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What.cd has shut down.


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2 hours ago, mameeshkamowskwoz said:

Good to know. Does it look like it will be permanently shut down? No more gravy train?

Sysadmin went MIA.  I was on their IRC a few days ago and they're working on getting it back up, but there isn't a timeframe.

Edited by jonrawks
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I check Apollo like once or twice a month because that's about how often I can't find something on Soulseek, but that being said, a few days ago one of those instances happened and since Apollo has been down I'd appreciate if anyone has an invite to Waffles or RED or whatever else y'all use.

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1 hour ago, DecayToDeath said:

I check Apollo like once or twice a month because that's about how often I can't find something on Soulseek, but that being said, a few days ago one of those instances happened and since Apollo has been down I'd appreciate if anyone has an invite to Waffles or RED or whatever else y'all use.

Yo is waffles actually up at a new address or something? because I have an account already.

 

If someone has RED and wants to trade invites I have Apollo invites whenever they do come back up.

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On 8/31/2018 at 5:44 PM, daegor said:

Yo is waffles actually up at a new address or something? because I have an account already..

waffles.ch, they've been on that for a year or so I think.

 

I'll second the invite requests.  Any gazelle based tracker would be appreciated.  Have a handful of good private tracker invites (two general purpose, two music) that I could trade for.

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On 3/18/2019 at 8:45 PM, mameeshkamowskwoz said:

Waffles is down and was underwhelming anyways... anyone got an invite for Apollo or RED? I've got a shitload of music to share and would like to get back on a site where I can check some new stuff out.

Apollo is now Orpheus - which trying to submit to their "you used to be on Apollo, get your free invite" thing has consistently not worked for me for months.   It's driving me crazy, especially with waffles being down again.

 

If anyone has any invites to Orpheus, RED, or whatever the best What replacement is, hook me up.  

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Legitimate question, outside of obscure releases, what is the point of these anymore now that streaming services are so readily available? I used to download and upload mass amounts of data with Oink, Waffles, & what.cd but that all stopped once I started paying for Spotify Premium, Genuinely curious.

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1 hour ago, Tommy said:

Legitimate question, outside of obscure releases, what is the point of these anymore now that streaming services are so readily available? I used to download and upload mass amounts of data with Oink, Waffles, & what.cd but that all stopped once I started paying for Spotify Premium, Genuinely curious.

I've been thinking about switching from Apple Music to Spotify.

 

My main issue with steaming is that it can disappear.  I've had multiple issues where I've gone to listen to something and it's been removed from the streaming platform.  Also, with Apple Music at least, I don't like how they handle a mixed library of songs added from the cloud and local songs.  It will sometimes bump off my local song if it thinks there is a duplicate in the cloud.

 

Also if you're into lossless Steaming isn't there (yet).

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My main issues with streaming is that it's an ongoing trend that is totally screwing artists out of money. I get that what I'm asking for offers artists NO money, but it being a selective system of admission seems to weed out the majority of potential users. I like to think that most of the people that set up and used What still had a massive music collection like myself and were actively buying releases and going to shows to spend money on merch. I can't speak for others, but that was the case for me. I used it as a means to download and try new music and it's nice to have FLAC of something I eventually went out and bought on vinyl. The obscure music access is a big enough reason anyways. I have several tapes, CD's, and 7"s that aren't commonly found on the streaming sites from what I understand.

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I've started listening to a lot more digital over records in the past few years, in part because I listen to music on high end headphones about 75% of the time (at work and home). I'm the type of person that is extra enticed by a lossless download that comes with a record, or an option to buy from Bandcamp. For the past few years I've been collecting the highest res downloads I can find from places like What, Apollo, open Torrent sites.

 

And then I got a deal for Tidal (this year I'm paying $12 CD/month rather than $20). And honestly, it's just so much fucking easier. I actually loathe Tidal's UI in comparison to Spotify (for whatever reason, even though much of the music is the same, looking at an artist's discography often has like 5 multiples of the same album on Tidal). I can definitely tell the difference between Tidal Hifi and Spotify at 320. MQA is still sort of a work in progress - at work I use my work laptop so I can get somewhat higher than CD quality for certain albums, and my new amplifier has an add-in module that is MQA friendly, which means up to 192-24 hi res for some albums.


It is frustrating when an album isn't on streaming services, and there isn't an easy way to download (even legally at times), but honestly, since I joined Tidal, I've found there's been little reason to need a site like What/Apollo/etc.

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20 hours ago, Tommy said:

Legitimate question, outside of obscure releases, what is the point of these anymore now that streaming services are so readily available? I used to download and upload mass amounts of data with Oink, Waffles, & what.cd but that all stopped once I started paying for Spotify Premium, Genuinely curious.

