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Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings

GUEST,Bob Coltman 03 Apr 05 - 08:14 AM
rumanci 03 Apr 05 - 08:37 AM
GUEST,Jon 03 Apr 05 - 09:09 AM
katlaughing 03 Apr 05 - 09:17 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 03 Apr 05 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 03 Apr 05 - 09:50 AM
rumanci 03 Apr 05 - 09:55 AM
GUEST,Jon 03 Apr 05 - 09:59 AM
artbrooks 03 Apr 05 - 10:03 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 03 Apr 05 - 10:03 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 03 Apr 05 - 10:07 AM
katlaughing 03 Apr 05 - 10:58 AM
GUEST,van lingle 03 Apr 05 - 11:18 AM
GUEST 03 Apr 05 - 03:01 PM
dick greenhaus 03 Apr 05 - 04:01 PM
GUEST,Jon 03 Apr 05 - 04:11 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 03 Apr 05 - 04:28 PM
Susanne (skw) 03 Apr 05 - 05:46 PM
Maryrrf 03 Apr 05 - 05:49 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 03 Apr 05 - 06:05 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 03 Apr 05 - 06:23 PM
Franz S. 03 Apr 05 - 06:34 PM
JohnInKansas 04 Apr 05 - 12:56 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 04 Apr 05 - 01:16 PM
wysiwyg 04 Apr 05 - 02:09 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 04 Apr 05 - 02:42 PM
Bill D 04 Apr 05 - 06:51 PM
wysiwyg 04 Apr 05 - 07:42 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 04 Apr 05 - 08:21 PM
wysiwyg 04 Apr 05 - 09:14 PM
Sandy Paton 05 Apr 05 - 12:37 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 05 Apr 05 - 04:56 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 05 Apr 05 - 05:06 AM
dick greenhaus 05 Apr 05 - 10:08 AM
wysiwyg 05 Apr 05 - 10:49 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 05 Apr 05 - 05:16 PM
Burke 06 Apr 05 - 10:00 AM
GUEST,WYS 06 Apr 05 - 11:54 AM
wysiwyg 07 Apr 05 - 10:45 AM
wysiwyg 09 Apr 05 - 04:35 PM
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Subject: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 08:14 AM

On the Stewart BINNORIE thread I got into a discussion of how difficult it is to access, afford, and keep up with good traditional recordings as a reference. We have a Digitrad for printed versions, many with MIDIs. What we don't have is an equivalent archive of recorded versions.

To quote my post in part:
=======
...Using recordings as a reference is a gigantic problem!!! As everyone's dollars shrink and CDs get dearer (and go out of print way fast), few of us have the resources to stay current on good recorded versions.

Hence when somebody references a record ("Mocky Floptoe has the best version of 'Ane Night or Twa Awa'' waxed in 100 years; it's on Purple Vervet Records out of Namooth, Nova Scotia--I'm pretty sure it was still available in 1997" or words to that effect) it is often hard to locate specific recorded versions.

And yet hearing the song is a million times better than seeing its text and hearing a midi tune sample however well done.

What's needed is an archive of recorded versions that is as authoritative as the DT is for printed ones.

Alas this runs into all kinds of problems with not just copyright but publication rights, and is probably impractical for that reason. Still I'd love to see a website devoted to an encylopedic archive of the best traditional song recordings--if they could not be complete, even samples would be helpful.
======
An archive would be the answer: can anyone figure out how to do it? And who's willing to make a start?


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: rumanci
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 08:37 AM

It does sound like an interesting project though presumably fraught with copyright puzzles and individual recording company policies of sharing artistic material. Topic Records and their Traditions series and the World Library of Folk and Primitive Music are already playing a part in compilations like this.   Who exactly would decide or agree on the definitive versions of anything though ?
rum


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 09:09 AM

Bob, I suppose I'd better pick you up on your dt comment first. While I do think it is an amazing resource, I can see no way that it could be considered authoritative.

On to your question. You have mentioned the legal issues but there are practical issues on top of that. From the viewpoint of hosting such a site. Text formats (lyrics, songrwite the dt tunes are written in) and MIDI are very compact. Even if you use MP3, you would be looking at Megabytes per song rather than a couple of Kb per song. That could raise both storage issues and bandwith issues.


