Monday, October 1, 2007

26 - Answer(s)

Q: Bill Jeffers - How long before the Miami Dolphins sign Michael Vick?
A: At the time that this question was asked I would have said “a week.” But a lot of stuff has gone down between then and now. For a quick summary I find this page pretty good; it's the fantasy news summary, and it does a good job of collecting the stories related to the Saga of Vick. I have to say, this is a pretty epic self-destruct on his part. If I ever start to go off the rails, I hope that my failures aren't nearly this interesting.

So to answer your actual question, Bill, I think that he might one day get signed by the Miami Dolphins. But that won't be this year, next year, or probably the year afterwards either. My guess is that VIck won't be back in the NFL this decade. Ask again in 2010, assuming I'm still doing this then.

Q: Karyn Graves - Say I have some old (10+ years) homemade mix tapes (yes, cassette). I believe they were all made using properly purchased musical recordings. (A side question: if not - like if they were off the radio, would that be illegal?) If I am legal up to this point (keeping the tapes in my own possession), I assume it is illegal to sell those homemade tapes with all the new legislation? Is it also illegal to give them away for free?

A: To find the answers to this question I went right to the RIAA website. It's a good source of music copyright stuff from the consumer side of things. Regardless of your opinions about the RIAA, they are the law on these matters, so they warrent listening to. I am making the assumption for the duration of this question that you're talking about music that's copyrighted in some way. There are no restrictions on non-copyrighted music, such as the stuff my band has put out, or that I've recorded on my own.

Now, you are allowed by the RIAA to make a tape duplication of a CD, or to mix and match tracks from CDs onto tape for personal use only. So you’re legally in the clear with the mix tapes that you have. However, if you were to sell those tapes you would be breaking the law. As I read it, you would also be breaking the law if you were to give the tapes away. I think that the only way that would be legal is if you gave the person the CDs that you used to make the tape in the first place along with the tape itself. Which defeats the purpose of making the mix tape in the first place. As to recording music off of the radio, I think that's also illegal, even for non-commercial purposes.

Your question got me thinking about what I feel is the lost art of the mix tape. I too engaged in the activity of making mix tapes, sitting in my room for several hours carefully selecting songs and recording them on my JVC stereo. I made them for friends and now-ex-girlfriends, and I really enjoyed it. It allowed me to express myself musically, and it also got me interested in audio engineering and the art of mixing.

Unfortunately I think that the art of the mix tape is one that is sadly lost forever. With the advent of digital music, the mix tape has been relegated to the dustbin of history. That makes me sad, now that I think about it. I enjoyed the process of making a mix tape. You only had 60 or 90 minutes to work with, and that was it. It made song selection very important, and pacing was always an interesting challenge. Nowadays you can just make a playlist that goes on virtually forever. Sure, you can simulate the experience of a mix tape, but it's just not the same.

Do I feel old now? You bet I do!

Q: Adam Barnello - BluRay or HDDVD?
A: Next week. I don't have the energy for this question right now, so I'll take a rain check. Sorry, Barn. Check back soon.