  1.  Obscure is sorely underselling it - there is a vast world of music that is not on streaming. All of Drag City is not on Spotify. Neither is Jay-Z. Lots of indie releases or albums on defunct labels that have fallen through the cracks - most independent music from the pre-internet era is not represented. Not to mention B-sides, live recordings, promos, mixtapes, box sets, alternate pressings and masterings, region- or retailer-exclusive bonus tracks, "illegal art" like Girl Talk or the Grey Album...
  2. Streaming services are not a viable source of income for musicians that don't already tour stadiums. The royalty rate is shit and Spotify still loses money. I would have to listen to a song over 100 times on Spotify to equal the royalty they would make from an iTunes purchase of that song. There's not a single song in my music library with a play count close to 100, and yet the artists I listen to have made money from me listening to their music, because I paid for it. Not to mention the way that Spotify's payouts work, most of your subscription fee is going to the most popular artists on the platform, not the artists you listen to.
  3. Streaming is fake. As we move away from people owning their own media libraries and become increasingly dependent on subscription services to fill those needs, our fates become tied to the whims of the companies that operate these platforms. People have probably experienced this phenomenon most directly with Netflix: the contract expires with a copyright holder and suddenly a beloved show or movie is "gone". Of course, as it stands stuff very rarely gets pulled from music streaming services (although there have been a few high-profile exceptions), but what about in the future? Maybe they'll get into a royalty dispute with a label group and they'll freeze them out, like when Dish Network drops Food Network or whatever and they have to run ads begging people to call and demand Food Network. Or maybe someday they'll look at the fact that 99% of all plays on their platforms are by 10% of all artists, and reconsider the headache of administrating that bottom 90% of dead weight. Spotify and Apple are quickly becoming the only game in town for getting people to hear your music, which gives them an unprecedented amount of leverage and normalizes people to the idea that they have no control over what music they have access to. That fucking sucks! I won't even get into the corrosive effect their algorithms and playlists have already had on music itself, which Liz Pelly has written brilliantly about.
  4. Finally, there's the archival aspect. Labels cannot be trusted to take good care of their back catalogs (see this infuriating piece), and streaming services only care about music so long as it makes them money. Every time we make the leap to a new format there is music that is left behind because it's been deemed not commercially viable for it to be reissued, but that music is still of cultural worth and should be preserved. I just read this great book about 78rpm record collectors. Sometimes only 1 or 2 copies of a record still exist in the world, and it's only because of collectors who comb through antique fairs and fill their basements with old brittle shellac records in the face of new formats and technologies that these works have survived. As more people purge their physical and digital collections in exchange for conditional access to a limited library, I see torrent sites as torchbearers of that invaluable tradition.
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31 minutes ago, AlexH. said:
  1. Finally, there's the archival aspect. Labels cannot be trusted to take good care of their back catalogs (see this infuriating piece), and streaming services only care about music so long as it makes them money. Every time we make the leap to a new format there is music that is left behind because it's been deemed not commercially viable for it to be reissued, but that music is still of cultural worth and should be preserved. I just read this great book about 78rpm record collectors. Sometimes only 1 or 2 copies of a record still exist in the world, and it's only because of collectors who comb through antique fairs and fill their basements with old brittle shellac records in the face of new formats and technologies that these works have survived. As more people purge their physical and digital collections in exchange for conditional access to a limited library, I see torrent sites as torchbearers of that invaluable tradition.

Some great points Alex. I generally agree with what you're saying. I like streaming as a process, but absolutely see the issues with it. I love sites like Bandcamp for its immediacy to artists, but not nearly enough artists are on there. I've also found that on Bandcamp, I will gladly pay $5 for a free/name your price album, but will balk when they charge $10 (I'm not sure why. I just do...). 

 

I love that book you linked to - Do Not Sell At Any Price is both a great read and very relevant to the way that 'timeless' music is found, but also the hierarchy of historical blues is created to establish worth for the exceptionally rare records.  


Further reading how the music industry works and what it has become (one of my favourite topics):


David Byrne - How Music Works. Sort of autobiographical about his music and how money is made from the perspective of a successful artist. It was written in 2012, and unfortunately doesn't address the shift to streaming (it sort of ends with artists selling their own things on webstores and such, and iTunes).  I'd be curious to hear Byrne's thoughts on it.


Stephen Witt - How Music Got Free - there's a fantastic article from a few years ago about the one guy in a CD pressing plant responsible for some of the biggest music leaks of the 90s, and its impact on the industry. This book takes it further. It traces the history of mp3s, and how pirated music affected the industry, and quite frankly, how stupid and unprepared the industry was. The industry has always been terrible, but their utter inability to adapt or even acknowledge digital music until it utterly destroyed their model makes me feel a lot less sympathy for the major labels. I'm pretty sure What, Oink, and Waffles all get a shout-out in the book.

 

David Hajdu - Love For Sale: Pop Music in America - talks a lot about how popular music is disseminated, how that has changed over time, and how it works in the modern era. 

