There’s a rather neat sounding Canadian rock band called One Soul Thrust. They’ve got some good things going for them. Decent sound. Excellent musicianship. But…
They are having massive problems. Their first CD went Platinum. Unofficially. Supposedly it’s been downloaded 100,000 times from torrent sites. Note that I say supposedly. If you do a search on The Pirate Bay, you get no returns. You do a search on ISOHUNT and you get no returns. You do a search using Google for the term ‘One Soul Thrust’ and ‘filetype:torrent’ and get no results.
Weird. So I started digging deeper. I visited Demonoid, Torrentreactor, Fulldls, and a bunch of smaller sites that most people will have never heard about. I was not able to find one single torrent file anywhere of One Soul Thrust’s album.
OK, this was after all a Main Stream Media article. The Main Stream Media doesn’t understand the difference between a Torrent Protocol and a Gnutella Protocol, so I downloaded and installed a Gnutella protocol application called Frostwire.
Now you have to understand that there are several companies that are paid to seed the Gnutella network with garbage files. I didn’t bother to install any of the technological work arounds which would have hidden me from them. As a result, I got all of their fake answers. But that’s all I got.
This was search number one, carried out on the band’s name. note that the file sizes would have matched a single MP3 file, and that One Soul Thrust hasn’t released a Greatest Hits Album yet, only a debut album. But the fakers gave me results for the nonexistent Greatest Hits Album, along with ads for free IPads, and claimed one song was ‘BEST SONG EVER!’
For search number two, I was searching for the complete album. Notice again that the fakers offered me up the nonexistent ‘Greatest Hits’ album. I am looking forward to One Soul Thrust releasing a Greatest Hits Album some time, say in ten years. but it’s a bit early yet 🙂
For search number three I went back to looking for individual tracks. It offered me up tracks from nonexistent torrent trackers. And the tracks are probably nonexistent as well. I haven’t asked the band, but they haven’t talked about being in the studio, and they’ve been posting pretty constantly during the last two months. I’m sure if they’d been spending time in the studio that they would have mentioned it, but there’s a track that swears it’s a February 2011 release. I’ll bet the damned thing is a Windows virus. Not that it’s any concern to me, I don’t run Windows.
Now at this point I had to give up. It’s possible that their album is available on a closed tracker. If it is, I don’t have any way to check. A closed tracker is by definition, closed, and they aren’t going to give access to some curious guy like me so I can write about what I find. There’s probably dozens of other places I haven’t thought of looking. I don’t know the ‘pirate’ networks, and I don’t have the contacts. But the places I checked are the popular places. If someone’s album got downloaded 100K times, this is where it would happen, and I can’t find it there.
So like Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman on Mythbusters I’ll call the theory that One Soul Thrust’s debut album went Platinum on the torrent sites BUSTED, unless someone can supply me documentation that proves otherwise.
Is the article a lie? Not necessarily. I think the reporter got handed something, and didn’t have the skills to do the research to check the information. You’ll note that there’s no links or screen shots to back up the assertions.
Did One Soul Thrust really know what was going on? Here I’m certain that the answer is no, and I have damned solid reasons for believing this. They are a good band. Technologically, well, let’s just say that they are a little 1990s…
Take a look at their website. It’s what is commonly known as a postcard site. One page, no animation, no real attempt to attract the fans to the site. There’s not even a link to Itunes! If you want to check out, or buy their music from Itunes, click here. It’s really pretty good. I bought the album. But the point is that first thing they teach you in Ecommerce 101 is make sure there’s an easy to find BUY link on your site. You have to make it quick and easy for your customers to buy your stuff. And they don’t do it. In fact their website fails just about every single Ecommerce test in existence. The only one it passes, is that they have one.
Any band that is this technologically backward, isn’t a band that is likely to know a lot about torrents. But they are likely to believe whatever they are being told by someone they trust, and if that someone is lying to them, well, they’d believe the lies. And it’s possible that the lies go further back. I’ve spoken to their PR agent, who seems like a nice guy. Being a nice guy doesn’t make you technically capable. In fact I get the impression that he isn’t.
Right now I’ve pissed off the Band members by telling them that the website is terrible (it is) and telling the PR guy that the website is terrible (it is). So they aren’t listening to me. In fact I gather that they are pretty annoyed at me.
I’m used to people being annoyed at me. That’s normal. But they need to sit back and start asking questions. Am I the right person to be annoyed at? Exactly what is going on here? Does anyone have any documentation to prove the allegations that there have been 100K plus torrent downloads?
Because right now it’s looking more and more like a set of self serving lies dreamed up by someone trying to panic the artists into supporting tougher copyright laws. And if they are lies, who is lying, and why are they lying? Why is it so important for them to take the chance of getting caught out the way that they did this time, just to pass a law?
Inquiring minds want to know.
Wednesday March 30, 2011