Audiogalaxy blocking songs.
October 23, 2001 12:13 AM   Subscribe

Audiogalaxy blocking songs. It looks like Audiogalaxy are beginning to block certain songs. The results come up as normal, but have an X next to them so you cannot download them. Webmonkey mentioned this back in August, but I didn't discover it until today.
posted by viama (22 comments total)
This has been going on for awhile, but only with the more popular stuff. So it hasn't affected me much. However, people are also pulling the alternate spelling ("Romones") trick and bypassing this.
posted by aflakete at 12:15 AM on October 23, 2001

I just noticed this last weekend. The upside is that the blocking is really weak. They seem to be blocked by artist name, not song title. Tweaking the search of a restricted song just slightly gives you a wealth of alternate versions. They seem to be blocked by artist name only.

An example:

as of last weekend a search of "Guns'n'roses welcome to the jungle" turned up nothing but X's.

A search of "Welcome to the jungle" turned up tons of copies with names like "guns(artist name)- and roses welcome to the jungle(song title)"

pretty weak. God bless copyright infringement!!!
posted by ttrendel at 12:22 AM on October 23, 2001

Nah, on some they're even cracking down on alternate spellings. I looked for "She Drives Me Crazy" by Fine Young Cannibals and hit page five before a downloadable version could be found. (It was the "Five Young Canibals" version, if anyone's looking.)

WinMX has been working pretty well, for me.
posted by brookedel at 12:28 AM on October 23, 2001

Hello?! Audiogalaxy, schmaudiogalaxy- why aren't you folks using true gnutella clones, preferrably open-source ones? What part of "decentralized" aren't you getting?! :)
posted by hincandenza at 12:41 AM on October 23, 2001

why aren't you folks using true gnutella clones, preferrably open-source ones?

Only because all of my experiences with Gnutella have resulted in glacial download speeds on the 1 occasion out of 100 that I've found the file I'm looking for. And that's on a cable line.

I wanted to like Gnutella, I really really did.
posted by toddshot at 12:46 AM on October 23, 2001

Because, while a decentralized network is nice and durable, it's not that great for speed or reliability, so as long as there are centralized mp3 stealing tools out there they'll almost certainly work better.
posted by moss at 12:59 AM on October 23, 2001

Hm- while I've never seen Napster like speed and thoroughness from Gnutella, I've also never seen it from Morpheus, Audiogalaxy et al. Napster was one of a kind, and the RIAA stupidly killed the best opportunity they had to take the next technological step with their customers. The success of Napster was the sheer size of its membership; while Audiogalaxy et al may hope to some day have that kind of user base, it's not going to happen- the searches may be faster, but they're still very limited compared to those golden days.

Personally, I use Gnucleus and been pretty satisfied (the program is still sometimes buggy, but because it's open source and continually developed, I've seen many flaws fixed and features added with each new minor rev.). Most every time I search I'm successful and can usually download with good reliability and speed- certainly no slower than Napster was with its wide variety of users on 28K up to OC3 connections. Gnutella is an open standard where the Bearshares can talk to the Limewires who download from the Swapnuts; because of this openness, no one program maker has to develop and attract that same former Napster crowd, and together they can perhaps some day come close to or possible even exceed that 30-40 million user base.

Finally, gnutella's still an early- and open- standard, and I have hope that as it is progresses it will become better and better in regards to overcoming the decentralization hurdle that makes searches still slow to return or not a complete look at every user's database (perhaps this will be done through reflectors or other dynamic centralization innovations). As it stands right now, for me at least, with a fast home user connection that hurdle is already pretty much cleared.
posted by hincandenza at 1:24 AM on October 23, 2001

Morpheus is like KaZaA, right?

I've found that I can regularly fill my DSL pipe from it.

It's just a case of right-clicking on the download and choosing "find more sources for download". Then it segments the file and gets different parts from different people, all at once.

Something the gnutella clones just need to get right in order to ultimately triumph ...

ps KaZaA is now available for Linux, apparently. Not sure if it still has spy software
posted by walrus at 1:29 AM on October 23, 2001

Death throes, death throes
Munchy Crunchy death throes
Death throes, death throes
Download while you can.
posted by fooljay at 1:37 AM on October 23, 2001

Doesn't Morpheus connect to the same database as Kazaa?
posted by viama at 1:55 AM on October 23, 2001

yeah but I dunno if it does the multiple download source thing
posted by walrus at 2:20 AM on October 23, 2001

I'm underwhelmed. Eventually the RIAA is going to limit any MP3 sharing scheme, but its just faster to write a protocol and some software than it is to go through a long drawn out legal process. That's why copyright lobbies are pushing for "shut them down by calling the ISP" legislation i.e. presumed guilty.