 

 

I honestly think that as shitty as streaming is as far as making money for artists, the record labels are still completely clueless as to where this is all going moving forward. Even 20ish years ago the only way to hear a song you didn't own was to hear it on the radio, or tape it off someone else who had it.  There is a significant generation of people who don't understand the idea of not being able to hear something immediately, which in itself is fascinating.

 

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I've also found that on Bandcamp, I will gladly pay $5 for a free/name your price album, but will balk when they charge $10 (I'm not sure why. I just do...). 

I think in Bandcamp's FAQs, they recommend something like $7 as a sweet spot for albums. I am the same way though, I used to pay $15.99 for CDs at Best Buy and I currently pay over $20 for records I usually don't need but paying $10 for a download gives me pause.

23 minutes ago, Sidney Crosley said:

David Byrne - How Music Works. Sort of autobiographical about his music and how money is made from the perspective of a successful artist. It was written in 2012, and unfortunately doesn't address the shift to streaming (it sort of ends with artists selling their own things on webstores and such, and iTunes).  I'd be curious to hear Byrne's thoughts on it.


Stephen Witt - How Music Got Free - there's a fantastic article from a few years ago about the one guy in a CD pressing plant responsible for some of the biggest music leaks of the 90s, and its impact on the industry. This book takes it further. It traces the history of mp3s, and how pirated music affected the industry, and quite frankly, how stupid and unprepared the industry was. The industry has always been terrible, but their utter inability to adapt or even acknowledge digital music until it utterly destroyed their model makes me feel a lot less sympathy for the major labels. I'm pretty sure What, Oink, and Waffles all get a shout-out in the book.

I love How Music Works! Really illuminating in regards to the machinations of the industry, and I love how deep he gets into the songwriting process and how things like DAWs can influence song structure. Assuming this is the article you're referring to, I will definitely have to check out How Music Got Free.

Edited by AlexH.
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1 hour ago, AlexH. said:

I think in Bandcamp's FAQs, they recommend something like $7 as a sweet spot for albums. I am the same way though, I used to pay $15.99 for CDs at Best Buy and I currently pay over $20 for records I usually don't need but paying $10 for a download gives me pause.

Something about spending money on a piece of work that isn't tangible is a problem for me too.  I'll occasionally buy something digital (usually video games), but I have trouble equating a value to it.  I think a lot of it is the lack of resale value afterward.  If I buy an LP, it's still worth something.  A digital album or game has essentially has no value outside of the piece of work itself.  I might also just be a curmudgeon who likes physical copies of things.

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I despise streaming services.  I use Apollo, but they don't have many releases that aren't FLAC so I now find myself buying albums on Bandcamp.  I don't mind paying $5 for an album, but like those above, I don't ever pay $10.  When my band drops our album, I justify my cheapness by telling myself it'll be free on bandcamp..  If the album is free on spotify and apple music, why should you have to pay to DL it?

 

Not really making many points here, but if all good trackers went down, I'd likely just purchase music on bandcamp and use Youtube a little bit more for albums and songs I don't have in my library.  I go to shows and buy merch (not much vinyl anymore :( ) still.

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I primarily used What and Apollo to monitor leaks, and determine what the legitimate file sizes should be for 320 or Lossless rips.  We live in a world of transcodes and it’s scary out there.  I joined both trackers late in the game, so while I did seed anything I’d download – especially all the FLAC I grabbed during a Freeleech, years back – I didn’t have much in the way of contributing new uploads, since everything I could ever hope to download was already uploaded and available.

 

Streaming is a convenience for sure.  But as pointed out, it’s a huge gamble since the content is at total whim of the platform.  I use Spotify daily but find myself constantly annoyed when randoms decide to drop and become available at whim.  There’s also a lot of stuff that just isn’t on Spotify and probably won’t be, anytime soon.  What’s even crazier is that people have noticed Spotify (and presumably Apple Music) will revise an audio file however they see fit.  Usually on account of sample or clearance issues; I’ve heard some horror stories about DJ Shadow releases being jumbled and swapped around overnight.  That’s pretty weak.  And makes you wonder how that goes down on a wider scale.

 

It’s entirely overkill but I do continue to pay for Spotify, for easy access and convenience.  I keep an iTunes library loaded up in 320, and refresh it with new releases and new finds.  If I’m into an album or artist that’s not on Spotify, it’s nice to click and drag from iTunes and load up my phone.  I also triple-dip and keep an external drive loaded up with FLAC, and have the majority of my library on there, when the good headphones come out.  It’s a lot of maintenance to keep everything synchronized, but I hate the idea of becoming dependent on streaming.

 

And of course, I strive to by or pre-order the overwhelming majority of anything I’m hyped on or impressed by.  Streaming is used to explore; if I enjoy it enough to revisit, I’ll buy a physical copy and then track down a 320 so I don’t have to worry about Spotify potentially dropping it.

 

Just my thoughts on it all.

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