Stealing Madonna’s American Life

I was watching/listening to MTV and saw a couple ads for Madonna’s American Life CD. They said that the whole disc was available on MTV.com. So I went there and sure enough, it’s all there. I thought to myself how I’d like to hear the whole CD without having to click on each track… and how I’d like to listen to it upstairs, not next to my computer, so I went to Kazaa and fetched one copy of each song of the album. I found that most of the tracks I fetched had been planted by the record company. One track was mislabeled (it just happened to be the title track, American Life), a couple tracks had a 5 second loop of American Life over and over, and a couple tracks were…. well they certainly weren’t what I was looking for. It was 5 minutes of dead air preceded by Madonna saying just one thing at the very beginning. She says “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”. So I did what anyone else would do in my situation. Alt-Tab to Kazaa. Click Search. Click the first song in the list. Drag the cursor to the bottom of the list. Shift, Click. I’ll have 200 album tracks in an hour or so. I’ll tell you shortly how many tracks are bogus. The thing that confuses me about the record company’s effort is that if I could just stream (and capture) the whole album from MTV.com, why are they bothering? The tracks on MTV have promos in it… IE Madonna breaking in saying, “Hi, this is Madonna. I hope you’re enjoying my new album, American Life”. So, are there non-promo interlaced cuts out there? Eh, whatever. The battle involving record companies, artists, and peer-to-peer file sharing is fraught with crappiness. I of course focus most of my ire on the record company monopoly. But not to worry, it’s obvious that the internet is tearing down their foundation, a monopoly on radio broadcast station playlists. Artists will continue to make money performing live while record companies will fall into the hole they crawled out of.

As a side note, I heard recently (and this was confirmed from a couple angles) about how the business of artists suing record companies is really hopping. The companies have a habit of (surprise surprise) violating contracts by underpaying their artists, even when the artist does well for them. Of course the majority of (starving) artists don’t have the money and wherewithal to take the company to court, so they just suck it up and go back to their day job. That’s the thing that pisses me off the most the situation: repeated institutionalized, unrepentant, unprosecuted fraud.

7pm Ok, it’s a couple hours later. I think I’ve got most of the tracks. Oo, that was so hard (not). I’m digging the sounds. Another trick from the record company is some sort of Kazaa hack. Many of the downloads start and then the bandwidth is reduced to almost nil. The idea is that my PC is just sitting around waiting for the download forever. So I upped the number of download sessions from 4 to 10. All of these little tricks are so…… is “juvenile” the word? But then, I -am- stealing music…

I was listening to the tracks on MTV.com with the promos stuck in… Madonna came on over her song and asked me “what the fu-[bleep] do you think you’re doing?” What’s with this? MTV asked me to listen to this song and streamed it to me, and Madonna is swearing at me for my trouble. Maybe it was an editing mistake; they got a whole bunch of blurbs from Madonna during the session and just dropped them all onto the MTV streaming songs, forgetting what was actually in the blurb. Or maybe not.

8:20pm OK, it’s another hour later and I’m sifting through my tracks. I find myself mad at Madonna.. I’ve had to delete about 100 tracks that are either just 5 second loops or “What the fuck” tracks. Of course I got all the tracks I wanted and way more. I just pointed Winamp at my download directory… 700+ tracks of my favs downloaded in the last week. Play away.

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