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The Almighty Buck

Public Enemy Release full single as mp4 84

Tom writes "public enemy - the hiphoppers that already tried to put a mp3 on their website and where kicked by their label for doing so - have released the single "swindlers lust" in full length on their website. not only the release itself, but also the content of the single is a major criticism of greed and corporatism in the music industry. it's in the new mp4 format which rivals cd in quality. there's also a bit of a rant about mp3/4 and the industry on the website. " These guys are definitely bucking the industry- I'm glad to see someone is trying to do it, but how can I play an MP4?
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Public Enemy Release full single as mp4

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  • Someone took the time to convert it to MP3, and put it put on their own site... The webmaster for PE said it was cool for him to do that... the webmaster words: "yeah,Dean go ahead do your thing... thanx for helping out .....thats what this board is for...access..... "

    http://www.mailbag.com/users/deanengmann/ [mailbag.com]

  • One of the listeners did a MP3 translation for those who don't have MP4 players. Get it Here [mailbag.com] [disclaimer: my box has no sound, I haven't checked if this version is any good]
  • Did he mention X11amp? It looks to me like he said "winamp", so I'd assume he meant Winamp. Do you speak English?
  • They probably are not even aware of the fact that Linux exists. The "Windows 95/98/NT only" is most likely just a notice that says "won't work on MacOS."

    Just taking the stats from the last week for my homepage, there have been approximately 5000 hits, and 3 of those were Linux. 8 total were using various *nix systems (3 Linux, 2 Irix, 2 SunOS, 1 FreeBSD). 2 were using OS/2. more than 4500 were using Win*, and about 150 were using Macintosh.

    So I somehow doubt that they're going to be aware of a problem that fewer than 0.05% of their users will have.
  • Posted by Hat Rack:

    I downloaded refsoft980508.tgz which should
    be the MPEG-4 encoder/decoder if I am correct.
    When I try to compile it however, I get these...

    src_frame/audio.c:64: libtsp.h: No such file or directory
    src_frame/audio.c:65: libtsp/AFpar.h: No such file or directory

    I can't find these libs anywhere...

    How does one compile this?????
  • The EXE is a Digital Audio Postcard [globalmusic.com] made by globalmusic.com, it would appear. They're the ones to lobby about the non-cross-platform-ness of it all.


  • I'm pretty curious myself to know if either winamp *or* x11amp will play it.
  • The last time this whole Public Enemy MP3 thing appeared on Slashdot, I said the same thing.

    One important point to note was that, at the time they signed their contracts, MP3 was unheard of, and releasing your tracks via the Internet was something nobody had thought of. When these new technologies appeared, PE couldn't take advantage of them and couldn't convince their label to allow them to explore it. I think that's what their anger towards their label is about at this point.

    Though I agree 100% with both the original comment and this one. They're making a relatively good living off of their music. The fact of the matter is, they want more. The label takes the bulk of their profits (which is something the band agreed to by signing the contract!), and the band is no longer comfortable with their relationship.

    Sucks to be them... or does it?
  • All this talk about how musician's should read contracts and how if you dont like it, dont sign shows me you people have not a FUCKING clue as to how the music industry works. Why do you think as a whole the music industry doesnt like MP3? Why did they pitch a bitch when stores started selling used CDs? It's because the industry is what sets the standards, not the artist.

    Having worked in the music industry for several years (as a DJ, programming director) and having worked with several bands (in the family and friends, many of which are signed with relatively major and minor labels), I do not consider myself ignorant. I may not have had the experiences you or your friends have had, but I am rooting my arguments based upon what I have seen and know.

    Everytime you buy a record for $17.99USD at your neighborhood chain store, you're saying, yes I like how the industry is ran and I dont mind that the artist is only getting $1.5USD for this CD.

    No, I'm saying, "I want to buy this CD because I like the music or the artist and I'm willing to spend $17.99USD for it." To be honest, I (like most consumers) could care less where the money is going. If I found out that one label and/or artist was being significantly more evil than the rest, I might take that into consideration when contemplating purchase, but this is the way the record business is. So I bought the CD. So what? Does this make me an evil person for supporting the tyrrany of the record industry? No; I'm just a consumer. I've also bought CD's from most all of the friends and friends of friends that have released CD's. I support my friends.

    Yes, being a band IS a job. There's a tremendous overhead involved and frequently, bands will be too sucked into the "we're gonna make it big!" bug that they're WILLING to sign over most of the money they make as well as the rights to everything they produce. Some bands are more cautious than others. Some don't *want* to try and "make it big" for this reason. For those that do, all the power to them, but they should expect the record company to do what record companies do and shouldn't start whining because they lacked the foresight to see that they'd get exploited.

