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Don

If you’re one of those people that doesn’t scare easily when it comes to the possibility of hefty fines and jail time for downloading illegal content; then the annoyance of actually trying to surf just one of these public/private torrent trackers should be enough to reform you! LOL.. Before I continue, I’d like to start off by mentioning two important things. First, I’m NOT writing this article to try to convince you NOT to use torrents, or to preach to you that you’re evil for partaking in illegal downloads. However, I would like to share with you my experience with you as it pertains to using torrents. I started using torrents for well over a decade ago (close to two), and today using torrents has become more of a hassle than what it’s worth, and I’ll explain more in detail as I go along in this article. The time you spend trying to stay “safe,” while downloading illegally (which by the way there’s no such thing as “safe,” I don’t care what bullshit someone tells you! Yes, seedboxes are effective however, that doesn’t mean that one day the music industry can’t make law makers require seedboxes to keep logs, and or demand that accounts be deleted. Look what happened with Rapidshare? Their  business was nearly destroyed as the result of back and forth court battles. Everyone thought Rapidshare was the bomb, until a bomb fell on Rapidshare. So, don’t be so confident), and the money we spend on additional tools and mechanisms for downloading, and the amount of bad quality files/corrupt/fake/or infected files you come in contact with, you might as well do it the legal way (or as much as humanly possible). As the cost of legal streaming becomes cheaper (as well as FREE content providers such as Crackle:movies and Spotify:music), and as more content is offered, using torrent technology is now quickly becoming VERY antiquated. This becomes especially true when it comes to music; it makes absolutely NO SENSE to use torrents for music! To risk a cease and desist letter, AND still face legal action? For bloody what? When music is practically free via legal services like Spotify. I’ve seen a noticeable decrease in participation on many popular trackers, and it’s certainly not because of lack of available choices in music and movies (that should tell you something). Things have definately changed guys. Anybody that is still using torrents, it’s because of “force of habit.” The second important thing I’d like to bring up is more of a reminder, that the use of torrent technology by itself is NOT illegal, but the downloading of illegal content is. Example, if you’re downloading an old, and very well known public domain movie called “Night Of The Living Dead (1968),” downloading it using torrent technology is very legal. Or maybe you are using Linux/Unix OS, and like to download open source software made available for free, it is perfectly legal to use torrents. However, if you download the latest Jill Scott album using torrents, it is piracy. I think that it is important for me to take a minute to write about this, because soo many people have the wrong idea about torrents. They are no more illegal or less illegal than using Mediafire, Hotfile, or even DropBox. It’s not the service or technology that makes it illegal, it’s what you’re doing with it. The point of torrent technology is to share bandwidth, eliminating the need to pay a service for storage; such as Mediafire, Hotfile, etc. Thus making files that ARE free, actually free. By the way, you may hear that “USNETS,” are better,” this is an absolute lie. In fact, it is my opinion that you open yourself up to more exposed to infected files, and security breaches. People are so desperate to find ways not to pay for anything, that the public risk all kinds of shit in order to get these illegal downloads, while lieing to themselves that these things are great! I can assure you their not, and they’re just as unsafe. You see on the news what are happening to big banks, and they spend a lot of money keeping their systems secure and it’s still not perfect. And many of you don’t even have a bear minimum of a good firewall set up! And you’re telling other people to do what you do! Geniuses you guys are huh?

