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What Counts as Music and Why? 324

The Importance of writes "There has been much discussion about compulsory licensing schemes. Most of the debate has been about music. But what happens when any file can easily be converted into a sound file and back again? Can shareware authors convert their software to digital music and get paid for sharing it? Can pornographers get paid for turning images into sound? Scott Matthews has written a program (Ka-Blamo) that does the conversion. LawMeme looks at some of the issues. This raises the question, what should count as music and why?"
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What Counts as Music and Why?

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  • by Empiric ( 675968 ) * on Friday October 03, 2003 @07:41PM (#7129181)
    IMHO, this is a fundamental problem with this kind of non-transactional pricing scheme. Our categories such as "music", "noise", "data", "spam" are fundamentally perceptual definitions. Once you try to divy up a share of profits among a variety of things that people are accessing with their bandwidth, there are no objective criteria by which to separate one from another. It becomes an issue of who is making the most noise and can muscle their way into greater (non)-market-share, which is why this issue is being discussed in relation to music in the first place. The determination of who gets what share becomes a contest of politics, rather than quality. It becomes rather like the attempts of socialist governments to control pricing; even with the best of intentions there is no way to make this fair. Either we vote with our dollars or let someone else vote with them, based on their perceptions.
    • by Davak ( 526912 ) on Friday October 03, 2003 @07:52PM (#7129277) Homepage
      Really instead of thinking of changing things into music... we are really just looking at different mechanism to change things into a common format.

      Prose, news, music, poety, pictures, movies -- it is really just o's and 1's.

      If pictures were receiving the same laws, we could easily change pictures to music as well. We can change text to music without any difficulty.

      Everything goes down to binary... changing it from format to format is trivial.


      • You're a horrible geek you know that ;)

        it's 0 (zero), not 'o' (oh)

      • Prose, news, music, poety, pictures, movies -- it is really just o's and 1's.

        No, it isn't. It can be _represented_ by 1s and 0s, but it eventually breaks out into a human-perceptive form.

        Now, there is some overlap between the catagories you gave, they are still clearly distinct mediums that anyone who knows the language can identify very easily. Even the most out-of-tune "alternative art" is distinct from the disharmonious screeching of a compressed audio file.

        OTOH, if you could find a way to make an
    • Our categories such as "music", "noise", "data", "spam" are fundamentally perceptual definitions.

      While I agree with your final point, I disagree with your reasoning. Take your example spam. While spam has yet to be defined clearly, it is not indefinable. One could, for example, say spam is any unsolicited email meant to profit the sender. This may not be the best possible definition, but once it is adopted by the law, precedence will alter the meaning into one that will hopefully make it more useful. But
    • There is one interesting property of music that I read about. This is in no way can classify music since the property shows up in other places but still it is interesting.

      Music is 1/f noise. This means that if you plot the frequency distribution of a data stream the intensity of the f frequency appears to be 1/f. (This can be carried out by Fourier analysis or such.)

      However many other interesting phenomenon produces this 1/f signature. These are the ones I remember:

      * variations in the healthy heart b
  • A Challenge (Score:5, Funny)

    by hondo77 ( 324058 ) on Friday October 03, 2003 @07:42PM (#7129193) Homepage
    If he can convert the new Metallica album into music, I'll be impressed.
  • Music is Music (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Vaevictis666 ( 680137 ) on Friday October 03, 2003 @07:45PM (#7129231)
    Anything created with the purpose of being listened to should qualify as "music" - yes I know that this also would include radio broadcasts of news and whatnot that's just ppl talking, but as far as it goes audio is audio.

    Making a software program and converting it into an audio file is idiotic. If the purpose of the file is not to listen to, don't even try to argue its consideration in any kind of licensing scheme...

    • You are missing the point. Music is protected by laws that software is not. By converting and exchanging your software as "music", you gain the protection of these new laws.

      Yes, it is laughable. These are the problems a society creates when it tries to create laws to control the flow of data.

