Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Public Domain Music Keeps Getting Better

Portrait of Django Reinhardt, Aquarium, New Yo...Image via WikipediaHow does public domain music keep getting better? For one thing, the technology being used to clean up sound files has gotten significantly better. Many of the online archives of audio suffered from some pretty raw recordings from wax-cylinders and old 78s. This music is in the public domain and free but much of it was listenable only for real fans. There is some really amazing music out there too, for instance Django Reinhardt is well represented in http://archive.org. You can pull up whole collections of his music here and here for instance. You can listen to the music there, embed the playlist on your blog, or click on a link and download the whole collection. And it is worth doing now because the files have been cleaned up in one of the many programs that clean up audio files to get all the pops and hisses out of old recordings. Many use Audacity which is a free open source audio recording and editor package. There are instructions on their wiki on how to clean up audio files. Archive.org is an important site on the internet because it is a huge repository of public domain and openly-licensed texts, images, movies, music, and any kind of recording (poetry readings, famous speeches, lectures, radio programs, etc.).

This music is important in the history of music and jazz and should be available. Many of these recordings would not be available to anyone if it weren't for Archive.Org. I also want to recommend Django Reinhardt's music as a cure to seasonal affective disorder - you just can't be sad listening to his music!

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