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 09:17 AM

If it's obscure, or even not, Dick Greenhaus, of the DigiTrad AND Camsco Music can usually get it for you.

It's an interesting idea, if it were ONLY samples which were provided. I often go to CDBaby, Amazon and a couple of others to listen to samples before deciding on a CD purchase (haven't been able to buy much, lately), but I always try to buy from the smaller companies,like Dick's and the Patons at Folk Legacy. CDBaby also seems to be a good, direct outlet for independent artists. Artists who actually have their own websites sometimes have samples, too.

FWIW,

kat


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 09:40 AM

Yes...but the affordability issue is still a bear. Who of us can spend the money, even if the recordings are easily available, which they're often not?

Examples of voices and instruments that could form an archive of traditional classics: Davie Stewart's "Bogie's Bonny Belle" (recorded long ago, I have no idea of its present availability). Brenda Wootton's "Lamorna" (on a very obscure British CD). Or, from the States, the fiddling of Georgia's Joe Lee, who never was recorded except on a home machine. The banjo songs of Land Norris (1920s, few if any available). The magnificent vocals of Horton Barker (recorded on Library of Congress, yes, Folkways, yes, available through Smithsonian, but... again...you can't afford 'em all). Or how about the McPeake Family of Belfast, or "The Muckle Sangs", a great Scots ballad compilation, or...but the list is endless.

What I had in mind was some form of recordings website that would be ***as free to the user as Digitrad is.*** !

And, of course, that's where the rub comes! Everyone's rights would need to be provisionally waived, or tailored somehow, for this single use. It mustn't compromise performers' or record companies' rights intolerably...on the other hand, ideally, it would serve as a promotion to whet hearer's curiosity about the companies' catalogs.

Would this mean that complete recordings could never be included, and variations would have to be sacrificed??? A great shame (especially, say, with constantly varying fiddle tunes like "Wolves Howlin'" or "Bonaparte's Retreat," and with ballads whose singers change tune and approach with every verse)...

But the archive should contain substantial samples, at least---more than the tiny snatches now offered by record companies through the various CD sales websites: one or two verses and chorus, or, with instrumentals, at least the first runthrough of all parts of the tune. At least enough to give the hearer melody, sound and style enough to enable him/her to mate melody with text and style, and sing the song or play the tune as authentically as possible.

The archive would also be a resource to students who want to do scholarly work, musicologists, musicians from other disciplines and forms who want to enlarge their knowledge of the real thing...etc.

What's interesting is that already, in scattered places on the web, excellent traditional recordings already ARE available, free. For example the Brenda Wootton "Lamorna," thanks be, is quietly archived complete on a website, accessible free to any hearer. I'm sure there are many other examples.

So the principle is established. It helps that we're not dealing with big money-makers here---no smash hits. Just a sound archive that can teach and inform us who want to carry on, or celebrate, the traditions.

Maybe a start could be made if singers and pickers offered a selection of their own stuff? Essentially that's how Digitrad proceeded...like many others, I was asked for permission to use my songs, and I freely gave it.

DT gurus, if you're listening in, is there a germ of something here that could begin on this website, or on a sister website? Or is it utterly out of the question for you? Granted you're already running a big operation.

Yeah, like David Copperfield, I guess I'm naive enough to bring up my bowl and ask, "More, please?" But I think a lot of people might be interested.

Expressions of interest, anyone? Ideas?

Bob


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 09:50 AM

I should mention that when I began the above post, rumanci's was the only comment in the thread. I found jon's and kat's after posting it.

I see the "authoritative" / "definitive" question as a nonproblem. In the DT are in some cases many versions of a given song. Nobody needs or wants to be told which, if any, is authoritative or definitive. This would be an inclusive, not an exclusive resource---diverse variants would be all the better, to hammer home the point that there IS no definitive version of a traditional song.

jon, your comment about bandwidth/file size is a killer. But I wonder if, as with the role of textfile compression software in making DT practical, there may be some form of soundfile compression software in the works that, if not now, in the near future might overcome this.

kat, you do as I do...chase around to those CD sales sites to hear the samples. But what I suggest, see previous message, is, say, samples that are lengthier, more substantial---again, NOT the complete contents of a CD, and probably not the whole song (alas), but enough for a singer to go on with if the lyrics are known. It's a slipshod solution, but so much better than not having it at all.

