Saturday, July 7, 2007

Trolling the Underground: Dallas, Tx June 26, 2007

I've never been a Police fan. From the beginning, their music absolutely failed to reach me. I can only think of two songs that I ever liked a little, in fact. Not being a big reggae fan, either, their kinda-reggae-in-the-backbeat-but-not-
really type of sound just didn't do it for me.

Another thing that bugged me was the name "Sting." Honestly, it just struck me as silly at best, pretentious at worst. And it was the precursor to hordes of silly-ass names like "Bono" and "Slash". Am I to think that Mr. and Mrs. Edge named their son "The?"

Oddly enough, my vast collection of unofficial recordings doesn't always reflect my tastes. For one thing, I may be experimenting by downloading something I've never heard of, and that I end up not liking. Far more often, however, it's because I'm getting something for someone else. I don't like the Eagles, but I downloaded it for someone I knew would appreciate it. Ditto Soundgarden. I've even got some Cramps shows that I snagged for my neighbor, which aren't as bad as I expected, and might even grow on me. I usually end up keeping the shows, if not in CD form, then in a lossless comressed backup, in case it ever comes in handy for a trade or something. It costs relatively little to keep a few billion extra zeros and ones sitting around.

So it was that when I browsed and perused my favorite site, and saw the Police tour pop up now and again, I thought of a recent post by DangerDoll.

Now, that lady's a Police fan. She made a seven hour round trip to see the Dallas show at the American Airlines Center (which I'm certain had a much better name at some time), and you only do that if you like a band. Of course, I'm no stranger to this - I've gone from Elgin, Il. to Hamilton, Ontario to see the Grateful Dead, and from Albuquerque to Phoenix to see Peter Gabriel. The music you love is worth it, if you love it enough.

So to connect a good- sounding audience recording of the show (judging from the sample posted at the site) with the person who drove seven hours round trip to see it was as easy as making a few clicks to download it. Really, this shit is easier than calling Geico.

Now here's the really great news. It used to be that to get it to her, I would have to decompress it, burn it to CDs, print the info sheet, package it all up, get an address to send it to, and deal with getting to a Postal Service which, here in Albuquerque, seems to keep banker's hours. A lot of effort expended to get the music to one person.

No more. There is a much easier way now, that has always been at my fingertips, but is just recently learned. I can now send the recording of this entire show to as many people as would like to have it directly from my computer to yours. No burning, packaging, postage or hassle to deal with, and this method actually takes up less of my time because it's simpler and more direct. Since I don't need to mail anything, it should put to rest any myths that I'm collecting personal info. There will be a little setup for y'all to do, but only the first time. Once you've gotten yourself started, every future download is simplicity itself. And yes, this is legal.

Now, this is a strange TtU entry because usually I'm talking about the band's performance, or how it's different from the records, or whatnot, but TtU has also always been about the act of collecting itself, and the Prime Directive of sharing. As far as the band goes, I've already said it - I don't have much use for them. DangerDoll's review of the show is behind the link above, and here is another review I found laying about. I also found some photos of this show taken by someone who was right up front.

It wouldnt be a TtU, however, without a posted song, even though I'm making the entire show available. Think of it as a sample. It's one of the two songs of theirs that I've liked for at least a minute, and it's called Synchronicity II. What do you think?

Now, if you would like a copy of the entire show, just follow these simple instructions.

  1. Download and install this program. Easy, free, and safe. This you will only have to do the first time.
  2. Download this file.
  3. Click on the file you just downloaded (you may have been given the option during the download of opening the file using utorrent - that's just as good, so go for it). The program you just downloaded and installed should pop up. If it doesn't let me know, I'll help.
  4. Decide where you want the concert files to go to. The whole thing, in this case, is 784 MB. Once you choose a place on your HD for the files and okay it, the transfer will begin automatically, and the program will give you status information.
You may notice that you are connected to people other than myself. This is to expected, and encouraged. This is called a swarm, and the more people are in it, the faster everyone gets the music. That's why I'll ask that you not disconnect as soon as you finish, please. Stay on for a little while and help pass the data on. Remember the Prime Directive.