    Remember, the record companies are out to make money too. If you agree to sign your life over to them, be prepared to give it to them. If you don't like the terms, don't sign. Keep your day job.

    Now I'm not saying protest and education isn't worthwhile. If you can provide artists and consumers with an alternative to the established record industry, I would be very interested to see if it succeeds. However, so long as there are artists that are aware of the risks of signing but are still willing to do it, and so long as there are record labels willing to continue doing what record labels do, I don't forsee much of a change in the near future.

    Record labels will change when it becomes profitable for them to do so. So long as bands are lining up to get reamed and consumers are lining up to purchase what the labels offer, that won't happen.

  • Oh, but I do. And Mp3 is just the start. Just like law enforcement, the music industry is behind the times as far as technology goes. Especially in America. 44.1Mhz for a CD? That's laughable with the type of technology we have now. All too often artists have to "dummy-down" a 48Mhz total digital recording to the good ole standard(You knew that, it was for the sake of other readers :-)) So we get a handful of all digital recordings, and with the tried and true method of artistic fullfillment in the industry, running your own label, you have a leg up on the "majors" even if you cant afford 7 color web-press and multi-plugin websites. Success can be achieved, if you think success is monetary gain. But if you dont, then just getting music release is very successful indeed.

    I agree that this is the direction we need to try and go. But, existing groups locked into contracts with existing labels will have a hard time migrating. It's just a matter of finding people with enough flexibility, backing and will to make something like this work. I would love to see it happen.

    But I don't think one band whining about their record label's greed and inflexibility is the way to make it happen.

  • by slim ( 1652 )
    I was under the impression that "MP3" was shorthand
    for "MPEG Layer 3", i.e. the audio layer of the
    video encryption standard.

    If this is the case, isn't "MP4" the wrong name?

    Or am I just plain wrong?
  • This isn't particularly groundbreaking or anything. Check out Good Noise [goodnoise.com], where you can download singles (or whole albums, for a small price) from SpinArt artists like Frank Black. And I'm sure others here can put together a decent list of other semi-big-names who have released MP3 singles already.


  • And guess what Chuck D said about it:

    "yeah,Dean go ahead do your thing... thanx for helping out .....thats what this board is for ...access..... "

  • Funny.

    Sorry, guys, you guys were played and played hard. You think that virus was an accident? Why should it have been; the music industry *loves* the concept of "Don't get music from unknown sources, it might format your hard drive."

    Look up sustainable competitive advantage. If the music labels format my hard drive, I can sue them--I can't do that to some random web site--so boom, they got their SCA.

    Humorous, to say the least.

    Once you pull the pin, Mr. Grenade is no longer your friend.
  • >dan, you've missed some point. that virus >apparently was uploaded, then found and removed, >on the *7th* - check today's date. :)


    It's the seedling of doubt. Follows from the last completely unsubstantiated MP3 Virus Scare that *nobody* knows where it came from.

    Look at how mass media tries to portray the internet--full of rumors, can't trust em, red light district...

    The idea that the music industry would love MP3 to seem risky isn't THAT far fetched, Tom.

    Once you pull the pin, Mr. Grenade is no longer your friend.
  • > they're doing us a favor. who cares if they scare the clueless?

    Sounds like a compromise to me, Tom.

    Once you pull the pin, Mr. Grenade is no longer your friend.
  • Since no one in this thread said "MPEG I or II layer 4" why did you go off on them and CNN about it?
    Aaron Gaudio
    "The fool finds ignorance all around him.
  • even if it is not - if you've got wine and dosemu, there is no file you cant unarchive.. perhaps the mp4 player works under wine? i know winamp does...
  • If you downloaded Swindler's Lust MP4 today (1/7)
    between 3 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. EST, it may be infected
    with a virus. A new copy has been uploaded. P.E.
    apologizes for the oversight.

    Arf ...

  • their web site has an email link - tell them to pressure frankenhuafer, or whoever they are, to release an open source version of mp3/4. alternatively suggest an open source alternative (is there one?) personally i'd rather see an open source version of mp3/4. the idea of free software is to write it once, not recode things over and over like closed source requires.

    chances are they don't know. educate them. help them out. they are trying
  • From the site: "So this is anti-corporatism, and watch the reaction to this lyrical swirl...."

