Let it Snow!
iTunes issues? Or just Apple's OS?
Fast forward to iTunes in 2015. It seems to me that iTunes has become way too big for it's britches. While SoundJam MP ejected certain features in search of a better functioning application, iTunes seems to do the opposite. It acts as a giant asteroid orbiting the galaxy of Apple apps. Slowly orbiting and accumulating crud as it becomes bigger and bigger. It's venting gases and wreaking havoc on the inhabitants of planet Mac as it orbits. A giant unstable behemoth that looms over our heads - reminding us of it's primordial origins and its indispensable nature.
iTunes is a media player, media library, online radio streamer, mobile device management, podcast subscription/player, CD player/burner/ripper,etc. The list keeps growing and Apple keeps strapping stuff onto this behemoth without regard to its overall stability. If I have a problem on my Mac it invariably occurs when iTunes misbehaves. So what's the latest problem? This weekend (20-22 Nov, 2015) I struggled/am struggling with the latest Mac OS (10.11.1 - El Capitan) and it's affect on iTunes. The latest version of iTunes (18.104.22.168) is giving me fits! Twice now I've found the application unresponsive. Locked up so tight that I not only had to 'Force quit' the application, I also had to remove all 'Preference' files and re-install a new copy of iTunes in order to get it working again. That troubleshooting and repair effort took approximately 8 hours out of my weekend, and that makes me angry.
Yes - I reported the issue as a bug to Apple, but I see that there are many more people with the same problem. Something in this version isn't working properly, and Apple needs to fix it ASAP. I don't know how many more times I'm going to be required to remove, restart, reinstall and restart in order to use iTunes. Problems with iTunes persisted throughout the week. The application kept locking up and wouldn't run properly. On the 29th of Nov, 2015, after numerous hours of troubleshooting (I would estimate a total of 30 hours) I finally got iTunes working again. --- It's not working on my primary iMac --- I had to bring my MacMini into the office. I reformatted the MacMini (it was serving as a media server (but not really) in the living room), installed El Capitan (the latest Mac Operating System) in order to run iTunes in my office. So, I still haven't got iTunes working reliably on my iMac. I'm primarily using iTunes on the MacMini, with one of my monitors from my iMac to display the MacMini's desktop. I also had to move my instance of Logitech Media Server (because it's that dependent on iTunes). It was running on my iMac, but it won't function properly on the iMac, because it relies on a functional iTunes. That's not working properly (at the moment), so I move my Logitech Media Server to the Mac Mini. What a chore!
After I set up the MacMini in my office, I managed to get iTunes running correctly on that computer. Everything was working properly on the MacMini. iTunes and the Logitech Media Server were both working correctly. I continued the troubleshooting on my iMac. I cleaned up the iMac; removing iTunes, every file that application ever created, and all remnants of the media library on my iMac. I then reinstalled iTunes on the iMac, pointed it at the shared iTunes library, and pointed my copy of iTunes at the backup of my last known working iTunes library, and launched the beast - Inexplicably, inconceivably, unbelievably, it Worked! It's now working on my iMac desktop.
As my paranoia sank in, I quit the application, relaunched it, restarted my computer again, relaunched the application, quit the application, etc, etc, trying several different variations of restarting (application, computer, both in combinations), until I was satisfied that it was 'actually' working again. That was way too much work for an application that's just supposed to work. All the troubleshooting I performed paid off. Unfortunately, I would never be able to recreate the corrective action, so I hope this doesn't happen again. Somehow, iTunes corrupted the local music library preference files. Creating new ones using a working copy of iTunes on a different computer (my MacMini) allowed me to delete the corrupted libraries and get a new copy of iTunes working on my iMac. iTunes is a bloated beast responsible for 99% of my Mac OS woes.
New iPhones today - a painful experience:
This year I purchased a new iPhone 6S+ (Plus for larger size/Some might call it a Phablet) for myself, and an iPhone 6S for Kim. Both phones come with 64GB of storage (we opted for more storage than the default of 16GB. We didn't get the maximum amount - which would have been 128GB. The new phones have lots of new features, like the 3D touch and 1080p display resolution (on the Plus), but today I wanted to write about a poor experience in the Apple Store - We typically assume that the purchase of new phones will take us two hours at the most. This time around spent about 2 hours in the store, but the Apple 'Geniuses' weren't able to get our phones activated in the store. That's not cool - I don't like driving home with products that aren't working; especially since we deactivated and turned over our old phones (for the recycle/discount program). When we got home, it took me approximately 4 hours to complete the activation, setup, syncing and backup procedures for the new phones. It wasn't exactly easy or quick. I was able to do it, with a fair amount of patience and a good understanding of all the processes and procedures involved. I hope our next iPhone purchase experience isn't this complicated.