      • Music is protected by laws that software is not.

        Please explain what law protects music which doesn't protect software. I thought software had more protection.

        OK, there's public performance/display, but I don't see how that matters, since you can't publically perform software, and publically displaying software doesn't make much sense.

        • Re:Music is Music (Score:3, Informative)

          by Alsee ( 515537 )
          OK, there's public performance/display, but I don't see how that matters, since you can't publically perform software, and publically displaying software doesn't make much sense.

          Actually copyright law does specificly recognize public performance and display of software. Running a program and displaying the results is a "performance". It is most easy to recognize it in the form of video games, often almost identical to watching a movie.

          If you were to buy several copies of a game an set up public terminals
    • "Making a software program and converting it into an audio file is idiotic" I beg to differ. Following in the footsteps of the world renowned Books on Tape, I have founded Software on Tape. My company specializes in transferring software developer's favorite listings into audio. With optional extras like regional accents. Our latest new line "IBM Direct Access Storage Devices of the late 60's" is apparently a winner with insomniacs. In future I would appreciate it if you would refrain from referring to my
    • Re:Music is Music (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Yobgod Ababua ( 68687 ) on Friday October 03, 2003 @08:16PM (#7129436)
      Indeed, media type is (and should be) defined by content, not by encoding. The type reflects the manner in which the author intends the content to be enjoyed, and the manner in which the consumer intends to enjoy it.

      If I take a photograph of a tree and encode it into bits, those bits will always represent the content of an image, even if some stupid Baudio-like program presents those bits as though they were some other sort of media. Even if I'm the one pretending it's a .wav file, I intended it to be an image, and you probably intend to view it as an image. If you honestly intend to listen to my image file (which I suspect don't even follow the appropriate standards of the file formats they purport), then maybe we can talk about it's merits as music/line noise.

      This is crucially different from some of the examples he gives, which don't really apply to his "codec" at all.

      In steganography, two different works are combined into a single encoding. This does -not- make the resulting file a single work, nor does it make the included image a song, or the included song an image.

      The DeCSS song is a little more complicated, depending on whether you believe it is intended to (and can be) enjoyed as pure music, or whether it is merely intended as a vector for code. In any case, there is real audio content that's been provided.

      4'33" was meant to be enjoyed as audio content, so it is, even though the 'art' is actually in the lack of audio content. It's not like the silence (or in Baudio's case, noise) is really meant to be pornography.

      Hmm... I think a key differentiator might be what -analog- formats the content exists as. We live in an analog world and digital encoding can really only exist as a means of temporarily storing something inherently analog. Content is analog.

      This whole argument just seems... stupid.
      Stupid enough to make me actually post...
      • We live in an analog world and digital encoding can really only exist as a means of temporarily storing something inherently analog. Content is analog.

        All text is actually digital information. Copyright protected digital information long before it was ever applied to analog information like sound and artwork.

      • It's not like the silence ... is really meant to be pornography.

        Is this a bad time to mention that I whack off to 4'33"? I happen to have it timed so that I finish up right when the song ends.
    • Re:Music is Music (Score:2, Insightful)

      by gryface ( 702149 )
      Compare the source media to a version run through a lossy compression algorithm. If the two are recognizably similar, then you have determined that media source's originally intended format.

      Running an audio file converted to an image through a JPEG or GIF compressor will result in irreversibly useless garbage. This has a lot to do with the vast differences in different media types' notions of space over time. Audio frames are much smaller than video frames.

      Considering there are entire musical genres consi
    • Anything created with the purpose of being listened to should qualify as "music"

      Of course we all know what music is.

      The real point of the question being asked here is how in the world is a dumb computer supposed to interpret this "intent"?

      So if a computer can't actually interpret the intent of a file (except perhaps by filename suffix or header information, both of which are all too easy to forge if one was trying to be deliberately deceptive), the answer to the question being posed in this articl

    • Re:Music is Music (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kfg ( 145172 ) on Friday October 03, 2003 @09:01PM (#7129635)
      In this light I might point out that copyright law does not refer to "music."

