[written 09/16/04]

hi there ~ school starts in two weeks. i am slowly but ever so slowly getting used to that fact.. but now for some fun stuff: i love my ipod. i have a bunch of songs on my ipod with space for lots more. a lot of those songs are from cds i’ve bought, and a lot of those songs are from p2p users. so, that’s what this post is about ~ p2p music and sharing. note: this here is mostly for mac users.

for those who sometime reminisce on those napster-days-of-glory, be aware that those days are still around (check out itunesperipod.com). they’re just through different and better programs, with some security culture and smarts needed. first of all, get good p2p applications. my hands-down favorite is acquisition. it’s freeware, no ads, a really nice interface, and a registration fee of only $10 if you want to get rid of the once-in-a-while nagging reminder that it’s not registered. if acquisition doesn’t float your boat, some people prefer poisoned or mlmac. be aware that those being caught sharing music are generally those that share lots and lots of songs. in general, it seems the best idea would be to share only a hundred or so, no more, and on top of that, to not share the recent justin timberlake but maybe the rarer al jolson or bolivian traditional song, for example. for one, that limits the possibility that bmg or whoever will target you and two, that adds to the richness and variety of music available for others to download.

the easiest and less-worrisome thing to do, of course, would be to not share any music and just download other peoples’ music. looking at newspaper stories and downhill battle’s peer-to-peer legal defense fund website it seems people get sued for sharing more often than for downloading. but to me at least that just doesn’t seem right. other people are risking their butts, why shouldn’t i? is it right to share music or is it just trying to get away with it, till the riaa is knocking on my front door? in regards to buying music online, 99 cents a song, i agree with sites like iTunes iSbogus. if you still feel catholic guilt, or whatever, about downloading music for free, try cd baby which “allows any artist to join their service and takes a very small cut from each song (about 9 cents). This leaves the artist with about 55 cents from each sale” versus iTunes’ maximum of 11 cents.

due to boo-hooing by the riaa and others, coders are looking at news ways of p2p-ing. here are two projects: ANts and mute. mute explains: “The main way that MUTE protects your privacy is by avoiding direct connections between downloaders and uploaders. Earlier, we described how search requests are sent around standard networks: you send a search to your neighbors, and they send it to their neighbors, who in turn send it to their neighbors, and so on. By using the network to route search requests, these networks deliver a particular request to many nodes without making direct connections to any of them. Of course, when it comes time to transfer a file, these networks use direct connections. MUTE routes all messages, including search requests, search results, and file transfers, through the network of neighbor connections. Thus, though you know the Internet addresses of your neighbors, you do not know the Internet address of the node you are downloading from.” sounds smart to me. i don’t know much about these programs, tried mute a while back and it didn’t have any songs i was looking for, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea.

once you have the music you want, two programs for using your ipod better (ie sharing music libraries among different computers, different ipods) are: podworks and ipodrip. cheap and pretty, they work great and cost $8-10. also, though i don’t know how long it will be up (they already got a cease and desist letter), there’s a nice little plugin for iTunes called iPodDownload which allows downloading songs from one’s ipod directly from itunes.

(for more information on p2p issues, see downhillbattle.org. slyck.com is ok too, though the page itself is uh-gly. for more on the riaa, see boycott-riaa.com. for more ipod fun and info, check out ipod hacks, ipoding and ipod lounge. also, though idon’t know much about this site, it got linked to by a cool librarian: allofmp3.com (from librarian avengers).