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Ruckus shuts down, students look elsewhere for tunes

Although Ruckus, a service that provided free music to college students, shut down earlier this month, other options are being considered to supply students their daily music fix.

Executive Director of Instructional Technology and Media Services Nial Johnson said Bradley is looking into replacements for Ruckus, but until one is found, students should not resort to file-sharing programs such as LimeWire.

“Sites like that are against copyright laws, and I encourage students to find alternate sources for music,” Johnson said.

Posters have appeared around campus warning students about the possible repercussions of using LimeWire and providing sources of information about other free music sites.

Two Web sites listed on the posters, campusdownloading.com and musicunited.org, give students alternatives to downloading music illegally.

“We were very fortunate to find Ruckus, but we are looking into other options,” he said. “Students can use Pandora, an online, customizable radio source. It doesn’t download anything to the desktop, so you can just listen to the music online.”

Junior dietetics major Amy Carbonneau said she relied on Ruckus for most of her music, and now her entire music library is no longer available.

“I don’t have a subscription to iTunes or anything like that, so all of my music that I had was on Ruckus,” she said. “Now over 1,200 of my songs are unplayable.”

Ruckus shut down Feb. 6, and the Web site was replaced with a graphic saying “Unfortunately the Ruckus service will no longer be provided. Thanks.”

Music with valid licenses will still play, but those past the renew date are not available.

“When I first heard that it wasn’t going to be around, I thought it was just a joke, but then my music started to slowly disappear,” Carbonneau said. “Then, I got angry.”

Johnson said he has been talking to Student Senate about the possibilities for a new music provider on campus, but no decisions have been made yet.

“We are looking into a service called SpiralFrog as an alternative to Ruckus,” he said. “It is a similar service to Ruckus – [students] log in and become a user. You must renew your registration every 30 days, but there doesn’t appear to be any kind of fee.”

Another option Johnson discussed with Senate was BearShare, a service that provides the opportunity to peer-to-peer file share non-copyrighted materials.

When Bradley first subscribed to the Ruckus service, Johnson said an extra server was installed on campus.

“We had the opportunity to put the server on campus to increase the site’s download speed,” he said. “We still have the server, but it will most likely be reserviced for another purpose.”

Student input will be important when it comes time to make the final decision on a music provider, Johnson said.

“We are interested in what students know,” he said. “The sites we are looking at aren’t inclusive, and I’m sure there are other options out there.”

Johnson said students should e-mail him at nial@bradley.edu if they have any other ideas or information about music sites.