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    …since I follow rather obscure artists.

    I really appreciate the FAQ at the beginning, particularly the acknowledgement above. It encodes a kind of empathy: the author realizes that their technology decision is contextual, which helps me reciprocate and remember that my own decisions are also contextual.

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      Consider using something like beets to tag your music.

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        Beets is fantastic. I would like to find “beets for photos”

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          I hope whoever makes that calls it “pheets”.

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        I recommend adding --audio-quality best and --embed-metadata --embed-thumbnail

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          I guess I’m weird in that I still go to an online store (usually Apple’s) and pay them for music that gets downloaded to my devices. Did that stop being a thing?

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            I switched to bandcamp because I get FLAC files and more of the money goes to support the artist.

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              I’m curious to see how Epic’s acquisition of Bandcamp will play out with regards to both supporting the artist and DRM-free files.

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                Same, except that I would describe myself as nervous rather than curious.

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              “still” is interesting. I’ve not yet begun to do that, since most online stores refuse to sell music in a format worth paying for. Sometimes a Bandcamp or an independent will, be most places sell either DRM or lossy compression or both… I mostly just buy CDs if I’m going to pay for it

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                Going all the way back to the ripping-mp3s-from-CDs days, I’ve never really been able to notice any difference in quality past a certain bitrate. And it’s not like my ears have gotten magically better in the intervening 20 years, so I largely don’t care whether the music is encoded in the latest shiniest ultra-HD-giga-fidelity audiophile settings.

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                  Bit late, but most artists get more money from official merch than album sales, physical or not.

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                    Not sure how that’s relevant, but yes, buying music is a poor way to support artists for sure

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                Wheat is an advocacy post about pirating music doing on lobsters?

                If you want to discover obscure new music, use Bandcamp instead of abusing some megacorporate streaming site.

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                  Wheat is an advocacy post about pirating music doing on lobsters?

                  While I’d agree it is a very bad look to be advertising music piracy in 2022, I’m not sure it is off topic. If the blog is giving the technical way the author moves bits of one form from one place to another and syncs it to a third, that would seem to generally be on topic for lobsters. While I would view that as theft if the original music was copyrighted, it seems the author would not (or at least does not care about it, if they do). They might also be looking for music that is in the public domain on Youtube, which would be more of a TOS violation than actual piracy.

                  You might compare this to the lobsters posts wherein Signal discovered vulnerabilities in Cellebrite’s software. That almost certainly violated the terms of service for the equipment and their reference to potentially including code that would exploit the vulnerability is extremely questionable, regardless of if you liked their reversing write-up (which I did).

                  Ultimately, what you and I view as wrong, the author might not care that they are publicly associated with, or they might be being very careful to avoid any actual copyright infringement. As long as their blog post focuses on the programming aspects, it would seem to be on topic. Somewhat ironically, looking at the author’s invitation tree, his grandparent is Napster (no relation to the software, just… found it ironic)).

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                    While I’d agree it is a very bad look to be advertising music piracy in 2022

                    The copyright mafia was very effective in its PR.

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                      While I’d agree it is a very bad look to be advertising music piracy in 2022

                      WTF does $CURRENT_YEAR have to do with anything?

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                        I could be wrong, but my sense is there was a lot more cultural acceptance of copying music and videos in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. That has since shifted to more of a desire to positively support artists ala Bandcamp (as other sibling comments are pointing to). I don’t see the same sort of cultural intrigue nowadays for youtube-dl as Napster got back then, for example.

                        Again, I could be wrong, but that’s why I included $CURRENT_YEAR as if it was meaningful.

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                          There are many ways you can cheaply acquire music today, more than ever. There are fewer reasonable excuses for pirating.

                          At peak Napster a song would cost $30 (inflation adjusted), cause you’d have to buy the whole CD, and a drive to a store.

                          Even just 5 years ago you were less likely to find everything on Spotify. Today it’s just a given.

