Another Christmas has come and gone. On Christmas Eve Susan cooked a pot roast in the traditional style I grew up with. The meat came from a small order we placed with Dominion Farms, a local organic farming operation. All their animals are fed natural diets, no hormones or antibiotics. The meat was really tasty, so we’ll probably get more from them in the future. My brother Randy joined us for dinner and we played several games of Scrabble afterwards while eating Apple Pie.
Susan and I spent Christmas morning at home opening a few presents for each other and then we drove up to McKinney to spend the rest of the day with family and friends. There was more opening of presents, large quantities of food, and lots of catching up on family news. We played a couple of games include Mexican Train dominoes and something new called Catch Phrase that our niece and nephew talked us into.
I spent some time helping my nephew rip audio tracks from a CD to use as ringtones on a his new phone. I’d forgotten how difficult it can be on Windows boxes to do simple things like converting from one audio file format to another. His phone needed MMA or MP3 audio but Windows would only rip CDs in WMA format. I Googled for downloadable sound utilities but could only find crappy shareware and freeware stuff that mostly didn’t work. Then it occurred to me to see if any free software audio tools had been ported to Windows. I was pleasantly surprised to find Audacity for Windows. It’s really amazing how much better most free software apps are compared to your average Windows programs these days! Audacity really saved the day for us. We were able to edit the track down to size, convert it to MP3 and get it onto his phone’s SD card. And all in time to grab a piece of home made fudge before it vanished.
It seems hardly a day goes by lately without reading about some new attack on the performance or sharing of music by the music industry itself. The RIAA is doing a pretty good job of destroying the legacy music industry all by itself. Their latest attempts to shut down Internet radio stations through punative licensing fees got me wondering about the state of free music. I know it’s out there and a little searching even turned up some directories and lists of public domain and freely licensed music. But surprisingly I didn’t immediately spot any Internet radio stations or even regular podcasts where I could listen to new free music. Are there any? I also didn’t see much in the way blogs or news sites devoted to the topic.
Maybe this is a case where the free software community could educate our musician friends about the benefits of using licenses that protect their listener’s freedom to share and perform the music. I know quite a few musicians in local bands but, as far as I know, most of them rely on the traditional music industry and their legacy music distribution techniques.
Maybe some musicians or listeners in the free music community can point me to some good starting places to learn more about state of things and find the latest news?
To celebrate today’s release of the GPLv3, I’ve released updates of my two ODP-related programs, dumpcheck and odp2db under the GPLv3 license.
GPLv2 – Where the future begins tomorrow
My one complaint about the new license is the changed wording in the How-To section. The GPLv2 How-To section had a neat Thomas Pynchon / Buckaroo Banzai reference to Yoyodyne in the example copyright disclaimer. The GPLv3 How-To section drops the example disclaimer altogether. They also removed the reference to version 69 of the Gnomovision program in the example interactive mode copyright. Whatever happened to Gnomovision anyway?