The Demise of rdio:
With a library of approximately 20 million (in May of 2014) tracks, I didn't see many drawbacks. No random selections, no odd-ball access methods, a one-stop music streaming portal. Type in the name of an album or artist and your enjoying ad-free music in just a few seconds. I found a large variety of tracks, albums and artists that I enjoyed - From there I headed off to the music store (my go to is eMusic) to secure my download. The downloads aren't really necessary any more - It's more of a way to reward my favorite artists than anything else. I know that the revenue from streaming is miniscule, so I pay for and download music after I find an artist that I appreciate. I'm also using the digital downloads to satisfy my craving for an iPod (iPod Classic w/160GB capacity) full of off-line music. Music I can listen to without the worry of a lousy internet or costly cell-phone connection.
I evaluated six different music streaming services before I made my decision. In addition to the services I already mentioned, rdio also offers personalized playlists, a highly usable and attractive application/website experience, the ability to share songs and albums with other rdio subscribers, recommendations and reviews. After much analysis/evaluation, I made my decision. My next Music Discovery source, a music streaming service to replace MOG, was rdio. Unfortunately, my relationship with rdio didn't last very long...
As of 23 Nov, I've learned that rdio is being acquired by Pandora - On November 16th, 2015, rdio filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in which they had to pay $200 million to creditors and they announced the sale of certain intellectual property to Pandora Radio. Pandora acquired that property for $75 million in cash. As a result, my subscription to rdio (a $5.00 monthly charge) is going to end. I'm paid up through December, and I can continue listening for free until rdio completely shuts down, but that's it folks - That's the end of rdio - Damn! Now I've got to find another music discovery service. That will probably be Apple's new streaming service at $10.00 per month.
This mergers/acquisition puts eMusic on equal footing with the likes of iTunes and Amazon. eMusic not only offers its own music store, music player and access to more than 25 million songs, now it provides a digital cloud storage locker as well. This free, unlimited storage allows members access to all their music (not just the eMusic purchased songs) on all their devices. Twenty-four hour access to all your music online or off, at no extra cost.
So far so good (as I write this from the 'future' (Aug of 2019)) - I haven't experienced any major issues (actually no issues) as eMusic has put my entire eMusic collection (I haven't uploaded all my music) in the cloud. I still keep local copies, but I have streamed my music from the eMusic website without problems (other than the slow connection of the computer where I work). eMusic was able to keep their executives and employees during the transition, and I've seen nothing but improvements since the acquisition. I certainly hope that this move turns out to be a long and fruitful relationship.
ICANN should change their name to ICANN't:
While ICANN isn't directly in charge of doing anything about spam, they are responsible for registrars, the companies that dole out, maintain and host various domain names. Names such as 'reallycheapcanadiandrugsforyou.com' and 'spankmybottomunderagehookers.com' (not real domains). When a company registers these domains, they are required to do so using verifiable and legitimate contact information. Like a real address and a real phone number and a real email address. If the organization registering the domain is planning (or currently engaged in) some nefarious activity, they might register the owners name as "Juan Carlos" or "Joe Smith" at "1234 Somewhere St., Anytown, CA 90012" phone number: (200) 837-5309" and an email address of <email@example.com> - If a registrar permits this sort of behavior, they're violating the rules/terms of service between them and ICANN. If someone complains that they can't contact the owners of the website: "spankmybottomunderagehookers.com", ICANN is required to conduct an investigation, demand compliance (from the registrar), fine the non-compliant operators and shut down those (registrars) that simply refuse to operate iaw the rules... So what could go wrong?
The answer? Plenty - (Note that this is all my opinion) If you rely on money to keep going - Just because its a "non-profit" doesn't mean they don't make any money - then you need and want money to keep going. If you cut off your supply of money you go out of business. If the biggest clients are also the biggest spammers, then you've got a big problem. How do you continue to take their money, when you should be shutting them down? I know - You pretend to be shutting them down! You pretend to do investigations, you cover for them any way you can. You point in the other direction. You blame the people who report problems. You hire people who aren't capable of doing investigations. You refuse to provide information. There's plenty of ways you could put on a show (again - this is just speculation and opinion).
