Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Broadclip - TiVo for Internet Radio

One of the more interesting things I saw at CES just went into beta this week. Broadclip started off focused on TV (if your PC had a TV tuner), but have just added the music features. Here's how it basically works:

  • You download a little agent to your PC (runs in the systray)
  • You go to their website and tell them what bands you like. Search for an artist then "clip it".
  • They search the SHOUTcast directory for stations that are likely to play those artists
  • They trigger their app on your PC to record those stations in the background (stream rip) while they keep a time-synchronized record of what songs were played when. So, on your PC exists a big contiguous MP3 of dozens of songs.
  • You go back to their website to see what songs you now have in that file. You can pick particular songs and then will then tell the agent on your PC to "clip" out the songs you want and/or throw away the ones you don't.
  • It doesn't clip out just that one song (more like a block of 4 or 5 songs around it), but with a basic audio editor you could easily clip just the one song you want.

They are claiming protection under fair-use and that it is just "tivo for internet radio". But I have a feeling that the RIAA isn't going to see it that way. Also, I'm assuming that if the PERFORM act is passed (and radio stations have to be DRM'd) then that would break it as well.

Others that do similar things: Streamripper (windows) and RadioLover (mac).

I'm just now checking it out. I've selected 2 relatively obscure (Birdmonster, The Thermals) and 1 big artist (U2) and had it running for about an hour. So far it hasn't picked up any songs by either of them but I'll let it run all night and see what it turns up in the morning.

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