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Pirated version of Eminem's album hits the charts

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 28 May 2002 13:49 User comments (3)

One of the most reliable music charts in the world, Gracenote's "High Tech Top 40", had a very surprising entry at number two position in last week -- Eminem's yet-to-be-released new album "The Eminem Show".
Gracenote, who owns CD database CDDB, tracks music listening behaviour based on wide range of software audio players. Basically if users use popular audio players like WinAMP to play their audio CDs (NOTE: not MP3s or other digital audio files), the player connects to CDDB database to retrieve album information (which audio CDs generally speaking don't have stored on the CD) based on the statistics the album has (exact length of tracks, number of tracks, etc). And Gracenote keeps track of these requests.

So, Eminem's new album was second most played album on the charts week before it was about to be released (last Sunday), providing a pretty solid proof that professional CD pirates had already received a copy of the album earlier and had started producing professional audio CD copies of the album for sale.

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3 user comments

128.5.2002 14:04

Just as a side note for all the paranoid ones: Gracenote doesn't store individual user's submission/request data, so feel safe to use it in the future as well.

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

229.5.2002 2:13

>providing a pretty solid proof that >professional CD pirates had already >received a copy of the album earlier and >had started producing professional audio CD >copies of the album for sale Why "professional" ? A bunch of MP3 would suffice, once burned on audio CD by the end user, it's recognized by CBBD. I once even copied an original cassette on CDR and it is properly recognized by CDDB !


329.5.2002 2:24

Basically the fact that they received tens of thousands of unique requests for the audio CD with same characteristics (exact same length and order of the tracks, no additional tracks and other relatively unique identifiers what they use in CDDB) makes fairly good assumption that most of those discs where actually pressed in some illegal CD pressing plant, instead of kiddies burning MP3s they've downloaded to CDRs as CDDA.

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

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