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Because of how torrents work, it became a very popular choice for those who wish to participate in illegal downloads. Back in the day, torrents were virtually hassle free, simply because most people were using it legally. Unfortunately, trackers now consist of both legal and illegal works. Even works found that are Creative Commons, are 99% of the time not shared with the licensing information on its terms of use. Trackers literally became a file dumping ground to tell you the truth. Nowadays, to download a torrent is like playing Russian Roulette. Now, torrent users have to deal with so much bulls**t. There are now ads popping up on the back end that are intolerable; sometimes those popups are able to pass through popup blockers. And don’t think searching for movies using a seedbox is any better. Many trackers are setup in such a way that you can’t just search and download directly from your seedbox; ’cause when you do you’ll get errors a lot of the times. Therefore, when this happens you must go directly to that tracker site, and suffer being bombarded with 20 million back-end popup ads regardless. I’ve also experienced a lot of trackers that just loop, and you have to guess which link will give you the right torrent. Some trackers present dangerous executable files instead of the actual torrent. I had to restore my computer a couple of times back in the day because of that. Many trackers are now using user submitted torrents to try and cash in on the piracy, by asking for “donations to help server costs.” Some trackers go as far as send you emails every other week to remind you to “submit a donation and become a V.I.P.” Now, chances are we’re using torrents because we are too broke to afford the kinds of stuff we’d like, why would I have any interest in becoming a V.I.P.? If a tracker legitimately have to ask for donation to cover costs, they need to get a new host because now-a-days they don’t cost that much at all. Some private trackers are now even charging for memberships. Once you’re in, they hit you with a trillion and one rules, the moderators are rude as hell, the members are often either whiny about the smallest things, or they they’re rude and think they know it all, and many are ungrateful. You’re just waiting for that one day your account would get delete for saying the wrong thing, or speaking up for yourself.

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Some trackers require you to log in once every month (sometimes even more than that), and if you don’t your account will automatically get deactivated and purged. Regardless if you’re on a private or public tracker, more and more fake torrents are produced. More and more fake torrents are being shared without being checked by the uploader, wasting the downloader’s time. If just one person downloads one of those torrents, then 50% of torrent users throughout the torrent world will have that same torrent. Torrents without subtitles or audio translations. Torrents with several hundred tiny zip files. Torrents with several hundred links to various torrent trackers. Torrents with embedded spam and malware that keep your computer infected with something. Torrents with region restrictions on videos. Torrents from users that don’t know what their doing, yet complain about you. Torrents that contain videos with removed audio and a “Cinavia” error (which I’ve seen on public domain movies believe it or not). Swarms with horrific speeds. Torrents with video bitrate that are so low, you are baffled that someone would even consider uploading. Never mind downloading the bootleg version of “Jurassic World (2015)” is illegal; the amount of bulls**t the average true torrent user goes through, it’s not even worth it. Music torrents with 0kb CDA files. Waiting indefinitely for someone to finally upload that special torrent that you wanted so bad; and if found, you discover that there are numerous file corruptions. Please, don’t think links are any better, because they are actually worse; with 0.2kb speeds and each link will be a different service requiring payment for each service. Unfortunately, because more and more people are now using the internet, more and more of those people don’t have a clue as to what their doing. In other words, there is absolute chaos in the torrent world.

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Having said the above, it’s not worth all the hassle of using torrent technologies (unless you are downloading Unix/Linux software, public domain movies, Creative Commons, Copyleft, Open Source, GNU licensed software, public learning material, or any other legal files from a legally legitimate website). If you Google “Legal Downloads,” or “Legal Streaming,” you can quickly identify the truly legal ones by noticing repetitions (how many times that company appears (usually on sites that offer various lists of other legal downloads or streaming). Another clue is to notice what companies are the first to be listed by google. Google always verifies a site before they list it; so if Google thinks that a site could be illegal, they will not listed at all (Google Ads). However, because Google Ads are quite expensive, please don’t rely on seeing Google Ads alone. A small streaming company who’s already paying a lot of money for licensing fees, just may decide to opt out on using Google Ads and submit to search engines the old fashioned way. Have a site checker like Norton’s Anti-virus/Firewall bundle, it tells you of any suspicious links from right in your Google search. Since streaming services came to be, we have seen a steady drop in piracy and increase sales in both streaming services and pay-per-download. Now entertainment has become affordable and we don’t have to deal with the hassles of using torrents, and rude ass admins and moderators anymore! And most importantly, not only are there many streaming services that are LEGAL, you can now share the links with other members (or non-members) of the same streaming service, LEGALLY! Or just use YouTube; doing that is certainly a hell of a lot easier than waiting for months trying to get in to a specialty tracker; or risking a DMCA letter (keep in mind that more and more private trackers are using public URL announcements now). If a friend is not a member of your favorite legal streaming service, they get 30 second (music) to 2 minute (video) samples; or they can just simply Shazam it, or search for the song in their favorite streaming service. Stop being so scared! Legal streaming has completely changed the game.