I first noticed the Audiogalaxy blocking feature a couple months back. Its a simple, trust me - purposely simple, check to appease the RIAA. Type in the name of a pop album, say like Weezer's new one and you'll get a block message. Type in a single's name like "Hash Pipe" and you get a list to download from, comments and all.

If Audiogalaxy wants to survive it needs to act dumb lest everyone moves to the Kazaa/Morpheus network.

Last week's forced download of the new version which installs Onflow and Bonzi Buddy (might just install installers) when you've opted out of spyware might be a sign of them going south. Toss in their search engine has been failing more than MetaFilter's and I wouldn't be surprised if they go the way of Napster or Scour soon.
posted by skallas at 4:42 AM on October 23, 2001

audio galaxy continually comes' up tops for the most obscure stuff .. kazaa is ugly and deserves to die .. not really used morpheus much

who ever writes those vile 'hey would you like some adverts' programs deserves a seat in hell next to phil collins
posted by mrben at 4:59 AM on October 23, 2001

The thing I like about Kazaa/Morpheus is the breadth of things you can download (ie. video files, music, etc.) as opposed to just music.

The only thing is, is that even if you find stuff on Kazaa, there aren't enough sources to do the downloads oftentimes, especially on larger files. Example: I have this summer's "Family Guy" episodes on my TiVo box still. I'd like to offload them somehow, but would be easier if I could just download them (I don't own VHS since my VCR died and I am not replacing it because I have DVD). But if I pull it up, there might be some entries, but a lot of people move that stuff out as soon as they download it. The result is that after they have it, they don't care anymore about sharing it with others, so they move it from their share folder. And that, in the end, is what will ultimately hinder these file sharing sites and services, is that 2% of the people provide 98% of the content.
posted by benjh at 5:07 AM on October 23, 2001

mrben: Yeah it is ugly, and its spyware needs disabling. Fastest thing i've used though, for actually getting stuff.

I stopped using Audiogalaxy months ago, when they starting banning songs: the writing is on the wall there, regardless of incorrectly spelled song titles.

benjh: read this article by Clay Shirky for a different take on freeloading.

I want a gnutella that works.
posted by walrus at 5:13 AM on October 23, 2001

More and more universities are starting to block (or at least, decrease) the amount of bandwidth given to MP3 programs; Audiogalaxy and Kazaa used to be lightning fast, now they just kinda crawl.
posted by gramcracker at 6:31 AM on October 23, 2001

Yeah, blocking has been going on for ages. But just recently it got a whole lot worse. The old blocking filters were laughably ineffective, failing to block misspellings as well as variants, entries where the band and song were the wrong way round, the same name but without the word "the", and so on - the upshot being that is was usually still possible to get what you were looking for.

The new filters, whilst still letting *some* variants and misspellings through, are draconian in comparison. They hit not only the vast majority of popular searches but also a huge range of unusual material, from stuff unavailable on CD, to songs AudioGalaxy themselves previously made available for download on a promotional basis, to classical music and tracks deliberately released on AG by the artists themselves to avoid saddling their own servers with bandwidth costs.

And then last week all users were forced to upgrade to the latest version of the client software (the old one stopped working). The new version is buggy, doesn't work for many people, and comes encumbered with even more spyware than the previous versions - and, unlike previous versions, stealth-installs one particularly evil parasite, VX2, without warning.

[I advise you check you haven't got VX2 installed, it's a really horrible piece of work. I've put a page up at that can do it for you.]

So, though I'm still using AG for now, I'd very much like to move on. But the other networks don't seem much good for the obscure stuff I'm generally looking for. Pah.
posted by BobInce at 7:01 AM on October 23, 2001

Has anyone paid for the "premium" Audiogalaxy? They're offering devoted servers for subscribers...
posted by preguicoso at 8:33 AM on October 23, 2001

If Audiogalaxy is like Kazaa and I think it is, then I think you'll find the X just means that the user with the song is sitting behind a firewall (this is what Kazaa does) but you can go into the options somewhere and set it to not show em in the first place.
posted by zeoslap at 9:23 AM on October 23, 2001

Napster is still very much around, or at least the protocol is. Get a copy of Napigator, use public servers, enjoy.
posted by aaron at 9:38 AM on October 23, 2001

Some of my own songs were blocked on Audiogalaxy. I find this amusing since my policy on distributing my own songs is as anti-copyright as you can get.

I've asked for them to be unblocked.
posted by at 2:38 PM on October 23, 2001

It ain't all bad. Searching for alternate band spellings has given me a laugh or two ("They Might As Well Be Giants")...
posted by kevspace at 8:42 PM on October 23, 2001

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