View Full Version : NFBT: Napster Replacement

Bob Dole
05-04-2001, 05:04 AM
Bob Dole fired up Napigator at lunchtime yesterday to try and preview some more of the tracks from Stabbing Westward's upcoming CD, only to discover that all of the MusicCity Napster servers had disappeared from the list.

Since those were servers which had <i>not</i> been subject to the court-ordered filtering software implementation, they had been running with about 1.5 million tracks available as opposed to the "filtered Napster" totals that seem to hover around 250k. Bob Dole went to the MusicCity web site to see if there was any announcement...

Well, it sems that MusicCity has developed their own proprietary file sharing application, <i>Morpheus</i>. (Not to be confused with our esteemed colleague, <i>Morphius</i>, aka <i>Sarcasmo</i>.) Pretty spiffy stuff.

<i>Morpheus</i> seems to combine the best features of now-defunct <i>Scour</i> and the not-popular-enough-to-be-entirely-useful <i>Imesh</i> apps.

It's a true peer-to-peer application, which ought to make it more difficult for the Feds to fiddle with. It provides search capabilities for media types other than audio. It appears to actually peer into the ID3 tags of MP3 files to determine the artist and track, rather than simply searching on filenames. And when you attempt to download a file, it performs a coordinated download from multiple sources simultaneously, which can result in some blazing download speeds. Alas, Bob Dole did not find where the search results list the duration of the files, which is sometimes key to grabbing the desired version. (You know...the truncated 2:07 version of <i>In A Gadda Da Vida</i> that some yahoo still has sitting on his drive as opposed to the real 17:05 version that you really want.)

All in all, a pretty nifty app worth checking out.

(And yes, Bob Dole found the entire unreleased SW CD, but is somewhat disappointed at first listen...)

Archie F. Swin
05-04-2001, 06:32 AM
free service?

05-04-2001, 07:09 AM
Gonna have to check that one out. Ever used Gnutella(gnotella)? Kinda the same thing; not just audio files.
nifty, nifty, nifty.

Bob Dole
05-04-2001, 07:10 AM
Yes, it's free.

And IBDHO, it's much more user-friendly than Gnutella.

(Just checked and currently there are 47335 users connected sharing 4468000 files.)

Also forgot to point out that it has an integrated media player (actually, Bob Dole thinks it integrates Windows Media Player) and music library organizer where you can group by artist or genre. Not enough to make Bob Dole abandon MusicMatch Jukebox (which has pretty much replaced Winamp on Bob Dole's machine), but a nice feature...

05-04-2001, 07:32 AM
The library organizer sounds great. I'm still usuing the 'ol free RealPlayer Jukebox. I like all the skins available out there.
I recently got another player called Media Jukebox (supposed to handle all types of multimedia files, not just audio), but I haven't used it yet. Realplayer works fine, and I'm just so dern lazy.

05-04-2001, 07:38 AM
I have been using www.audiogalaxy.com.

It seems to be much more reliable then Napster and the thing I like about it you can load songs to download into the queue and they will be processed sequentially.

Works great if you have a dedicated line and can just leave your line open.

05-04-2001, 07:48 AM
I had been testing a program called Bear Shear @ www.bearshare.com . I really like it. It is a new Gnutella spin off. The cool thing about it is, it is not limited to just MP3's like Napster. You can share anything from MP3's to WAV's and even MPEG's and AVI's. They have full movies! Happy surfing gentleman. :)

Bob Dole
05-04-2001, 07:57 AM

Bob Dole switched to MusicMatch primarily for the organization features. While the skins/visualizations are lacking at this point, everything else about it is sweet. Even in the free version you can rip/burn CDs, and it adds fields beyond the standard ID3 tag without making it an invalid MP3 file.

You can rate the song, set a "mood" and set a "situation", then use the auto DJ feature to create a playlist. For instance, Bob Dole labels "mellow" songs and when in the mood, just chooses to play songs where mood=mellow. You can also add a graphic image, which Bob Dole uses to insert a scan of the CD cover art. Also a screen for lyrics. Also a function that connects you to the MusicMatch service which offers additional stuff.

