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Warp Records Reject DRM, Go Bleep 565

DJ Phase writes "Warp Records, an independent label for electronic music (featuring artists such as Aphex Twin, Autechre, and Boards of Canada), has made their entire back catalog available thru Bleep, a new digital download service. Individual tracks are $1.35 for those of us in the USA, with EPs and full albums in the $4 to $10 price range. You can download Aphex Twin's rare, groundbreaking Hangable Auto Bulb EP for $4.29. To quote from the FAQ: 'We are at present the only store to offer very high quality MP3 files,' and 'Bleep music has no DRM or copy protection built in. We believe that most people like to be treated as customers and not potential criminals'."
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Warp Records Reject DRM, Go Bleep

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  • by graveyardduckx ( 735761 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @01:48AM (#7982635)
    I believe potential criminals should be treated like customers too.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Does anyone know what P2P service has the most tracks from these guys? Thanks.
    • Nope... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by phorm ( 591458 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @06:16AM (#7983736) Journal
      In many cases, the criminals are better off than the customers. Of course, in these cases the criminals are also known as "executives"
    • I believe potential criminals should be treated like customers too.

      While your line sounds funny, it's actually true, since a potential criminal is not a criminal, ie. innocent until proven guilty.

      However, while the label deserves credit for not blindly following the myopic behaviour of the big labels and not supporting the police-state behaviour of the RIAA, the system they operate is at heart still wrong. Artists have no business passing ownership of their work to a third party for all eternity, as th
      • actually, releasing artists' music DRM-free would probably help the artists out more than it would hurt them.

        previously, in order to get your material out to the public, you had to set yourself up as an indentured servant. if, at any time, you didn't want to play ball with the record company anymore, you dropped out of print and vanished from public eye.

        getting the public to get used to downloading music from "official" record company and artist sites and music services means that if an artist ever dec

        • In fact, that's precisely what gets me to buy music:

          1) download MP3 with interesting title
          2) decide I kinda like it
          3) decide I want to hear more
          4) download everything I can find by same artist
          5) put them all in my playlist and get addicted
          6) buy every album I can find by said artist

          Interspersed with "tell my friends about it, who then go do the exact same thing".

          This is exactly how it went when I was DJ'ing where I could tape any album I wished, too. Tapes and MP3s are okay for everyday use, but for arch
  • by mgebbers ( 252737 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @01:48AM (#7982636)
    But given the color scheme on their website, they treat all their customers as if they wear sunglasses while using a computer.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 15, 2004 @01:49AM (#7982643)

    This was even a story on here a couple months ago...
    • by SnowZero ( 92219 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @01:56AM (#7982695)
      Bleep claims to be the first to "provide high quality MP3s", which may be correct but is misleading. magnatude sells you FLAC files, which is CD quality and lets you make anything.
    • by msimm ( 580077 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @03:32AM (#7983119) Homepage
      Mmmmmm. Magnatune.
      Williamson []
      2) Version []
      3) Solace []
      There's plenty more, but that should get you started.
    • Hmm. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mcc ( 14761 ) <> on Thursday January 15, 2004 @09:14AM (#7984444) Homepage
      Magnatune is a social experiment of sorts which may or may not have good music. I don't know. However, the fact I don't know whether they have any good music does say something.

      Warp Records, meanwhile, was for quite awhile the most important and progressive group in electronic music, and while I haven't been paying enough attention as of late to know if they still hold this label, I know for certain they continue to push the boundaries of the art.

      Perhaps they are not "first" at this particular thing, but they have been offering significant amounts of downloads as samples of parts of their albums for years.

      And if you do want to get into a pissing contest of which label "got it" first, my nomination would be Astralwerks. They had, in like 1995 or some shit, I don't even remember, back around the time Dig Your Own Hole was released, before MPEG Layer III even *EXISTED* and when MPEG Layer II was a format almost no one used, realaudio offerings of absolutely huge swaths of their catalog. For most of their releases about that time, you could listen to about half the album without buying it. They also ran a web newsletter letting people know when they'd put up more music, and they'd periodically do one day events where you could listen streaming to entire albums on the day they were released. This was essentially my introduction to electronic music, and I seriously think it helped them-- it led to me buying a decent amount of Astralwerks stuff even though I had to do a decent amount of searching for it at the time...
  • by cpu_fusion ( 705735 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @01:49AM (#7982644)
    Thank goodness it is Warp Records I get to reward for avoiding DRM, and not K-Tel.
  • wow! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 15, 2004 @01:52AM (#7982665)
    Been reading about this on the IDM list .. and just when I had written Warp of as a bunch of old-timers.

