Recently I have got my old laptop back and therefore being back on my own box with my trusty media player, I can write again about free music.

Truth is, what is holding me back now is the three exams I have very soon and other obligations (e.g. to ELSA), so I do not have much time to listen to music, let alone comment on it this month.

What I can and will do today though, is to comment on my changed usage of Jamendo and free music in general. In my last TGJE report I complained about the lack of Ogg Vorbis seeds on Jamendo. Well, I decided (as I usually do) to help out the best an end user can – by seeding.

I started seeding every Jamendo album that I have on my disk.

This means I had to change my behaviour pattern with it comes to music quite a bit, but I think it's worth it if this means more people can download high quality free music via P2P!

What I did until now:

  1. I downloaded the album via KTorrent (my favourite bittorrent client) and when the share ratio hit 1.0 moved the album to my /music/ folder and therefore I could not seed it anymore;
  2. renamed the album folder to have a clean Artist – Album name;
  3. ran normalize on the album to normalise the volume levels between tracks

hat I do now: 1. I download the album still via KTorrent, but when the download finishes I use the move data option to move the album to my /music/ folder without the need to stop seeding. There is the downside that the album folders are less cleanly named, but it's a small price to pay. 2. In Amarok2 I do not need to run the normalisation tool, because it already has a built-in reply gain, which is supperior to normalising tracks because a) it is automatic in the player b) does not recode the file and therefore does not lose quality and c) has more options. 3. If/when I have to delete an album because I need more diskspace (not uncommon now that I lost my external HDD), I can safely delete it and know all my tags will still be there when I download it again, because of Amarok's new AFT.

So, with new technology in KDE it is actually less work to get a better result when listening and sharing free music. Kudos!

Of course there is always place for improvement, so here is my list of possible improvements:

  • For quite a long while I have been using categories in KTorrent to tell which albums I've already moved to my music folder/partition, but after thinking about it a bit, I figured out that it would be awesome if it was possible to automatically assign categories to torrents which are e.g. all from the Jamendo tracker and when the torrents in that category finish to download let KTorrent automatically move their data to a specific folder (and keep on seeding). [KDE brainstorm idea #7636]
  • There currently a bug in Amarok that produces a corrupt torrent file when you try to download an album via Amarok. Solving it would greatly improve its usability.
  • Slightly off topic, but while Amarok does have a native implementation of the Jamendo API, there is still a lot room for improvement – Jamendo has so many options that Amarok currently has not implemented (yet) [KDE brainstorm idea #50950]

So, there you have it – listening to free music and sharing it with others has never been as simple as now. I hope at least some of you follow suit and seed the free music you like as much as possible!

hook out → making recycled tea and studying again …boy, is it hot today!

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