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What is a good solution for a music server for the office?

Posted on 2008-11-01
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Last Modified: 2008-11-03
I'm the only IT at a small business and have users listening to music through different online services.  I don't mind them listening to the music other than its tying up internet bandwidth.  I was thinking that since all of us would be willing to bring in our CD's maybe we could rip them and serve them up through a central server.   Is there anything you would recommend as a music server for our office?

Thanks,
Chris
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Question by:cdaly33
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6 Comments
 
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rid earned 50 total points
ID: 22861328
I suppose any file server should do, letting the listeners choose items through their favourite music player application and making playlists.

I suppose this is not legal; many totally normal things seem to be banished nowadays, seeing you're not even allowed to make a backup copy of media you buy.
/RID
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by:cdaly33
ID: 22861553
Well I don't want to do anything illegal so I guess I will abandon the idea.  I guess its the ripping of the CD's that's illegal?  Oh well, I guess they can continue to use their paid online stuff.

Thanks for the help.
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by:rid
ID: 22862130
I fell that was undeserved points, actually.... You may want to claim a refund, as I didn't solve your problem. As far as I see it, it would work technically, say if you made a "M:\" drive with lots of .mp3's and pointed your player to that. However I have run into several comments here, mostly from US-based people, about your Digital Rights act (or whatever) and the RIAA and what not and they seem to point to several restrictions when it comes to sharing entertainment media. I don't know where you're based and I don't know US law in detail, but there seems to be a lot of things that are illegal over there, that are OK here in Sweden. E.g, we can use the de-css function, while I seem to remember hearing it's not legal there.
Cheers
/RID
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:lherrou
ID: 22862880
Well, the primary issue with DVDs is that they are encrypted, and the DMCA here in the US specifically prohibits attempting to circumvent encryption and copy protection mechanisms, so de-css has been ruled in violation of that law. Ripping MP3s from CDs does not fall under that part of the law - it is legal to convert your music files to MP3 format, but not to give those files away to others, so most of the law in that area has to do with file-sharing services like the original Napster, Aimster, and the current peer-to-peer services like Limewire, BitTorrent, etc. What was proposed would probably push the limits of what's legal (bearing in mind that I am not a lawyer).

Cheers,
LHerrou
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by:cdaly33
ID: 22864396
Thanks for the updates.  I'm very interested in the subject and wish there was an easier way to do this stuff.  I wish wading through all of these issues was simpler.  Common sense would tell me that I can let the people listen to the music at work but of course not let them take it with them but in no way do I want to get tangled up in any legal issues.  It would nice to see a comparison chart of sorts that has a column for OK and one for Not OK that has examples of what you're allowed to do or not allowed to do.  Is there anything available like this for the US restrictions?
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by:lherrou
ID: 22866906
Not that I am aware of.
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