Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Digital Music - Week #9

Watch this Video: Library Musical

Listen to this podcast: Week 9

Music is universal, it exists in every culture on earth, past and present. Before we could write, we had music, before we had books, we had music. I can tell you that I wrote this entire course on a steady diet of Jazz. Creativity for me has always ebbed and flowed. A good Jazz grove blocks out the phones and other office distractions and helps me write. But, before we get to the good stuff, let’s look at the rules of sharing music.

What is copyright? And why do we need to be concerned with it? Digital music is a very convenient format. We can copy it from a CD and play it on our computer, and then synchronize our computer's music library with our MP3 player and unplug from the PC and go for a walk. What if we need a little background music for a presentation or some other thing that we are creating – can I use a Yanni tune for that? Well, if you know Yanni and he says it’s OK, have at it! If you don’t know him, then you might want to look at the laws and guidelines concerning copyright before you do anything. Disclaimer: this is an awareness session only. None of us are lawyers, nor do we play one on TV. If you have a question, take it to your supervisor and get some help before you act, waiting until after the fact is waiting too long.

Copyright Laws This is a pretty good article that describes several different scenarios and how they are impacted by the law.

Copyright for Librariansclick the "Guidelines" menu on the left hand side to expand the content list. Explore the areas that interest you.

Copyright use in Education – music use in the classroom. Many of you may come in contact with students that are creating presentations for class reports. Here are some guidelines for what is acceptable in the classroom.

So what is
DRM? And how does DRM affect me? DRM is a tool that record companies use to help prevent their music from illegally being copied. Many consumers are protesting DRM because of how it limits the ablility to move legally purchased music from device to device. Apple and Itunes are central in the DRM debate. Here is a Steve Jobs/Apple article on DRM. Here is a Cnet article about record companies killing DRM. Why don’t we support iTunes here at OCLS? DRM is an issue, but the main reason is that our audio book vendors don’t support iTunes. We do post our podcasts on iTunes, so if you are an iTunes user, you can subscribe to our feed.

Let’s shift gears and look at some music applications. My favorite is Liveplasma. Why? Because I am a visual learner (remember learning styles or did you forget already?) and because I love music. Liveplasma is visual like Grokker, but its purpose is to link similar artists together so you can explore and expand your horizons. Take a look: Liveplasma In the search box, enter the name of your favorite musical artist and click the Artist/Band button. A disclaimer, not all musical artists are in the database, I couldn’t find Janis Joplin for example. So what is the value of all of this? Not too long ago, I was browsing my favorite music site looking for some new Blues music. I came across this guy Joe Bonamassa that I had never heard of. A quick trip to Liveplasma, and I can see that Bonamasa is close to many artists that I already enjoy, so there is a high probability that I would enjoy his music too, and I did. Remember when you used to look at the artwork on the album cover to help you make your purchase decisions? Now we have websites that can help you decide. Cool or not? Either way, now you have a tool to help patrons before they check out CDs!

eXplore – explore
LastFM , Musicstrands and Upto11, which are all social music sites. I have had problems getting some of the features in LastFM to work, but give it a try, it may work for you.
Also explore
Liveplasma, find some new music for yourself. Here is another visual music search engine to try: Music Map. Compare your results.

Here is some music from our own OCLS family, Emily Wallace. Take a look and a listen!

Share - Where do stand on the digital rights management debate? Should media be offered with unrestricted rights or pay per use rights? Metallica or Napster? Ipod or Etunes? Create a blog entry to tell us how you feel.

Adventure – Many of you have discovered the joy of widgets for your blogs. Here are two sites that you can use to find more widgets. Springwidgets and Yourminis.
Tell us what you added in your blog post. This is an advanced activity.


Maxicow said...

This is all very interesting and helpful, to use at home, since we can not listen to music here at the Library. I will, however, check the iTunes to see what music I can buy. Regarding DMR, the music industry already charges too much and most of the time I only like one or two songs from each CD. So let the music be free. Artists can get their money from tours and other merchandise sales.

Todd said...

Widgetbox is my personal favorite.

Todd said...

DRM is pointless in my opinion. Artists make most of their profit on tour. Like maxicow said, the music industry generally charges too much for CDs and the content on iTunes is encrypted and too restricting (now you can download DRM-free music on iTunes, but at a cost increase). As a result, people are resorting to piracy, and the government will never be able to stop them. As soon as the RIAA removes one website/program, another takes its place. It's unfortunate, but the industry and our government must accept it.

OCLS Learn 2.0 said...

So is our society changing to the point where copyright laws should be changed? Remember the Web 2.0 video in week 4?

Maxicow said...

I would not go as far as saying that people today are smarter. However they have better tools and resources, and obviously more time to sit on their computers and figure out a way to commit what some critics would call a crime. But then again what is a bigger crime; industries charging you $20 for a CD or someone letting you copy a song for free? It is all a matter of opinion. Take gas prices for example. Is it okay for industries to publish record profits while we pay over $3 a gallon? Again industries are getting richer while we struggle to pay for life's necessities (gas) and life's pleasures (music). Let freedom ring!!!

Chairman Hao said...

Laws are passed when rights have been violated. Buying music online is legal and should be free of DRM restrictions. Lawyers have pointed out that while the major-labels chase the innocent, the real music pirates have been able to increase production of illegal compact-discs.

ANTARES said...

A spontaneous Broadway style musical at the library? That's a something out of the ordinary. It was funny to see people faces in the video while the singers where performing, some of them didn’t know how to react.

Fenise said...

i have an ipod for 3 yrs now and i never paid for music off the net. I really never seeing myself doing that. itunes do have some good things on it like "shows" that you can watch on your ipod but thats about it. the music i can get from some other placeeee..

Versailles said...

When someone pays a dollar for a song on itunes, it should give the buyer some rights to do with it what he wants. I can't burn the songs I buy from itunes to a disc. That annoys me to no end.
I'm pleading the fifth here. I've "heard" of people going to foreign websites, and downloading the songs for PENNIES, without anything blocking them from burning to disc. I'm having trouble imagining the recording industry, or the government stopping people from spreading the music around. If they do, it might put people from buying music and the industry will suffer. Prohibition of alcohol didn't work, I doubt it would work for music distribution.

Unforgettable JM said...

Unforgettable it's what this is...

Anonymous said...

"Where do stand on the digital rights management debate?"

I think there's a pronoun missing somewhere in there...

bobbie's cat said...

I agree with some of the blogs about artists earning most of their money from tours. They, like authors, get such a little amount from each CD that they sell. I also like the idea that I can pay a small sum and download a specific title. With a fine artist, once a painting is sold thats all the artist earns. I guess there are many angles from which to see this concept.
Bobbie's Cat

Danny, Iggy, and Molly said...

Well,I believe an artist and the msuic publishers and producers are in business to make money and should be able to do so. On the other hand some of the restrictions interfere with our ability to share and enjoy music. For an example, and artist I really like, Laura Veirs, makes some recordings available on her site for free, and I am uable to download them to my ipod.

Widgets-anyone willing to give me a little help? I found a widget I liked, copies the code and pasted it onto my blog. My new Etch A Sketch looks great, however, I must have done something wrong cause I can't sketch on it. And that is the entire point of an Etch a Sketch.