    Although I own most of the Warp CD back-catalog already (yes I'm trying to impress all you spotters out there) I look forward to emptying my wallet of cash on all the old vinyl tunes I never bought.

    And I can listen on my Mac, my Zaurus, and my linux machine, no need to do the time-consuming DRMBULLSHIT->MP3 conversions!!!

    (PS: I get a kick out of the folks who now refuse to buy MP3s because they aren't as "full sounding" as CDs. Didn't we go through this already with vinyl???? I'm happy to listen to MP3s on my shitty MP3 player and shitty headphones, thanks.)
  • At last! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HalfFlat ( 121672 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @01:53AM (#7982674)
    Unencumbered, high quality digital music. With an explicit 'we choose not to treat customers like slime' policy. This is the sort of service I've been waiting for.

    iTunes didn't cut it on either point, but it was moot anyway since I'm forbidden from buying from them in the first place due to geography.

    Newer compression schemes may be superior to mp3, but as far as accessibility is concerned, mp3 is hard to beat. Nearly anything will play it with absolutely no hassles, including (most importantly for me) your average linux distribution and the iPod. The only thing that would make this perfect would be if there were an option for downloading the music in a lossless format, so one can recode to one's prefered compression scheme.

    Now the only question is, is there anything there that I want to listen to?
    • Then why not offer different compression schemes for different folks? Works for Magnatune [], and they've got some pretty good stuff.

      Good .oggs and ham for me, please. :)
    • Re:At last! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hayds ( 738028 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @02:28AM (#7982878)
      I cant see companies offering downloads in lossless format anytime in the near future, it would cost them way too much. AFAIK, typical lossless audio codecs only have a compression ratio of about .5.

      For a busy site, there is a huge difference between customers downloading an album in 40Mb of MP3 and downloading an album in 350Mb of FLAC or whatever. They would need way more bandwidth, way more disk space, way more infrastructure.

      Considering that most people couldnt tell the difference, it just wouldnt be worth their while.

      • Re:At last! (Score:3, Informative)

        by steveha ( 103154 )
        I cant see companies offering downloads in lossless format anytime in the near future

        You can if you visit [], since they offer FLAC and even WAV files, as well as Ogg Vorbis and MP3. You could, if you were insane, even download all four formats.

        • by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @06:28AM (#7983777) Journal
          Okay, I just went there for the first time. Now, their artist selection is small. Probably too small to go anywhere. However, from a technical standpoint, they are *spot* on. Besides offering music in the format folks want, they even provide a free Internet radio station that you can listen to. If you hear something that you like, you can zip over to their web site and buy it. That's a damned intelligent system.

          If I were them, I'd put out a patch for Shoutcast/Icecast in xmms and talk to the Nullsoft folks about doing the same for WinAMP to stream a "buy it" (or at least "for more information on this song") link along with each song. When a song's getting streamed, the user can just click to bring up a page in their web browser to let them buy the song (or album containing the song, or whatnot). That'd make it ideal for folks who want to sell these things. I think you'd see a lot more try-before-you-buy Internet radio stations.
      • Re:At last! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ratamacue ( 593855 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @08:49AM (#7984317)
        Considering that most people couldnt tell the difference

        Being able to tell the difference is really besides the point. Lossless is better simply because it's an exact duplicate of the original, master digital copy. If you have the original master, you can make first-generation mp3's or convert to any other audio format with just a few clicks -- and you can always go back to the master. It's the holy grail. Vendors will advertise this advantage, and it's only a matter of time before the public gains at least a basic understanding of lossless vs. lossy compression. (A good analogy for Joe Sixpack would be CD-quality audio vs. analog cassette tapes.)