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                            Spotify is both DRM and lossy. Hardly a real option

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                              I think the popularity of Spotify/YouTube (and relative unpopularity) of products like Pono and Tidal has shown that most people don’t care about having lossy music. As someone who can’t tell the difference between MP3 at 320kpbs and lossless, I agree 🤷‍♀️

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                                People like to brag about their hearing capabilities, but in reality even lower bitrates than that are indistinguishable for even those people.

                                Me and a few friends set up a blind test at a studio a few of us worked at. We all a good laugh and no one took it personally. But the myth of “maybe you don’t notice the difference, but I do” was burried that day.

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                                  For me it’s not about if I can “hear the difference” it’s a principle. I can buy a CD and get lossless, so even if it “sounds the same” paying for an inferior product feels wrong.

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                                    But the sound in the cd is digitally sampled with a cutoff frequency of 22khz and a limit of amplitude resolution of 16 bits. It is also lossy in the sense that is not the original physical sound. Those values were chosen based on the limits of human perception, much the same way as mp3.

                                    When CDs were created, it wasn’t technologically possible to cram a compression algorithm in a sound format.

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                                      Sure. If they sold something less sampled I’d buy that instead I suppose

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                                  I’ll listen to lossy music, but if I’m gonna pay why pay for the lossy one?

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                                    If you’re going to completely ignore the entire content of the comment you’re replying to, why reply?

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                                      I don’t mind paying for lossy music cause good music gets me vibing regardless of bitrate

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                                  Even just 5 years ago you were less likely to find everything on Spotify. Today it’s just a given.

                                  Not at all. I found fairly little of what I looked for on Spotify. YouTube Music does a better job for my tastes, but I’m still carting around the dozens of GB of ogg files I ripped my collection into back in the 1990’s.

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                                    Spotify doesn’t have 50% of the things I want to listen. Even if you listen to popular artists with millions of records sold all over the world, they rarely have their own collection available.

                                    Their catalogue was far more complete in their first five years or so. At that time, if an artist was featured there, it would have their whole catalogue down to obscure semi bootlegged releases. And small artists from all over the world would be included due to small local affiliations of local labels with with multinational ones.

                                    As soon as it started to became clear that services were the future of comercial music. The stakes got real and labels started making non-neglectible monetary demands. It is a commercial service, it will never offer that grassroots semi-clandestine source that real music afficionados like.

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                                Wheat is actually a grass.

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                                  Downloading a private copy of stuff (for example on youtube) is a valid thing in germany. We pay a fee for each storage medium to the music industry for that.

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                                    Nothing in the post os advocating piracy. It is you that are making the assumption that the author does not have the legal right to save the songs he finds on YouTube. But you have no way to make such assertion. You can’t assume that is the case just because it often is.

                                    If the technical procedure in the post could be used for piracy, that is off topic, and frankly a rather boring/old remark that less and less people care about at this day and age.

                                    I know it is not intentional , but you are unconsciently making a moral judgement based on arbitrary morals that you take as absolute and never questioned. Who defines what is piracy and why is it piracy? Why does such legal concept exist and to which extent does it make sense? Would you agree to pay a fee each time you sing in the shower?

                                    My parents need to pay a special tax to use a lighter “because matches manufacturing also had the right to be payed”. We find that ridiculous and outrageous today. But using a lighter was piracy back then.

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                                      What is moral policing doing in a thread about transferring data? Flag: off-topic

                                      P.S. There’s an “archive” link under every post. Read the room.

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                                        snej has the most highly upvoted comment, significantly more upvoted than the original article. Further “unkind” is a flag on lobste.rs. I would say you are the one who needs to read the room.

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                                          snej has the most highly upvoted comment, significantly more upvoted than the original article

                                          The whole existence of lobste.rs was motivated specifically by a will to defy such flawed logic.

                                          This site was set up so people couöd discuss things without the dictatorship of reading the room..so yeah, none of you should read the room. Fucos on the subject in discussion instead.

                                          But I’ll agree with GP that moral policing is annoying and its presence in here is at least questionable. Regardless of how many people agree with it.

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                                      If you are going to share your listen data to help an algorithm, I would recommend ListenBrainz as the data and project are open instead of helping YouTube, Spotify, et.al closed systems. Tangentially MusicBrainz Picard is an amazing tool for organizing and tagging music–where again the upstream data and project are open (seems ewintr mentioned as well).