      It refers to sound recordings (that's how Shatner "got away with it").

      The story's question is phrased somewhat improperly improperly.

      Nor is the issue new. It's just more pressing now than before. Without using a computer at all I can convert light (and therefore photoimages) into sound and vice versa. I can turn mathmatics into music and music into mathmatics (Mozart was fond of doing this and developed a method using dice to develop themes). I can turn text into images, sound ( no, that's not a degenerate statement. I can turn text into arbitrarty sound. It's called "reading music" and any text can be used for such).

      What is needlepoint other than a set of Cartesian Coordinates with a color code translated into an image?

      How about this piece of paper I have here with some symbols on it? Is it my copywritable intellectual property, or is it a chess game? And if I can copywrite it what rights do the players have to it? It was their game, and thus their creation, after all.

      Computers just make the process faster, easier and more ubiquitous, but artists, scientists and home experimenters. . .and even some lawyers, have been dealing with all of this stuff for decades.

      And then there was Dr. Leary. Think about it.

    • Making a software program and converting it into an audio file is idiotic.

      I think you just hurt Richard D. James' feelings...
  • by tds67 ( 670584 ) on Friday October 03, 2003 @07:47PM (#7129243)
    Can pornographers get paid for turning images into sound?

    Yes, but just remember, it's not the size of the song that counts. Even a short song like this could deeply penetrate P2P networks.

  • by killthiskid ( 197397 ) on Friday October 03, 2003 @07:47PM (#7129248) Homepage Journal


    Imagine the mRNA to be like a long piece of magnetic recording tape, and the ribosome to be like a tape recorder. As the tape passes through the playing head of the recorder, it is "read" and converted into music, or other sounds...When a "tape" of mRNA passes through the "playing head" of a ribosome, the "notes" produced are amino acids and the pieces of music they make up are proteins.

    They go on to say:

    Music is not a mere linear sequence of notes. Our minds perceive pieces of music on a level far higher than that. We chunk notes into phrases, phrases into melodies, melodies into movements, and movements into full pieces. similarly proteins only make sense when they act as chunked units. Although a primary structure carries all the information for the tertiary structure to be created, it still "feels" like less, for its potential is only realized when the tertiary structure is actually physically created.

    Ok, this makes sense to me but we also do the same thing with words... and words can be made into speach. Why not say the same thing of patents... Our minds take existing ideas and change them... thoughts get put into actions, actions into motion, motion in physical parts, physical parts into machines, machines into processes, processes into... well, you get the idea.

    All of our existence as humans (including our own being) is parts being put together into something greater than the whole, and this happens to include music... music has bizarre rules, and most everything else can be made into music. Does this mean the rules of music apply to the other items?

    Reminds me of the DeCss as free speach argument.

    So be it.

  • Program Renamed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Vaevictis666 ( 680137 ) on Friday October 03, 2003 @07:52PM (#7129281)
    Seems the program has been renamed from Ka-Blammo to Baudio, and Not-Ka-Blammo to Baudio Decoder.
  • by jdray ( 645332 ) on Friday October 03, 2003 @07:55PM (#7129308) Homepage Journal
    Okay, it's a heady subject, I'll admit. I read this article in Linux Format magazine [] about steganography, wherein the least significant n bits of an image's pixels are hijacked for hiding data. The image changes so little that the average viewer can't detect it, and heaps of data (pardon) can be hidden there. Will the next P2P app use steganography to hide (music, et al) files in very large graphics? I'd think that courts would have a hard time determining that the original file wasn't just coincidentally the same as the encoded bits.
    • You would do far better to piggyback music on another music track. Steganography will work on pretty much any binary file, it's just that some work better than others because the format provides more "tamper area" of relatively insignificant bits to play with.