        As you said, the only thing holding lossless back is bandwidth and disk space. Eventually, when bandwidth and disk space get big/cheap enough, lossless will take over. Lossy will stick around for a while, but as time goes on its uses will be eclipsed by the evolution of bandwidth and disks.

    • Re:At last! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by awol ( 98751 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @08:37AM (#7984251) Journal

      Now the only question is, is there anything there that I want to listen to?

      I would go so far as to take 20$ from my wallet and pick the least objectionable $20 worth of stuff just to be able to use the example to fsck off the DRM weenies. In fact I probably will.

  • KUDOS! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MoFoQ ( 584566 )
    at least these guys know NOT to bite the hand that feeds 'em.
  • by ObviousGuy ( 578567 ) <> on Thursday January 15, 2004 @01:55AM (#7982687) Homepage Journal
    It was a good MP3
  • Getting Closer (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lukior ( 727393 )
    This is closer to a model I can live with. I'm sorry after having lived through the heyday of free downloads it is going to take a new price point for me. I think a subscription model with unlimited downloads and no DRM is more in line with what i would pay for. I am one of those people who feels no guilt with copying. To support artists I'll go to there shows. Props for being DRM free though.
    • "...subscription model with unlimited downloads ..."

      Yes, but is that possible? the only way I can see where that would happen is if the limited your downloads. Otherwise people would have every song after a month.
  • Bleep (Score:5, Funny)

    by tliet ( 167733 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @01:57AM (#7982699)
    Was that the last thing the server said after this article got posted on Slashdot?
  • Grand statements. (Score:5, Informative)

    by jhobbs ( 659809 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @01:58AM (#7982703)
    'We are at present the only store to offer very high quality MP3 files,'

    I subscribe to which has independent artists. The use the subscription method, but you get MP3s and most are high bit rate. I also buy electronica music at, they have up and coming DJs and artists and sell MP3s by the song. The bitrates range from 192 to 320 (plenty for my ears). If you want to know if you like a DJ you can listen to the song or watch them spin live at (Or I just open my office window and listen to them from accross the street.) ;)

  • THANK YOU WARP (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tokerat ( 150341 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @01:58AM (#7982705) Journal

    For continuing to be groundbreaking in everything you do.
  • But now people will complain about the price... though perhaps it's a move to get people to buy albums instead of singles.
    • Because they're in Canada and are pricing to the CAN$ unit, the price from a US$-spending American's point of view is going to constantly be bouncing... just wait for the exchange rates to get better and they'll be cheaper than iTunes...
  • by swordgeek ( 112599 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @02:06AM (#7982763) Journal
    Simple as that. They're trying to do everything we've wanted to see in online music. Support them, and show that it CAN work.

  • by Daleks ( 226923 )
    Anyone notice the logo at the bottom? Looks like they're running some sort of OS/2 Warp. Cool!
    • Re:OS. (Score:2, Informative)

      by MrDigital ( 741552 )
      Anyone notice the logo at the bottom? Looks like they're running some sort of OS/2 Warp. Cool!

      OS/2 Warp has been around forever (or like 8 years) and IBM still supports it. They even came out with OS/2 Warp Server for eBusiness not too long ago.

      It's too bad OS/2 didn't get more play in it's day. If an 8 year old OS can still hang tight in today's market of 'new OS every 18 months,' it must be an extremely well-designed OS in the first place.

  • Holy bleep that's cool I'm going to check them out right now!
  • by sacrilicious ( 316896 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @02:10AM (#7982790) Homepage
    Warp Records... featuring artists such as Aphex Twin, Autechre, and Boards of Canada...

    Wow, their bands run the gamut from A to... well, B.

  • 23 minutes after the /. post and the site is toast. I'll try again tomorrow though, sounds like it might be good.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 15, 2004 @02:13AM (#7982803)
    I really gotta hand it to the folks at Warp for knowing better... the material on their label is not pop. No, you're not going to know every act on their label, and that's the point. They release the best and most diverse electronic type music of any label.

    Some of their acts may be more well known, like Aphex Twin and The Black Dog (The latter also makes up Plaid with two members out of Black Dog) ... but Warp is one of those rare labels you can probably randomly buy something out of their catalogue and appreciate it... of course, if you like that kind of music.