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If you still stuck in a time warp, and you still don’t “believe” it’s now legal to share, then just take the time and read the legalese/license for your favorite service yourself (Spotify, Napster, Rdio, Slacker, whatever) at least. If you are new to music/video streaming, and don’t know which ones to start with, click here or here or here. For videos click here. Common sense should tell you that TV news would be reporting Facebook and twitter users being thrown in jail left and right (hellllllooooo?). Legal services like Napster gives you FULL access to their entire library (which is about 40 million songs by now) for a very low monthly fee. Easy to search; easy to create and save playlists; all in high quality; and easy to help the streaming community by rating your music. You also help the the movie goer community too such as Netflix; informing other users as to what to watch; informing the provider as to what to keep in their library and cluing what other kinds of movie licenses they should purchase and make available. Most importantly, if you have an HDTV, I think its best to subscribe to one of these services for best quality. Depending on the movie studio, most content made available is damn near Blu-Ray quality (some  services like Netflix even offer 4K streaming). You’re not going to get best quality from a 600mb torrent file; and most importantly a lot of ISP companies like Comcast, throttle, cap, or even block the use of bittorrent applications through their network; you will no longer have that problem at all with legal streaming; and you don’t have to be burdened with quotas or seeding (which also exposes your IP on public announcements). You get the highest possible quality, and whatever service you use, and you know it’s going to work! No incompatibilities, no spending hours searching, no begging for reseeds and hoping for the best. Do you realize how difficult it is to find certain music albums in the torrent world? It is sooo much better to just use Napster or Spotify and call it a day. I think you guys get the picture. Everything literally boils down to, within about a week or two, after a new album is released, will be made available on music streaming/YouTube. So why go through the hassle of using torrents to download it? Movies are usually made available on Blu-Ray about 6 months after it’s released in theaters (depending on how well it does, could be longer). So why bother going through the hassles of using bittorrent when you can easily order it from Netflix? In fact, do you realize that some times movie services like VUDU have selected movies still in theaters? You’d have to pay a little more, but it’s still cheaper than actually going to the movies (no need to download 300 tiny little zip files for one movie, then discover there’s a missing password, plus you know its a horrible bootleg anyway LOL).

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Honestly, between 3 of the biggest (low cost) movie streaming competitors, Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon, you have all the high quality movies you’ll ever need. Between Napster and Spotify’s FREE accounts, you’re just insane if you still use torrents to get your music at this point. There’s no reason why you should be using torrents for music; even if you’re a serious music collector; what are the odds of a tracker having all your out of print music anyway? Actually, scratch that, because actual collectors prefer to physically buy all their music and movies! It is easier, and most practical to get it from Spotify (did I mention that Spotify is both legal to use and FREE?). Look, I realize that torrents has always been somewhat political as well. Meaning, some people prefer to use torrents as a way of rebelling against the f**ked up music and movie industry who try to put both many fans and artists in the poor house with their greed. However, at the same time, now that entertainment is a lot more affordable, if we don’t use some of the legal services I’ve mentioned, our favorite actors, musicians, songwriters, etc are the ones who take a hit. If we continue not to use legal services like Napster and Netflix, there be will very few financial incentives for any artist or movie studio to create quality content, and we’d be stuck with even more garbage playing on the radio and on TV. There’s only so much we can take of movies like “Sharknado,” or any movies with giant spiders, or giant snakes made in a laboratory, or giant alligators, or genetically engineered leopard lizard creatures, or a virus turning an entire town in to zombies except for 3 people, or movies with extremely poor CGI, or predictable movies about college kids going away to some cabin for the weekend (usually to have sex) and some devil monster eats  them all up, or a bunch of doofie drunk kids decide to mess with a Ouija board (even though the instructions basically says “do not touch”) and all hell breaks loose. Grrrr. LOL