                                      While I’ve always preferred the offline files, only recently did I get a dedicated digital audio player (DAP) which helps me keep ‘audio’ separate from my other devices so I’m less likely to fiddle with my phone. The biggest disadvantage is the one I picked up, Shanling Q1, is that it doesn’t have a way to upload listens to the aforementioned project; while they keep track of ‘favorites’ (most listened) tracks, there’s no obvious way to query it and support emailed back saying there’s no plans to open up that data or supporting scrobbling (shame since it supports Wi-Fi).

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                                        Another option is to use Tailscale to connect to your Raspberry Pi from anywhere. I use that plus Jellyfin as my music server.

                                        That said, I really think anyone old enough to have a developer job should either pay for/watch the ads for YouTube Music or not use YouTube. Using an ad blocker or whatever to get commercial free YouTube without paying is fine when you’re a broke kid, but doing it as an adult with a job is just entitled behavior. If you don’t think you should have to pay for music, then lobby Congress to repeal the bloated copyright laws, but you still live in a society and can’t just decide you don’t feel like using for a service but not paying for it.

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                                          Wow. The copyright MPAA talking point propaganda has really had an impact, it seems. That’s absolutely insane to me that anyone would think it’s unethical to block advertisements.

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                                            YouTube gives you two different ways to pay for it. Choosing to use the service (which directly contributes to its monopolization of short video!) and then neither watching the ads nor pay the cheap monthly fee is entitled behavior. Using P2P is better because at least you’re not leaching bandwidth.

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                                              Yes, not only that it’s ethical to pay google but that it’s unethical to not pay google. Stick that to your boot and lick it.

                                              It’s the same logic that says shoplifting from Wal-Mart is wrong even though most theft is wage theft. [1]

                                              [1] https://inthesetimes.com/article/walmart-corporations-wage-theft-labor-settlements-firms

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                                                Stealing from Wal-Mart if you’re not poor is wrong. It doesn’t make it good if they are also thieves.

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                                              Technically they can decide to use a service and not pay for it, as shown by this post. Personally I am more concerned that the artists don’t get paid than YouTube. Their payment through YouTube is close to not getting paid anyway.

                                              People have financial situations and alternative philosophies that may provide a different justification besides “entitlement”. In the grand scheme of things, someone copying some music without paying for it is not really undermining our society.

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                                                I’m not an absolutist about it. I just feel like if you’re an adult and you can afford it, it’s entitled to consume without even trying to pay.

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                                                  YouTube literally saved the music industry. The fact that the industry doesn’t pay artists is a different, and older, problem.

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                                                    YouTube literally saved the music industry.

                                                    Could you elaborate on this?

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                                                      For sure. Back in the Napster then *tella etc “piracy” days the music industry was freaking out. Albums would often leak from the plant and be available online before any release had been made and the while radio single, then CD, model was in serious trouble. There was no way to profit from these systems because they were distributed and ever-changing and there was no business to partner with. They tried doing 360s and all that (which they still do today) but it was a serious problem for them to imagine what to do, and hence why they tried the “suing fans” model for awhile, desperate for anything that could work.

                                                      Then all of that started to get replaced by stuff like YouTube. A centralised repository run by a company that already monetizes the content! The right parts of the industry realised this was amazing for them and threw their support behind this, in exchange for a cut. Singles and other pre releases drop on YouTube before the album and they get paid. These days with contentid they get paid even when their catalog is used in someone else’s video.

                                                      As with all short summaries the above is missing detail and nuance. The music industry partnering with YouTube with their one hand did not prevent them suing YouTube with the other. Carrot and stick and internal disorganization etc. YouTube was not the only presence in this period but it’s the main one left, etc. But I think this gives a good glimpse into the very real way that YouTube and similar helped end the mass fan lawsuits and provide a very real out for the music industry to make enough money to keep going on their model and give space for new things to emerge.

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                                                        Interesting! I remember the pirating days and I remember the threat of being sued as a seeder, but it all kind of faded away and I didn’t know what changed. Thanks for explaining!