I and others (members of KnujOn) have been sending email to the ICANN Ombudsman; someone who is supposed to act as a liaison between the general public and the bureaucratic miasma that is the internal machinations of ICANN. Someone who's supposed to bring our concerns (those of the unwashed masses) to the all-mighty rulers of the ICANN. (my opinion/interpretation). My letter basically asked ICANN to enforce the compliance of Registrar violations (in effect shut down those registrars who harbor spammers). At the end of my letter, I restated the problem and my request:
Over the years, we've received lukewarm responses, ignorance, and silence. Now we're starting to receive some 'pushback' - You know you're having some effect when ICANN is actually complaining about the fact that we're complaining. Consumers are complaining (I've filed complaints) and consumer advocates like KnujOn and members of CircleID are complaining on our behalf and the behalf of individuals and corporations trying to use the internet for commerce and leisure. What with all the pesky evidence piling up, it's making it difficult for them to simply ignore the spam favorable registrars that are blatantly ignoring and violating the ICANN rules.
Update: In 2015, Garth Bruen (Principal investigator for KnujOn.com/Member of CircleID (as of Aug, 2019)) had a face-to-face meeting with the head of ICANN Compliance. The meeting took place in October of 2015. On the 26th of Oct, 2015, Garth published an article about that meeting. Excerpts are included here. As a preface to those comments/Garth's article, one should recognize (per Garth Bruen): that Consumer trust is one of the key issue at the heart of keeping the Internet open as well as prosperous. The ICANN Affirmation of Commitments was signed in 2009 and has been the guiding principle for ICANN's activities going forward. The title of section 9.3 is Promoting competition, consumer trust, and consumer choice. This section is in essence the embodiment of the commitment of ICANN.
Garth's face-to-face meeting with the head of ICANN Compliance didn't go very well. Garth posed several questions to the head of compliance. It was apparent (to me and others) that Garth was trying to establish the importance of Consumer Trust within ICANN's Compliance department. Garth's questions were answered with non-committal acknowledgements: 'and vague responses - For example:
No part of the 49 minute conversation was affirmative or positive in regards to a Consumer Trust commitment. Garth carried away a rather negative feeling from the interview. As Garth put it: My question to the compliance director was not intended to be controversial. I was merely framing the context of my question about actual implementation, of which there apparently is none. What can be taken away from this exchange is the following: 1. Compliance is not aware of their own mission statement (or rejects it); 2. Consumer trust is not a serious part of the AoC from the viewpoint of Compliance; and 3. Compliance has no knowledge of the transition process and therefore need not heed those details.
The situation is made even more bewildering by a year-old announcement from ICANN: A newly created position of Consumer Safeguards Director will also report to Grogan (ICANN's Chief Contract Compliance officer), and will focus specifically on implementation of those ICANN contract safeguards directed toward protecting consumers. Here we are, in the middle of the stewardship transition (moving ICANN stewardship out from under the US Department of Commerce into an entirely independent private sector role) and consumer trust is a phantom. This does not make a very good showing of ICANN stepping into its role of global stewardship.
KnujOn.com, LLC was an independent abuse handler and Internet security research organization based in Boston, Massachusetts. KnujOn processed abuse data in the form of spam and other security threats to develop a clear picture of problems facing the Internet. KnujOn built profiles of online criminal groups, evaluated the quality of Registrars and Internet Service Providers, issued WHOIS challenges, documented policy failures, developed policy initiatives, tested compliance mechanisms, issued reports to law enforcement, and educated the public about complex Internet security issues. They assisted ordinary internet users (such as myself) in navigating the dense technical bureaucracy of the global network (such as ICANN and IANA). They augmented public services in the face of rampant illicit electronic traffic. KnujOn provided abuse processing, user advocacy and common-sense policy development free of charge. Unfortunately, they're no longer doing this work. Their findings were presented to ICANN, and ceased (most) operations as of March, 2018.
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I posted my thoughts after seeing some 'sympathetic' postings on F*book. These postings came in the aftermath of a terrorist attack in Paris (FYI: I'm posting these remarks in Nov of 2019). My comments back in 2015: Changing your F*book profile picture isn't the same as actually doing something to help - And now I'll probably get attacked for point this out - because, you know - If you changed your F*book profile picture then you'll feel like I'm attacking you personally - After all, you changed your profile picture and I didn't, so I obviously "Don't Care" about the tragedy that happened in France?
