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Mo' Better Searches Part II - Finding the Good Stuff
Posted by netwebly | 12.8.2000
Tutorial index

It won't take long for you to figure out that you can fine tune searches in Napster by trying different combinations in the Artist and Title fields. The general idea is the same as it would be if you were using a search engine like Google to find something on the Net: The more specific you are, the better your chances of success.

One problem nearly everbody runs into when they first start out: a search by artist turns up hundreds of references to the same song. The problem is you're not interested in this MP3 anymore - you've already found it.

You want to see what else is out there by the same artist.

It's Out there Somewhere
Many people mistakenly assume that this means the song they are looking for isn't out there. This isn't necessarily true. It probably is. The question is: where?

Unfortunately, Napster isn't going to let us filter out the song by excluding it from our searches. Other file sharing programs like Gnutella will let us do exactly that. But until the company adds this feature, Napster won't let us.

Mo' better. Absolutely.

The thing to do now is to get more specific. Back to good old Stinky Posse, the legendary Southern California band we invented about ten minutes ago for the purposes of this tutorial.

As you may recall Stinky Posse have a number of popular songs on Napster including : Glad Bag Mag and Stinky Posse Anthem. It's pretty obvious by this point that we are completely addicted to Stinky Posse and must have more. Soon we will be going out to the store and buying Stinky Posse CDs and tee-shirts and possibly even making a trip to Hollywood to see Stinky Posse play live at some bar at one o'clock in the morning.

So how can we find more music by our new favorite band, Stinky Posse?

Mo' better info.
Clearly we need more information. To be specific: we need more song titles so we know what to look for. For an instant this appears to pose one of those perplexing challenges mankind - or personkind if you want to be seriously hip about it - has struggled with for centuries: We need the names of more Stinky Posse songs. How can we find them?

What are we going to do? Walk to a record store in the middle of the night and write down all of the song titles off the back of every Stinky Posse CD we can find and then slink back home and download them all?

Don't laugh, some people do this. But perhaps there is a better way.

You forgot you're on the Net, didn't you?
Actually there are so many different ways to go about finding more information on Stinky Posse you could probably choke to death on it all before you were done. And if you're not careful you just might.... After all, if you are reading this, its a pretty safe bet you're on the Net: the meanest, leanest, largest, fastest, and generally slickest collection of information ever assembled in the course of human history.

There's plenty of stuff on Stinky Posse out there. The challenge is finding what you want.

Search Engines are your friend, Kid
When it comes to finding a needle in a haystack, search engines aren't much help. But on the other hand, if you have some idea what you're looking for they can be amazingly effective. Our current favorite is Google. People are talking about infrasearch a lot these days but it isn't here yet - so we'll stick with google for now.

Type Stinky Posse into Google's search field- or your own favorite search engine - it makes no difference to us and see what happens

Statistically speaking, the odds are quite high that you will now be buried alive in links to Stinky Posse. And if past experience is any gauge, you'll probably find a ton of stuff you might not have thought to look for otherwise.

The Official Stinky Posse Web Site

If the search engine is a good one (like Google), you'll find the official Stinky Posse web site on the first page of listings. Here you'll be able to read about the band and check out their tour dates. Check those guys out! They all have spikey blonde hair.

They really are from Southern California!

Stinky Posse Fan Sites: A mixed blessing
Stinky Posse probably have plenty of fan sites constructed in their honor. These can be fun to look at for a few minutes. You'll probably find snapshots of Stinky Posse band members in various poses and positions. The text of old interviews with band members. Concert dates. Song lyrics. And yes - indeed - exactly what you were looking for in the first place - the names of more stinky posse songs you can download to complete your collection.
By the time you're done you will be a certified Stinky Posse expert. Almost an unofficial member of the band....

Yeah, but that takes way too long...
On the other hand, if you're like most people, you may not care to to become an expert on Stinky Posse - not just yet anyway. What you need is a method of finding information about Stinky Posse that is quick, simple and does not force you to use your brain for longer than fifteen milliseconds at a time. How can you do this?

Obviously, the answer is E-Commerce.

Lots of People sell music Online
At this point there are hundreds of places online where you can buy music, ranging from giant Mall of the Americaesque sites like to online retailers like emusic and CDNow to small specialized independent record stores that sell music who like a specific genre - like Stinky Posse ska.

Generally people go to these sites to buy stuff. But increasingly, people are visiting for just the reason you are: to do a little research when the occassion demands it. You'll find just about all of the information you could ever want about Stinky Posse or any other band, including professional reviews, fan feedback, pictures of CD covers, liner notes, quotes as well as sample downloads.

These people are sad...
Of course, the people who run these sites know why you're there and they are deeply bummed about it. After all, they'd been hoping to make a lot of money on the e-commerce thing and most of them are a little sad that people are downloading music for free rather than paying them for it. There's not much they can do about it, however, except offer to sell you CDs.

Why not buy one while you're at it?
This may very well help you cope with the feelings of guilt you will be experiencing shortly. Assuming you have the ability to take notes, you will come away with everything you need: including the titles of Stinky Posse's CDs, the names of the songs on those CDs, as well as a bonus prize: a long list of other bands that dress, talk and sound exactly like Stinky Posse.

And there it is....
So there you are. You have the CD titles of the three official CDs Stinky Posse have released up to this point in their careers: their first This is Stinky Posse, the critically aclaimed follow-up Drive By Pie as well as their latest release SuperFly Stinkify (it's a funk fusion thing.) You also have the titles of all the songs on these three CDs. In the minds of the Recording Industry Association of America and the label that distributes Stinky Posse to the masses, you are now armed and dangerous.

Return to your trusty copy of Napster and click connect....

Up Next - Watch those transfers, kid

Return to tutorial index

Coming soon! Finding Legal Stinky Posse and more cool music.

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