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Attack by RIAA?

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posted on Jun, 25 2004 @ 08:22 PM
Not sure how many of you share mp3's regularly, but have you noticed a sharp increase in noise induced mp3's?

Over the past 2 weeks I've noticed a very weird trend.. about 40% of the songs I download are full of ear screeching noise. Yet, they are the same file size and length of the working version of the song. Let's call them Noise.mp3 and GoodSong.mp3.

Example mp3:

Basically, what you hear is the song, then about 10% into the song you hear different tones of induced noise, then the remaining 10% is music again. The weird part requires me to talk about my mp3 file format research some.. Basically, the higher the pitch during recording, the higher rate your computer will process the data it hears (bitrate). In order to have the file sizes of Goodsong.mp3 and Noise.mp3 to be the same, you would have to fluctuate the pitch of noise throughout the mp3. Try it for yourself. Open you trusty windows Recorder, talk into it, save it, then make a new file and scream the same sentence, save it, and compare the filesizes.

Big deal, some kid is ruining songs by adding a carefully calculated amount of noise to it?

It is a big deal if you know anything about peer-to-peer sharing. Allow me to explain..

Basically, if I download Noise.mp3 thinking its Goodsong.mp3, I'll download the song, and listen to it shortly.. Great, its the right song, onward to my next download. Then after downloading 15 songs, I'll proceed to burn them to a CD to listen to in my morning hour commutes. About 30seconds into the song I'll hear the noise.. Damn, this CD is ruined now.. I'll have to remake it. In the meantime, while you're at work, leaving your trusty WinMX open, you share Noise.mp3 to 97 people. Maybe 50% of these people will realize its junk and proceed to look for a better version. The other 50% won't realize it until they hear it in their car or radio and have possibly already shared it to another 1000ish people. Eventually, people rename the mp3 to better suit their mp3 portfolios and continue to share the corrupt song as a new file name. Rinse and repeat to another 5000 people and before you know it, theres 14 different versions of the same noise.mp3 flying through peer-to-peers.

So what, some kid is bored and is ruining a few songs?.. but..

It's just not a few songs. It's hundreds of songs. Different singers, different genre. Over the past week, between my roommates, I've downloaded well over 250 songs. At least 90 of those 250 songs are junk with the same noise. A fluke? Doubtful.

RIAA claimed they would execute an attack on the peer-to-peer networks a few months ago. RIAA not being dumb, knew this could not include any illegal activities such as flooding or hacking. But theres nothing illegal about sharing ruined mp3's. Could RIAA be sharing and spreading noise induced mp3's to try and make legit song swapping near impossible?

You decide.


posted on Jun, 25 2004 @ 09:51 PM
that's a pretty sinister trick -- if your guess is right (that it's the RIAA's doing) then here's my guess what's happening:

a) someone the RIAA hired wrote a program to convert ordinary mp3s into mp3s with the same file size but with the middle 80% turned into noise
b) the RIAA set up some kazaa/winmx clients to download songs, put the noise into them, and then reshare them on the network

with maybe c) some tricks to make sure that RIAA-controlled sharing clients are showing up at the top of searches, etc. (acting as supernodes, perhaps)

if that's right, then that would explain why there's so many songs in so many genres that have gone bad or been replaced with ruined files.

now, if that's the case there's at least one counterattack -- make some music yourself (ie stuff you have the copyright on), and put it in your share folder; if those get redistributed and ruined then you've got grounds for a lawsuit against whoever's ruining files, because they are interfering with your promotional efforts.

posted on Jun, 25 2004 @ 10:21 PM
while we're talking about attacks from the RIAA, I thought this might be of interest....

posted on Jun, 25 2004 @ 10:27 PM
Yup...RIAA servers are setup as users....sharing bad files...iv turned to buying my music now cuz i feel that the artists deserve what little bit of money they get from each CD (less than a dollar). But ways to NOT get "Noise.mp3" is to download from sources that dont have like 300ppl sharing it and that its "Excellent"...but have about 3 or 4...with no quality assignment. The RIAA isnt Suing far theyre only suing if you shares your at risk of being Subpeonad for your IP then Sued.

posted on Jun, 25 2004 @ 11:31 PM
I usually download the least targeted download as mentioned above; but I also try and download the .wma files because that usually means they've been ripped directly off the cd. This isn't always the case though so make sure to check it like usual before burning. After downloading the working wma file just use a converter program (I use Sony Soundforge, excellant program) to switch between mp3 and wma format if you wish. Hope that helps abit.

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