Why Do Bands Still Use Real Audio?

How many times have you checked out a band’s website only to find their music samples are in the Real Audio format (.ra or .rm)? Here’s a few good reasons why your band sucks for using Real Audio:

  1. It only plays with Real Player
  2. Real Player is a CPU hogging piece of spyware
  3. It sounds awful at the low bit rates where its used most often
  4. The file format is closed
  5. While Real Player claims to have a higher number of installations in home users, most people who frequently listen to music online have MP3 players as well (this is my observation, and not backed up by statistics).

Your goal in putting out digital music should be to get people interested in what you’re playing. Forcing potential fans to go through the hassle of installing and using a bloated, ad-ridden, program like Real Player is completely unnecessary when there are great alternatives like MP3, WMA, and Ogg Vorbis. The one place Real Audio has a use is in low bit rate streaming, but so much sound quality is lost it probably isn’t worth making it available to the public.

Some good file format comparisons:
Results of 64 kbit/s Group Listening Test
OGG vs. MP3 vs. WMA vs. RA
Working With High Quality Musical Works

How many times have you checked out a band’s website only to find their music samples are in the Real Audio format (.ra or .rm)? Here’s a few good reasons why your band sucks for using Real Audio:

  1. It only plays with Real Player
  2. Real Player is a CPU hogging piece of spyware
  3. It sounds awful at the low bit rates where its used most often
  4. The file format is closed
  5. While Real Player claims to have a higher number of installations in home users, most people who frequently listen to music online have MP3 players as well (this is my observation, and not backed up by statistics).

Your goal in putting out digital music should be to get people interested in what you’re playing. Forcing potential fans to go through the hassle of installing and using a bloated, ad-ridden, program like Real Player is completely unnecessary when there are great alternatives like MP3, WMA, and Ogg Vorbis. The one place Real Audio has a use is in low bit rate streaming, but so much sound quality is lost it probably isn’t worth making it available to the public.

Some good file format comparisons:
Results of 64 kbit/s Group Listening Test
OGG vs. MP3 vs. WMA vs. RA
Working With High Quality Musical Works

Open Mic Recap

Some very talented irregulars showed up at the Grape last night, including the Day Rubies and Senatobia. The guys who went right after me sat on the floor while they played. Strangely, it helped draw attention to their performance. I also really liked the guy from Nashville (I don’t remember his name, but that happens often at open mics).

I played Gomez’s “Get Miles” and my own “Why Now Satan?” I thought “Get Miles” sounded fine, but I wasn’t too happy with “Why Now Satan.” It could have just been the monitor, but I couldn’t hear myself as easily as I usually can. The main reason I trucked up to GSP last night was to pass out my new flyers. Mark Lancaster said it reminded him of an album cover, possibly AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.” Everyone seemed to like the flyer a lot, so you’ll be seeing it often until August 10th.

I added a second show to the list for my upcoming “featured artist” status at the Living Room on August 12th. The Living Room is on the corner of Collings and Haddon Ave in Collingswood, NJ. I’ll be playing from 8:00 – 8:30 to kick off the open mic. If you haven’t been out to the Living Room, you should check it out.

This week I’ll be hitting the Living Room’s Wednesday night open mic. Next week I’ll be at GSP on Monday, The Point on Tuesday, and the Living Room on Wednesday.

Some very talented irregulars showed up at the Grape last night, including the Day Rubies and Senatobia. The guys who went right after me sat on the floor while they played. Strangely, it helped draw attention to their performance. I also really liked the guy from Nashville (I don’t remember his name, but that happens often at open mics).

I played Gomez’s “Get Miles” and my own “Why Now Satan?” I thought “Get Miles” sounded fine, but I wasn’t too happy with “Why Now Satan.” It could have just been the monitor, but I couldn’t hear myself as easily as I usually can. The main reason I trucked up to GSP last night was to pass out my new flyers. Mark Lancaster said it reminded him of an album cover, possibly AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.” Everyone seemed to like the flyer a lot, so you’ll be seeing it often until August 10th.

I added a second show to the list for my upcoming “featured artist” status at the Living Room on August 12th. The Living Room is on the corner of Collings and Haddon Ave in Collingswood, NJ. I’ll be playing from 8:00 – 8:30 to kick off the open mic. If you haven’t been out to the Living Room, you should check it out.

This week I’ll be hitting the Living Room’s Wednesday night open mic. Next week I’ll be at GSP on Monday, The Point on Tuesday, and the Living Room on Wednesday.

Bands Announced for August 10th

The Grape Street Pub has announced the following bands for Saturday, August 10th.

TRAGIK
POPPY COCK BABBLE – (website down)
PLOY
STUTTER (sorry, I couldn’t find a website)

I’ll be playing upstairs at 8:00PM, followed by the well known DJ SAT-ONE.

The Grape Street Pub has announced the following bands for Saturday, August 10th.