      I'm sure if you have a low enough bitrate MP3 you can encode a reasonable amount of data in it without a overly perceptable change in the audio.

      The real problem with all of this is that steganograhy of this kind requires sender and reciever to have
    • Why don't you just do what Freenet does and encrypt everything so it would be impossible to tell what the file contains anyway, without the key. Of course, for Freenet that means that you may indeed be hosting kiddie porn, but who knows? Now we're dealing with philosophy: just because you don't know does it exist? Do you care? Should you care?
  • Concealing Code (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tds67 ( 670584 )
    What a great way to exchange code that violates laws against decrypting encryption schemes...turn it into sound, post it on a website for downloading, and reconvert it back to code at the other end!

    Technically, you're not distributing this code, are you?

    • fwiw, Baudio won't help you decript anything -- it simply transforms the binary data of any file into a valid WAV file. And so when you decode a Baudio-encoded file, if it started as an encrypted file, it ends as an encrypted file...
  • by geekee ( 591277 ) on Friday October 03, 2003 @07:55PM (#7129314)
    This example just goes to show what a mess will be created if the govt. simply collects a pot of money from ISPs and then tries to divy it up to the recording inductry. Everybody and his lawyer will be in line for a piece of the action. In the Soviet Union people stood in lines too for similar reasons, and look how that turned out. The system is inherently unfair because the one who gets the most money will be the one with the best lawyer and the most lobbying money, instead of the person with the most talent and the ability to write something someone wants to hear.
    • This example just goes to show what a mess will be created if the govt. simply collects a pot of money from ISPs and then tries to divy it up to the recording inductry.

      Who said this is what compulsory licensing will do?

      As I understand it, compulsory licensing means just that: publishers are compelled to offer licenses at a predetermined rate. That means I can download any song from anywhere, and as long as I send the predetermined license cost to the owner of the copyright, that copy is legal.

      What doe
      • Because compulsory licensing, if not paired with a compulsory payment scheme leads to piracy all over again.

        Imagine if instead of the turnstyle at the subway there was just a series deep holes into which everybody was expected to throw a dollar-fifty into. Sure, honest people would do it, but just how would you propose to catch the people who actually only tossed coinage that totaled 95 cents, or none at all?
  • by IntelliTubbie ( 29947 ) on Friday October 03, 2003 @07:55PM (#7129316)
    Wow, I think obfuscated code is pretty 1337 now (e.g. Perl code in the shape of a camel []), but I'll be seriously impressed when someone writes a "Hello, World" program that converts to an audio file of them saying "Hello, World." Any takers? :)

  • If the RIAA can use this kind of technology to come up with country music that cannot be played outside of Arkansas, I'm all for it.
  • M$ Music (Score:3, Funny)

    by WebMasterP ( 642061 ) on Friday October 03, 2003 @07:58PM (#7129336) Homepage
    I imagine if you converted Windows into music it would probably be a pirates tune with some background singers saying things like 'World Domination'.
  • by anthony_dipierro ( 543308 ) on Friday October 03, 2003 @08:00PM (#7129352) Journal

    Can shareware authors convert their software to digital music and get paid for sharing it?

    Why would they want to do that? It's better for a copyright holdere not to be forced to offer a compulsory license.

    • Well, as just one example -- an open source app could offer downloads in both regular and Baudio-encoded formats. They could then tell their users that if they choose to download the Baudio-encoded version, then they're helping the team.

      But I think your point stands -- I think most copyright holders don't want to be forced into a compulsory license -- they want to be able to make that sort of decision for themselves...

