Friday, February 23, 2018

New uTorrent Web Streams and Downloads Torrents in Your Browser | TorrentFreak

While dozens of millions of people use uTorrent as their default BitTorrent client, the software has seen few feature updates in recent years.

That doesn’t mean that the development team has been sitting still. Instead of drastically expanding the current software, they have started a new ambitious project: uTorrent Web.

This new piece of software, which launched rather quietly, allows users to download and stream torrents directly in their default web browsers, such as Chrome or Firefox.

The way it works is pretty straightforward. After installing the client, which is Windows-only at the moment, torrent and magnet links are automatically opened by uTorrent Web in a browser window.

People can use their regular torrent sites to find torrents or use the app’s search box, which redirects them to Google.

Let’s start…

TorrentFreak took the application for a spin and it works quite well. Videos may take a short while to load, depending on the download speed, but then they play just fine. As in most modern video players, subtitles are also supported, if they’re included.

The streaming functionality supports both audio and video, with the option to choose a specific file, if a torrent contains more than one.

Applications and other files can also be downloaded, but these are obviously not streamed.

uTorrent Web in action

The current Beta release comes with several basic preferences settings and users can change things such as the download location and upload speed. It’s likely that more options will follow as development matures, however.

While the quiet release comes as a surprise, BitTorrent founder Bram Cohen previously told us that the browser version was coming. In the long run, this version could even replace the “original” client, he seemed to suggest.

“We’re very, very sensitive. We know people have been using uTorrent for a very long time and love it. So we’re very, very sensitive to that and gonna be sure to make sure that people feel that it’s an upgrade that’s happening. Not that we’ve just destroyed the experience,” Bram said.

“We’re going to roll it out and get feedback and make sure that people are happy with it before we roll it out to everybody.”

For now, however, it appears that BitTorrent is offering both products side-by-side.

It’s been a turbulent week for BitTorrent Inc., thus far. The company had to deal with a serious vulnerability in its flagship software uTorrent. This same issue also affected uTorrent Web, but the most recent version is fully patched, we were told, as is the stable release.

We reached out to BitTorrent Inc. to find out more about this release, but we haven’t heard back for several days. Perhaps we’ll get an opportunity to find out more in the near future.

Until then, people are free to take uTorrent Web for a spin here.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN discounts, offers and coupons

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How To Give Fans What They Want With Facebook Messenger | hypebot

Music Modernization Act 2018: We Can And Must Do Better [OP-ED] | hypebot

Music Modernization PerilThe Music Modernization Act currently before Congress has the support of almost every major music trade organization. But that does not mean iti s not without problems, as Phil Galdston and David Wolfert of the 3300 member songwriters group Music Answers point out in the op-ed.

___________________________

By Phil Galdston and David Wolfert of MusicAnswers.org. This first appeared on Billboard.com

The Music Modernization Act (MMA) is a huge piece of copyright legislation that would shape the way music creators are paid for the foreseeable future. As songwriters, composers and independent publishers, we join many of our colleagues in expressing our appreciation for the efforts of legislators and members of our community to find solutions to the serious problems facing music creators. 

"crucial elements of the bill are of concern and some remain unresolved"

The MMA offers some true and constructive change, and we can accept the "grand bargain" that is its foundation: In return for a kind of immunity for past acts of infringement, digital music services would now pay for every single performance of every track, identified or not. That said, some crucial elements of the bill are of concern and some remain unresolved. 

The developing trend in music writing, publishing and distribution is towards independence and market fragmentation. Instead of acknowledging and addressing this trend, the legislation embraces and enshrines some of the old practices of the music business. Today, tens of thousands of music creators control their own work, its exploitation and its administration, eschewing the old paradigms and larger institutions of the music business. So any law of this kind must first and foremost protect the work's creator and owner, not the administrator. Here are some specific points we think merit clarification and amendment.

"Shouldn't writers have a say commensurate with their contribution?"

First, the MMA would establish a new Collective that would receive and distribute billions of dollars of mechanical royalties, oversee a new database of musical works, divide up the royalties from unidentified works and essentially control the most important decisions about how all of these important functions would be handled. As currently drafted, publishers would hold 10 seats on the Collective's board, while writers would hold four. Why? Shouldn't writers have a say commensurate with their contribution?

More important, the current language of the MMA doesn't provide any details as to how the writers on the board would be selected. Publishers have indicated privately that they intend to choose the writers who would serve -- a concept that would undermine the whole purpose of having writer members. To us, this is a no-brainer: Writers should select writers. There are several ways to accomplish this, including having the Librarian of Congress select writers based on nominations from creator organizations. This important detail must be clarified before the MMA becomes law.