TRAGIK
POPPY COCK BABBLE – (website down)
PLOY
STUTTER (sorry, I couldn’t find a website)

I’ll be playing upstairs at 8:00PM, followed by the well known DJ SAT-ONE.

Letter to Rob Andrews

The other day I wrote a letter to House Representative Rob Andrews concerning the Berman Bill just introduced into Congress. The Bill would allow copyright holders like the RIAA and MPAA to disrupt illegal peer to peer file traders using technological means. They wouldn’t be able to delete any files or use viruses, but they may be able to use Denial of Service attacks on individuals without any guidelines for how much evidence is actually needed. Also, the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution would ensure this law applied to all copyright holders. This means I could theoretically shut down your Internet connection if I suspected you were trading my files (I won’t). Read on for the text of the letter.

The other day I wrote a letter to House Representative Rob Andrews concerning the Berman Bill just introduced into Congress. The Bill would allow copyright holders like the RIAA and MPAA to disrupt illegal peer to peer file traders using technological means. They wouldn’t be able to delete any files or use viruses, but they may be able to use Denial of Service attacks on individuals without any guidelines for how much evidence is actually needed. Also, the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution would ensure this law applied to all copyright holders. This means I could theoretically shut down your Internet connection if I suspected you were trading my files (I won’t). Read on for the text of the letter.Dear Representative Andrews,

I recently learned of a Bill introduced by Representative Howard Berman from California that would allow copyright holders to use technological means to discourage or prevent individuals from breaking copyright laws. The bill limits the liability of the copyright holder in doing things that would otherwise be illegal, and although methods like deleting files and using viruses would be forbidden under the Bill copyright holders would be allowed to use what is called a “Denial of Service” (DOS) attack.

A DOS attack is one of the following:
http://www.cert.org/tech_tips/denial_of_service.html

1. An attempt to “flood” a network, thereby preventing legitimate network traffic
2. An attempt to disrupt connections between two machines, thereby preventing access to a service
3. An attempt to prevent a particular individual from accessing a service
4. An attempt to disrupt service to a specific system or person

All of these disruptions are illegal under current US laws. The problem with deputizing copyright holders like the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is that performing DOS attacks does not just hurt the individual copyright law breaker. It also harms the individual’s Internet Service Provider (ISP) and all of the ISP’s customers by clogging up network bandwidth with “noise” in an attempt to disrupt copyright violations. Bandwidth is not free for ISP’s and eventually this cost is recovered at the expense of home users. The Bill contains a clause preventing copyright holders from causing “economic loss to any person other than affected file traders,” but I suggest you talk to an Internet Service Provider about the cost a DOS attack will have.

Under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution the Bill would also apply to any copyright holder, and not just the MPAA and the RIAA. The Bill would allow any individual to carry out their own DOS attack on copyright law breakers. Strangely, the Bill does not even include guidelines for what level of evidence is needed when preventing copyright infringement. This would allow individuals and organizations to carry out attacks with minimal suspicion.

Even though I am a copyright holder myself I strongly urge you to oppose this Bill, because it does not do enough to protect legal data transactions and ISP’s from the collateral damage of DOS attacks.

Sincerely,
Ben Garvey
Oaklyn, NJ
bengarvey@comcast.net

Here are some links to more information:

Text of the Berman Bill:
http://www.politechbot.com/docs/berman.coble.p2p.final.072502.pdf

Information About Denial of Service Attacks:
http://www.cert.org/tech_tips/denial_of_service.html

MPAA:
http://www.mpaa.org/

RIAA:
http://www.riaa.org

Watch the Sky

My brother Jake and his friends Keith and Jessica will be parachuting over Williamstown today, so if you see a Jake sized hole in your roof you’ll know why. I think I’ll wait until after he jumps before I give him back the $160 I borrowed last week.

I made some layout/color changes to the site the other day. I also changed the border of the news stories and I like the new “coupon” look.

Update: Freefall Adventures called off the jump today because of the weather.

My brother Jake and his friends Keith and Jessica will be parachuting over Williamstown today, so if you see a Jake sized hole in your roof you’ll know why. I think I’ll wait until after he jumps before I give him back the $160 I borrowed last week.

I made some layout/color changes to the site the other day. I also changed the border of the news stories and I like the new “coupon” look.

Update: Freefall Adventures called off the jump today because of the weather.

Upcoming Show: Grape Street Pub (Sat, 8/10/2002)

I have just been booked to play the Grape Street Pub in Manayunk, PA on Saturday, August 10th. I go on at 8:00PM and finish up around 9:45. No word yet on which bands will be playing there that night, but I’ll post them as soon as I find out.

Here is a prototype of the flyer I’ll be passing out to promote the show. I think you’ll like it.

I have just been booked to play the Grape Street Pub in Manayunk, PA on Saturday, August 10th. I go on at 8:00PM and finish up around 9:45. No word yet on which bands will be playing there that night, but I’ll post them as soon as I find out.

