Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thanks Charlie gd77-05-07, also U1 = happy Rick

Ah, the Cornell '77 run. By far my favorite set of shows, and crispy soundboards are available to boot. What an epic run. Grab the torrent and take a listen to the Terrapin Station. So crispy and fresh!

Charlie Miller was a key CDEAD seeder back when I was active in that group. In fact, Charlie was also a taper. He was the one who was there to tape the Crusader Rabbit show, and as a CDEAD member I was one of the first to be privileged to hear the show, aside from those lucky folks who were there.

Charlie also mastered the music in this torrent, so thanks Charlie! I hope all is well with Charlie. I met him once at a Garaj Mahal show in SF, a really good guy.

I've been using a combination of the karmic desktop and Ubuntuone to manage and enjoy the free music:
  1. Converting the Flac files to mp3 with Sound Converted (available in universe)
  2. Moving the mp3 files to a folder in my U1 account so I can access them from the cloud on my netbook.
  3. Importing into Rhythm Box to tag and listen to the music.
I'd use ogg files, but my Chumby and my mp3 player can't play them.

This has been working really well for me. Ubuntuone has come a long way in terms of stability and predictability. The seamless way I can access my library is quite nice. I suppose I'll run out of space sooner or later. Also, I've been putting the mp3 up there as apposed to the flac files because it would take forever to sync, and I would quickly run out of space. However, playing the music on a computer, the mp3s are fine. To me, the flacs are for archiving the music and burning CDs for stereos where mp3s don't cut it. Also, if I ever end up with players that are ogg capable, I'd like to be able to convert from the flacs to oggs, instead of mp3 to oggs.

I'll gladly burn shows for whoever wants it, of course. I'll keep the torrent running when I can as well. Note the torrent is for the flac files, you'll have to convert them yourself.

[Edit] - here's a link to the torrent.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

gd79-01-20 [come and get it]

Following up from my last post ...

I found a torrent file for this show, and there were some actual peers, and I now have the show in Flac format. I want to keep some good shows in my Ubuntu One account, but I didn't want to choke my U1 storage space and bandwidth with the flac files, so I installed soundconverter, and converted the files to mp3, dropped those in my U1 folder, and then imported into RhythmBox.

So I am listening to track 3 right. This is a very crispy show, and Sugaree was just sweet.

Keep in mind that sharing this music is totally legal, and we encourage this form of digital sharing. Note that lots of bands have copied this distribution method that was pioneered by the Dead.

Well seeded shows come with "release notes" that are have the track list and source info. Looking at the release notes, I see that it is in memory of Jerry Moore. I remember Jerry from my days in CDead, and am very sad to learn that he has passed. Peggy-O has started playing, and the sad sweetness seems appropriate for the moment. Jerry was incredibly generous with his taping and seeding. His spirit surely was enriching for this world.

It appears that the show was remastered by Jay, who I recall as more or less the leader of CDead, and also a prolific remixer. Interesting to see that the show is shared in .flac format. I suppose .shn has faded away.

So, I'll gladly share this this show in three ways:
1. I'll keep seeding the show if you download the torrent
2. I'll B+P the show in Flac format to anyone who asks
3. I'll share the mp3 via U1 with any one asks

One last thing ... omg this show is crispy! Can't believe this is 30 years old!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


CDead was the first digital sharing community of which I was an active member. CDead was dedicated to sharing high quality recordings of Grateful Dead shows in audio CD format. In retrospect, there were some interesting similarities between CDead and an open source distro community.

The Dead themselves, created and allowed sharing of their music. Somewhat analogous to upstream developers. These shows were taped by tapers, and then mixers would tweak the recording quality and create "seeds" in the form of shn files. I suppose these folks were similar to packagers, in that they took the raw material, and made it available in a format that was usable by folks who were not hard core audio files. These seeds were then shared by us, the run of the mill CDeaders through trading, blanks and postage, and freebies.

CDead was a very generous and positive community. Standing in the community was determined by how much you shared, and how nice you were about it. It was common to receive a surprise show in the mail from someone who you had traded with, just as a gift. Or to receive stickers or art work along with the CDs in a trade. The servers were run on donations. And the leaders of the community invested copious time into mixing and creating great quality seeds.

As a member of the community, I had the privilege of being among the first to receive new seeds. In return, I had a small group of "users" who relied on me to burn shows for them, as they didn't have the capability to burn shows, at the time, CD burners were far from the ubiquity they have reached today.

CDead was an online community that was very much of it's time. It was formed when:
  1. The Grateful Dead had a very liberal policy wrt sharing recordings of their shows.
  2. CD burning had just gotten within reach of the mainstream.
  3. Broadband was not yet widespread.

After acquiring hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of Dead shows, and other music I retired from CDead. Some other things had changed as well. For example, I got a broadband connection, and could then download shows from sites like gdlive.com (which is now gone).

This was all about 8 years ago, maybe.

So the other day, by wife posted some Youtube clips of the Dead from what she knows to be my favorite year, 1977. Watching those clips made me interested in hearing some of those great old shows. I went to grab my all time favorite show (05-05-1977), only to find that I had given it away, assuming it would be easy to get another copy online.

Well, it's not easy.

Apparently in 2005, 10 years after Jerry Garcia died, the Dead put the genie back in the bottle. While it's easy to find streaming audio of the show, all the places where I used to download shows no longer offer it. I have a torrent for shn's for the show, but the single seeder has not transfered any bytes to me yet.

However, it is available for streaming, and I can even embed the show:

Show on the one had, the music is easier to listen to, but it seems harder to *own* it, as in to have a lossless copy on my own media. Fortunately, I have archived all the email from the CDead list, so I'm betting that I can connect with some of the traders. I'm sure the Dead's sharing policy has not changed, I just suspect they wanted to channel Internet traffic to sales of their Dick's Picks.

I can't feeling that something has been lost here. I feel that at the root of it is the remaining band members' desire to harvest income off of the copious archive of recordings, especially as following Jerry Garcia's death, the band's income for touring dropped off precipitously.

Perhaps I just need to learn how to use etree, and all will be well.