Yes, I know, I've suggested a can of worms. But oh, what a resource if such a breakthrough is possible. It would, as they say, take us to the next level.


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: rumanci
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 09:55 AM

thanks Bob for the clarifications
I'll return to my first thought - it does sound an interesting project and if any research skills are needed - I'll help :-D
leave me out of the bandwidth issues etc though !

oh.......and btw ......it was Oliver Twist not David Copperfield *g*
rum


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 09:59 AM

Bob I know little about audio compression but MP3 is a compressed format - a wav file would be much larger.


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: artbrooks
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 10:03 AM

Not at all what you're proposing...and your idea may be impossible to implement...but the people at Engine Studios are working on a "Vinyl Preservation Project" that has made a number of old (well, not all that old) records available for listening. Folk is under the "Vinyl 1" link, but there are also some interesting items in Miscellaneous under "Vinyl 2".


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 10:03 AM

And (excuse me for barging back in, but)

I cannot stress enough the MONEY issue. I'm on a very limited budget; aren't most of us? We cannot spring for endless CDs.

For example, I just bought the 5-CD box of Memphis Minnie...oboy, a rare treasure for a singer whose original records have been more than unusually hard even for collectors to find. It was budget priced at $28.99...but I doubt I'll be able to afford another CD for a month or two. Basic economics.

Money money money money money. All of us have to make cruel choices, especially when we love music of many kinds and don't just focus on a single tradition. I'm wacko about Appalachian banjo and fiddle and ballads... blues... authentic cowboy songs... the songs of the entire British Isles... Breton music, Greek rembetica, Zimbabwean guitar music, why go on. Obviously I can't buy CDs in all these areas. Few of us can.

So I guess I'm pleading, too, for the possibility that, while record companies continue to make their money and royalties continue to be paid performers, there be some sort of nonprofit sound archive as a resource to spread the basic information about how a song sounds, its melody as performed, etc.---
just as DT enables us not to have to buy every folksong collection in the world.

In a small way I suppose this echoes the Napster problem in the Big Commercial Music World. How to get the music out without ripping anybody off. Even to those of us strapped for cash.

Too utopian? I sure hope not.


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 10:07 AM

artbrooks, just checked into the Engine Studios site. They seem to be doing more or less what I mean. Pretty interesting.

rum: Oliver Twist. Gaaah, I knew I should have doublechecked that. It's the very Dickens!


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 10:58 AM

Excellent points and well though out, Bob. I know what you mean about the affordability AND the hunting all over for snippets.:-) I think it would be a wonderful and incredible resource. Please continue to *think out loud*...that's part of the best of Mudcat's dedication to music.

Thanks,

kat


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: GUEST,van lingle
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 11:18 AM

Bob, this is a great idea. Rose the Record Lady does something similar with country music at her listener supported site and somehow gets around copyright infringement (I think), read her disclaimer at the bottom of the page. While I don't have the time or computer skills to put something like this together I would certainly contribute financially and otherwise. vl


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 03:01 PM

So I guess I'm pleading, too, for the possibility that, while record companies continue to make their money and royalties continue to be paid performers, there be some sort of nonprofit sound archive as a resource to spread the basic information about how a song sounds, its melody as performed, etc.---
just as DT enables us not to have to buy every folksong collection in the world


Quite why you think, or at least suggest, that the DT is a brilliant "folksong collection" collection is beyond me. It's good certainly, but it's full of errors and ommisions, and I cannot understand why, as Jon mentioned above, you appear to consider it "authoritative"

Too utopian? I sure hope not

I'm afraid that you probably are being. OK, you may be 'strapped for cash' but to expect others in a similar situation to record and pay for internet hosting purely for your delectation.

If you want something, either pay for it or do it yourself...


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 04:01 PM

Bob-
You didn't buy the Memphis Minnie set from CAMSCO--If you had, you would have saved a few bucks.

And, BTW, Digitrad set out to be the world's biggest and best folksong book. It's never claimed to be either complete or authoratative.


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 04:11 PM

I think you have achieved those aims Dick!


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 04:28 PM

I don't see why a verse and a chorus would NOT be enough for most people. Unless the song changes drastically in every verse that should be enough for anyone to learn the song's tune from.

