Nonmusical Music and Nonfree Free Television

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The User's Symphony #2 For Dot Matrix Printers is pretty good. It is that sort of industrial music avant-garde that sits on the fuzzy line between listenable and unlistenable (like some of the old Neubauten). The range of sounds they can get from printers is actually pretty good–not simply the chatter-chatter-chatter of the print heads, but some interesting bass, too. They need to do a bit more layering of the sound though. Actually, someone needs to come along, sample their stuff, and make some cool multi-track music, combining it with non-printer-sounds. I would be so much more into this stuff if it were more danceable (not that I would be dancing much, mind you, but in the realm of music I enjoy, danceable often equals listenable). Also: it drives the cats batty.

Sometimes I start to wonder if getting cable would be worth it. Yesterday, I was a big slothful monkey and sat around at home watching Angel episodes (for the second weekend in a row, I did not wander through the forest at Tryon Park! Gah!). I got a few episodes into the season–enough to get really hooked–and BAM! File error! The file error seemed to indicate that the episode–actually, a bunch of episodes–was damaged or corrupted (as opposed to simply not having the right decoder). It will be FOREVER until this comes out on DVD! Amazon does not even have a placeholder listing for it! Having cable would save this aggravation, but would then lock me into a weekly schedule if I wanted to keep up on the story (ignoring the fact that the show is no longer on, of course). A Tivo would help solve that, but throws even more money at solving the problem. All-in-all, I guess I am better off spending the money on DVD-based television shows and a fast internet connection (and dealing with quality issues) than spending buckets of money on a living room based, electronic brain-enslavement device. I already have one of those, it is called a computer with a network connection, and do not need yet another venue for brain-sucking.

On the other hand, downloading television shows enters an interesting legal area of “fair use.” At present, because the DVDs are not yet available, the only way to see the show is to watch it for free on broadcast television or to have a friend tape it. The quality of these files is really not much different than a video tape. Downloading: Is it legal? Is it moral? Is there an alternative? What about less “popular” shows? If I really liked “The Facts of Life” (do you have the theme song stuck in your head now?), but was certain there is zero chance of it being released on DVD, would I be more justified in finding an online source and downloading episodes than something I know will be released in a year or two?

Posted in: Music Television

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