    Wildly experimental... electronic, blips, bleeps, some dance, some not, highly remixable, highly unsual, not your typical pop formulaic stuff that is structured perfectly into a verse, chorus, verse, chorus, break, chorus to fade type list of things to include in a song. Dare I say... a lot of stuff probably would be considered the electronic equivilent of jazz music.

    Highly recommended for those who actually don't mind listening to the atypical electronic stuff.

    But hey... I'm excited now, Warp has shown that they're aware of who their buyers are and will treat them like they should be treated: Customers, not criminals. KUDOS!
  • it would be the first slashdotting directly resulting in profit...EVER.
  • Electronic Music (Score:5, Insightful)

    by loconet ( 415875 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @02:22AM (#7982848) Homepage
    At first glance, I guess the reason Wrap Records (and most electronic music (EM) companies/artists I imagine) and artists do not complain too much about music piracy and some what embraces it, lays on the nature of the music itself. I believe most EM artists earn their salary through live shows at clubs, festivals, radio appearances, etc, rather than cd sales. By allowing the public to get to know the artist's music, if the fans like it, the more popular this artist gets, the more people at EM events, the more money for the artists. Because EM is not as big as most other genres, in most cases there is not enough budget to manufacture an image for these artists, so talent and popularity, based on the quality of the music itself is what determines the artist's success. Unlike most mainstream music, electronic music focuses on the music itself rather than the artist's image.

    Then again, it might just be because most EM comes from Europe (specially Holland, Germany) which well is very open about the whole music piracy issue :D
  • by iabervon ( 1971 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @02:22AM (#7982850) Homepage Journal
    I actually know at least one song they're selling (since it's on the Pi soundtrack), and would actually be interested in buying the album it's from (to start with), and I've bought high quality mp3s without DRM online (from previously. However, the site immediately required resizing my browser and clicking randomly to do anything. And the thing to play a song is flash. I suspect the site is also somewhat slashdotted at this point.

    I'm their target market, so far as I can tell, but their site design is too much of a pain to deal with.
    • by Eivind ( 15695 ) <> on Thursday January 15, 2004 @04:48AM (#7983434) Homepage
      Agreed. Why is it that people just can't seem to understand that there is a *reason* why all the successful websites are no-bullshit sites ?

      By that I mean, for a start:

      • No. Flash-intros I have to click "skip" to even see the site are not cute, nor do they "brand" you as anything but an annoyance.
      • It's perfectly acceptable to have text be text. You don't actually have to make all your text-links in the form of small gifs with text on them.
      • We don't actually *need* a "unique" navigation-system on every site. A menu across the top, or along the left border will do fine thank you.
      • Not everyone has the same font-size configured. If your design looks fucked in anything but the size you use (i.e. elements come out ontop of eachother) your design sucks.
      Look at the Really successful sites. It's no accident that they all follow all of these rules, more or less. You can fully utilize Yahoo, Ebay, Slashdot and Etrade without being forced to deal with any of this crap.
      • The sites you mention as following your rules are also very utilitarian. Some are downright ugly (Ebay and Slashdot). Never, ever ever ever use Slashdot as a model of good design - haphazard navigation and the fonts do not work correctly after resized in my browser, which I have to do quite often. The no-bullshit sites are not successful based on the seeming simplicity of their design, but a combination of this simplicity and a large amount of "content".

        While it's not the best design in the world, the Blee
  • I agree with the choice Warp records have made. There will always be people who would buy the records because they really like the group. Sharing music/art is the best way to increase the popularity of an artist.

    Its too bad that a lot people tend to look at the money instead of the art. Fame and respect I think are more important than money to an artist, if they have those they will have power to change the world.

    I personally respect artists/singers/thespians/.../programmers that do it for the art and
  • What to download... (Score:5, Informative)

    by windside ( 112784 ) <> on Thursday January 15, 2004 @02:23AM (#7982852)

    If anyone's intrigued by this idea but hasn't heard enough Warp tracks to know what's good, I would strongly recommend checking out "Come to Daddy" by Aphex Twin. It's only 8 tracks, so it should be pretty cheap.