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Before digital technology and the internet came along, music and movies were never meant to be free. And it still not meant to be free. Back in the day, taping your favorite soap operas/talk shows/movies, and or copying your vinyls to cassette tapes for personal use did not hurt the music and movie industry; and it was indeed legal under fair use. Movies and TV shows are public access, and have been paid for by the ad sponsors; and records where ok because most people purchased their albums (even if you made a copy for your friend or brother, it still wasn’t enough to cripple the industry). But we also had a stronger sense of “fandom” back then; in other words people were proud to purchase the albums of their favorite artists; their posters hanging on the wall of their favorite artist or band; their favorite movie posters hanging on the wall; we were proud of purchasing things that became collectibles; collectibles that sparked conversations and helped to build tremendous fan communities (such as Star Trek); and in turn supported the artists/actors. However, in the digital age we have to realize that torrents are a whole different matter. Torrent users distributes copies to other users (exponentially) in mass quantities in literally a matter of seconds on ultra-high speed, which does hurt (and continues to) the recording and film industry (let’s not even talk about other forms of piracy). Unfortunately, I think the big problem is despite the ease of use, convenience, and safety of using Spotify, Napster, Netflix etc, many of us have grown too accustomed to solely using torrents and it has become somewhat of an addiction. Some of us have been doing it for so long, that we’ve developed an attitude of entitlement. I ask that my readers not perceive me as a moralistic blogger who wants to judge others who still use torrents. It’s just because “I’ve been there and done that,” that I write with a greater sense of wisdom. I’ve been downloading since the days of “Online Bulletin Boards” or “Electronic Bulletin Boards” in the early 80’s. That’s almost 40 years ago, so not only do I have thorough experience, I have good perspective. When I started downloading, I was buying legal shareware for a dollar a disk from BBSs. So it’s not that “I have a dream of waking torrent users up!” I’m just really thinking of the greater long-term effects of our continued torrent use down the road. If at least half of the 40 million free Spotify users would switch to paid premium account of $9.99 a month (a lot of torrent users spend more money than that buying blank DVD/blu-rays to burn all the Ultra-HD movies they’ve downloaded), that would help the music industry significantly. Spotify is already in essence giving you 3 months for a dollar; that is a huge discount.

Now, the new way of file sharing is sharing Spotify or Napster or YouTube on Facebook/Twitter, while helping others to discover at the same time. Sharing IMDB links, along with HULU and Netflix on Facebook/Twitter. Come and share with us (by the way, people on Facebook and Twitter are measurably nicer overall than members of a lot of these trackers you’re still breaking your neck to get in to) worry free! Not to mention, these services get free advertising by giving us the tools to allow us to share, AND, the actors and performers get paid. I apologize, I know I’ve written a lot, but I also know no one is really talking about this in depth, and we need to bring value back to good entertainment.

© VintageNewscast.com

Last Update: March 25, 2017

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spotify

On Spotify’s blog, it states that from the company’s total revenue, 70% of their profits go towards paying royalty fees to artists. If you’d like to see their blog, click here. How the hell were they able to survive for so long as a business paying 70% of their profits to the artists? Please don’t take what I’ve written the wrong way; I’m not saying that artist don’t deserve to get paid. Anybody who has been reading my blog long enough, knows I support legal streaming services, and fair pay for all artists. However, the way Spotify is doing things, I”m not sure how long they can survive much longer. No wonder their software sucks ass! There is no real money available to make the necessary upgrades to improve on their service. You know, if I was a Spotify customer I think I would have left, because that doesn’t make me feel good to know that I am helping to pay for the 45M cheap ass free account leechers (oops, I mean the “frugal” users of Spotify LOL). For all you leeches, you need to understand that if it were not for the paid customers, Spotify would become more Pandora like; there’s absolutely no way that Spotify would be able to afford the licenses they currently have on ads alone. So in reality, your mooching is a privilege, not a right. So don’t say “Spotify is the best,” when in reality you only like it because you don’t have to pay; ’cause I’ve seen quite a few services better than Spotify.