All of it bundles nicely with the home theater. Routing the PC output to the receiver puts the CD cover art or visualization on the television while the Cerwin Vegas pump out the tune.

(Geez oh Pete, Tweeter, Bob Dole didn't mean to sound like a commercial for MusicMatch...)

05-04-2001, 07:58 AM
Another neat thing about audiogalaxy is you can pick up where you left off in your download if you get punted off your dialup. With da Nap, that used to drive me crazy; I'd get about 90% done, and the server would d-con me!

05-04-2001, 08:14 AM
Me no have new home theater system!
I have to play everything (MP3s) through the dinky lil' speakers on my 'puter. I've got an old set of JBL studio monitors that I play CDs on. One of these days I'm going to buck up and get a amp that will let me play my MP3s over the JBLs, but there are other things more pressing at this time.

Baby Lee
05-04-2001, 08:57 AM
redhed - What's running the juice to your JBLs to play the CDs? If its a receiver, and you have another RCA input available on it, they have phono-plug to RCA adapters that would let you output your MP3s from the sound card to the receiver. Just use the line out from the card.

- declining to comment on the propriety of calling MP3s 'audiophile.'

05-04-2001, 09:07 AM
Johnny: Got me an Accuphase int. amp/preamp.

To tell the truth, I never looked on the back of the 'puter. I can't remember which type of jack is there. I seriously doubt I have the right connectors back there. The machine I have isn't what I'd call cutting edge tech.

Not at home now, have to check sometime this weekend.

I agree that the MP3 format isn't the greatest, but all digital formats cut the tops off the higher freq. Give me a direct disc rec. album any day of the week.

Baby Lee
05-04-2001, 09:09 AM
Have you tried the SACD yet. To quote'The Continrental "Wow. . . Wowie-wow-wow."

- more champagn-ya??

05-04-2001, 09:26 AM
What is SA CD? (super audio compact disc?) :D

"Oh, I have spilled shampahnya on your boob. Let me wipe it off... Where are you going?"

Baby Lee
05-04-2001, 09:44 AM
Precisely, direct stream digital encoding, instead of PCM, much much higher sampling rate [2.8224 MHz.. versus 44.1 Khz], and 2-100K frequency range [versus 2-20K for CDs] are the big differences.

And having heard it, I can tell you they are real, discernable differences, not technical spec differences.

05-04-2001, 09:51 AM
With a sample rate like that, no wonder.

People always told me I was crazy about the higher freqs. (The human ear can't hear that high!)
And to them I said: The overtones are also part of the note; that's how you can tell if the instruments are really in tune. This is also why live music sounds crisper.
Finally, I've been waiting until the equipment would have enougth memory to get all of those partials!

Thanks for cluing me in, Johnny.

05-04-2001, 10:14 AM
Personally, I am still using napster. Though they are filtering the results, I find it works to just mis-spell a artists name, only type in the song name, or using the last resort....pig latin. The occasional transfer error does get my goat, but I willing to deal. As for Audiogalaxy, I wasn't impressed with the design and didn't like the fact that you couldn't cancel your transfers. Also, if someone is d/l off of me, it won't let me off, and this happens way too much, since I have hundreds of songs. All high-quality music ranging from Heavy-metal(ex. Slipknot/Mudvayne) softer rock(ex. Incubus/Staind) Country(ex. Alabama/Chris Ledoux) and rap(Ludicras/Nelly) so I come up with alot of people downloading off of me, in few words...it sucks!

Bob Dole
05-04-2001, 10:35 AM

If you've got tiny external speakers attached to your PC, then you've got what you need to pass it through to the amp. All you'll need is the <a href="http://americas.creative.com/products/accessories/AccessoryPicture.asp?Graphic=rcafull.gif&BuyNow=0411320000&Title=RCA%20Stereo%20Cable">correct cord</a>.