    "Selected Ambient Works" is also quite good, especially for those times when you want to listen to something subtle but your brother in law has borrowed your whale music CD. Seriously, this guy is very talented. And he drives a tank [] (no, it's not a joke link - just a strange domain).

    Finally, I'm still waiting for the Bleep page to load up, so does anyone know if their artist's videos are alsofor sale? Squarepusher's "Come On My Selector" is my favourite video of all time.

    • Quite right. In fact the track "Come to Daddy" should be the RIAA themesong. "I want you're soul... i will eat your souuullllll." I can't recal the other track names off hand, but this CD is good.

      Selected Ambient Works Volume 1 is good. Selected Ambient Works Volume 2 is off the wall insanely good. Compeletely different, stylistically from Volume 1. I think Vol.2 is what the parent was talking about in terms of "Whale Music". I think it was reviewed once as "if the monolith in '2001: A Space Odyssey' could
  • by robdeadtech ( 232013 ) * on Thursday January 15, 2004 @02:28AM (#7982874)
    WARP, for those who don't visit the site often have a pretty damn insane site. luckily they backed off the whacked out design features at but the experience is still definitely "warp."

    The catalog is a bit light on the options but there's definitely some tasty aphex twin in there and some prefuse73 and others. The sections currently are:

    The check out and download was quite simple: Most of the detail below...

    1. Registration was quite easy. just name email address and password.

    2. they're taking paypal and mc/visa and SMS text message.

    3. They report as you put things in your cart. "Total download size" of my purchase in XX.XX MB and Estimated download time (via 512K DSL/Cable)in MM:SS. The 512k DSL measure is actually accurate for my connection so I'm not sure if they are sniffing or if that is just a metric they decided to standardize on.

    4. With my purchases, (indeed the old Aphex Twin stuff (good stuff BTW)) I tried to use paypal and got a " Waiting for a paypal payment report..." in the checkout pane and it kept refreshing but reporting nothing.

    5. So I bit my lip and hit the back button (I'm using Mozilla 1.6b). and amazingly enough was actually back at my Paypal Credit/Debit Card option.

    6. Checkout was pretty standard and very straightforward with a few unusual options I wasn't used to (I'm from the U.S. so maybe some of this stuff is normal in the U.K./Europe)

    7. Interestingly theres the follow card descriptions in the dropdown. Electron Eurocard Mastercard Visa Visa Debit

    8. Expiry date are xx Month and xxxx year which is nice unlike the annoying (to me anyway) spelling of the month option

    9. There is also a "For Switch and Solo cards only:" Section with "Start Date:" "Issue Number:" fields

    10. Strangely you then only have the option to add this information you've filled out to your profile.

    11. You then loop through a more normal check out where you can select the card you want to use from a dropdown or add a new card (presumably you'd loop through what I just went through)

    12. and you get "When you select 'Process Order' below your card will be debited with the total amount of $X.XX" info and are given a process order button.

    13. The frame refreshes and you get "ORDER CONFIRMATION" message and "Your order has been processed succesfully." and a "DOWNLOAD YOUR ORDER" option.

    14. It chugged a bit then spit back my dowloads as one big zip or as each track. with the following info below. "Click on the links above to download your tracks. PC users: You will be presented with a 'Save As...' dialog box, use this to choose the location on your local hard drive you wish to save the file too. MAC users: By default tracks will download to your Desktop, unless you have specified otherwise in your browser preferences."

    15. I selected the ZIP option and the frame reloads with a bit of chugging then

    "ZIPPING YOUR ORDER" "Your order is zipped and ready for download..." "Once your order has started downloading then you may continue browsing the site."and a "DOWNLOADS" button to click.

    16: the Download time was respectable even with the site getting slashdotted and every IDM geek, all of which are plugged into computers incessantly (ahem... unlike myself. That's why I'm so tan... or something...), checking it out at the same time.

    17: oh also, across the top nav you get the following options: LOGGED IN AS emailuser@emailaddress.tld - LOG OUT - YOUR ORDER - DOWNLOADS - PREFERENCES - FAQ - HELP - That's pretty much it. Damn well done I'd say.

