2024-07-24 17:34:52
New DRM-Free P2P Music Store Pays Labels, Uploaders middlemen/music/news

Listening Post – Wired Blogs

If you’re looking for a way to grab music from peer-to-peer networks without that nagging feeling that you’re depriving a starving artist of her next meal (or a label exec of that Learjet upgrade), Grooveshark might help. It’s a P2P app like Limewire or Kazaa, except you have to pay for tracks (“around $0.99”). The artist/label takes their cut, and then Grooveshark splits the remainder 50/50 with the user who uploaded the track to the buyer.

Once the service launches (it’s in private beta), you’ll be able to purchase tracks via the web, but you’ll need to run a small client (Linux/Mac/Windows) in order to share. The system apparently selects the highest bitrate file available when you purchase a track, and all tracks are delivered in the unprotected MP3 format. Artist information is created and edited using a wiki-style collaborative system. Bands and artists whose music is not already shared by Grooveshark users can share their own music in order to seed it into the system.

This is an interesting concept, but one problem is likely to be the size of the music catalog, because songs aren’t available unless the artist/label want them to be. Grooveshark says “it has gotten interest of a ton of independent labels as well as some larger ones (Magnatunes/Naxos/Sheridan Square),” but in order for a store like this to be useful, it has to be truly comprehensive.

One way to solve the problem would be to allow all music to be sold through the site, only paying the artists and labels who register — sort of like SoundExchange does.

Update: Grooveshark is in fact going to index songs from any label so the catalog problems I mention above shouldn’t be a factor. Problem solved?

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