One of the responses to my earlier post about the MusOpen symphony recording project mentioned a project I had overlooked: the Open Goldberg project has created new public domain scores for the Bach's "Goldberg Variations" using the MuseScore free software musical notation software and is commissioning a studio recording of piano soloist Kimiko Ishizaka performing the pieces, also for public domain release (with
You've probably heard of "Last FM", a music playlist site that allows users to track their favorite bands and listen to music streamed over their mobile devices. But you may not have heard of Libre FM, a recent free software project and free culture web application intended to serve this purpose exclusively for free-licensed musical works.
Classical music itself, by virtue of being old, is mostly public domain, but recordings of performances are usually under copyright, and not many are available for use in free culture works. An emerging new resource, aiming to resolve this problem is MusOpen -- a repository of public domain recordings of public domain music, available in Ogg Vorbis and FLAC formats.
This is my story about searching for Japanese pop music under a free culture license. It's a little tricky, because the best sites for this are of course, in Japan, and not well advertised on the English web. I discovered how to use Python's XMLRPC library to run searches using the web API for a Japanese music sharing site called "Wacca". The results were very interesting -- I found some of what I was looking for, though not all.
One of the great advantages of using a free license for a work is that you can re-use a growing body of free-licensed source material to help you do it. But it can seem a little daunting to find the material that you both want and can legally use. Here's a little bit of my strategy, a few tips, and some sources, including Jamendo, which I found to be the most useful for finding music. I also touch upon some useful free software tools for listening and sorting tracks.
Daniel James is the director of the Studio 64 GNU/Linux distribution, which serves as a basis for professional music studio mixing installations, as well as an experienced writer and editor. Thus it is not surprising that he should create an excellent book on music mixing. What did surprise me was how well he covered visual arts as well -- photography, drawing, animation, and video production.
Amarok sure inspires a lot of KDE-envy for Gnome users. Unfortunately, it doesn't fit in well in Gnome: it's written for a different desktop environment, uses a whole different toolkit, and requires a lot of extra libraries to run. Luckily, there's a great Gnome-based alternative: Rhythmbox.
For a time, GNU/Linux music library tools seemed to be, well, non-existent. Sure, XMMS was an awesome media player. But if you wanted to catalog your music, you were out of luck. Apple users had iTunes and were always rubbing it into the free software world's face. Even Microsoft, the sleeping Redmond giant, had upgraded Windows Media Player to include a library feature. Then, a giant wolf named Amarok charged to the rescue.
Messing with MP3 files is, for some people, a synonym for illegal use of copyrighted music. Well, actually it's not.