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The Almighty Buck

Scour Acquired, Relaunching 34

Eric Sun writes: "Just got an e-mail from Scour that talks about how it has recently been acquired by CenterSpan Communications Corp. It tells you to either register for the new Scour Exchange beta testing program or to unsubscribe."
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Scour Acquired, Relaunching

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  • I've been using VNN2000 since it came out a few months back. At first it was kinda lame since nobody was on it, only like 10 computers. Now there's a lot and lot's of files too. Interface is very smooth only problem is it only works with windows. But then so did Scour.
  • That is not the news, actually. Rather, I am MUCH more excited to see
    my once favorite P2P utility back in action. The day they went down
    was the day I was forced to use *gasp* CuteMX... =P

  • The ISPs try to keep people within their sites because it's cheaper; they don't have to provide gateway bandwidth to the 'net as a whole. It's foolish to say it's only to 'maximize ad revenues.' That's only part of the picture.
  • Consider the fact that MP3s have been available on FTP sites for years, and yet there wasn't any real outcry over that. It's because most people couldn't find such material.

    Agreed, but the question that raises is wether that was the result of the fact that those FTP sites were really hard to find or the fact that the amount of people on the internet was relatively limeited back then. I think I can safely state that over here the MP3/Napster hype came into existence at the same time the general internet hype came into existence. I'm not sure how that is in other countries though.
    My point is that if those two things are linked everywhere then the fact that people weren't visiting those FTP sites was because no one used the internet or had ever heard of MP3 and not because MP3 files weren't as easy to find as they are now.

    -Helmet

  • I was in there about 30 seconds, 3 pages: got 3 subz...if that's 'change,' no more scour.
  • I remember when stuff like Scour and Napster started up by little guys in their basement or dorms or whatever. At the time they seemed to defy the large corporations by promoting the free sharing of media, instead of paying silly prices to buy it. Now the big corps are buyin these companies, and only allowing 'legal' sharing. I think once a company like scour gets bought out by a big corp, and you can no longer get all the good stuff, it basically loses all appeal it ever had, and people will move on to the next 'little guy' program.
  • Gnutella was fun for a while, but I like to also BROWSE lists...not knowing what I want till I see it

    You should maybe try the limewire [limewire.com] client for Gnutella. It's probably the most robust and stable Gnutella client out there, and it allows host browsing.
  • i doubt scour will ever make it back into the file trading market. they've been out of the market too long, and people have already found other tools to get the stuff they want. didn't my.mp3.com try to make a comeback?
  • Here's a clue. It's one of the secrets that the grown-ups don't tell you until you get pretty old. Maybe even in your late 20's or 30's: You're not 'rebelling' by listening to music with naughty words. You're just being the tuFF little reBel that everybody is when they're young.

    'The corporations' are us. Those 'older' people on campus who tell you what is cool? (i.e. Stallman, Raymond, etc.) They're the backwash, the dregs. Spend four or six years in college, then by god, get the heck out before you're trapped.
  • I went and checked out that subscription page, and I was woefully unimpressed by the music choices that they offer... I am a big fan of heavy metal (yeah yeah, insert all the comments about it being dead/noise/crap--I will happily ignore them) and I was unhappy to see that the closest I could come was 'other'... granted this little survey thingy is just for the marketers, but like--if they dont list it on there, and they are indeed buying their content from RIAA, then its going to suck massively for me--because the only music i really care about wont be well supported--if it is supported at all.


    mov ax, 13h
    int 10h
  • Nope different Miss Kitty (hard to find an original handle these days ;-)

    I like audiogalaxy too.

    A good place for reviews on file sharing software is at http://www.zeropaid.com/ [zeropaid.com]

  • Basically they are going to make Scour conform to the MPAA, which means somebody has to be reimbursed. So, there will be subscription charges or point of sale charges soon. I hate companies like these Centerspan clowns. They are taking an idea/technology they did not invent and try to convert it some thing they can cash in on by playing nice with the industry the technology threatened in its original form. Screw them! I am not paying to download stuff from them.
  • I should have been more clear. I in no way mean that the file format is illegal, it isnt.

    However, when I say MP3s or Movies, I refer to the data contained in the files.

    Be realistic, a large part if not most of the songs swapped on the Net are illegal. (IE, not authorized by copyright holder)

    When I say movies, I mean feature film movies like CAM films and DVD rips. Last time I checked, this is illegal. There are lots of legal movies on the net, just not many legal feature films.

