Lately I've been poking around the various 'Shared' music libraries on iTunes. This was how I learned to like some of my current favorite bands, like Air and Radiohead. That is, before everyone updated to iTunes 5 or newer and Apple (under the RIAA's thumb) killed the Shared function.
Five connections? Per day? Who the hell designed this? Five would be a sufficient number for home use...except that the Shared function isn't meant for that context. It's actually useful in the dorm setting--when you've got a hundred people participating! It's not like you're downloading the tracks from each other--it's just streamed! But nooo... Letting people share music with their friends? Allowing people to check out new artists? BADDD!
What really gets on my nerves is the alert message that comes up when you try to connect to a maxed-out user. "The music library "username" accepts only five different users per day." As if the owner of the music library *set* that limit! They don't even take responsibility for their own crippleware.
I swear, I keep trying to tell myself that the RIAA is made up of human beings, that they care about music, that they want to serve their customers (like any business is supposed to), that they're just afraid of new technology and confused about a few things... yet, at every turn, their behavior screams: We Hate Our Customers. We Hate Music. We Hate You.
Anyway. Despite almost all the shared libraries being inaccessible 90% of the time, I've managed to check out a few new (to me) bands. Less Than Jake. AFI. After School Specials. Rufus Wainwright.
And Azure Ray. Mmm Azure Ray. Two gorgeous ladies with gorgeous music. You can check out a couple of tracks on their site, including "Displaced". Get a hold of "Sleep" and "No Signs of Pain" too, if you can.
And "Sea of Doubts." Oh my. Such a beautiful song.
See lately i've been overcome
A feeling I fear has just begun
The pain I feel deep inside
That haunts us all that we will die
Never really knowing how it feels
To be alive
Until I held the boy's hand
The little one spoke like a man
He showed me death and said
This is how you know you're alive
A kingfisher in flight
You'll rise above the sea of doubts
Into a world full of clouds