That said, this is not good business practice in my opinoin, and it doesn’t give anyone incentive to become paying subscribers. Which also would mean, if I was a subscriber, everything that is broken in the software would stay broken indefinitely. I really do think that there should be a massive campaign effort to explain to the general public, what music streaming truly is, and the value of paying for a good service. Streaming is so much better; not just because it is legal, it’s so much better than using downloading links with infected malware; or downloading a torrent where the person didn’t know how to rip a CD properly; or you download one thing and get something completely different; or the quality is so low because people are still using dial-up; or your hoping and praying for decades that someone, somewhere on this planet will share that 1960’s album you wanted; and if you did find that torrent, you’d discover that it was recorded from vinyl with several hard scratches on each song.

Not only is streaming convenient, not only are most services easy to search and download, most services also help you discover new music you’ve never heard before, or music that you’ve forgotten about. All of that for $10 bucks a month, instead of $30-$50 on CD’s. Even at 99 cents a download still adds up to a lot of money after a while. To be honest, Spotify’s business model really confuses me. I read their goal  is to offer free music; well I’m thinking if that’s the case, why do you need subscribers? I don’t like the idea of picking up anybody else tab (thank you very much). According to Spotify, things are doing well, and the company has hired new employees, blah, blah blah. I just don’t see it yet. Maybe I’m wrong. I think they way Spotify is doing things gives the impression that the artists are busting their ass for free, because they just love their fans? Oh, please! One thing is for sure, I don’t think iTunes is finished f**king with Spotify. Apple is going to find some way to make Spotify limit their free services. I could be wrong, but let’s see. This would be interesting to see where music will be in the next 10 years.

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RuthlessPeople

“I’ve been abducted by Hewie and Dewie.” Ruthless People is not only my favorite comedy from the 80’s, but it remains to be one of my most favorite of all times! From the beginning to the end of this movie, you will not stop laughing. This movie stars Bette Midler, Danny DeVito, Judge Reinhold, just to name a few. There is a chemistry between these actors that is so rare, and each joke was delivered perfectly. There wasn’t a dry moment in this movie! In essence, the movie is about a guy (Danny) who steals someone’s clothing designs, and not only takes credit for them, he makes all the money. When the true designer discovers what happened, herself and her partner put together a plain to kidnap his wife (Bette). Oh, my goodness, Bette gave them a run for their money. I was peeing in my shorts I was laughing so hard! The two kidnappers demanded a ransom for Bette, but it wasn’t long before the kidnappers and Bette realized that Danny had no intention of paying that ransom! Bette, and the two kidnappers planned a revenge!. I definitely recommend this movie to any Bette, or Danny fans especially. I didn’t realize Danny could be so darn funny.

© VintageNewscast.com

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Pharaoh's Curse1957Today saw “Pharaoh’s Curse (1957).” It had about 3 out of five stars, so why not? Well, I think 3 stars was a fair rating. The movie wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. But the was very predictable though. In essence, a group of archaeologists go to Egypt to open a mummy’s casket/tomb. Of course, they wanted to do so to study the hieroglyphics. But the people of Egypt forbid them to perform any kind of excavation. Reason being, they would unleash a curse; a curse that causes the mummy to come back alive, and drain all the blood of the living inside the tomb until all is dead. This movie was also about one of the male archaeologists, trying to get in the pants of a female archaeologist who was already married to the head archaeologist. LOL. There was no subtlety about it at all; he did not waste any time. He was a straight up player by today’s standard. The female archaeologist finally gets the guts to tell her husband she wants a divorce, basically because she realizes she was being used by him. I don’t want to give any spoilers, so you’ll have to see the movie to find out how this situation resolves itself. No special effects really. However, the makeup job was fairly decent. This meets my “So Bad It’s Good” seal of approval. 🙂