  • by fizban ( 58094 )
    If it's got a good beat and you can dance to it???
  • wahoo! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Joe the Lesser ( 533425 ) on Friday October 03, 2003 @08:02PM (#7129371) Homepage Journal
    Boy bands aren't musically talented, so they're music must be free! ... Wait, that doesn't help us at all!
  • I once heard a musicologist say "music is just pure tone plus noise, and everyone has their particular preference for their favorite type of noise."
    Damn I wish I could remember who said that, it was brilliant.
  • I know, I know. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ridge ( 37884 ) on Friday October 03, 2003 @08:17PM (#7129439)
    If you're being sued by the RIAA, it's 'music'.
  • this is the best argument i have heard yet against this scourge on the face of humanity:

    The OpenBSD 3.4 Song: Theo Sings Back-up []

  • A thousand sounds is worth a picture.
  • At first this seemed like a clever idea, turning binaries into music and then getting paid for sharing them as music.

    But wait a minute here.

    Nobody gets paid for sharing music. The RIAA does collect fees and pay royalties for licenced copyrighted works that have been registered under them; but not just any musical work is covered by them. I mean, there is a procedure for this that is a little more complicated than just declaring it so. They have to agree, in a contract, to include your work. If they do
  • "Life forms.... You tiny little life forms..... You precious little life forms.... Where are you?"

    Damn, just broke the law.
  • On a side note. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 03, 2003 @08:38PM (#7129542)
    If you have ever read "Dirk Gently's Holistic detective agency" by Douglas Adams, you might recall that the piece of software that was being written by one of the main characters Richard, was called "Anthem" and converted factual data or basically anything with numbers into music.

    Art and life eh?
  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Friday October 03, 2003 @08:39PM (#7129549) Journal

    Hey, guess what? You have to use judgement. In fact, they actually have people in court called judges. You know. Those guys and gals in the funny black dresses and/or wigs depending on where you hail from. Last I heard the judges--get this--actually have to judge things. They haven't been replaced by referees who simply follow the rules as written. We know that because they aren't wearing black and white striped shirts, and they don't blow whistles (or whatever it is refs do in other games and countries besides USA football).

    Of course there are guidelines. Personally I'd say anything that can be played live and sound enough like the recording for a jury to identify the tune as unique from other tunes, and to name that tune, is music.

    Thus, bit barf dumped to a .wav file is not music because nobody can play it on an instrument, and most bit barf would sound very similar to the jury.

    But of course you'd have to use judgement. Some wrapper stopping and starting bit barf while bragging about his sexual conquests might fall into the grey area, but if enough people testify that they find it entertaining and prefer Cornrow Groovy bit-barf fine ladies to other works of the same genre, then guess what: It's music.

    But the bottom line is that somebody will have to make up their minds, it may be subjective, and the loser will have to live with the answer.

    Yeah, that's tough. Nothing's perfect.

    • So some judge is going to rule on every file that shows up on a P2P network? Yeah right.

      This is like a judge ruling on the definition of art, or love. Anything he comes up with would be completely meaningless. I suggest you listen to the music of Oval. This guy started out by playing scratched & mangled CDs by other artists and recording the results, and plenty of people think it's music. It could easily be argued that this is not far at all from encoding software as music. Point is, any creative so
    • About ten years ago, I heard about a system that took samples of music and played them pseudorandomly. The system was used in gaming. During combat, the system tended to play intense music. When the player was loafing around, the system played more relaxing music. People apparently found the sound very pleasing.

      Mr. Matthews could and should change his system to generate real music rather than scrambled garbage. He could even enhance the system so it plays different sets of instruments based on the MD

      • To expand on my own post, suppose you create a set of 256 pleasant sounds. You could take each byte of a file and map it into one of those sounds. Naturally, you could take the sound and map it back to retrieve the original data.

        If you had enough volunteers, you could create a set of 65536 sounds, allowing you to map every two bytes to a unique melody. You could generate another set of sounds to transition from one melody to another.

        To get more complex, you could have one part of the data set the bea

    • Hey, guess what? You have to use judgement. In fact, they actually have people in court called judges. You know. Those guys and gals in the funny black dresses and/or wigs depending on where you hail from. Last I heard the judges--get this--actually have to judge things.

