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Wednesday, 9 March 2005

Torrents - Brian Eno & Terje Rypdal

There's this technique for downloading files called bit torrent. Without going into the technicalities, it's a way of moving files around the internet peer-to-peer so that you download and upload at the same time. This way you share out the bandwidth required to download files.

Over the last week I have been looking at a couple of sites that support this. Torrent Spy provides links to a wide range of material including music files, tv, movies, games, software etc. I hunted through a lot of this material. Most of the material on this site is copyrighted and available through official sources. I'm not sure that it should be made available for download.

Another site, Easytree, hosts the sharing of live concerts and officially unavailable material. This is a completely different concept. It's unlikely that one would download a concert and not bother with the studio albums. It's an environmnent to experiment with material before buying CDs, and it's a place for collectors to get material that is difficult to get hold of.

Over the last week, I have managed to get hold of a host of material by Brian Eno, recordings that are not commercially available. They include music from deleted games, and from art installations. I've heard some amazing music.

The other great find was 6 sets of music from Terje Rypdal. I was aware that he had produced quite a body of classical music (see this list), as well as the jazz which he is better known for. But getting hold of it is very difficult. ECM records have released a couple of albums, but most of it is not available. It's brilliant to find a way to hear this music - which is wonderful.

Thanks to the uploader for sharing this music.

The Easytree site claims that it tries to ensure that material is not shared where artists object. If this is achieved, I think that sites like this are a brilliant way to encourage broader listening, and to support the serious music fan.

One word of warning - Easytree has a maximum of 100,000 members. So you may have to keep visiting until membership is available. Inactive accounts do get cancelled, so it shouldn't take too long.


Anonymous said...

Alas is no more. Another casulty of the foolish multi-national media giants and their legions of lawyers.
Does anyone know of another site with similar offerings?

Stuart said...

Yes, the Easytree site was closed yesterday at 16:00 UK time due to threats from lawyers. Given that this site took great lengths to ensure that it did not distribute officially available material, I think this is a great pity.

There are still other torrent sites available of course. But in my view, Easytree was the best! In my view, the greed of the multi-national media industry, driven by profits and share prices, will hound customers away. Instead of attacking the internet and file sharing, they should be embracing it as a way to increase the number of ways to access a band's music. Real fans buy the official music, and then hunt out unofficial recordings to understand the whole creative process.

I'll post more about this to the weblog later...