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                                                I actually really miss the Zune subscription model where you paid for a subscription but got to keep one album per month. So you paid for a subscription and got to try lots of music but also got to build up a personal music collection you could keep forever.

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                                                  Q: Why are you doing this?

                                                  A: I would like to keep the hard copy of the media that I want to consume. […] Plus, having physical files is great for collecting/archiving purposes.

                                                  I’ve never seen “hard copy” or “physical files” used to refer a local copy of a cloud-hosted media. Am I alone in thinking that the way to get a “physical” copy of music is to buy it on CD?

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                                                    No, I agree, that is an odd way to put it. It’s not about having “physical” files, it’s just about having files at all.

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                                                      Am I alone in thinking that the way to get a “physical” copy of music is to buy it on CD?

                                                      That’s what I thought too until I went through my CD collection to rip some of them as FLAC (I had only ripped them in 192kbps Ogg Vorbis files before). I would say around 4-5% of my CDs are now unplayable. It’s a terrible physical format to keep a copy of your music ;)

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                                                      Plexamp is coming along really nicely these days and is what I use myself.

                                                      It has integration with Tidal letting you (virtually) add streaming content to your local Plex library alongside items that you have stored on your service so my game albums that were never released commercially and/or are unavailable for streaming live nicely alongside streaming titles and purchased titles from Bandcamp for artists I want to support.

                                                      I wrote a bumper post about this whole setup for anyone who wants to evaluate it as an alternative: https://utf9k.net/blog/plex-tidal-together/

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                                                        For as much mud that gets thrown at Spotify, I’ve discovered an incredible amount of new music on it, which in turn has caused me to buy that music on Bandcamp.

                                                        With that being said, if Bandcamp actually had the ability to create playlists, I’d drop Spotify in a second.

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                                                          yeah, I use both. spotify => track/follow new artists, bandcamp/itunes/… => actually buy music

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                                                            The Bandcamp mobile app fairly recently gained the ability to create playlists (maybe only of purchased music?). I don’t think it’s great, and I don’t think their app is great as a player overall, but it is there.

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                                                              Huh, maybe I’m totally missing where, but I don’t see this. I see the option to play my purchased music or add it to the queue, but not organize into playlists.

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                                                                Ah, maybe it was just the queue I was remembering. I stopped using the app because it was kind of useless.

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                                                            If anybody knows of a good way to pull down purchased MP3s off of Amazon I’m all ears. They have made it the most tedious clickfest to get at music I paid for.

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                                                              When faced with similar problems in the past, I’ve used webdriver to start a chrome instance, then dropped the controlling process into a debugger. That lets me interact normally with the chrome instance, but I can also script it when I get to the repetitive bit.

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                                                              To each their own. I personally hated having songs with no artist/album/etc when I did this before moving to a steaming platform a couple of years ago.

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                                                                I’ve been wanting a script to just Shazam (or similar) a bunch of metadata-less music files and write in appropriate metadata. Might be tricky.

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                                                                  MusicBrainz Picard works pretty well in my experience. It can work with acoustic fingerprints, but almost always it is smart enough to find the right data just by looking at folders, filenames, grouping of files, etc.

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                                                                    Winamp used to have this feature. Winamp is dead now. Shazam has a public API though, might be achievable.

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                                                                  I’ve actually considered doing this a number of times, bu the limiting factor that always makes me reconsider is that YouTube’s playlist management is absolute crap.

                                                                  Only problem is that I don’t have any other good solutions, and a solution that kinda works is typically better than nothing at all so I dunno…

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                                                                    Another alternative I’ve been meaning to check out is the decentralized Funkwhale. I like being able to host equivalent functionality to commercial walled gardens. Anyone have any experiences with funkwhale here?

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                                                                      I didn’t know syncopoli was still used! O_O What a nice saturday surprise!

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                                                                        While I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment I find it “disturbing” (can’t find a better word) that “cloud” is used as a synonym for services like Spotify that hold data and grant you limited access to it. Spotify makes use of cloud computing, sure, but they are not the same thing.