Once you have the files, you will see that they are in a strange file type called flac. This is called lossless compression - music files are typically large, so compressing them makes for a faster download. Lossless compression means that no wavelengths are lost in the process - the uncompressed music is identical to the original music. Some of you may have media players that will play flac files, but you can't burn them to CD without decompressing them. For those who wish to burn them or can't play flac files, decompressing is child's play. Just download this free program (the appropriate one for your OS, o'course). Drag and drop the flacs to the decoder, decide at the bottom where you want the decoded files to go, and click on "decode". Then you can burn.

I hope everyone enjoys this! Let me know what you think of the process and the show. I have downloaded over 1000 G of music, video, books, and comics using bit torrent and never had a problem caused by any of it. It has, in fact, truly thrown my musical horizons to a far more distant place. If people dig it, I'll be happy to share other shows, and since this is so simple from my viewpoint, I can easily entertain requests. I can even fulfill some of them, I'm sure.

While digging up info for this, I found that an audience video recording is out there, too. You can see part of it here. I'm not that impressed, but someone who was there might want to see it.

Assume the Position!!!!


DangerDoll said...

I'm winding my way through the Torrent download right now, but it looks like I may be asleep before it finishes! I can't wait, though!

That video of the concert...heh heh heh...not good at all, especially with the guy so clearly singing along (and not well, either).

Thanks SO MUCH for the heads-up on all this!

Joe the Troll said...

Torrents can take a while at first (they're limited by the upload speed of the seeder), but once a few people get all of the data and become seeds, you can zip things down in no time! I've gotten larger packets than this is less than an hour because there were a hundred or more seeds. I don't have that many readers, though, so I don't think we'll reach that point.

This is about sharing the music, though, so feel free to send links to other Police fans you know.

RaeJane said...

Sting got his name because of an ugly yellow and black sweater he used to wear.
Others would kid him about it and started calling him 'Sting'.

: )

I love Sting.. "every little thing she does is magic..every little thing just turns me on."

Miz UV said...

Cool! I'm not a big Police fan either, but this sure is a neat idea. Maybe the next one. Thx for sharing. :)

Natsthename said...

I'm a really big Police fan, so I'll be looking into this tomorrow. THANKS, JOE! (and thanks for posting the band, even if you're not a fan. They always made me want to dance about the room and sing along.)

Joe the Troll said...

I'll continue seeding throughout the week. By then there will either be enough folks to keep it going or it will go bye-bye!

DangerDoll said...

All done!

So here's your testimonial:

"So easy, even DangerDoll could do it."

Then again, that might be taken already. Seriously, I don't understand a lot of what I did (or what a "seed" is), but I followed the instructions and am now enjoying my burned copy of the concert! You rock, Joe. You rock HARD.

O' Tim said...

I'm proud of you DD! Joe's simplified this from the already simple transactions via the swap servers, but it takes a little intuition to breeze through like it seems you did. (Time to get this girl over to DD, Joe).

I will echo some trolly advice and caution you to be sure and start documenting your collection NOW (spreadsheet works great). It's addictive and before you know it you've got 100 G of music and books to look, listen and shelve.

Oh, and The Police are one of those 80s bands that grew on me later, for the reason Joe said they didn't him - their Reggae sensibilities.

Joe the Troll said...

I'm glad you're digging it, DD! O'Tim is right - this can be quite an addiction, and I have let myself fall into the trap I warned O'Tim about. I have a LOT of cataloging to do before I'm even sure of what I've got. Just last week I found a 1970 concert DVD of Pink Floyd in San Tropez that I had never watched, and had forgotten I had! I need psychiatric help.

Like I said, I'll seed through this week. Anyone who wants it should get it now!

DangerDoll said...

If by cataloging, you mean keeping a list of the music one currently has, I've already got that. When the CDs hit 500, it was time to alphabetize and log. And people mock my OCD. Heh.

But if you mean cataloging music you have on the computer, that's easy...I don't have any, because I've never downloaded anything before! Weep for me, willya?

Joe the Troll said...

DD- You were right the first time. I downloaded way too much too fast! I keep it all on disc, though, the computer itself is just a temporary stop.