in some ways will always be different - some people like the phsyical object, CDs make a better gift, etc. But a big part of the reason is that downloads are made artificially into an inferior good because of DRM restrictions. Here's an example of how DRM removes value. CDs are generally not restricted, but once in a while a label will try to restrict them in some way. On one of the very rare occasions we were listening to commercial radio, my wife and I heard a song by Kasabian that we liked. We went out and got the CD. The first thing we did after listening to it in the car was put it in my computer to rip the songs to MP3. I spend a lot of time at my desk so I listen to music at my computer more than anywhere else, so I generally rip all my CDs and listen to my large music library. The CD had some copy-protection scheme that caused the tracks to skip and become garbled. Like all DRM, there's a way around it, but the damage was done - I was too lazy to re-rip, and now I don't hear Kasabian tracks when working on projects or surfing the web and they have fallen off my list of bands to look for when buying music. Further, it felt to me personally like an attack on my computer. All my other CDs worked just fine, but this one didn't-taking something that works and making it not work is usually called "breaking it," and it seemed to me that the record label was trying to break my CD and my computer. I've never been one to take pride in having obscure tastes, but this no doubt contributed to my steady loss of interest in buying new mainstream music. Lately I've been sampling (often free) stuff from indies instead. The value of that CD was much, much less to me than others I had purchased because of DRM, and the DRM had the long-term effect of shrinking the music market, if only just a little bit (my personal spending). I spend much of my time as a programmer, and programmers tend to be logical, realistic people. We tend to think things like DRM are ultimately unworkable because we know there is no such thing as a perfectly secure solution. We also get annoyed when it is difficult to move data from one format to another, whether it's because the libraries are buggy or because of purposeful restrictions. We also don't take kindly to the ridiculousness surrounding the enforcement in the legal system - evidence that only works in court because judges don't understand the technology, penalties in the thousands of dollars per song, etc. So maybe I am biased against DRM. But if I could buy songs from iTunes (or wherever) without DRM, and play them on whatever device I want, I would. I don't think I'm the only one. And Jobs has been trying to make this point for a long time. In a Rolling Stone interview from 2003 (thanks to Guillaume Laurent’s tech blog for reminding me of the reference) he explains:
"When we first went to talk to these record companies -- you know, it was a while ago. It took us 18 months. And at first we said: None of this technology that you're talking about's gonna work. We have Ph.D.'s here, that know the stuff cold, and we don't believe it's possible to protect digital content. ... What's new is this amazingly efficient distribution system for stolen property called the Internet -- and no one's gonna shut down the Internet. And it only takes one stolen copy to be on the Internet. And the way we expressed it to them is: Pick one lock -- open every door. It only takes one person to pick a lock. Worst case: Somebody just takes the analog outputs of their CD player and rerecords it -- puts it on the Internet. You'll never stop that. So what you have to do is compete with it."
Some say this is just a ploy to deflect criticism from Apple to the music industry. It seems to me that if Jobs just wanted to deflect critism, he would just start licensing Fairplay. If he wanted to deflect criticism and maintain a competitive advantage, he would license Fairplay at a high engouh cost that, when coupled witht he demands of music publishers, would make competition with iTunes very difficult. He could decide to to it today and have to first licensee up and running in a week. But that's not the point - the point is expanding the market as a whole. And the best way to do that is to make the product more valuable to the consumer, and one very quick, very easy way to increase the value is to dump the DRM.

Top 10 Ways to Download Free MP3s without Breaking the Law

So, you finally got that shiny new iPod for Christmas.  How will you fill it up? After ripping your CD collection (I recommend CDex), you'll want some new music.  Don't have any cash left but want some new tunes?  Don't worry - there are plenty of good ways to download MP3s for free without getting a nasty letter from the RIAA. Below are ten of my favorite ways to get free MP3s legally on the web: 1)'s Audiofile. It helps to be a Salon member, but you can usually get a day pass by watching a commercial.  Audiofile is a music blog that writes a little about each tune and usually includes a direct download or a link to where you can download a track.  The music selection is pretty eclectic, and I find that even if I don't recognize any of the bands being covered I can usually catch a reference or comparison to something I have heard before.  If you have to time, go through the archives and just download everything and toss what you don't like later. 2)'s Free Downloads section is chock full of MP3s. For a long time, this was the best-kept secret on the web in terms of free music downloads, with hits by Yo La Tengo, the Hives, Sleater-Kinney, among many others.  It's a little hard to find, and to tell you the truth I'm sort of surprised they haven't removed it. ...maybe I spoke too soon.  It looks like their download landing page has been trimmed down to almost nothing.  I guess they are opening up an MP3 store soon.  Luckily their free MP3 search still works, and there are some good listmania lists to peruse. 3)  Music blogs like Hobby Box on The Larry Page.  There are a lot of passionate listeners out there writing about what they're hearing, and The Larry Page is a good example.  Some cover specific genres, while others just follow the writer's wandering tastes.  Many of them provide links back to band home pages and record label home pages with free promotional downloads. 4)  The Creative Commons CD was included in the November 2004 issue of Wired Magazine, but it is still available for download. You'll find pretty decent tracks from the Beastie Boys, David Byrne, Danger Mouse (of Gorillaz and Gnarls Barkley fame), Le Tigre and others. 5)  The Weekly Free Downloads page. (formerly Audioscrobbler) is a great site that tracks what people are actually listening to.  Install their plugin into iTunes, WinAmp, Windows Media Player, or another player and the site will keep track of your favorite songs and musicians and make recommendations based on what others are listening to. The free downloads page is a relatively new feature, but there's already a huge list with some surprisingly well-known bands. 6)  The cover song sections at Soundclick.  I don't mean to imply that the only music worth listening to is something you can find on the radio, but it can be very hard to sift through  the thousands of unknown artists on sites like Soundclick.  One of my favorite techniques is to look for a cover of a song I know and then grab the rest of that band's stuff if it sounds interesting.  For example, here's the Super Mario theme in acoustic guitar. 7)  If you are feeling adventurous, there are many, many more places to check out that have independent music, garage bands, and other homebrew stuff. CNET has thousands of tracks but the quality can be uneven at best. 8) There's a ton of stuff from the South by Southwest music festival in Austin.  You can even download all 700 MP3s in one giant bittorrent. 9)  Netlabels at the Internet Archive.  There is a lot here, and it can be hard to find something you'll really like, but I have heard some worthwhile stuff here in the past.  Take a look at the staff picks, the items with high ratings, and the songs with high "batting averages." 10)  Legaltorrents lists a ton of legal-to-download, public domain files including MP3s and other music.  You never know what you will find here, but it's worth checking out. I like to find stuff that is interesting and new, but I can never seem to get deep enough into a particular genre to listen to bands "no one has heard of," and the list above reflects that.  You can always look for more free music on blogs that cover your favorite genre, band home pages, and MySpace. Do you know a site I left out?  Please let me know in the comments section below.