    By Apps I mean applications that have been cracked so that you can get the functionality of the full product without paying for it.
  • I just noticed this as I was reading their site, and noticed they dropped the word Exchange and scoured it off the right side of the logo .

    I havent tried the new scour yet, but on their website there was an option to add your fileserver to SCOUR. I'm gonna assume that the way this new thing will work is it will keep a database of fileservers (carefully screening out the ones with non-MPAA-approved content) and instead of scouring the Exchange (good), you scour the List (not as good)

    As I said in an earlier post, the things that attracted and kept users at Scour was (not in order) MP3s (illegal ones), movies (cam, dvd rip, etc), apps (cracked) and porn.

    Now lets polish Scour nice and shiny for the big empty suits.
    Dump the MP3s (those piss off the RIAA),
    dump the movies (they piss off the MPAA),
    dump the apps (apps piss off the BSA),
    and why not dump the porn too (pisses off some politicians)

    What's left? Unless they dont dump the porn, IMHO they will have trouble generating content that will keep users loyal. Peer2Peer is like Whack-A-Mole: For every one you kill two more pop up. And every time one of the popups gains the 'critical mass' of users where ~90% of searches come up with something the user cares about, you get one more juicy worm waiting for a user to bite it and ditch his current service.

    They say meals look more tasty when you havent eaten in a while.

    If a user is starting to have dry searches (be it for MP3s, porn, movies, apps or whatever is deemed inappropriate and fit for filtering out) that worm is looking more and more juicy and the current hook is rusting off. Combine that with lots of worms, and the attitude stops being 'that one looks better, I think I might switch' and starts being 'Damn this sucks! This isnt working and theres fifty other ones that are. Im gonna ditch the one im on and find a new one.'

    Having that happen to users is the worst enemy of any web presence. Especially file searching.

    If Scour (not exchange) cant keep themselves tasting good, they're done for.
  • by Yoshi Have Big Tail ( 312184 ) on Wednesday February 07, 2001 @01:56AM (#450237)
    Someone provides something.

    They want you to register for that service.

    Big deal!

    It's not news.

    It's about as newsworthy as saying that Sears want you to give them your details before they'll send you a catalog.

    Oh wait.

    They do already.

    So what?

    Now maybe if Sears stopped providing their service that might be interesting.

    But this, this is of no significance.
  • I think that it is way too late for that. If the music industry had taken over Napster or created their own version right at the start, they might have been able to regulate the whole concept of downloadable media. They could've drawn a lot of users to their service - users that now, with the demise of Napster, are going to spread over a number of free services, diminishing the chance of finding the content you want on 'your' service.

    True, but all they really have to do is make it hard enough to find such music that the average user isn't able to find it. There are never really going to be any ways that can allow them to 100% control digital content, and they know that. But as long as the vast majority are playing by their rules they win.

    Consider the fact that MP3s have been available on FTP sites for years, and yet there wasn't any real outcry over that. It's because most people couldn't find such material. But when Napster came onto the market, allowing Joe Sixpack to find MP3s with a few clicks, the RIAA suddenly moves into action, denouncing MP3s as the end of the world.

    If they can control the major, well-known players, they effectively control the market. And that's really what they want.

  • by sharkticon ( 312992 ) on Wednesday February 07, 2001 @01:51AM (#450239)

    The trouble with dot-com startups is the very thing which they aspire to - going public - is the very thing which enables them to get taken over by larger, more established players in the market. And even if this isn't possible, when you're talking about the legal minefield that digital content has become, the threat of multi-million dollar lawsuits can succeed in scaring companies into giving up control a la Napster. My prediction is that over the next few years we'll see all of the for-profit digital content services get absorbed into the mainstream, being taken over by RIAA and MPAA member companies just to survive.

    So it looks like this will leave us with the not-for-profit, decentralised services like Gnutella, which despite its flaws is less vulnerable to corporate bullying than services like Napster and even its open variants, all of which require a central point. Sure, you'll still be able to get your latest Brittany Spears MP3s over Napster or Scour, but it sure as hell won't be for free, and it's even less likely to be anonymous.

    Actually, there's one way these companies might like to operate. Instead of asking for cash they could instead ask for personal information. Chances are this kind of information would be worth far more to them in the long-term than some kind of micropayment - it would enable true targetted advertising, the holy grail of marketing departments across the corporate world. And most people would rather give this information than pay for a service...

