Thursday, March 13, 2003
Is it an Internet Radio Station if you don't actually play music?
You might have noticed that I show the current playing song from my mp3 player here on my site. What you don't know is that I've been using a hack for the past few months. For Winamp, I used the DoSomething plugin to work through a local special template file which would create another local flat file with song info. I'd then ftp the output file to my server, which I loaded as an include. To get my mac to the same, I had to setup a similar program, and both hacks ended up constantly sending flat files to my server over insecure FTP. Kinda sounds like overkill, doesn't it?
An interesting idea and something I didn't know about WinAmp, but cool nonetheless. By presenting a current playlist he is not only showing what type of music he listens to, but in an abstract way, he's acting as a form of disk jocky (although he isn't spinning disks but streaming electrons), which may be a way that Internet radio can survive the onslaught of the RIAA in an underground type of way.
I had the idea some time ago, made a quick note of it, and promptly forgot it. This post reminded me of it. Given the silly hoops you have to go through to actually present a radio-like station over the Internet, what if you sidestepped the major problem—the playing of music?
It's certainly not illegal to provide a list of song titles and artists on a publically accessible webpage. Lyrics, possibly, but not the titles and artists. And there should be even less problem if you don't actually link to the song itself—just a list.
And if that isn't illegal, then it certainly is okay to update said list periodically. Say, every fifteen or thirty minutes or so. Oddly enough, it would be such that the list of songs, if played would cover the period of time in question. And it shouldn't matter if the ilst is stored in HTML, XML or a flat text file. And store it in a well-known location on a web server.
And it certainly wouldn't be my problem if something like Kazaa or any other form of P2P filesharing program would pick up said file and do an automatic search and retrieval of the songs in the list.
I mean, I can't be the only person to have thought of this? Right? Right?