That said, if you've got a really cheap sound card, you may not be pleased with the results... Bob Dole's laptop, for instance, passes a "hum" that Bob Dole finds incredibly annoying. The machine connected to the receiver was built for that purpose, though, and the output is noise-free.

keg in kc
05-04-2001, 10:48 AM
You know, the funniest thing is that my Cambridge SoundWorks DeskTop Theater 5.1 speakers (almost two years old now) playing out of my SoundBlaster live sound a hell of a lot better than any other speakers in the house (err, Infinity in my room and Polk Audio for the home theater). It's kind of odd, but man can these little bastards put out some good sound. Don't have the same volume, of course, but terrific sound quality in full surround (bought originally for video gaming prior to my discovery of napster - environmental audio rocks...).

Before we moved, my soundcard went to both my stereo and the desktop speakers. After I moved, I didn't bother to run it through my receiver, because I never used it...

Thanks for the heads up on the new app BD.

05-04-2001, 11:07 AM
aturnis: You need to move some of your MP3 files out of the folder audiogalaxy puts them in. Make a new folder, and move the songs there. That way, you can allow only the ones you want to be uploaded.

Dole: I'm gonna go ahead and bet that my sound card is subpar, but I'm still gonna try it. Radio shack, here I come!!

05-04-2001, 11:52 AM
I have a Cambridge Theater system, ie eight speakers and have found them equally superior to anything else, except my old MCIntoshies. Still have some midsize shelf JBL's which I like for my computer, which is in a small room.
It took awhile to find what settings to utilize different genre of music versus the movie hookup on the Cambridge systsem but it is worth it. They realy need a bigger room than what I have them in although you can program any ambience you want.

05-04-2001, 12:19 PM
I honestly believe that M&K, AND NHT speakers are the best medium priced speakers I have found. OF course, since Cambridge is factory direct, I never got to audition any...

Does bearshare have a mac compatible version?

Baby Lee
05-04-2001, 12:29 PM
Brad - have you heard the Paradigm line? Its seems like no matter where in the line you listen, your response is "and they cost how much???"

Best $200 pair of speakers I've ever heard. Makes everything up to $700-800 sound like poo-poo [pardon mon francais]. Also among the elite in the $2000-2500 per pair line as well.

Nelson Muntz
05-04-2001, 05:10 PM
Hey Mr. Dole
where do you get this program at? I'm gonna try it out as soon as i get the chance, cuz i'm tired of not being able to find anything on napster anymore.

Bob Dole
05-04-2001, 05:41 PM
Download Morpheus <a href="http://download.cnet.com/downloads/0-1896420-108-76172.html?bt.48575.185" target="newwindow">here</a>.

05-04-2001, 05:44 PM
Thanks, Bod Dole!!
Spent all day with Morpheus. Looks good and works good. Audio downloads seem to be better quality than Napster. Not up on this and don't know if this has been mentioned. The hold feature is really great.

05-05-2001, 01:05 PM
Napster is a boon to me now.

I don't collect recent music off the internet. I collect old out of print music.

With all the Britney Spears and Eminem songs gone it searches faster and seems to run more effeciently

05-05-2001, 01:42 PM
I have found LimeWire to be the best so far...It's a good replacement, and allows stills and video transfers....I have about 30 minutes of "Yellow Submarine" now! Working on Pink Floyd stuff....

Bob Dole
05-05-2001, 02:47 PM
If Bob Dole ever gets a replacement stylus for the turntable, Bob Dole could rip you all the Pink Floyd you'd ever want, Brad... Would offer to do it now, but know the thing is worn out and probably damaging the few albums Bob Dole plays (not to mention that some of the recording would be lost in the transfer).

Zebedee DuBois
05-05-2001, 02:53 PM
Can you give me your thoughts on the best music storage medium for playback. I have often heard that vinyl gave the greatest range of volume change, depth, etc. Growing up with vinyl, I tend to agree.

Bob Dole
05-05-2001, 05:44 PM
Bob Dole thinks the vinyl gives a "warmer" tone, but honestly prefers CDs, if for no other reason than they hold up better to everyday use. There's a trade-off to everything...

(Bob Dole always had a tough time with that turntable in the old Camaro...)