Still, with the downloadable DT, (it's quite amazing with the little "bouncing ball" thingie to keep you on track of the tune with the words), you can certainly learn the song with the tune easily.


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 05:46 PM

The big music publishers are beginning to see that offering individual downloadable tracks via music portals is a way of marketing their music., so why should not folk music publishers use this market as well? If Fellside, Greentrax, Green Linnet, Topic and whoever else developed a joint portal (or had it developed for them) where they could sell individual tracks from their catalogues, that wouldn't make the music free, but certainly a lot cheaper than buying a whole CD if all you're after are three tracks from it. Who's going to suggest it to them?


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: Maryrrf
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 05:49 PM

This has been attempted on a small scale at this site http://www.chivalry.com . I believe it started out as a resource for people who enjoy Ren Faires, etc. The quality of the singers varies but at least it's a way to hear the song being sung. I have a hard time getting the melody from midis.


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 06:05 PM

Thanks all for the stimulating discussion, and may we all end up with a solution at the other end of the tunnel.

May I clear up a couple of misunderstandings, perhaps based on hasty reading. First of all (again) I did not and do not intend to suggest anything could be, or ought to be "authoritative." Where did that come from?

Nor did I did hold up the Digitrad as a perfect archive. Of course it has errors and omissions. So does The...woops. The point is, we are not looking for perfection!!! Can't emphasize that enough.

On the contrary. We are looking for approximation toward a goal. That's all it needs to be. Please don't anyone get hung up on some superfluous idea about value judgments as to what a perfect archive should be, because there can be no such thing.

Any archive is better than none. Digitrad has shown that an archive built by all of us can be pretty damn good. It's certainly a good enough example to serve as the blueprint for a possible equivalent made up of sound recordings.

Have I laid that false argument to rest, I hope?


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 06:23 PM

Oops, apologies.

Quick like a bunny, before somebody else calls me on it, I see on rereading ("where did that come from, anyway," to quote myself) that in my first post I carelessly used the dread word "authoritative." Horrible word choice, which I hasten to correct.

My meaning was: an archive of recordings that is as wide-ranging as DT. As multiform and full of great surprises, interesting songs and knowledge.

Damn, sometimes it's hard to catch up with one's own bloopers.    Bob


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: Franz S.
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 06:34 PM

Working on the playlists for Utah Phillips' Loafer's Glory programs, I frequently have "???" in the box for "Artist/Performer". Learning or knowing the tune is not the problem; more often than not that's relatively easy. I can usually locate the author or origin of a song quickly on the Internet. But without access to sound clips, I am limited to my own collection in finding out whose recording I'm listening to on Utah's program. An archive like the one proposed could simplify the job a lot, since I can't go checking the Library of Congress or the Southern Folklife Collection.   On several occasions I have ordered CDs from artists as soon as I found out who they were/ who I was listening to.


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 12:56 PM

Collections somewhat like what is being suggested sit on library shelves or on computers at many, if not most, universities. The problem is getting access to them. Although it seems like each university makes its own piecemeal collection, interlibrary agreements make it effectively a few very large "multipart" museums of music rather than a whole bunch of little independent ones.

In a few places, particularly where a local university has a large or very active "musicology" department, local public libraries may have agreements for access. The problem is that you can't get it if you can't find it, and most local library staff don't know what's available in all of the "co-op" agreements.

While it doesn't do much for "small label" stuff, it may be worth noting that many universities, fearing lawsuits against the schools if students use school computers for downloads, have started running their own music-share programs. The record/copyright companies have actually paid a large share of the costs for several of them via discounts and/or grants, on the theory that they can "train young vulnerable students" to believe that you've gotta pay for it to get it, and get it through "legal" channels.

Most systems I've heard of amount essentially to "purchase" of an unlimited license for each enrolled student to "rent" any music they can find on one of the "music rental" sites. Since the music there is pretty much what's "popular" it's mostly idiot-fare, but at least it's a start - maybe even in a useful direction.

If the music distributors could maintain all of the stuff they control where it's available for a minimal "usage fee," it would be a real help for the budget conscious who just want one or two titles at a time for long enough to hear how they're done. There's no real reason why anything they've ever sold should ever be "out of print." Apparently they've spent so much time hiring lawyers they forgot that a good marketing department can sometimes help find useful ideas.