"writers who don't find and claim their royalties from an online listing of millions of tracks would see 100 percent of those royalties go to publishers based on the publisher's market share"

Second, self-published and unpublished writers are those most likely to have their music unidentified or misidentified by digital music services. The reasons vary, from failing to file a registration with the Copyright Office, to neglecting to embed the right data in an uploaded track, to an inadvertent clerical error, or even something as basic as a misspelling. But, as the MMA is drafted, writers who don't find and claim their royalties from an online listing of millions of tracks would see 100 percent of those royalties go to publishers based on the publisher's market share. That means that the big publishers and their most successful writers would get most of that money -- money that belongs to self-published and unpublished writers. At a minimum, this "black box" money should be used to fund a rigorous, independent study, with the goal of arriving at an equitable distribution of unclaimed royalties to independent writers and publishers, not given to powerful interests who clearly don't deserve it. 

"MMA is sorely lacking in key areas of transparency"

Finally, the MMA is sorely lacking in key areas of transparency, among them, audit rights for independent, unaffiliated writers. As a result, songwriters who can afford lawyers and accountants would be able to audit their publishers, but many thousands of others wouldn't. And the ownership of the database, its algorithms and APIs is also undefined. If music creators -- including the ever-growing group of independents -- are to be protected by the MMA, these issues must also be addressed.

None of the points we're raising need jeopardize the delicate political balance that has brought us to this stage. These are issues solely between music publishers and music creators that we should be able to work out easily with our business partners -- if they are willing. 

Songwriters and composers participate in the legislative process from a distinct disadvantage: We're not allowed to unionize and, unlike publishers, we don't have a well-financed trade association that speaks for us. So, we have to band together, forming ad hoc alliances to achieve our mutual goals. We salute our brother and sister creator organizations for their efforts to bring the MMA to this point and we believe that the improvements we are suggesting here will maximize those efforts and strengthen the legislation to the benefit of all. 

Many have described the current version of the MMA as the best we can do. Our belief is that we can and must do better.

Phil Galdston and David Wolfert, two of the founders of MusicAnswers.org, are independent songwriters, composers, producers and publishers.

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Tracy Brabin calls for self-employed to be able to share parental pay | The Guardian

Songkick Partners With Facebook, Active Users Rise 43% | hypebot

Songkick squareSongkick, the concert discovery app acquired by Warner Music Group last year, has inked a partnership with Facebook to add concerts and events from its database onto the social giant. Songkick also announced a deal with French and Belgian retailer and ticket seller FNAC.

These new partnerships follow deals with Pandora and Vevo. 

In the last year, Songkick's user base grew 34% percent and monthly active users were up 43%, according to the company. 

"We have tapped into Warner’s global infrastructure and existing fan base to accelerate growth and solidify Songkick’s status as the best concert discovery tool in the market," said Tony Harlow, president of WMG's label services division WEA. "We know that Songkick users are highly engaged passionate music fans and we strive to provide them more content, access, and rewards for their enthusiasm.”

Songkick_logo"Since we joined forces with Tony and his amazing team at WEA, we've been in growth mode, striking a series of deals with distribution and ticketing partners aimed at expanding our global presence," Songkick CTO Mark McIntyre said in a statement. "Our team is growing, and our plans for the years ahead are more ambitious than ever. We're off to a great start and are looking forward to building on this exciting partnership."

Songkick tourbox

How To Post Tour Dates on Songkick

Touring artists and their teams can update their profile and list tour dates at no cost on Songkick via the Songkick Toolbox platform. Tour info is then automatically spread to Spotify, Badcamp, Pandora, Shazam, Soundcloud, Facebook and elsewhere.

Sign up free here.

 

 

 

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Daily News Highlights: Friday, February 23rd, 2018 | The Daily Rind

SURVEY CLAIMS EARLY SATISFACTION WITH SMART SPEAKERS IS HIGH Concert Discovery App Songkick Signs Up With Facebook Net Neutrality Repeal Challenged By 24 States Irish government could back ticket touting ban

The post Daily News Highlights: Friday, February 23rd, 2018 appeared first on The Daily Rind.

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Out Today by The Orchard: Strange Names, Holly Miranda & More | The Daily Rind

New York went back to its moody weather after two days of sunshine. But before you put your raincoats back on, we have some great releases to lengthen the spring vibes the city has teased. This week’s albums will take you on a journey back to the 70’s New York punk-rock scene, 80’s dance floors and landing... Read more »

The post Out Today by The Orchard: Strange Names, Holly Miranda & More appeared first on The Daily Rind.

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