Did these comments (originally posted on my F*book page) provoke a positive or negative response? The responses varied. One person actually said: "Thank you for this!" He then went on to indicate that he would enjoy a face to face conversation about this topic, but he didn't want to get too much into it on FB. Now that's a smart person. F*book can certainly bring out the worst in people.
There was also a defensive response. A somewhat glib if not sincere response from another respondent: "Ok, where should I send the flowers then?" This came from someone who had changed their 'profile picture' - Ostensibly they did this to show support. I indicated that if this reply was meant as sarcasm, then it was lost on me - If you really want to send flowers (that's fine) I would suggest that you travel to the nearest French Consulate (I provided a link to locate said consulate) and lay flowers outside the offices there. I had heard/read that other people were doing that.
They continued the 'conversation' by saying that "changing your profile picture is akin to sending flowers to a funeral. I think you're making it out to be much more than it's intended. However if it makes you feel better, I'll send flowers as well." In response - I posted: "I am commenting on the phenomenon of moral self-licensing. I am not commenting on a specific event linked to moral self-licensing. There are many other events which [trigger] this type of phenomenon, and I'm definitely willing to discuss the phenomenon and examples of it. For example - One of the most offensive (to me) examples that I can think of was the 'Ice Bucket Challenge' In this particular example. People [are] given two choices. Conduct a meaningless moral self-licensing exercise: Pour a bucket of ice-cold water over your head, or conduct a meaningful act of contribution by donating money to help fight ALS by donating money to a worthy cause. In this particular case of moral self-licensing, the general public provided more recognition and 'praise' to those who dumped a bucket of ice-water over their heads than they did to the people who contributed actual money towards the cause".
Some respondents agreed with my sentiment on moral self-licensing, another respondent provided the following feedback: "I didn't change my picture either. I don't subscribe to that sort of 'support'. Like the memes that demand that you share or at least like them or you...(insert negative thing here). Despite their mostly good intentions they act as a virus spread by playing on people's emotions. Moral self-licensing huh? Works for me."
I've brought this topic up on other threads (on F*book and in face to face conversations). The responses are generally mixed. Some respond in a defensive manner, some respond by attacking the 'morals' of the person who 'questions' those of others... Few respond by stating/agreeing that moral self-licensing behavior is a bad thing. Some defend themselves (or others who've changed their F*book profile) by questioning what I did to show sympathy. It's true that I didn't 'do' anything. I didn't change my F*book profile picture, I didn't send flowers to the nearest French consulate, etc. That doesn't mean that I don't feel sympathy for those who were killed or injured. Changing your F*book profile might make you feel good (briefly), but it doesn't actually do anything for the victims, and it makes you less likely to 'do' anything else. After all, you expressed sympathy - and I didn't.
That's Some Serious Snow!
Did we? Not quite. We didn't get 18 inches, not here anyway, but we did get a considerable amount. The snow started coming down around noon on the 16th of Nov, 2015. It kept snowing throughout the day and into the night. When morning came it was still snowing. By then we had approximately 10" on the ground (17th of Nov at 0530MST). The snow is still coming down (with some wind). We're still under a blizzard warning, and we're projected to get another 4" by noon (when the snow is anticipated to end).
As of 0505MST, we have an 'official' three hour delay for work (at the ADF). Unfortunately, that means I still have to find my way to work in order to car/van-pool to an offsite/alternate location in downtown Denver. I'm attending a class this week. I might make it to work/class by 1100MST. We get done with work at appx 1630MST, and yesterday it took us 1.75 hours to get back to the base. If I'm lucky I might get home around 1815. Well, I'm off to do a work out and get ready for the 3 Hour Delay - Snow Day!
By 0900MST we're at 12 inches. I took some pictures, just before heading out for work. Here's some pictures from around my house. I think I'm ready for the trek in to work. Really considering a day off at this point. I made it to work in time to join the carpool. We finally made it to work around 1130. The class lasted until 1630MST (five hours) and then we finally headed back. We dropped off the van by 1830, and I finally made it home by 1945MST - That's a long day. With 12+ inches of snow they didn't call a snow day? What is wrong with these people?
When I finally retire-retire (maybe by the time I'm 67 or so), I will be moving to a climate where I won't need to shovel. Screw that! What about you? Do you love the snow, but hate the shoveling?
Veterans Day Salute:
Take a little time out of your day on this day (Veterans Day/fka Armistice Day) and remember their sacrifices, the hardships they endured, the price they've paid for us, you, me, our nation. We all owe them a debt of gratitude. No matter your political inclinations or feelings about armed conflict, these are the Americans who come when their country calls. They served, serve, will serve - For us. On this 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, I salute you - Veteran!