    And at the bottom of the page:
    "DOWNLOAD NOW! [Windows 95/98/NT only]"

    Hmm, seems like if they really supported anti-corporatism, they'd release the music in a format that everyone can use, not an EXE file that only runs on proprietary operating systems created by a particular corporation. And this isn't even an issue of porting or anything. The EXE is likely just a self-extracting archive for the MP4 file itself.
  • Recording contracts are pretty nasty. They make it very hard for a band to quit working for a label even if their relationship sours. Chuck D and the boys have certainly become more jaded as time as has passed -- so prehaps they didn't know how bad it was when they first got into it.
  • Perhaps if you download it, you will see that the exe is not a selfextracting zip, but a player with the MP4 embeded in it. I know you'll say something along the lines of why did they embed it in a exe, why didn't they release it as just an MP4, maybe that's becuase not everyone has an MP4 player yet.
  • Hear Hear! And besides... his bitch in and of itself perpetuated the very thing he was bitching about. His post had nothing about the music itself.

    Did I mention stupid people shouldn't breed?

  • I included the URL from the OFFICIAL Mpeg Homepage. There you can find the Mpeg-4 specification. May this be the trigger for some programmer to start mp4 support for Linux :-) http://drogo.cselt.stet.it/mpeg/
  • Hmm. This .EXE that you download includes a player. The Wintel player posted is useless for this file. I'd have to agree with a previous poster that this isn't exactly "anti-corporate" but then again I doubt Public Enemy have even heard of Unix or Linux, so perhaps the Microsoft slant is inevitable...

  • by JoeBuck ( 7947 )

    You have it backwards: the corporations do not make the bands rich, the bands make the corporations rich.

    It's the beginning of the end for the traditional record company, who sells you a CD for $15 and gives $1 to the musicians. It used to be that the musicians needed the record companies to handle the logistics and the distribution, but the deal is going to change.

    In this new world, the musicians can make more money and the public can get access to the music for less money, all by cutting out the suits in the middle.

  • I was under the impression that rather than MP4 standing for 'Mpeg audio layer 4' it's actually a MPEG 4 audio stream, which is a somewhat different thing...
  • Chuck D's response to the various complaints posted to their board about the new single only being playable under Windows:

    "i got macs and cant get mp4, but were working on it...did you know that 96% of this board is pc? ..that's the reasons for some of the moves..."

    So the crew aknowledges it wasn't the greatest plan to release it as an .EXE file. I haven't read the MPEG group's spec yet, but from most of the comments I read it sounded like the OS-specific nature was inherent in the format. I hope this is not the case. Actual OPEN standards are a GOOD THING...
  • Does anyone have the song in MP4 format instead of EXE?
  • The file you download is a .exe and it runs a little player which the mp4 is encoded in. It may run under wine. I dont have sound enabled so I couldnt tell you.

    talking windows users is where I draw the line ..
  • Downloading Swindler's Lust from the website come as something other than your standard MP3 (or MP4).....
    What we have is an executable file, a player that came with the music. It not only shows a snappy interface and oscilloscope (the wavy thing :), but it is an ADVERTISEMENT. Click on the picture of Public Enemy or it's logo, and you go to thier kick-@$$ website, where you can check out more stuff about the group. If you really dig it, then you'll go and buy their CDs.
    Folks, they are going a step beyond releasing the single to a bunch of radio stations. They are releasing an amazing little program to the world that should be impressive enough so that at least 1/4 or 1/8th become interested enough to buy thier stuff. Of course, when you are in the buisness as long as they have been, it's more than just the money. Take the money to pay your way, and along the way get everybody up on the beat. It's fun for them, it's their way of life.
    So go to the site, boot into Windows for a moment to check it out, and buy the CD if you like it. Plain and simple.

    And seriously, why would they care if they didn't release something in Linux? It would have taken too much effort to cater to such a small part of the computing. They didn't release it as an MP3 because it'd become just another pirate pass-along. Too many of you are acting like there's been a great injustice. Just look at all the Macintosh users, they aren't chanting MAC OS! MAC OS! on the PE message board.

    fellow Linux users, behave yourselves.....
    -Richard "Rahga" Hoelscher
  • thats because this is news for nerds, a new public enemy album is not news for most nerds. if u want to know how it is just ask but negative criticism isn't necessary. IMHO, its so-so...
  • I saw all about the new mp4 format on cnet tv on saturday.

    The new format is a way of encoding the audio and I think video file into an executable. The executable is then run without a player. Of course this only works under windows because it is a .exe file. This format is used by some video camera maker ( I am not sure if they invented the format) and it is supposed to be more tightly compressed than mp3. Because it is an .exe file there is no need for any type of external player, the user just executes the file.

