Monday, March 29, 2004

Blog in Dm Does A Mitzvah

It's Mitzvah Day at Blog in Dm and we've just sent the following email to the host of a website we discovered while surfing. The site hosts audio clips of "found music" downloaded from people's computers, apparently without their knowledge.No link supplied for reasons that should be self explanatory.
Hi there,
I listened to the track of folk songs you posted on your site on 11/5/03. I was quite surprised to find that I recognize the singers. The vocalists on that track -- although you couldn't tell it from this recording -- are popular recording artists on the New York Orthodox Music scene. Many of these singers donate their services regularly to perform for sick kids, and the recording you posted captures them doing just that. In this case, they are performing for a cancer patient. I know the doctors they mention as being present and they are both oncologists at Memorial Sloan Kettering here in NYC.
In light of this, it would probably be appropriate to take down this track, as I think it contains personal information that really ought not be publicized.
Here's how the website in question obtained the recording.
A "mic in track" is a recording made on a PC using MusicMatch Jukebox, a music utility packaged with many new PC's that allows the user to record from the microphone input of the PC's sound card and save the recording in mp3 format. The default filename is "mic in track" followed by a number.
If that user also happens to be running a file-sharing program (WinMX, Audiognome, Kazaa, etc.), and shares the directory in which the mic in track is stored, then these personal recordings can be easily downloaded from the user's computer. The vast majority of them are either silent or uninteresting, but many are like Christmas presents giftwrapped in nondescript serial numbers. They represent unique examples of audio vérité.
We're considering this a mitzvah both because of the personal info contained within the 24 minute long audio track, and because the singers would (or should) be quite embarrassed to have this out there. It reminds us of Linda McCartney, v'hameivin yavin!