      That answer is totally inadequate. By this rationle the only things worth defending are those which are valuable enough or owned by those with enough money or influence to litigate an entire court case. If some one steals my car, they g

  • The music produced by Ka-Blamo can be copyrighted by the owner of the material used to produce the music. Not nearly enough of the original art is being changed. For you to turn an mp3 into a wav file.

    What's more interesting in this type of music is the way in which it is translated from it's original source into music. That is also something that could be copyrighted.
  • by vrmlguy ( 120854 ) <samwyse&gmail,com> on Friday October 03, 2003 @08:50PM (#7129599) Homepage Journal
    Several posters have commented that music is best defined similarly to obscenity ("I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced . . . [b]ut I know it when I see it . . . " []), and thus the output of Ka-Blamo doesn't count as music. Allow me to provide a counter-example.

    In 1787, Mozart invented A Musical Dice Game for Composing a Minuet []. Given the results of the game, I assume that one can derive the dice numbers that created it. (If not, it shouldn't be hard to modify the game to possess that property.) Now, play the game using a fixed string of bits instead of a random number generator. The result is very definitely music, and it isn't steganography.

    The use of a Mozart encoder and decoder would be even more powerful than Ka-Blamo.

    • Several posters have commented that music is best defined similarly to obscenity ("I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced . . . [b]ut I know it when I see it . . . "), and thus the output of Ka-Blamo doesn't count as music.

      In tandem with the above quote would be "I don't want others deciding what is obscene, only I should make that judgement". No one (well, almost no one) wants some external person or persons telling them what they can and cannot look
  • Heh heh... Isn't this a bit too much like Richard MacDuff's Anthem software that turned corporate accounting files into music, so you cold 'listen' to good finances or bad?

    As I recall, the head techie was Gordon Way, whom I always took to be a nod to Alan Kay, one of DNA's dear friends and a music geek himself.
  • and that is all.
  • PHP (Score:3, Interesting)

    by suso ( 153703 ) on Friday October 03, 2003 @08:58PM (#7129621) Homepage Journal
    I don't know what's more interesting, that he wrote this program or that he wrote it in PHP?
    • heh, Windows executables are on the way, and I'd be happy to add anything else that anybody wants to help with...
  • ...compression increases entropy. Listen to this [] wav file of a Windows BMP file, and the corresponding [] wav file for the GIF version. The former has definite periods of high and low tones, but the latter sounds like white noise!
  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Friday October 03, 2003 @09:03PM (#7129644) Journal

    How about requiring "musicians" to perform before they can copyright music?

    A "musician" is a person or group of people, not a machine.

    To "performance" is when the musician(s) perform physical actions on the instruments that produce a work that the audience recognizes as being disctinct from other copyrighted works.

    An "instrument" is a device that is designed to produce sound when acted upon by a musician. A song must have a minimum number of "notes" to be copyrighted. There must be at least one physical action on the part of the musician to create each note. Thus, a computer is not an instrument because it has purposes other than producing sound. It's perfectly OK for the musician to enhance his music with a computer, but there must still be an instrument hooked to the computer. The musician cannot simply hit one key on his MIDI keyboard and use it to trigger bit-barf on his computer. That would be a one-note song and thus not copyrightable.

    Furthermore, a "musician" must have had several paid performances of the work, indoors at an establishment that serves food and/or a concert hall, and there must be no kickbacks from artist to venue. Works that fail to meet these criteria would still be protected by copyright; they just wouldn't get compulsory license fees.

    A piece of "music" must be distinguishable from other pieces of "music" by a jury.

    There might still be some loopholes in this, but I think that covers it pretty well. You can't license bit-barf under these rules. Nobody will come to hear it.

  • by JUSTONEMORELATTE ( 584508 ) on Friday October 03, 2003 @09:08PM (#7129671) Homepage
    Back in '82 I found someone throwing out their collection of Apple ][ cassettes. Up the street, someone was tossing a cassette player that still had batteries in it.
    My friend and I walked the rest of the way to school with 6502 machine code playing from our impromptu boombox.