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What the hell ever happened to the girl group Exposé? I can’t exactly call this Miami group a one hit wonder; but I didn’t recall seeing a whole lot of albums from them after 1987. That could be because, the album “Exosure (1987) was their best album of their career in my opinion. According to Billboard, they were the first group to have 4 top 10 hits, on Billboard’s “Hot 100,” and those hits all came from this album. All of my favorite songs are here on this album. My most favorite song from them of all times is “Seasons Change.” I think this song is so beautiful. Like Ce Ce Peniston, their music sort of transport you back to our H.S. days of innocence, and learning about boys, life, school, and all that good stuff. “Seasons Change” is truly a classic, because as old as this song is, I can still continue to listen to this song all day. Another song I love from this album is “Come Go With Me,” a danceable pop song that was playing all over the radio @ the end of the 80’s. “Come Go With Me” is another song that is timeless in my opinion. The last song I love from this album is “Let Me Be The One.” After all these years, they are still performing together. Check out their website. Listen to this album on Rhapsody.

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SHazam

What a great subject to write about I thought. I think it’s safe to say that, we focus more on just using Shazam, than thinking how important the service is to us. I have been using Shazam and services like Shazam for quite a few years, and it has proved to be an essential application to have on any smartphone. But, Shazam just doesn’t help the die-hard music lovers; indirectly they also help the streaming services as well! Why? Well, they are actually “bridging the gap,” between the major streaming services (although iTunes/Amazon both have streaming and “On-Demand” download purchases, I still consider it in the same family of streaming). Shazam is not only the best music discovery application to date, it is an independent service that does not depend on music sales “per-say,” but it’s popularity and near flawless functionality. What I’m trying to say is, the music industry depends on Shazam, not the other way around. Shazam makes money by making it easy for Shazam users to purchase their discoveries on iTunes Amazon, and Google. Now, with the recent partnership of Rhapsody, Shazam can encourage people to slowly move over to streaming services. Shazam plays an important role with streaming services, because each time a user Shazams something, they are not obligated to sign up for another service! Shazam will eventually bring all kinds of services together in one application, making it very convenient for Shazam users. If your particular service doesn’t have a song in their library, you’ll still have a choice of purchasing that song through anyone of the three services Shazam is partnered with. The integration with Rhapsody is still new, so the functionality still needs to be ironed out, but the fact that Rhapsody is there speaks volumes. And the fact that some rich dude invested over $40M on Shazam and it’s research. Music fans are in a very exciting era; how wonderful to be living in an age with such incredible technology at our fingertips!

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Recently, I finally got a chance to watch the last installment of the classic “Terminator.” “Terminator Genisys (2015)” was completely awesome in my opinion. The special effects were incredible! At first, when I saw his “moving image” cut and pasted on to the new Genisus movie, I was turned off by it. As someone who often pays attention to detail, I could immediately see the difference in quality between the cutout of the 1984 Arnold, inside the 2015 version of the movie. However, I am happy that I gave this movie a chance, because I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. The other thing I was concerned about, I wasn’t sure how well Arnold would play a robot at his age. I was really worried about seeing tons of fake looking CGI. But, in my opinion, Arnold delivered with lots and lots of action and suspense. The movie stars,  Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, and Jai Courtney. I have to say that, I was incredibly taken back as to just how much Jai Courtney, looks almost exactly like Lee Majors (you may not immediately see in the photograph, but when you see him in Terminator, you’ll notice). There is a lot of things going on in this movie, and unfortunately, you’ll really have to pay attention in order to understand the movie; because not only does it deal with a number of time travels, the movie also talks about a merge of memories and important stories not explained from the first Terminator. There were only two things that somewhat annoyed me in the movie. First, their time travel machine was very reminiscent of the TV show “Stargate.” Second, the main actors seemed to stay naked through the movie LOL. In order for our heroes to time travel, they can’t have any clothing on, because something happens where the person disintegrates or something. I don’t want to give any spoilers, and I also don’t want to complicate this review trying to explain the many elements of the movie. So, I’ll some it up this way; our heroes go back in time to actually stop dooms day from happening. However, none of them suspected that someone very close to them, is responsible for trying to destroy the planet.