    So when Napster starts asking for demographic information, you know it's time to start looking for an alternative...

  • Agreed, but the question that raises is wether that was the result of the fact that those FTP sites were really hard to find or the fact that the amount of people on the internet was relatively limeited back then. I think I can safely state that over here the MP3/Napster hype came into existence at the same time the general internet hype came into existence.

    I wouldn't say they were that hard to find, after all there have been services like mp3.lycos.com [lycos.com] around fo years allowing you to search for MP3s on the net. It's just not as easy for the average net user to use and hear about these services, whereas the amount of publicity (ironically, much of it from the RIAA) Napster received was staggering.

    Remember, most people on the internet rarely leave the specified "domains" that ISPs like AOL and Freeserve create. These companies specifically try and keep their users within their sites in order to maximise ad revenues, and many people are happy with what these companies provide. So unless there's huge publicity other services will remain a minority interest...

  • My prediction is that over the next few years we'll see all of the for-profit digital content services get absorbed into the mainstream, being taken over by RIAA and MPAA member companies just to survive.

    I think that it is way too late for that. If the music industry had taken over Napster or created their own version right at the start, they might have been able to regulate the whole concept of downloadable media. They could've drawn a lot of users to their service - users that now, with the demise of Napster, are going to spread over a number of free services, diminishing the chance of finding the content you want on 'your' service. They could've used profiling techniques to keep you up to date with the news on your favourite artists, linked directly to the appropriate items in online stores and made a lot of money with banners.
    As it is now, the general public is too used to the idea of free music to go back to a regulated market like you predict. Only drastic legal measures might force the public back to living with the monopoly the music industry has on music (*); but I guess that with the unstoppable development a lot of people will even then simply switch to new underground scenes.

    I think the trick lies in getting the people who download the music to actually go and buy the music, but as far as I can see it that won't be possible.

    *) If you live in a country like Holland, you have to live with the fact that movies are released months after they're released in the U.S. You have to live with the fact that the only big music store chain (yes, I'm talking about the Free Record Shop) only offers what they decide the public wants to hear since, quote, "the general public is too stupid to decide what music they like" and for the non-mainstream music you have to go through a lot of trouble obtaining it. At least, you had to before you could order the stuff online.

    -Helmet

  • Well, I wouldn't mind registering for programs like these as long as they'd only use the info I provide them with to give me unbiased hints about music I might like. After all, that's what I use these programs for; if I really enjoy the new things I find I go order the album (providing it's not just one song).
    But, also considering I got an endless looping popup window with advertisement when I visited the site, I doubt this will be the case.

    -Helmet

  • An alternative, much like the old scour:

    http://www.edonkey2000.com

    It's pretty standard P2P overall, but has two great features already:

    1. Files are checksummed and downloads are done in parallel, getting bits from as many other hosts have the file.

    2. The thing I really liked about scour: you could look at other peoples shares, which was great (with scour) as you'd find pthat people who had 'X' that you just did a search on, were likely to have related Y and Z.

    It's still beta, but there's over 600 people on at the moment, and a lot of sharing.

    0.02,

    Mike.
  • Yeah, but Scour worked. And lot's of users with lots of files. That's the formula for good peer to peer.

    Scour is back! I am happy like a little girl. Now is the the time on Slashdot when we dance.
  • I am not going to preach, but give the 'lame ass garage band crap' a listen. Most of the bands today (aside from pop bands IE eminem, backstreet boys, etc) started in garages.

    I have not tried the new scour, but if its what you say it is (no mp3, no movie, no porn) then they've just dumped 90% of the people that use it.
  • How does one "not" try and sell out. And by that, I mean going public. Once a company goes public, they're no longer in charge...Suddenly doing good doesn't mean happy workers, benefits, world-peace. It means the stock keeps making the investor's happy.

    As much as I dislike company's sacrificing life for a profit...I too would probably choose the low road if somehow I built a company from scratch, and had the opportunity to get out with millions of dollars as the result. The question is, wouldn't you too?

    Rader

  • with napster now charging for membership Scour looks a helluva lot better. I'm glad to see they are back.
  • I really don't view downloading a movie to watch on a computer screen to save $8.00 at the theater as all that great a deal. My $8.00 is buying the big screen, not the movie view, as far as I am concerned.

    But then I also sit in the fourth row rather unlike the idiot masses who sit so far back they might as well be watching a movie on their computer.
  • First, one interesting tidbit. On the scour page there was a 'add your server to SCOUR' thing which would accept SMB servers. Interesting.

