Digital Music

MP3 Rocket – “Hey RIAA Boss, Our Users Do Not File-Share Music Anymore, They Time Shift It!”

image from www.mp3rocket.com Here we go again. MP3 Rocket is mostly known for being a LimeWire spin-off.

Not anymore. The company has dropped the P2P functionality of their service and gone legit – sort of. Due to the declining quantity and quality of the MP3s available over the Gnutella network, as well as mounting legal concerns, they have decided to reposition themselves as YouTube downloading technology.

The client works as it did before, but with one exception. When users search for music, the results that they are given are derived from YouTube. Upon choosing a file, what MP3 Rocket does is it downloads the video and it conveniently converts it into an MP3. The process takes a little longer now due to the size of the video and the added conversion process, but it's now legal, according to the company.

Users don't obtain copies of music (that's illegal). Instead, they "time shift" audio from publically available YouTube streams. "The practice of 'Time Shifting' allows users to view and/or listen to a work or sound recording that is publicly broadcast at a time of their choosing," MP3 Rocket explains in a press statement. "Using the same ruling that makes it legal to record television at home MP3 Rocket has made recording Internet broadcasts to your computer a viable option as well."

That's right folks, the company has pulled the Betamax card.

Considering that a YouTube downloading tool is the number three most popular software download on download.com, this move to reposition MP3 Rocket is both ballsy and forward-thinking. Will this appease the RIAA boses and get the music industry off their case? Absolutely not. But you have to admit. It's kind of clever.

The downloads will, for the most part, be piss poor, but users also won't have to worry about the harmful viruses and malware that the RIAA loves to talk about.

Wanna time shift some music? It's probably still illegal.

Read a fantastic op-ed by Alan Lastufka on this topic here

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3 Comments

  1. Ok so this company makes me kinda wonder what our goals are about this whole piracy thing. Are the mindsets of our future generations trying to solve the problem of piracy, and how it is a key factor in the reason digital download sales have only gone up 6% in 2010. Or are we now trying to find loopholes to increase the rate of piracy like this company has demonstrated in their business plan? Im just confused.

  2. Further proof that there is absolutely no way to stop illegal downloads. Ever. Technology will always stay AT LEAST one step ahead of the lawyers. However the more we accept it the less advanced innovations there will be to enhance abilities to pirate music. There’s no way this program is actually legal, but there’s a ton of websites the do this without even having to download an application. Why even bother to waste hard drive space with mp3Rocket? It could put you at risk for a lawsuit soon. And where would you start if you were going to bust all these websites?

  3. It was a decent article up until “..the downloads will, for the most part, be piss poor..”
    Actually, I haven’t had any “piss poor” downloads yet. I had a membership with MP3 Rocket and was having trouble connecting to Gnutella a few weeks ago. I emailed them and they sent me a link to install the BETA version of this new version and it works flawlessly. The downloads have been as good or better than any of the bilge from Gnutella. You can download the MP3 files and select 320 kb/s as the bitrate before you download, so how is this “piss poor”?
    Good article, but try it before you start prognosticating about the quality. Tisk tisk.

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