Award of the State

Photo by Jeanne RiceIt's submission time again for the third annual Orange County Music Awards, which for its March 27, 2004, presentation will return to what OCMA founder Martin Brown jokingly refers to as its "ancestral home"—the Galaxy Concert Theatre, site of the first awards two years ago. Two priorities this year are Brown is also hoping to include OC's flourishing Spanish-language music scene by establishing traditional and contemporary Latin categories (planned at the past two ceremonies, but dropped due to lack of entries) and more hip-hop submissions. Showcases for the best acoustic and electric live bands are going on now at the Gypsy Den in Santa Ana, the Gypsy Lounge in Lake Forest and DiPiazza's in Long Beach, and battle-of-the-bands contests will be held at various OC high schools during January and February to fill the Best High School Band category. Brown has received about 60 total entries, and expects to easily top last year's 500-plus entries before the Jan. 31 submission deadline. For all the OCMA info you could possibly need—including how to get that crappy, bathroom-recorded CD only your sympathetic parents and friends want to buy from you into the hands of harsh OCMA judges—hit up the OCMA website at www.orangecountymusicawards.com. (Rich Kane)

Subvert the Industry!

With computers, there are ways to get around anything, as proved by the recent hubbub over the college student who circumnavigated the copy-protection code on CDs simply by holding down the shift key. We're not recommending this (anymore than we'd suggest you make your own nuclear bomb from plans provided by The Progressive magazine), but our junior Einstein discovered that when you insert a copy-protected music CD, you should hold down the shift key as the tray is swallowed up by your computer. Keep holding it while Windows searches the CD (you'll notice flashing lights on the CD drive) for autorun instructions. When the lights stop flashing, you can release the shift key. This will stop Windows from starting up the copy-protection program on any music CD. Bear in mind that when you do make a successful duplicate of a protected CD, you're also copying the protection software onto the blank CD-R, so if you want to make more copies, you'll have to do this over again—for single copies, though, it's just the easiest, simplest way.

If you want to make a copy of the music and leave off the protection software entirely, there's another way: download Version 2 of the RealOne player for free off the Real.com website. It will make electronic MP3 files of your CD. Then from your computer, using the same RealOne software, burn a CD of the music files you've created.

There's another way to duplicate protected CDs without going the shift-key route, though it's a tad more cumbersome. Most computer users should have a sound card that supports a "line-in" cable from a home stereo and can capture music by a record feature built into the Windows software (a good sound card like Audigy is primo for making home-stereo CD copies). Install the sound card and all the software packaged with it. You need your cables to connect from the "out" jack on the stereo and plug the cables into the "in" line on your sound card. Put the copy-protected CD into your stereo CD player, then play the CD as you normally would. Before you begin playing, you want the software on your computer prepared to start recording. In simple terms, at the end of each track, save that individual sound file on your computer. Keep doing this until you've recorded the entire CD. Now, using the prepackaged software or Real.com software downloads, create a music CD with the files you just saved to your hard drive by inserting a blank CD-R into your computer CD burner, like you'd be copying anything. This, in essence, will create a music copy without any protection on it. We're not suggesting any of this, mind you. We're just reporting. (OC Weekly Research Team)

 
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