    • by robdeadtech ( 232013 ) * on Thursday January 15, 2004 @02:49AM (#7982950)
      okay.. so the single downloads actually have the artist and track title. like this "AFX - Hangable Auto Bulb.mp3"

      But the zipped-up downloads aren't the same. They look like this. "01.mp3"

      The problem is when you select two different albums you get two different say "01.mp3" files in your zip. If you drag and drop your zip contents into a folder on your desktop the OS doesn't like that one "01.mp3" lands on your desktop then another shows up out of the zip so it asks if you want to overwrite. Thus nuking the first 01.mp3 you had.

      If you do the actual "extract" you'll get two folders named ex: WAP66 and WAP67 which is better though not what I would call descriptive (though this might be the warp release #) and the filenames inside the folder are that "01.mp3" style name.

      Not so great. but this should be a fairly easy fix and I'd still buy other tracks.
  • that they succeed, because if they fail, DRM really will be unstoppable (not technically, of course).
  • by Not Quite Jake ( 315382 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @02:30AM (#7982883) Homepage
    ...but here it goes again. there is a digital download service featuring independent artists called audiolunchbox [] that offers DRM free decently high quality mp3 and ogg downloads, it's great and is comparable in price to all the other services so far available. the slashdot crowd needs to pick up on this and fast, we can show the recording industry that this is what we want.
  • My Quick Review (Score:5, Informative)

    by MunchMunch ( 670504 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @02:40AM (#7982915) Homepage
    I clicked over to the site and just decided to look up Plaid, one of my favorite artists. And, lo and behold, there was an EP vinyl release, Booc, that I hadn't even heard about. I could download individual tracks for $1.35, or the whole 4 song set for $4.29.

    I clicked on the Add to Cart link for the set (ignoring the preview streams, since honestly, I would buy it anyways), and after checking the privacy policy (nothing will be sold, bartered, sent to you, etc for any reason) I tried to create a new account. I was told my email was already in use, and found out that the old regular accounts were conveniently auto-generated for, so I just signed in, passed through the normal checkout stuff, entered in my credit card, and two clicks later I had the option of downloading individual tracks or a ZIP of all the music.

    I opened this ZIP and found that they were named "01.mp3; 02.mp3" and so on. Sort of annoying, that. The quality is standard 128-320 kb/sec VBR MP3. Winamp gave the MP3s the following properties:

    MPEG 1.0 layer 3 (VBR)

    44100Hz Joint Stereo

    CRCs: No

    Copyrighted: No

    Original: Yes

    Emphasis: None

    The ID3v1+2 tags were entered in fully, and included the following description in "encoded by":

    LAME 3.90.3 --alt-preset standard

    AFAIK, LAME is the best encoder out there, so Warp apparently knows what they're doing. The MP3s sound great. One caveat--when you buy a song or album, you are buying *that download*. Downloads did not remain in any way accessible after the initial post-purchase links were accessed, so you had better hope the download doesn't get broken or lost.

    The Good

    --Quality encoding, even if it is VBR.

    --No DRM (obviously)

    --Fast download

    --Easy to use store and site navigation

    --ID3 Tags fully filled out

    --Album prices are great

    The Bad

    --Generic filenames

    --Downloads aren't held as permissions on the site for redownload later

    --Single download prices could be better (blame UK conversion)

    All in all, I liked Warp before and that might influence how useful this site is to me, but I was satisfied with only a few very small problems, and am looking forward to more downloads.

    • Re:My Quick Review (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dulimano ( 686806 )
      "--Generic filenames"

      They have a preference menu with a

      "Preferred file-naming convention:"

      Options are:
      Autechre - Flutter.mp3
      03 - Autechre - Flutter.mp3
  • Soulseek (Score:2, Informative)

    by Doomrat ( 615771 )
    ...perhaps the fact that a lot of people share the entire Warp collection on Soulseek was an instigating factor for the launch of this service?
  • by zoeblade ( 600058 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @03:07AM (#7983033) Homepage

    ...why is Drukqs [] a corrupt "copy protected" CD in Germany? Was it re-mastered by another company beyond Warp's control or something?

