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  •  The EvO:R Street Journal

    The EvO:R Street Journal
    Editorial statement
    Dedicated to the culture, business and interests of the indie artist. EVJ delivers controversial points of view, hard-news commentary, Industry Insites, artistic prose and photography and welcomes responses (pro or con), feedback and topic suggestions from readers. If you would like to submit an opinionated article, inspired poem, photo or essay to EVJ, forward all copy to Editor ESJ and put To the Editor in the subject field.



    Mp3.com contents not destroyed;
    it's in the 'Garage'

    By Frank Cotolo

    Most everyone once connected to mp3.com-and isn't that most everyone connected to presenting music over the Internet?-is being given the chance to restore the music they once posted on the now defunct online music distributor (OMD).

    Garageband dot com (GDC) has gotten hold of the massive load of tracks once showcased at mp3.com and is offering the artists who own those tracks a page on GDC.

    Three tracks can be posted for free. Any more will cost the artist some money. This is understandable, since GDC has to survive. It has fallen once before, in the wake of the free OMD wave of the mid- to late-90s that drowned most of the sites, including mp3.com. So, for cash, a former mp3.com member can post more songs once housed at the big M.

    But, a lot of people are surprised that this offer has surfaced because a lot of people were under another impression. Many thought that once CNET purchased mp3.com that all content would be deleted. That was less of an assumption, it was declared by the new owners. Members were asked to take their tracks back before a designated date, because once the button was pushed there would be no getting to that material.

    Something happened quietly after the button was pushed. There were some low-profile news items about CNET selling the database of mp3.com music to the Trusonic Music Program and there was inside source information circulating that CNET never had any intention of deleting the contents.

    "The former MP3.com was indeed shut down," says the official statement at GDC. "However, a division of MP3.com, called Trusonic, remained in business as a separate company, and saved the over 1.7 million songs by 250,000 bands who had legally opted in to the Trusonic program. Trusonic has your songs only if those songs were enrolled in the Trusonic Music Program as of Dec. 19, 2003. Trusonic does not have access to songs that were not enrolled in the Trusonic Music Program."

    No one is very clear about how the Trusonic contents got into the hands of GDC. No reports to our knowledge were posted, and if they were, they were not delivered to the people who might care about the news the most-the former mp3.com members.

    When GDC planned the operation, however, the millions of tracks suddenly became available and that news was delivered to every last person once active on the big M. The move will undoubtedly deliver a new cash flow to GDC, which, one would imagine cannot afford a second shut down and is struggling to keep the incarnation afloat.

    GDC hasn't, meanwhile, changed its routine. It acts as a stage for younger independents, with the gold ring a major recording contract. "Thirteen top-ranking GarageBand.com artists have been signed by major labels," GDC says. Name one. But sans cynicism, GDC is offering a desired service to the young demographic. Musicians weaned during the digital revolution are in no way striving to be independent. They are looking for fame and fortune, for a door to open in the big time. At that age, it's only natural. The older members of GDC have to put up with the younger members' criticisms, which are often illiterate and lame, self-centered and weightless. At that age, it's only natural that musicians seeking an identity should behave as if they are seasoned artists. But the older members of GDC still get nothing from the site, its reviews and whatever else it offers. Veterans of indie music won't be competitive with the younger set for recording contracts and they won't be attracting audiences of any significant size.

    So, GDC is a worthless investment to seasoned performers. Paying to be there is an utter waste. If you want to get your free mp3.com allotment, go ahead. Slap your stuff up at GDC and leave. Or come back every now and then to read how the younger generation tears it all to shreds. I find it amusing. If you don't, you are eligible for a reality check.



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