Feeds

Music biz backs anti-Napster MP3 sniffer-outer

Find out who's sharing your songs

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Updated The music industry today gave its backing to software that allows punters to do its dirty work for it.

The software, called Songbird, allows users to search for songs on the Napster network (you have to be a registered Napster user to perform the search). It is aimed at copyright owners who want to see which of their songs are being shared.

That said, we're not entirely sure what use it will be. Songbird's developer, Media Enforcer, says the code "allows its users to search all of the Napster servers for specific artist and track combinations.

"In addition, the 'Search variations' option allows users to find popular spelling variations (eg. Pig Latin) of Artist and/or Song Title information. Songbird displays and, when selected, records the User Name, Date/Time and File information of files that meet the user's search criteria."

At the end of the day it's basically a filename-based search system and as comprehensive as it is, it will always be one or two steps behind the latest conventions file-sharers are using to disguise the names of the songs they're distributing.

Songbird is free, but we note that Media Enforcer is very quick to try and sell you a $50 upgraded version that will also search Gnutella and adds movies and other digital media to the list of searcheable files.

The upgrade also provides users with sharers' IP addresses plus "all available information from the network" - a thorny privacy issue the music industry was keen to avoid with Songbird, we understand.

Meanwhile, says the Songbird FAQ: "Songbird searches tracks one at a time, which means that it would take a very long time to do multiple searches of different tracks."

That makes the software less useful to Napster users trying to track down specific files themselves, but we can't help wonder if they're the ones who will use the most.

As for copyright owners who do find their music distributed without permission, Songbird will provide them with the evidence they need. But they'll still need to contact Napster and persuade it to filter out their music. It's a start, we guess...

But then, as the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which is also backing Songbird, says, it's as much about educating musicians, music publishers and other copyright owners about what's going on on Napster. ®

Related Link

Songbird can be downloaded here It's a Windows app, but Linux and MacOS versions are on there way and should be released in two weeks' time.

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?