  • Bleep (Score:3, Funny)

    by Brandybuck ( 704397 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @03:21AM (#7983076) Homepage Journal
    So I was playing this song... you know... when my computer starts going "bleep bleep bleep"...
  • by Perianwyr Stormcrow ( 157913 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @04:04AM (#7983261) Homepage
    I now have yet another site to show to people so they can see how not to integrate Flash with a site.

    Hover-scrolling arrows for text? Navigation elements mysterious and small? Strange layouts that are hard to read, regardless of how big or small your browser window is?

    As much as I thought DR was cool in high school, they have not changed one whit since 1997. They are just too cool for you.
  • by zonix ( 592337 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @04:08AM (#7983277) Homepage Journal
    [...] featuring artists such as Aphex Twin [...]

    That should have read "Richard D. James". He uses several aliases including Caustic Window and Polygon Window which are also featured on Warp Records.

  • awesome. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kargan ( 250092 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @04:22AM (#7983337) Homepage
    As a long-time Warp/SKAM fan, I couldn't be happier to see something like this both for them and for us. Also, it looks like if you're running IE on Windows (and presumably at least some other browser/OS configuration) you can also stream every one of the audio files, so the whole thing is even "listen before you buy".

    As an avid mp3 trader, I can see myself using this a lot. Stuff I could only find before @128k bitrate (not good enough), or wasn't able to find, etc.
  • by edo-01 ( 241933 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @05:15AM (#7983532)
    I like music. I'm sitting on a (small) pile of cash and I want to give you that hard earned cash for your product, but you just don't want to fucking take it. I will pay good money to download high quality VBR MP3s, with correct naming and ID tags so they can fit nicely into my iTunes databse. I am not interested in DRM, I've had too many computers and handhelds to be able to predict what I'll be using even a year from now, and if I pay for a song I expect to be able to fucking listen to it wherever and whenever I choose to (MPAA - same goes for goddamnned DVDs. Far as I'm concerned,- so long as I paid you your AUD$40 for a movie that comes on maybe two bucks worth of plastic and packaging - the whole world is region 0)

    I will even - and lean in close here, peckerheads - pay for stuff that I already downloaded for free just to get the aforementioned nice ID tags and bitrate quality I want, not to mention knowing the artists get their due. Yup. And seeing as I would have paid for those tracks I'm not about to go throwing them on a P2P - they're mine.

    Also, I'm not in the continental United States but last time I checked my currency converts into USD just fine but you won't take it (I'm talking to you, iTunes). So here I've been, out in the cold, clutching a fistful of dollars, my nose pressed up against the glass of Apple's spiffy new online music store unable to get in. Then along comes Bleep. Not only do they have stuff I couldn't find on iTunes (Boards Of Canada) but - get this - they will actually sell it to me. So I bought, and I'll keep on buying. I bought songs I had already downloaded for free. While looking for those songs I found more stuff I didn't even know I wanted and I bought those too. Hell, while downloading the big-ass zipfile I went back, had another look and now I have TWO big-ass zipfiles to download.

    So in closing let me sum up: treat P2P like what it really is - free advertising and marketing info - embrace it then make the damned music available to buy at high quality and DRM free. Do you really think the success of iTunes is because it has DRM?? Do you know what would happen to sales if the tracks on iTunes suddenly went DRM free? Sales would remain constant, and would even pick up as the word got out to ornery pricks like me who just won't touch anything with DRM in it.

    But you won't do any of it and Apple and other non-luddites will eat your lunch.

    Bite my balls Dinosaurs,

    Angry of Sydney

  • by JazFresh ( 146585 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @05:37AM (#7983602)
    Recently I bought a compilation of Pete Namlook's "Silence" series of albums. I didn't realise till I popped the disc in the drive to rip it to MP3 that it was a data-only disc containing 224Kbps MP3s of the tracks!

    I wish all the CDs I bought were like that.

  • by jdifool ( 678774 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @06:17AM (#7983744) Homepage Journal
    From the Bleep website : After the bandwidth charges and Bleep running costs are subtracted, the artist gets half of the album or track price.

    I guess that artists are more than happy with such a system.
    Want to know how much iTunes gives [] ?

