mixtape 001

Please enjoy jwz mixtape 001.

I've tested it in iTunes and it seems to work fine (e.g., you'll see the song titles as the songs change) but I would be interested to know if that's all working sensibly in things that are not iTunes.

Update: Earlier, there was a bug that in some players, the audio would chirp (those players did not understand the kind of metadata I'm sending; they made that noise when they interpreted track names as audio data.) That bug should be fixed now: those players should now play the audio fine, but won't have metadata. I thought all the popular players supported Shoutcast-style inline metadata ("icy-metaint"), but apparently not. I guess the others want the Icecast-style UDP metadata ("x-audiocast-udpport"). That is, if they support metadata at all. The UDP version sounds hard (and dumb) and I'm not going to implement that. Use iTunes.

(Incidentally, the source is here, at the bottom.)

(And I think it's kind of sad that you all want to talk about Winamp and none of you wan to talk about music.)

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Current Music: as noted

streaming a playlist with metadata

Dear Lazyweb, I seek software that does the following:

  • I give it an ordered list of MP3 files.
  • When a user loads some URL in (e.g.) iTunes, those files are streamed out, one after another, with appropriate metadata (extracted from underlying ID3 tags) sent just as each file starts.
  • When the user connects, it starts playing at the beginning of file #1 for each user. (As opposed to multicast-style, where all users get whatever's-on-right-now at the same time.)
  • The underlying individual files themselves should not be accessible.

I don't think I can make Icecast2 do this, nor Apache::MP3. But maybe I'm wrong.

Failing that, can someone explain to me what asynchronous streaming metadata format iTunes actually understands, and what headers/protocol it requires? It doesn't appear to do the "icy-metaint" thing; does that mean it does the UDP thing? I don't see headers being exchanged for either; and yet, it seems to update metadata somehow. Please don't make me run a packet sniffer. I hate that.

Update: Nevermind, I wrote my own.

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ONE: A Space Odyssey

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riotclitshave had a nice run tonight:

(the painting)

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I, for one, can't be bothered to make a Terminator or Aliens joke here

Robot Cannon Kills 9, Wounds 14

"It is assumed that there was a mechanical problem, which led to the accident. The gun, which was fully loaded, did not fire as it normally should have. It appears as though the gun, which is computerised, jammed before there was some sort of explosion, and then it opened fire uncontrollably, killing and injuring the soldiers."

Other reports have suggested a computer error might have been to blame. Defence pundit Helmoed-Römer Heitman told the Weekend Argus that if "the cause lay in computer error, the reason for the tragedy might never be found."

In "automatic mode," the weapon feeds targeting data from the fire control unit straight to the pair of 35mm guns, and reloads on its own when its emptied its magazine. [...]

But the brave, as yet unnamed officer was unable to stop the wildly swinging computerised Swiss/German Oerlikon 35mm MK5 anti-aircraft twin-barrelled gun. It sprayed hundreds of high-explosive 0,5kg 35mm cannon shells around the five-gun firing position. By the time the gun had emptied its twin 250-round auto-loader magazines, nine soldiers were dead and 11 injured.

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podcasts: lost in a maze of twisty licenses, all alike.

Dear Lazyweb,

I seek armchair legal advice and/or precedents.

(This is probably stupid since odds are that I know more about the issues I'm asking about than you do, but hell, it's worth a shot.)

See, something I've been wanting to do for a while is some kind of "song of the day" thing, where I pick one of the songs I'm currently loving and post it: "here, you should all listen to this."

But, I'm having a hard time convincing myself that doing so would be legal, even though (wearing my DNA Lounge hat) I do pay the license fees to ASCAP, etc. for both our public performances and webcasts.

Plan B, which I'm fairly certain is legal, would be to program a "radio station" instead that streamed a set of songs on shuffle (which is exactly the mechanism I use for DNA Lounge Radio). But, that isn't really the same thing, and also sounds like a lot more work. So I'd rather not do it that way. (By "a lot more work" I don't mean technically, I mean more effort in playing song-gardener.)

Plan C would be to do a periodic "mix tape", meaning, 90 minutes of music in one chunk. I think I could manage that pace, since it comes out to around 2 songs a day if I do it weekly.

I'm pretty sure that streaming such a thing would be legal. But would podcasting it?

Who can tell.

Podcasting means that everyone who tuned in would be downloading one big MP3 file with 20+ songs in it. Is that covered by my licenses? I have no idea. Some radio stations do it. Are they breaking the law? Are things different for them because they happen to own transmitters as well?

I suspect that there are a lot of podcasts like that out there (just some guy posting songs that he likes this week, regardless of whether they are signed or not) but I don't actually know of any. When I look at podcast directories I find a lot of talk radio, a lot of unsigned-bands podcasts, and a few "real" radio stations. Am I wrong in assuming that what I'm describing is a commonly-done thing?

Some people try to solve the license problem by only posting non-RIAA music, or by only posting songs by unsigned bands who have given their explicit permission. I don't find that the signedness of a band has much bearing on whether I enjoy them. If I have to constantly have a conversation with myself that goes "I love this song! Oh, but I can't post this one," then I'll just give up and not do it at all. So, no, I'm not interested in doing it that way.

That's also why I'm not interested in solutions like "link to the song on last.fm" -- they won't have half the songs I'm interested in. Likewise, any solution where I have to jump through per-song legal hoops is no good.

I've read this: "Creative Commons Podcasting Legal Guide", which is... complete chaos, not to mention 50 pages long. Maybe it says that my licenses cover what I'm talking about, but I can't tell. And this: "Collegiate Broadcasters, Inc. Podcasting Legal Issues" which seems to claim that no podcast is ever legal without explicit permission from each copyright holder. And this 2+ year old article: "Hopes for legal music podcasts rise" (yeah right, I'm still holding my breath.)

(Oh, also please don't suggest "why don't you just ask your lawyer", because if you're suggesting that, you've never actually spoken to a lawyer. The lawyer's answer will be, "doing X might put you at risk. If you want to be safe, don't.")

Note: I am not asking for technical solutions here. I've been webcasting for seven years, I know how to do it.

Update: So far, nobody has answered my question of, "are there are a bunch of podcasts out there that do what I described in Plan C?"

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Two obsolete audio formats in one... the VinylDisc
"The VinylDisc is a combination audio CD and special record. It consists of two attached layers. The silver layer contains digital audio information, while the black upper layer can be played on every record player."
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Radio? They still have that up there?

Roxy Epoxy's radio show is good. And downloadable.
Current Music: as noted

"now spit"

Dentist Claims Breast Rubs Appropriate

WOODLAND, Calif. (AP) -- A dentist accused of fondling the breasts of 27 female patients is trying to keep his dental license by arguing that chest massages are an appropriate procedure in certain cases. Mark Anderson's lawyer says dental journals discuss the need to massage the pectoral muscles to treat a common jaw problem.

Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Phillips gave Lew three new complaints, including one from a 31-year-old woman who said Anderson fondled her at least six times over two years. She took to wearing tight shirts with high necklines, "and Anderson would still get in under her shirt and bra," according to a police report.

Six times? I dunno, maybe she should have considered something besides a tighter shirt... like say... a different dentist?

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