Here is a prototype of the flyer I’ll be passing out to promote the show. I think you’ll like it.

Back From Chicago

My brother and I went out to Chicago this weekend for my cousin Ryan’s bachelor party. The event consisted of golfing, drinking, gambling, and vomiting and I excelled in three out of the four. We had a great time and I’d like to thank Ryan and Jen for letting us stay at their place.

I couldn’t believe how hot it was out there yesterday. The temperature hung around the 100 mark all day, but the heat index made it feel like 112.

On Friday night, we caught the Kelly Bell Band at Grape Street and they sounded great. Strangely, the place was dead for most of their set, so I guess the shore was a bigger draw for most people last weekend.

My brother and I went out to Chicago this weekend for my cousin Ryan’s bachelor party. The event consisted of golfing, drinking, gambling, and vomiting and I excelled in three out of the four. We had a great time and I’d like to thank Ryan and Jen for letting us stay at their place.

I couldn’t believe how hot it was out there yesterday. The temperature hung around the 100 mark all day, but the heat index made it feel like 112.

On Friday night, we caught the Kelly Bell Band at Grape Street and they sounded great. Strangely, the place was dead for most of their set, so I guess the shore was a bigger draw for most people last weekend.

Open Mic Recap: The Living Room

The Living Room’s open mic was a lot of fun tonight. Jason Wheatly, Roz King, Keith Lewis, and Willie Tapps all put on great performances. Adrien and John blew everyone away with two originals and I’m sure they’ll be playing around a lot. I also enjoyed the guy who went right before me, John Romeo, and pretty much everyone else. The night was so good, I skipped the Crab’s open mic.

I felt like rocking out, so I started off with Gomez’s “Get Miles” and closed with “I Hope I Die on the Moon.” The Living Room always seems to have a great crowd thanks to Jason’s prodding. On a monday in the near future I’m going to be a featured open mic artist. The featured status lets me play for about a half hour at the start of the show.

It looks like the Living Room has settled on keeping the refrigerated shelf in the middle of the counter because it’s still there. It’s so distracting especially when someone opens its door and a blinding light shoots from the inside.

I hope you like this site’s new color scheme. The green looked worse and worse every time I looked at it. I also switched the megaphone icon from the “Random” topic to the “New” topic. Random got the famous chicken head and I couldn’t be happier.

The Living Room’s open mic was a lot of fun tonight. Jason Wheatly, Roz King, Keith Lewis, and Willie Tapps all put on great performances. Adrien and John blew everyone away with two originals and I’m sure they’ll be playing around a lot. I also enjoyed the guy who went right before me, John Romeo, and pretty much everyone else. The night was so good, I skipped the Crab’s open mic.

I felt like rocking out, so I started off with Gomez’s “Get Miles” and closed with “I Hope I Die on the Moon.” The Living Room always seems to have a great crowd thanks to Jason’s prodding. On a monday in the near future I’m going to be a featured open mic artist. The featured status lets me play for about a half hour at the start of the show.

It looks like the Living Room has settled on keeping the refrigerated shelf in the middle of the counter because it’s still there. It’s so distracting especially when someone opens its door and a blinding light shoots from the inside.

I hope you like this site’s new color scheme. The green looked worse and worse every time I looked at it. I also switched the megaphone icon from the “Random” topic to the “New” topic. Random got the famous chicken head and I couldn’t be happier.

Guitar Images

I added pictures of my guitars to the image page. They came out pretty nice and I should have a few more when Jake finds the time to send them to me.

I also changed the color scheme of the site from green to blue and removed the 3D shadowing from the boxes. I got rid of the shadows, because it limited how easily I could change the color scheme and so far I like the blue a lot better.

As for my “Current” block on the right, I have a hard time keeping up with my “listening” list. I listen to about 10 CD’s pretty heavily, so I’m thinking of changing it around. I also might keep a list of everything that has made the “Current” block.

As for this week, I think I’ll definitely hit the Crab’s open mic on Wednesday since I haven’t been there in forever. The Kelly Bell Band is playing Grape Street this Friday and I might check that out if I don’t end up driving to Illinois.

I added pictures of my guitars to the image page. They came out pretty nice and I should have a few more when Jake finds the time to send them to me.

I also changed the color scheme of the site from green to blue and removed the 3D shadowing from the boxes. I got rid of the shadows, because it limited how easily I could change the color scheme and so far I like the blue a lot better.

As for my “Current” block on the right, I have a hard time keeping up with my “listening” list. I listen to about 10 CD’s pretty heavily, so I’m thinking of changing it around. I also might keep a list of everything that has made the “Current” block.

As for this week, I think I’ll definitely hit the Crab’s open mic on Wednesday since I haven’t been there in forever. The Kelly Bell Band is playing Grape Street this Friday and I might check that out if I don’t end up driving to Illinois.