Did I ever mention how cool Audio Galaxy is? I have music before it has been released. HOW COOL IS THAT?!?! Unfortunately, I see two problems with Audio Galaxy at the present time. One is a design decision and the other is a political decision.
Design-wise, AG utilized a centralized server. Unlike Gnutella, IRC, and several other programs, it is NOT decentralized. This means there is a single point of failure. A single Jugular vein for lawyers and record execs to slice. When “audiogalaxy.com” is killed, the system no longer works. The client you run talks to a central server. Your web browser user interface talks to a central server. Take away the server and you have nothing–except for a bunch of broken client programs. And don’t even mention the bandwidth that the server must be sucking up. Everyone talks to it, so there must be enough connectivity for everyone to talk. That costs mucho bucks.
Political-wise, AG is closed source. This means that if-and-when it gets taken down, nobody can grab a copy and set up their own server. Hell, you can’t even make your own clients. You HAVE to use their clients. Blah. This puts them into a little bit of a power position, in that you get to see THEIR ads and installing the Windows software (at least used to–I didn’t see it when I just now installed) installs some spyware that tracks your browsing habits and such. Sure, they need the income from their ads to pay for the bandwidth of the central server, but it means that nobody outside of their organization can create a client, run their own server, fix bugs, or add features.
What would be cool would be to write a clone of some sort. The easiest clone (which is not easy, by any stretch) would involve writing an Open Source duplicate of their centralized server software. This, I am sure, would mean some PHP, some MySQL, and some C++ for the clients and probably a server daemon. Not too difficult, but very time consuming. Making it open source means people could run their own servers (although this means that splinter groups would sit in isolated pools and share only amongst themselves, not the rest of the world). The next logical step would be to have the servers talk to one another. This is what Napster servers ended up doing after it had taken off. Of course, this adds even more complexity.
Anyway–food for thought. Someone should probably do something like this before AG gets shut down. If I get more motivated, I might make a start at this. Probably not.