    Little did I know.....

  • by LS ( 57954 )
    These kind of IP questions shine a spotlight on the elephant in the corner of the room: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IS AN ILLUSION. Intellectual Property is a shared idea; it's an agreement amongst people. It is NOT a real thing that inherently exists out there somewhere. Those aren't songs on your computer. They aren't emotions, or musicians, or anything else. They are organized magnetic fields that when processed through a complex field of low entropy cause air molecules to vibrate.

  • For a new type of file manager......."hmmm Jim, it sounds like a pdf file."
  • I covered these issues in my essay []. In it I advocate a voluntary compensation model

    Here's what I wrote:

    Compulsory licenses seems to be the "cleanest" solution, and it appears to have implemented in Canada with moderate success, but the approach has fundamental problems. First, it seems rather easy to game the system to make some songs appear more popular in popularity statistics. It seems to offer a lot of advantages to incumbents at the expense of emerging artists. Second, frequency
  • Frank Zappa (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thedbp ( 443047 ) on Friday October 03, 2003 @10:41PM (#7130123)
    Frank Zappa once said that ANYTHING can be music as long as you can score it out and reproduce it. To use his example, even someone just swallowing orange juice can be music if you score it out and reproduce it faithfully.

    I tend to agree. If Justin Timberlake can call what he does music (as opposed to the prepackaged sound-based diversionary tactic it REALLY is) and the Beatles can call somebody repeating "Number Nine" over and over music, then, really, music just becomes another arbitrary term that is defined mostly by someone's personal taste rather than an actual discernable entity.
  • by _aa_ ( 63092 ) <> on Friday October 03, 2003 @10:50PM (#7130161) Homepage Journal
    Music must be in 4/4.
    Music must have lyrics.
    Music must consist of a drummer, a bassist, a guitarist, and a vocalist.
    Music must last no less than 3, and no more than 5 minutes.
    Music must be: verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, verse, chorus.
    Music must be accompanied by a video.
    Music must be about love.
    Music must have a 30 second instrumental intro for the DJ to talk over.
    Music must rhyme.
    Music must be able to be danced to.
  • Simple (Score:4, Funny)

    by statusbar ( 314703 ) <> on Friday October 03, 2003 @10:54PM (#7130180) Homepage Journal
    If it is copyrighted by a RIAA member company, it is music. If it isn't RIAA, then it is not music, and would be illegal to listen to.

  • With Goldwave (or at least, the old version I played with) you could open ANY file as a sound file. There were interesting possibilities with uncompressed graphics formats. Pop open a BMP, and so long as you avoid selecting the beginning of the file, you can apply sound filters and effects to your image file, getting effects you won't see in photoshop. Mostly worthless, but some quite cool.

  • Silence is part of music. Any not-silence may be defined as techno. Anything can be used as sample for example in doom metal.

    Playboy picture converted to audio file is better kind of music than Britney Spears. Shareware binary converted into mp3 is still far better than Metallica's St Anger.
  • Imagine a group called the Society for Appreciation of Large Numbers.

    They have a website. Members of the Society list their favourite large numbers and the reason why they like this number.

    Some of these numbers are quite large, i.e. about the same size as the binary number produced when a 3 minute song is encoded as a FLAC file.

    Some members post their favourite numbers along with comments like : "this number reminds me of the song Novacane by Beck".

    Would this be illegal? After all, even if this number a
  • Maybe the conversion rate of 1 picture = 1000 words isn't that far off...

    Afterall, the only reason why the RIAA has been fighting the battle harder than the MPAA is because of the higher bandwidth requirements for video, but their day will come too. So, why not whack all of the moles at once with a blanket solution?

    Have whatever "rights tax" that applies to music apply to all forms of bits, therefore software, movies, TV shows, books, etc. all fall under the same blanket. Let the size of the file times th

Someday your prints will come. -- Kodak