Let it Snow!
I'm glad I had the day off (Veterans Day). I stayed home, worked on my web pages, played some video games, eat some soup and relaxed. What did we actually get? A trace of freezing rain, ice pellets and some sloppy wet snow. We actually got about 6 inches - Imagine that! The temperatures ranged from the low 30s (Fahrenheit) to the mid 40s, and the wind was blustery; up to 30mph at times. Of course the weather predictions aren't all that reliable - They always get more accurate as they get closer to the current time... At the chime, the weather will be!
I'm a bit obsessed with snow - I don't like snow. It always means more work. Work that I wouldn't otherwise have to deal with. In an HOA Covenant controlled community, you have to shovel your sidewalks (and of course I shovel the driveway as well), or you might incur a fine. The requirement to shovel means that you must work outside in the cold, possibly while its snowing, in order to clear the sidewalk and driveway; despite the fact (in this area) that the intense sunshine of the day (over the next 24-48 hours) will likely melt all of it within the next day or two. I grew up in Wisconsin (near Green Bay), and ever since I was old enough to shovel, that was my responsibility. Get out there and shovel - Your sisters aren't going to do it, and dad's at work. When I finally retire (maybe by the time I'm 67 or so), I will be moving to a climate where I won't need to shovel. Screw that! What about you? Do you love the snow, but hate the shoveling?
Rob's World D&D Campaign update:
There are still players who occasionally write journals. They keep track of notes, clues, encounters and various highlights of the adventure. Sometimes they even transcribe their notes and email them to me. When I have time, I post them to our FTP repository: <https://www.robsworld.org/dndcampaign/Adventures/Journals/>. For the most part, these are the journals just as the players have written them. I don't usually have time to do any editing, correcting, or hyperlinking (to other documents/web pages). This journal entry was prepared by Sean O', playing Imago, a male Gnomish adventurer back from the past. Imago is accompanied by Lauralei the Paladin, the last surviving member of a group sent to slay an Evil Sorcerer in the past. Odd things these spell casters do... Here one wizard sends Imago into the past in order to team up with another group of adventurers - in order to defeat an evil Witch!
Sean has agreed to take up an old responsibility that Chris was performing. Sean used to keep excellent notes and journals when he played with our group back in 2013 (going back to 2004), and now he’s agreed to resume that responsibility with our current group of players. This journal represents a portion of our Adventurer’s latest journey. In this journal the players/characters have endeavored to capture the events that comprise a 10th level adventure in the “Rob’s World!” campaign. This adventure takes place in the Forgotten Realms. In a tiny corner of the ‘Kelvarig Peninsula’. Not far from the Adventurer’s base of operations is a swamp. A mysterious place known as Fletchin’s Swamp. Fletchin’s Swamp is a relatively benign place to all outward appearances. A refuge of nature, a font of untamed wilderness which once covered a large portion of the continent. Unknown to most, the physical confines of Fletchin’s Swamp are much larger than they appear to the casual observer. The swamp is inwardly extra-dimensional. The swamp is actually ten times larger on the inside than it is on the outside.
Our adventurer’s have entered the swamp in search of something called the ‘Black Flame’ a source of power and evil which powers an evil cult. The cult uses the flame to perpetuate their black magic, their army of undead, their seemingly unstoppable plans. Our party of adventurer’s seeks the black flame in an effort to counter that foil which thrusts at the heart of Sembia and beyond. They seek the black flame in order to roast some seeds. The seeds will then be used in potions which will counter the army of ‘Black Flame Zombies’ which seem poised to break out of the swamp and threaten the greater region with an ever growing threat of evil and corruption.
Hopefully you will enjoy Sean’s journal entry, and hopefully these journal entries will continue… If you'd like this, and similar D&D related updates (for the "Rob's World! D&D campaign) emailed directly to your inbox, you can join our campaign mailing list. Sign up online:
Comcast/Xfinity discontinues personal webpages - Finally:
As I indicated earlier, I'm actually surprised that Comcast didn't shut these personal web pages down earlier. Most other ISPs that offered personal web pages have discontinued this service due to the fact that these personal web pages have become a liability. Comcast/Xfinity doesn't have the time to review or monitor these web pages, and spammers often abused the free service in order to host various 'infected' pages or exposed viewers/visitors to spamvertisement. The number of personal web pages that were phishing sites was expanding and Comcast/Xfinity was responsible for hosting these web pages.
