I started looking for downloads of music from the Rothbury right after we got back and I wasn’t disappointed. On bt.etree.org, I found BitTorrent feeds of the several bands that we were interested in, particularly Thievery Corporation *melts* (Don’t worry, Kaffee, if you’re reading this, I have burned the twenty songs they did on to two cds and they’re in the mail to you today.)
BitTorrent is a new experience for me. Essentially there are no servers holding these files, they are held on local computers and the software knows where all the bits and pieces are. You upload a “torrent” and anyone who downloads the file from your computer becomes a “seed” that can then turnaround and upload to someone else. If you’re a righteous dude or chick, you leave the BitTorrent program open for awhile after you download the file until you’ve uploaded an equivalent amount of bits to others. Otherwise you’re considered a “leech”.
Anyway, once you have downloaded the file, what you’ll have is a .flac file (flac = “free lossless audio codec) which is a common digital format for these types of recordings. These files are HUGE. The 3-hour Widespread Panic music (two sets) is nearly a gigabyte in size.
I use Foobar2000, another free program, to convert the flac files over to .wav files. Then I drop them into iTunes and convert them to AAC which makes them much smaller. When it’s all done, I delete the flac files and the wav files and what I end up with is (usually) a high quality recording of a live show.
Mrs. E has put songs from Rothbury on her webpage so that the appropriate music is playing while you view the pano. It’s totally cool.
Another source for torrents is TorrentReactor.net. You can lotsa live music from recording-friendly bands (flac files, not torrent feeds) at The Internet Archive. Jack Johnson is heavily represented there, one of my favorites.
I’m just sayin’…