Digital Music

Better Than iTunes: The New Age Of Torrenting

image from www.p2pon.com I remember between 04-05 when BitComet started making its way around file-sharing circles; they embraced it almost with a sense of arrogance. You still download single files? Don’t you know that people are being sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars for file-sharing on Kazaa and LimeWire? After all, they downloaded an entire discography in the matter of a few hours, given enough seeds. But file-sharers, doing it one song at a time, what losers.

I think the cultural industries took it for granted that back then there was a certain barrier to entry to using torrents. The sites were ugly as sin and you had to know a little bit about the process to get the best downloads, like becoming a member of Demonoid, even though they actively never accept new members. Wait, what?

The average fan doesn’t have that kind of ambitions. But, the tech-kids sure did and filling up 300GB hard-drives was peanuts to them. Just a matter of knowing what music they liked and going out to find it. Last year, Coda.fm hit the web and to this day, it’s one of the prettiest, easy to use, and straight-forward torrent sites to navigate; it almost rivals iTunes, but it’s not legal. So, what happens when the day comes that Coda.fm and every other torrent site runs better than iTunes?

Don't think that it's not possible.

Yesterday, TorrentFreak ran a story and interview with the founder of Coda.cm, documenting the release of his latest site Take.fm. Like Coda.cm before it, it’s beautiful. And the founder intends to fight anyone tooth and nail if they attempt to take his new creations offline. “Yes, we expect a lot of legal actions against us, the kind that we already endured with Coda.fm, but with more pressure. However, they couldn’t stop us before, and they won’t succeed now either,” he told TF.

The founder then confirmed that he would "do anything" it takes to stay online, as long as he has users that enjoy his service. It makes you wonder what kind of blood is going to boil when publishers come across an eBook torrent site that rivals Barnes & Nobel’s online experience and even lets you organize all of your downloads into a bookshelf like on Shelfari. One thing is for sure, the times are changing and it’s becoming more clear that the record and music industries are either going to have to out-smart and innovate pirates, or simply copy them as Matt Mason might say. If the experience fans have on torrent sites are the same or better than digital retailers, even less clicks, that's a pretty damn big oversight.

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4 Comments

  1. I used to be all about ISOhunt, but kickasstorrents has a better community w/ awesome quality ratings.
    But even though I have a terabyte of movie files, I still routinely (religiously) attend the movie theater on Thursday/Friday nights.
    I should add that I think NETFLIX and Boxxee, Roku, Google TV and even Western Digitals Live HD TV offering are almost better experiences.
    Ans as we are seeing in music…
    Access > Ownership

  2. Interesting article – I’d like to go one step further: If you ever have to chance to get access to private torrent music sites like what.cd you will notice that those are even more advanced. When it comes to selection and availability, even of very rare stuff, they put iTunes to shame. Everything is indexed in a database and can be browsed by album, artits, tags, genre or even similar artits to the one you’re looking at. Also featured are artists discography and biography. Every release is available in several file formats – from mp3 in several bitrates to loseless FLAC. And since every member has to watch his upload/download ratio which can be optimized by simply keeping downloaded releases seeded the speeds are outstanding. All of those aspects make this the greatest music “store” available. I’d gladly pay to keep using that service – unfortunately it will never go legal.

  3. you asked will iTunes ever trump a torrent site? ie demonoid. no, because iTunes is a store meant to sell you a product whereas demonoid and what.cd and databases meant to give you want quickly and efficiently.

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