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Slow Gold II (software): Ostensibly, a new piece of software called Slow Gold II ($89.95), a product of WorldWideWoodshed, renders fake books redundant — provided you have the patience to do its bidding. The software’s premise is simple: it will play back recorded music at a considerably slower rate, facilitating study by maintaining the music’s original pitch throughout, whether you slow the tune to half or even a fifth of its original speed. Trying to ape one of Janis Joplin’s inestimable yodels or one of Thelonious Monk’s leapfrogging melodies? Just drop your CD in your PC clone’s drive (Macs aren’t eligible), apply Slow Gold liberally and mimic to your heart’s content. Reviewers from PC Magazine to Guitar Player have praised Slow Gold’s simple interface and quality audio. The instructions report “a 10-second loop, slowed down 50% with the highest-quality algorithm, took 15 seconds to slow down on a 300 MHz Pentium II”; repeated experimentation confirms those numbers. The only thing that’s missing, really, is the software’s ability to provide note values at various points along the way — but since the software is aimed at the guitar enthusiast or someone with rudimentary music theory, that feature would be pretty superfluous. An additional audience, however, lays in wait. The sound quality of Slow Gold’s samples is excellent, and the paint-by-numbers controls suggest that ambient music fans may have a new tool to play with. Has repeated listening to your favorite Steve Roach or Brian Eno CD lent the music an all too familiar feel? Well, then dial it down with Slow Gold II. Make Eno’s ‘Thursday Afternoon’ album last all day.

When first launched its "Crate" section, a distinction was made between "ethereal" and "physical" releases. Those "ethereal" ones later came to comprise the site's Downstream section.
This was the site's first "ethereal" entry, all of which were collected under the following explanation: Web music is ethereal by nature, just data out there on the vast and, excepting password-protected FTP sites, public network we call the Internet. The big question isn't some much "what" as "where": where are the freshest MP3s, the great RealAudio streams, the self-generating software?

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