    It may be possible to take the binary .exe file and 'decompress it' or convert it to an mp3 under Linux and Unix, but I am not sure.

    I'll be honest here. I personally think that the person who created this format was trying to get ride of all other Operating Systems or was not thinking of other Operating Systems.
    So now the question is:
    1) Can this .exe be played on a Mac using softwindows? (probably not)
    2) The Public Enemy mp4 also had a virus in it. The virus has since been removed. Will this be the next way to distribute viruses and thus promote Windows anti-virus software? (Could be)
    3) It was also designed to make it easier for people to keep in touch thru video email. Parents coudl buy there children video camera and have one at home and they could send each other video emails, and not ned any extra software to decode it. I think this was a good idea, but I also think that is is a bit short cited. I think they should have made it maybe a Java or Tcl/Tk executable, or some other cross platform executable. Will someone come up with a more efficient cross platform method of encoding video / audio data that doesn't need an external player?
  • I think everyone should quit worrying about whether it's a mp3/4 or whatever and realize what they are trying to do here. These guys have been talking about changes in the conventional methods of creating music and music distribution through new technology for years. Just listen to the message Harry Allen left on Chuck's machine on the Muse Sick -N- Hour Mess Age album. Now these guys are actually putting out music that, to the best of my knowledge, can't even be bought in a store and people are complaining about a file format.
    I think we should give PE mad props for going against the record company and showing everyone how things should be.
  • Although I don't know exactly what you mean by "rival"; I don't think this is a scientific term.

    It is true that MPEG-4, like other modern audio formats, is a lossy psychoacoustic coder, and so the bits aren't the same as on a CD. But MPEG and independent groups have done extensive testing to make the sound quality as good as possible.

    MPEG found when testing Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), which is the basis for the the high-quality coder in MPEG-4, that at 64 kbps/channel and higher rates it acheives "Indistinguishable Quality" as that term is defined by the European Broadcasting Union. (This means that a certain percentage of highly-trained listeners cannot hear any difference in a formal listening test with certain special methods.)

    Anyone who really wants to criticize MPEG-4 sound quality should first read "Report on the MPEG-4 Stereo Verification Tests" by Meares, Watanabe, and Scheirer, available here. [mit.edu]

    Best to all,

    -- Eric
    Editor, ISO/IEC 14496-3 (MPEG-4 Audio)

  • A couple of points: There was an independant test comparing PAC, AAC, AC-3, MP2, and some other coders conducted in late 1997 at the Communications Research Centre in Ontario. The results are reported in the March 1998 J. Aud. Eng. Soc., which is a peer-reviewed academic journal [1]. They found an average diffscore (using the same rating system as the MPEG test) for 64 kbps/channel AAC of -0.40, with 24 subjects. This is about the same (not statistically different) as the MPEG test, showing the validity of that test (the two tests used different critical material).

    I would have cited this in my original post, but the MPEG test is available online, and you have to go to the library to read the JAES report.

    Second, I think you misread the MPEG report -- there are 22 subjects included in the test results. There were 3 *sites* and 3 *listening positions*, but 31 subjects in all were tested. 8 had to be removed in post-hoc tests as detailed in Section 10.3 of the report.

    I agree on the relative accuracy of Ref/A/B tests compared to subject-switchable. It's a tradeoff between time and cost and robustness. The Toronto test used hard-disk playback and allowed users to switch.

    Finally, I am not trying to deny that both tests show there is a difference between AAC and original recording -- this is very clear. But it's not a conspiracy nor a secret, and AAC is much closer to transparency than any other coder at equivalent bitrates. It depends on the application whether or not the quality degradation you get with AAC is acceptable. It's better than FM radio, cassette tape, and MP3 -- all formats which have proven viable in the marketplace. Thus, I conclude that the coding artefacts in MPEG-4 and AAC are not barriers to their marketplace acceptance.

    If you really want something to argue about, you should attack FM radio. Start yelling "the quality of radio is bad, you shouldn't listen to it!" and see what people say.

    All the best,
    -- Eric

  • as tested by yesterday's release (990110)...and sounds pretty clear. it has left right volume control, stop, pause, play, windowshading, and an oscilliscope that i don't see. in any case, check it out. not a bad song, either.
  • I went to that MPEG page, and as far as they're concerned, there is certainly an MPEG4. As a matter of fact, there is no MPEG3 in their list. :)

    Looks like CNN may be a bit more on top of the ball than some think...

    On the first page of the site, near the top of the page:

    "MPEG-4 version 1, the standard for multimedia applications (Oct. 98)"


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