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prince

I couple of days ago at a press conference, Prince informed everyone that he will be releasing his new album called “HitNRun” exclusively on Tidal streaming service. Tidal happens to be fully owned by the famous rapper Jay-Z. Prince also gave a powerful and controversial message to young new aspiring  artists, “record contracts are slavery!” Honestly, I think this was a direct response to that whole bullshit between Taylor Swift and Apple. I’m not saying that the incidences are related, cause they’re not. But what I am saying is that artists are tired of being swindled out of the money they deserve. This is huge news guys. You have got to understand what’s happening in the music industry, because it does effect us indirectly. While huge artists are rebelling against labels to send a message, the fans are hurting, because they are forced sign up for Tidal, just to enjoy Prince’s new album? I mean, it wouldn’t have been so bad if he’d said, “but you can buy it on iTunes or Googlplay” or something. This is not good! On the other hand, artists are exposing the evils of the music industry. Prince also talked about how artists are in the dark as to how much labels are actually making from their music. Now, I am very well learned when it comes to music, licensing, and copyright; and I believe they are making countless of more dollars unbeknown to both artists and songwriters.

But, people forget, the music industry just don’t f**k with the artists and songwriters, they also do it to fans, by charging 1,000% for CDs knowing the average fan can no longer afford those prices. This is the core reasons why people use torrents in the first place. It’s not because people want to “steal.” People who are true fans will almost ALWAYS want to pay for their favorite artists music. But making the prices of CDs so high that fans can’t afford it, then what the f**k do they think is going to happen? Music is not for the privileged! Music is a right! A right to be able to afford to enjoy good entertainment!

However, there’s a flip side to this. Prince has always been at war with the Internet. Ordering the powers that be to block all his music for torrent sites (this is the job of DMCA and Sound Exchange, not Prince). I’ve read he even gone after fan sites, ordering to take down his images (regardless of fair use). I think this is a result of a serious misunderstanding of technology on Prince’s part, as well as the common misconception that copyright also gives anybody the right to tell anyone what to do with their copyrighted images. Copyright just doesn’t protect the owner, it also protects the user’s rights to use for criticism. I guess what I’m trying to say is, Prince, like many other big artists who really don’t understand the net, assumes that the Internet is just one big gigantic world of hacking! They don’t understand that there DOES exist a system, a system in which you can make a living. I think Prince realizes this, hence his decision to trust and put his music on Tidal.

I think the hardest part is breaking old torrent habits now that music is affordable. The same is true for video streaming. What’s even worse, applications like Spotify, although it is legal, still has a P2P feel to it. In fact, there are a lot of people who think Spotify is illegal because of that P2P feel (aesthetically speaking). It’s like you’re back in the BearShare days. I think that’s the one thing that pissed me off about Spotify. Although I am grateful and understand why they offer free accounts; the majority of people don’t appreciate it. A lot of people will just leech if you offer something free (even if they can afford it), and the proof is that there hasn’t been anymore real (significant) conversions from free accounts to paying customers. Shit, I don’t even think the moochers even understand the benefits of a paid account! They use Spotify like it is an entitlement! Enjoy it while you can, ’cause you’ll never know when it will be over.

Having said this, regardless of what’s going on in the music industry, I am confident that it will balance itself out eventually, or else the giant music labels will eventually die off from greed. However, having said this, this doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t buy music because “they make too much money.” Not supporting your artists means the can’t make money at all. Music streaming has made it possible to afford all the music our hearts desire. So please continue to use Rhapsody, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Pandora, iTunes Radio, or any legal streaming service (be it free or subscription service), because the artists will get paid something.

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