[EN] Do you want to promote some Creative Commons music? Organize a nice DAAP Party!

1. Introduction
My post about DAAP protocol has not been written scopeless. My obiective was to introduce it to you before posting some DAAP-based ideas I have.
One of these is called “DAAP Party”, as you see from the poster below I did (text is in italian and it sounds like “DAAP Party 2007 – Bring your mp3s and your wi-fi-enabled notebook with you. We will explain you how to make friends with the other partakers just listening to their music and sharing yours with them”):


2. What and for who
The basic idea is to invite many people who owns a notebook with working wi-fi chipset in it to a place full of tables, and explain them how share their music and listen the shared one by installing on their computers, if not present, a DAAP-compatible player. Below a list of DAAP-compatible software, taken from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_software_using_Digital_Audio_Access_Protocol):


As you see from the image, there is enough software for every platform =) And some of these programs don’t need to be installed, so they can run from a USB thumb drive as well =)
3. How-to and by who
Fundamentally, I’d organize a DAAP Party to advertise the nicest Creative Commons music out there and to favor the birth of new friends based on common musical taste, while the owners of a netlabel could organize it to promote their artists spending few dollars.
Here a list of the needed hardware:
* a wi-fi router, possibly with 802.11g support (for better performances);
* a desktop computer, also an old one, able to run Firefly Media Center and to handle some GBs of Creative Commons music on its hard drive(s), plugged via Ethernet with the router;
* a notebook with wi-fi chipset for every partaker (not provided).

4. Client or Server
Every partaker can decide to just listen shared music or to both listen and share the mp3s saved on his/her computer. The second approach is the suggested one, but not the obligated one. Depending on his/her answer, the DAAP Party committee will install on his/her computer a client software or a client/server one, if he/she has not yet it. Every partaker who decides to share music will rename his/her shared libray to his/her name or nick, so “who listen to what” will be easily recognizable for the scope of friendship.

5. Why Firefly Media Server on the computer that acts like server?
Why use Firefly on the old desktop computer I talked about before and not, for example, daapd or Tangerine?
Because Firefly Media Server:
1. it manages many “alternative” audio formats, such as Ogg Vorbis or FLAC, and convert them to mp3 on request, so the iTunes, that doesn’t support (natively) different formats than mp3, can listen to the Creative Commons music shared by the old computer acting like server;
2. it’s simple to configure and use: you have just to define in what folder you saved the audio files and start the server, it will do the rest!
3. it’s multiplatform, so you can use as server whatever computer running whatever operating system.

The first point is particularly important. Not using Firefly means that you committee have to previously transcode all non-mp3s files to mp3 -before- starting sharing, wasting time and cpu-cycles. This has to be done to mantain compatibility with iTunes. Using Firefly will avoid this wast, because it does the job for you on every iTunes-client request. Very handy.

6. Problems
1. If the DAAP Party is opened to the public and some partakers want to share copyrighted music, they have to subscribe a paper provided by the committee where they take every responsability of this kind of sharing etc;
2. The partakers using iTunes 7.0 or later, because of some limitations introduced by Apple in the original version of DAAP, will be able to listen to shared music but not to share their music to the partakers who don’t use iTunes 7.0 or later. This problem could be solved by pushing them to install an alternative client.
3. The original DAAP protocol has been designed to support max 5 unique IP addresses in the same local subnet for 24 hours. This means that the DAAP Party partakers can’t be more than 4 (one IP address is reserved for the server described above). Since I don’t own 6 computers, I didn’t test if this limit is valid also for the “open” version of DAAP (the one used by all the players except iTunes), but if we discover than this limit is not valid for it, we could solve the max 5 IPs problem just not using iTunes.

7. Possible implementations
1. Netlabels owners can organize a DAAP Party to promote their artists.
2. The committee of a Linux Day could provide a DAAP service during all the days of the event, as support of eventual keynotes about Creative Commons and other open licenses or just to promote the free music sharing and downloading (clients as Banshee permit to copy DAAP-available music on local disk with a simple drag’n’drop).
3. A bar or a pub could setup a free DAAP service dedicated to its geek customers.

8. Conclusions
I think I gave away enough ideas, so I’d like come comments or emails about this topic =) This post, as all the others in this blog, is released under the terms of Creative Commons license, so, if in the next future you will organize a DAAP Party, please let me know =)

9. Webbografia
“iTunes”: http://www.apple.com/itunes/overview/
“Banshee”: http://banshee-project.org/Main_Page
“Amarok”: http://amarok.kde.org/
“Firefly Media Server for Linux and Windows”: http://www.fireflymediaserver.org/
“Firefly Media Server for Mac”: http://www.rokulabs.com/firefly
“MyTunes and OurTunes software page”: http://www.saveourtunes.com


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