John


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 01:16 PM

"but the affordability issue is still a bear. Who of us can spend the money, even if the recordings are easily available, which they're often not?"

The problem is, somebody has to pay for it. The second problem is, the artist has to pay for it too. The third problem is, who would make the decision as to what is included in this "near-definitive" library?

There are a number of sources already available. Netmusic, e-folk music.com, and even iTunes has more than 1 million songs available for download. There are other resources. None of these are "free", but the technology makes it reasonable.

Frankly, it is not very realistic to have such a collection.   You can't walk into a single museum and see all the great works of art.


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 02:09 PM

Too bad Folk Legacy and CAMSCO can't afford tp put up sound clips for every song in their extensive holdings. Too bad we have to pay per song for sound files online so that artists get their cut. Just how it is.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 02:42 PM

I wouldn't say "too bad", I think it is a good thing that artists get their cut. The reason that prices are so high is that piracy of music is at a staggering high. It is the same thing as someone making a copy of an artists tape without paying the artist.


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: Bill D
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 06:51 PM

Just back from a singing weekend, so I'm late in responding...

It seems to me that in some ways, the resource being suggested already exists....in a 'distributed' format. That is, rather than look for way to put everything (or huge glops of 'almost' everything) in one place, we need simply a way to contact those who already have it. For entire albums, of course, CAMSCO and other commercial interests exist, but for locating the tune and basic format of some particular song you 'know' was done by Blind Harry Palms in the 30s and released on an album in the 60s, you can ask places like right here! Someone may just have it, and be able to send you a sample...or, depending on legal situations, the full song. (I have had several nice requests filled thru Mudcat, and answered a couple myself....I had a copy of Red River Dave doing "Amelia Earhart" that I recorded off radio almost 30 years ago!...not high quality, but fascinating!))

And, in the same way, there are the 'newsgroups' like alt.binaries.mp3.folk, where requests are answered every day.....Yes, of course, this requires reason and responsibilty to avoid major copyright restrictions....put simply, YOU would need to deal with what you asked for and how you used it, but haven't we all been doing that for years? Who has not made a tape of some song for a friend?

The WWW/internet is causing some major thinking about how and under what conditions to share or transmit music, and how to allow artists and distributors to have fair control over their projects, but there's no particular reason that a system that is sometimes used for illegal trading couldn't be used by honest folks for doing just what Bob Coltman is looking for.

Right now, there are some songs from The McCalmans, a 60s Scottish group, and a bunch of Child Ballads being posted, and I have seen individual requests answered.

Until the majority of us have high-speed access and storage gets MUCH easier, I suspect that the project of a BIG central location in not very feasible, and that tapping sources in places like this is a more likey way to find what you need. (I just learned that someone has a copy of an LP by Walter Forbes, a banjo player of the 60s, who did a version of "Poor Ellen Smith" that I have been looking for.   

I do agree that a central repository would be wonderful, but I see that everyone has already noted how difficult that might be.


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 07:42 PM

Ron-- CLIPS, not whole songs. Like Amazon.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 08:21 PM

I thought Bob was originally talking about full songs being made available online. Even lengthier clips take up server space, and a library that is being suggested would be huge.

Even if all the insurmountable copyright problems could be made mountable, there is still a matter of cost. Bob is suggesting a free service, and I just do not see that as being feasible.


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 09:14 PM

I don't either-- my tone above was intended to be a bit drily sarcastic.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 12:37 AM

Bob Coltman:
    As long as you remain a "guest", I can't send you a personal message via the Mudcat, and I'd like very much to talk about this with you. Please e-mail me so I can get back to you privately.
    Sandy Paton


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 04:56 AM

Yes, I began by talking about having complete songs in an archive, but on thinking it over I have gotten myself whittled down to the "one verse and chorus" concept.

And that's precisely because I do NOT want to steal from artists, record companies, or record sellers (a tip of the hat to Dick Greenhaus and CAMSCO). I want all these guys to get their fair cut.

Guess I am hoping some middle ground can be achieved whereby the part of the song (or instrumental) that's provided is both helpful to the singer-picker-learner and ALSO a potentially sales-boosting promo for artist, company and record dealer.

