27th Dec 2011, 4:14am
This is just a reminiscence. No point; just a cheering thought.
I realised [as I was saying hello to new followers on Twitter] that I've been giving away free music, mostly in Ogg Vorbis format, for nearly the full ten years since I've had a site.
Things were quite different then though: to get sound from a web page, you had to embed Windows Media Player, Flash or Real Audio; not many musicians cared about the patenting issues of MP3 at the time.
I did care, and so made the switch pretty early on. My motivations to use an open format and actually think about the tools I use are probably what drove my switch from Windows to a Linux system [after all, how can you preach for freedom and openness if you're using a closed platform to do it?]. Of course, because adoption of Ogg Vorbis among listeners and software or hardware designers was slow, the proliferation of the format was not as widespread as I had thought it would be.
Giving away new music was not fashionable at the time: and the artist actually choosing the format they wanted to use was even rarer. Times have certainly moved on! The number of people who talk about FLAC [I would say primarily because Bandcamp offers it] as if it's a de facto lossless audio format is heartening: and musicians are now more able to present their sound as they wish. I feel [but of course do not know] that open formats have driven this change forward: opening the tools has opened up the people.
Like I said, no real point to this: just thinking out aloud.