Rather than spending money to monitor, review or examine these personal web pages for malware/malicious content, Comcast simply decided to discontinue the service. Their 'business' customers were paying for hosting, but spammers and scammers were abusing the free service provided to all 'residential' customers. It cost money for Comcast to offer this service (bandwidth, storage, maintenance, help desk) and it was quickly becoming a warren of spammers and scammers. As a result, Comcast discontinued the Personal Web Pages, including FTP access.
They were supposed to (according to them) discontinue this service in October 2015. Removing files toward the end of that month, and completing the shutdown by the end of the month. They cited a cutoff of February 2016 to retrieve files. How did this impact/affect me? Well, it wasn't a big impact, but I was using the personal web pages to host a 'tollgatecrossing' web page. I took over that webpage in 2012. I used the 'tollgatecrossing' identity (on Comcast) for email and hosted a personal 'tollgatecrossing' web page (on Comcast/Xfinity) until the service was shutdown - They finally shut down my web page on the 3rd of November, 2015. I was using that Comcast/Xfinity page to provide community members with Neighborhood Watch and Tollgate Crossing community information.
In all the time that I hosted the web page (using the Comcast/Xfinity PSP service), I only received one email at the 'tollgatecrossing' email address. If you had a personal web page hosted by Comcast/Xfinity, you will find (now that it's 2019), that the webpage was deleted quite some time ago. If you need a personal web page, you'll have to find a different web hosting service. Thanks Comcast - You suck. You took away a service that your customers were using, and replaced it with - Nothing. Do you think they reduced the cost for their service? You know, they were able to reduce staff, support and other costs. They end up profiting by reducing the services they provide. Just another reason to say - Comcast Sucks!
I definitely consider the AppleTV to be the superior set top streaming box. Edging out the Roku player, I find the overall AppleTV experience (primarily the user interface) superior to that of the Roku player. If you want variety in streaming choices, chose the Roku over the AppleTV. Having both gives me the best of both worlds. If only Apple would add more channel choices - like Amazon video! (PS: As this was written in the 'future' (Aug of 2019), Amazon has relented. In late 2017, they released a new Amazon app for the Apple TV)
New Music in November:
Artists want you to Hear their music - If you like it, you'll buy it; or maybe you'll buy some concert tickets - That's where bands really make their money. The major labels of the music industry want you to pay for their product. - letting you hear it for free is contrary to their business model. Well, guess what? I won't buy the music if I can't listen to it first, and no one listens to the radio anymore (because of all the advertising, interruptions, lack of new music and lack of information - you can never figure out who/what is being played) The major labels are killing themselves with their restrictive distribution and dissemination policies. If you like new music, you can do a web search to find your favorite artist's web site, a new music web site, or an archive of free music. Free music is available - Legally! Don't believe the propaganda of the major labels - Not all free music is illegal. You can legally download and listen to all sorts of music for free (Have you heard of Pandora, Presto, MySpace, SoundCloud or DashRadio?). I download (purchase) most of my music from a couple of commercial sources (eMusic and iTunes), but I occasionally download tracks (legally) from various websites/blogs in order to satisfy my craving for music. If only I had enough time in the day to listen to all the music that I want!
Here's a listing of some of the music I legally downloaded - and paid for!
Unlike some music outlets, eMusic doesn't have any DRM and they don't insert unique track id's into the ID3 tags. Their terms of service are consumer friendly. eMusic allows you to burn as many CDs as you like (If you like to do that) and copy downloads to an unlimited number of your computers and portable MP3 players (because I still do that - I take my music with me on an iPod). At less than $.50 a track (I'm currently paying $19.99 for $22.99 worth of downloads per month - I'm on a grandfathered plan that new members cannot get) you can't really go wrong. You don't have to be a member/monthly subscriber to access the site or buy music, and the membership prices (per album) are compared to the non-member prices right up front, so you can see how much you save as a monthly member. eMusic offers a really good value for your download dollar. iTunes and Amazon still charge more. eMusic offers more music for your money, and the variable bit rate recordings make for exceptionally high quality recordings. If you still want, demand, need, your own copies of the music - Check out eMusic.
These are some of the items I added to my music collection during this month. Since revamping my music collection back in September of 2005, I've been slowly adding, revising and updating the collection. If you have a comment, question or correction regarding my music collection, please don't hesitate to send me an email. Please keep in mind that my collection isn't for sale, and I'm not interested in giving you any copyrighted materials. I'd rather not go to jail for music piracy. :-)