Monty and Morgion 063: A King's Ransom

26Sep03 (Monthenor): I fought a slug. I wanted a pony. I saw a turtle. Short declarative sentences are funny, dammit!

So, this Chaos World's mean. It's not hard, or ugly, or noisy, and I think as a game it will pass muster...but it definitely has an attitude problem. Seriously, if you just want to see what the weapon guy has on sale, he calls you a window shopper and thinks you should leave. You prove yourself in the Arena, and all the king has is pocket change and a stupid ass. It kinda looks like a pony, though. And then the game insults me by throwing out an array of truly idiotic beasts. In one particular instance, I was curious about the item shop's choices of "Buy" and "Sl". The logical assumption is that "Sl" stands for "Sell", but apparently it means "Slander". That shopkeeper's incisive wit and psychology degree cut straight into the cold, dead core of my character's soul.

At least I got to "impress" the princess, yo. With a potion made out of what I believe was a poppy.


26Sep03 (Monthenor): This is truly a great time to be alive. I just caved in to the soft sell of Penny Arcade and signed up for the GameFly service. For those who don't know, GameFly is set up like the NetFlix DVD service: you make a queue of items you want, and they mail them to you two at a time. You send them back when you're done, and they send the next two. GameFly also has the option to buy something at used price whenever you want. For $22 bucks a month, you can play all the new games coming out on any of the major consoles.

I almost want to cry, it's so beautiful. I created my first list of games I want, 14 in all. Then I reordered it so all the ones available now are on top, unreleased are down further, etc. I then went to read their description of Mad Maestro (my current 5th choice). When I came back to my list, the first two games were already being processed for shipping. That's service. Fifteen minutes from setting up my account to getting my rentals processed. This is truly a great time to be alive.

I am a Magnatune evangelist… and you should be one too.
Morgion // 09.28.03 - 09.10

Damn, I did it again. I really need to post more often. Or, when I'm not posting, I should be building a CMS. One that converts my thoughts into emails (M3U streaming playlist).

Whoah, what was that? Not your cuppa? Try some of Beth Quist's other music. New Age not your thing? How about Rock, like Emma's Mini? Or some old Ukrainian folk music from Drevo (I am really digging them, seriously).

All of this fabulous music is from Magnatune ("We are not evil")… and they're so not evil. 128kbps streaming samples of the entire song… for all of their songs. Listen to a stream of an album, or a shuffle of the whole genre. Oh, and since it's under the Creative Commons licence, it's free for non-commercial use: "worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, perpetual license".

What's that mean for you? Download some samples, burn them to a CD, share it with your friends. Make some remixes. Put them on a peer-to-peer file sharing network. Seriously, you can do all of this; the key is to give the artist and Magnatune credit.

"Wow, I love this stuff," you say? Excellent. Now, go buy the album and support the artist… because the artist gets 50% of the revenue. Notice that's revenue, not profits like the corrupt recording industry, which inflates the bills and squeezes out the artist.

How much does it cost? You decide: there's a frickin' pull-down menu with a range of prices. Choose anything from $5 to $18; recommended is $8. What do you get? On-par MP3s… or the WAVs of the CD master! Re-encode them into whatever format you want, at whatever quality, and burn the WAVs as "an exact duplicate of the CD master" (general info in the footer).

Magnatune is the future, and has the plans to prove it. Not to mention positive public opinion. Evil, corrupt RIAA (whom you should avoid like the plague) is about stifling creativity and screwing the artists. Even Apple's iTunes Music Store is "a Facelift for a corrupt industry." But this stuff is creative, passionate, personal. No formula went into creating this art, and I haven't found a bad track yet.

One current short-coming, which I know will dissuade some of you: their current order form is insecure, but it will have SSL encryption soon. You can purchase the album through Paypal, but that's a pretty big hoop if you don't already have an account set up. If you're reluctant to purchase now, stay tuned; I'll update you when the SSL is working.

Until then, enjoy the free music from Magnatunes. It's RIAA's death knell.

Let the downloading commence.
Morgion // 09.30.03 - 21.45

Magnatune's SSL is up and running; your orders will be secure. Thanks to Lexicon for pointing to the heads up in the Magnatune forums… and don't worry, it is actually working now.

Thanks to some audiophiles, your Magnatune downloads will soon be even smaller (Mr. John Buckman says so) thanks to FLAC.