I do recognize problems of economics, bandwidth and file size, etc. Hence I think of a starter archive as being quite small: nowhere near the number of songs DT has achieved. That seems to be the model other sites have used: something like 100 songs to begin with, say, drawn from the better (I won't say best 'cause value judgments differ) authentic traditional singers. Just as a start. Just as a way to showcase tradition for those who don't know it, let's say. No more than that.

Then see where it goes from there. Granted, my original idea was The Moon. Now I'm more like looking for Near Earth Orbit.


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 05:06 AM

Sandy -

   I have, re the Ingles Blazin', been trying to get in touch with you, too, but find your phone busy whenever I try. Might I no longer have the right number?

   To my surprise, I cannot find your e-mail address. If you have mine, please -email me, and we'll carry on the conversation offline as you like. I hope my message immediately above may refocus the matter in a better light?

   You may also be pleased to see my new "Wanted: Memories of Paul Clayton" thread, per our discussion re the Ingles. Don't I recall that you and Paul were good friends and singing companions? I heartily invite your contributions.

   Best ever, Bob


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 10:08 AM

Bob-
To an amazing extent, what you want exists. Smithsonian Folkways, at their MSN site, will let you play clips from several thousand albums; the BIG retailers (Amazon, CDUniverse) will allow you to do the same.


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 10:49 AM

I think before this great idea can advance, we'd have to settle "what is folk" once and for all. :~)

~S~


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 05:16 PM

Dick, in a sense yes, but the clips as they now exist (at least in the amazon music/cdnow type of format) are too short to convey to a listener what I regard as the essential "tune, 1st verse and chorus"/1st runthrough of instrumental complete. Maybe that's different at Smithsonian; I'll go look.

Perhaps my idea is altogether unrealistic, and I'm sensitive to the comments to the tune of "Somebody has to pay, and you want a free ride." I just think maybe there's a way that benefits everybody all around and STILL allows for lengthier music samples.

I may be wrong, but I see this as a teaching/learning tool. Sure it must guard against freeloading, but it should be designed as a promo, so that the performer, company and seller benefit as they should.

Oh, and to WYSIWYG, Digitrad has thankfully not bothered its head in the least whether something is "folk" or not. For instance, the DT includes quite a number of pop songs that happen to appeal to folkies, and no harm done. I can't think of any good reason we should get ourselves hung up on definitions.

Unless of course it is P.D. vs. copyright issues you're thinking of, and those seem to be pretty much evaded throughout the web, even where complete song soundfiles are concerned, so long as nobody's making a bundle. And very few are.


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: Burke
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 10:00 AM

Smithsonian Folkways will let you download a complete track for $.99. That does not really seem like a lot to spend if you want to learn a song. Even a couple of versions will cost you just a couple of bucks.

Some libraries may have subscriptions on behalf of their patrons. It's something we'll be considering.


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: GUEST,WYS
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 11:54 AM

BBC has a nice set of songs online, full length, considered classics of, I dunno, I guess popular song. It got me thinking when I came across it just this AM.

I think Bob's idea belongs on the radio-- a DT radio show where versions from various recordings could be played as the DJ worked his/her way through the DT-- either alphabvetivcally or by keyword/ category. Maybe that would bring too much copyright attention to the DT, but if the shows were archived it would result in an adjunct resource to the DT.

WFMU-FM has the archiving capability-- I regularly plumb the depths of the several-years' archive of weekly Sinner's Crossroads programs for classic black gospel songs to learn. The shows are all archived to stream (one can run a recorder to capture songs). All the playlists for all the WFMU shows are also archived and searchable by song title, album title, or artist name. So finding DT songs would be a simple matter as the pile of shows accumulated.

That show is produced in the DJ's home studio, far away from the radio station, and sent in each week on CD-ROM. No reason an enterprising Catter could not do a show like that if they could talk WFMU or another webcasting station into hosting it. The songs presented could be done via recording or via live performance. Certainly having a catalog like Folk Legacy or CAMSCO at one's disposal could be a help in finding songs. :~) I have this image of Dick saying, "Gee, I couldn't lay my hands on a recording of this one, but it goes kinda like this....."

If anyone pursues this idea, don't forget to pay me a cut of the "loot"! :~) Or find the grant bucks and I'll write the grant for someone.

See, I'm not always a sarcastic crabbyass! :~)

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 10:45 AM


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Subject: RE: Needed: A 'Digitrad' of Recordings
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Apr 05 - 04:35 PM


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