Ken's Brain Drain
Sunday, May 30, 2004
  Music downloading, the way it ought to be
I am so impressed with this eMusic, legal music downloading service. I have been a member for about 6 months now. Apple iTunes... I love ya, and occasionally still cop a tune now and again, but my main source of new music has been this wonderful eMusic service. Yes, it requires a subscription of $9.99/month, but that entitles you to 40 tunes. That is a mere $.25 each, compared with a buck each from iTunes Music Store (ITMS). That's $2.50 for an average 10 track album compared with $9.99 and up at ITMS. If the music industry is serious at putting a dent in the illegal downloading trade, they must lower the price point of legal music and a quarter a song seems like the appropriate price to me. After all, digital music does not require CD production, packaging, printing, distribution, warehousing, etc. $.99 is simply outrageous, in my humble opinion.

The selection at eMusic is eclectic to say the least. You won't find the latest Brittney, Beyonce,or Coldplay here. The collection is a unique blend of old often out of print classics, and new indie material that will expand your musical horizons, and constantly surprise you with new quality creative artists that you will never see on ITMS or other similar sites. It never fails that just when I think I have exhausted the selections from eMusic that fit my taste, I discover several new albums to stash away in my account for next months downloads.

If you are a hardcore Jazz fan like myself, eMusic's jazz collection is a bounty of riches! Trane, Miles, Monk, Holiday, Sarah, Bud, Wes, Pass... the list goes on and on. eMusic is populated with hundreds of out of print classics from the Prestige/Milestone/Pablo/Fantasy labels, supplemented by many great independent recordings that provide a publishing outlet for great jazz artists that have since been shunned by the money grubbing greedy major recording labels that now make up the evil RIAA.

As an added bonus, I have been 'turned on' to many great artists, new and old that I never would have discovered by flipping through CD racks at the mall. These are artists such as Art Pepper, Steve Davis, and Eric Alexander to name just a few. I also have downloaded great new music in other genres like world music and electronic.

Do yourself a favor and check it out. If the offer is still out there, you can try it out with no obligation, and your first 50 tunes are free. That's how I got hooked. By the way, the music files are all high quality unprotected MP3's. Yep plain ole' MP3's, playable on all platforms, all portable devices, with no restrictions. Like I said, a Music Service the way it ought to be!!
Thursday, May 13, 2004
  Questions to ponder
Imagine if the shoe were on the other foot. What if the US did not have the military might that we have today? What if we didn't have hundreds of billions of dollars for defense? What if a coalition of Arabic Muslim nations decided that our form of government has led to a godless society with rampant racism, greed, crime and pornography. What if this Coalition felt that the US nuclear arsenal and capabilities to produce chemical or biological weapons posed a threat to other countries of the world? What if this Coalition overstated, or misled the world with evidence of this threat to justify a preemptive military strike against our nation? What if they invaded our cities, dismantled our federal, state and city governments and put in a Governing Council made up of Muslim clerics and others sympathetic to their cause. What if this Coalition dissolved our police departments and utility companies, and replaced them with their military, paid militia, and workers from the Arabic countries?

Would actions that our US citizens take to resist and sabotage this Coalitions efforts be justified? Would you consider men and women participating in such a resistance be terrorists?
Thoughts that flow through an ethernet cable connecting my brain to the World Wide Web.

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Name: Ken Laster
Location: Connecticut, United States

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