  • Result! (Score:4, Informative)

    by nicky_d ( 92174 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @09:01AM (#7984380) Homepage
    Okay, I just signed up and downloaded EP7 by Autechre. Very cheap (as a full album purchase), very fast, certainly good enough quality for me and my iPod. I'll be using this service a lot and I hope they really clean up.

    For information, payment is either standard cards or Paypal, and after purchase your tracks are made available for a standard browser-based download, either individually or in a zip file. Transfer is very fast (depending on your own connection, natch.)

    There are a few oddities with prices - Sabres of Paradise's Wilmot EP is 2.99 complete, which is 1 more than the two tracks bought individually. There are also a lot of small tracks (such as the 'bolts' on Black Dog's Spanners album) that cost 99p for 20 seconds or so. But those kind of tracks you'd only really want as part of the full album, where the average price per track would be far less...

    However, given that the selection of tracks and albums is very comprehensive, a few glitches are to be expected, and are easily worked around.

    I urge anyone who's interested in online music and hasn't heard of Warp to give the site a try - all the files are available as previews (with fade-outs) and you'll find some wonderful stuff there. Warp's an electronica label, but a very eclectic one. If you don't get on with Aphex Twin, try Mira Calix. If you can't gel with Autechre, check out Sabres of Paradise. If Boards of Canada don't blow your kilt up, listen to The Gentle People. All unique, all worthwhile, all available.

    Audiophiles note (because the 'what-no-Ogg' crowd are already in effect, I see) that the FAQ states that Warp are considering offering other codecs, including FLAC, and maybe offering higher bitrates for a higher price. Early days, though - the first thing they need is support. And here's someone who really, truly deserves it for a change.
  • It's amazing! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ndnet ( 3243 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @09:26AM (#7984526)
    Between this and a couple of other companies mentioned in posts, it sounds like a couple of companies have learned something:

    Customer service is the difference between low piracy at a reasonable price and high piracy at any price.

    You can acquire music anywhere. You can easy use P2P or copy a friend's CD - the latter has good value as a promotional tool.

    But when you treat someone as though they are already a criminal - that they need to protect their music from activities that the end user typically considers legal - the value of music at any price drops. No one can argue that iTunes is unsucessful, but they have a tricky balance - enough DRM to protect against illegal use while allowing quite a bit of fair use. Sadly, this will not last forever. A new tool will come out, or record companies will change terms, or something. Enjoy it while it lasts.

    I now respect Warp Records. I'm a sucker for customer respect (part of why I'm satisfied with working at Wal-mart while I'm in college - because they too show genuine concern, at least at 2597 (my store)). I don't even think I had heard of them, but now I'll check out their site. Maybe buy a tune or two.
  • Repeat after me.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by caveat ( 26803 ) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:36AM (#7985745)
    Even though we, the technological cognoscenti, consider any form of DRM to be an encroachment on our rights and furthermore a "broken" product, we need to realize that non-independent music will NEVER EVER be legally released to the wild in a totally unencumbered form. Never.

    Indie music will be and often already is freely purchasable, but anything from the major labels will simply have to include some form of DRM. You..oops, 'we'...bitch about iTunes as a "good idea but totally unacceptable [because of DRM]"; did you not listen to what Steve said about the copy protection, that without it, there would be virtually no large-label music for sale online? That the RIAA et al. will simply not allow 'free' mp3s to be sold? Dystopian perhaps, but reality for the time being.

    I do understand the arguments against DRM, and I would LOVE high-quality unencumbered mp3s, but at least for the forseeable future, you/we're simply going to have to compromise a bit. (If you have any interest in owning major-label music, that is.) Hell, maybe even SUPPORT iTMS - would you rather have that DRM scheme, which is arguably the best middle ground, or WMA's total-lockdown?
  • mute (Score:3, Informative)

    by sharph ( 171971 ) <> on Thursday January 15, 2004 @09:29PM (#7993497) Homepage
    Mute, another UK based electronica record label, is doing this. It wasn't there whole selection, just "net-realeases."

    I actually tried to submit it as a story a few months ago, but whatever.

Your own mileage may vary.