    IMHO trying to make scour legal is going to be hard/impossible. Unless someone knows scour better than me, its good points were: (no particular order)
    1. MP3s
    2. Movies
    3. Porn
    4. Apps

    To be more general, the good thing of Scour was that you could find just about anything.

    MP3s are mostly illegal, movies are illegal, apps are illegal and nobody from the 'upstanding' corporate world really wants to deal with porn. The new company claims to remake scour into a legal service. I would like to know what that means. Because they're not being specific. My guess is that one or more of the above list will have to go or be replaced with PPPs (pathetic plastic placeholder).
    1. ALL mp3s becomes studio sponsored MP3s (few)
    2. Movies becomes Movie Previews (trailers)
    3. Porn just might stay, not likely
    4. Apps becomes Shareware Apps (not cracked)

    In other words, Scour, the insanely great service that would 'scour' thousands of nameless users to get the file *you* want, has become 'rub lighty with soft cloth', a service that will scour fewer IDENTIFIED users and give you everything the RIAA, MPAA feel you should have.

    Back on the first point, the add servers. To me this says they're moving away from the full distributed thing, and becoming more like iMesh. With hundreds of volunteer servers instead of thousands of sharing users, the content is under control. Their control. (IIRC, thats a bad thing for this kind of service)

    Bottom line: Maybe they can pull it off. But if they start charging fees for filtered content, or filter so much nobody wants it anymore, they will be the next dot.com thats dot.gone.
  • I've always thought Filetopia [filetopia.com] would be a good contender to replace Napster/Scour. Added benefits are that it offers encription and privacy. They are apparently located in Spain where the copyright laws are much looser than here. Also your IP address isn't visible like in other alternatives.

    You can view their feelings regarding on-line privacy here [filetopia.com].

  • Woo! Now I can finally get my pr0n fixa again. I was starting to go into withdrawl or something.


    --------------------------------------

  • A free alternative is here: Opennap. it already has media files, just like scour did, and music like napster.
  • Files are checksummed and downloads are done in parallel, getting bits from as many other hosts have the file.

    Wow, that sounds realy cool. Too bad the site is down . . . any one have any more info?

    echo $email | sed s/[A-Z]//g | rot13
  • by Rader ( 40041 ) on Wednesday February 07, 2001 @06:58AM (#450254) Homepage
    I really don't do internet trading much anymore. I have found that doing snail mail trades with Cd-r's is much faster, and allows for much huger trades than any sort of free downloading could offer. But it's not for everyone, everyone has different goals.

    However, getting a single song on the spur of the moment was very easy with Napster. Since its demise (and I think it's a demise because I can hardly download anything from anyone now--and who knows why? It just fails. Plus it just hangs when I try to log in with anything over 2,000 songs shared. It used to handle 5,000+ no problem)...anyway, since its demise, I have checked a few others out. Audiogalaxy seems pretty low key. Aimster...looked promising, but after waiting months, they only got AIM buddies to work, not ICQ, and hardly anyone is on their server. Gnutella was fun for a while, but I like to also BROWSE lists...not knowing what I want till I see it. iMesh was always a joke. MojoNation was a pain in the ass.

    I don't know where I'm going with this exactly, but I just want to say that Napster had key elements working for it that some people aren't mentioning here...

    Power in numbers. There is always this "hump" that a new company has to get over: ever try a service...it looks good, but no one was there...so you leave? Process repeats? Napster...you show up. Everyone is there. You stick around. More people come, see you and everyone there, they stick around...etc.

    People talk about Napster being easy to use. Then others say that other solutions are easy to use too. However, I state that when Napster first started out, not only was it easy to use, but it was quite reliable. In otherwords, if a person was "online" and their songs were available...there was a very high chance that you'd be able to download that song no problem. I just don't see that with services nowadays that link up ftp sites, etc.

    Rader

  • I used to use Scour Exchange a lot (even on crappy modem bandwidth) and I'm kinda happy to see it back.. but damn that site is living on popup windows.. went on the main page, did a search, did another search, and I have about 10 new windows all having http://media.admonitor.net/ ... this is at uni, but I'm glad I have WebWasher [webwasher.com] at home.

    I won't be surprised if the client is a banner-ad-ware...

  • Yeah, but lots of people used scour.. it was cool. And now it's coming back. Be happy!

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