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Anime Music FAQ for REC.ARTS.ANIME.* Part 3 Edited by Ru Igarashi Based on the work of Steve Pearl This article can be freely distributed for non-commercial use, as long as all credits and notices remain intact. If this is to be used in any publication, including CD-ROM collections, please contact the maintainer for permission at e-mail:email@example.com. Please e-mail all additions/corrections/comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org Changes since last posting: - none FAQ Entries needed (submissions welcome): - need glossary entry for streaming Windows Media ---------------------------------------------------------------------- This FAQ is posted in two parts. Contents: Part 1 1. General Questions 2. Legality Issues with Anime Music 3. Artists Part 2 1. Electronic Anime Music Resources 2. Anime Mail Order Businesses Part 3 1. GLOSSARY A. Contributors B. Disclaimer ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. GLOSSARY The following are short descriptions of terms and abbreviations common in this newsgroup. For a comprehensive list of acronyms used in the rec.arts.anime.* news groups, see Rob Kelk's "Anime Acronym List", posted monthly, or found at http://robkelk.ottawa-anime.org/acronyms.html .au/.aiff/.snd/.voc/.wav: Suffices for different types of audio files. Most of them do not use any compression. Are now mainly used for computer system sounds (which is what they originally started out for). .avi: AVI video files. AVI is not actually a compression format, rather a wrapper for a wide variety of video compression formats. .gz: Suffix for unix "gzip" compressed file. See Compressed File. .lha/.lzh: Suffix for Lempel-Ziv-Haruyasu algorithm compressed file. See Compressed File. .m3u: Suffix for "MPEG1 Layer 3 URL" file. See M3U and MP1/MP2/MP3 files below. .mov/.qt: Suffices for QuickTime video files. Like AVI, this is a wrapper for a wide variety of video compression formats. .mp1/.mp2/.mp3: see MP1/MP2/MP3 Files below .mpg: MPEG1 video file. Not to be confused with MP1/MP2/MP3. See MPEG below. .ogg: Ogg Vorbis audio file. See Ogg Vorbis file below. .pls: Suffix for Shoutcast PlayLiSt file. See PLS Files below .ra/.rm/.ram/.rpm: "Real" audio/visual files, a proprietary format by the company that produces the RealPlayer line of software. These are usually used as a source file for streaming AV content over the net rather than download-then-play. Some of these (.ram, .rpm) are actually contain pointers to the actual file. .tgz/.tar.gz: Suffix for gzipped GNU tar compressed archive file. .Z: Suffix for standard unix "compress" compressed files. See Compressed File. [SP] .zip: Suffix for the MSDOS zip compressed archive file. See Compressed File. Anime: Japanese word for animation, pronounced "ah-nee-meh". In North America (and probably everywhere outside of Japan), "anime" is used only in reference to Japanses animation (whereas, in Japan it refers to all animation). The term "anime" is preferred in this newsgroup over "japanimation" (a term used by North Americans to refer to Japanese animation), as the latter seems to be offensive to some people. [SP,RI] Anison: Japanese word for "anime song". Detailed definitions vary, but basically these are songs made for and used in anime. Often these are OP or ED, and sometimes instrumental OP or ED are considered anisons. Technically speaking a "song" is sung, i.e. has a singer, so it might be argued that instrumentals don't count. Purists also stipulate that anison are sung by career anime artists, singers who don't have (much of) a singing career outside of anime songs. Anonymous FTP: A type of FTP to log into a remote machine without needing an account, and extracting files from it (see FTP). Web browsers make use of this "automatically", so you don't really need to know how. If you want to use anonymous FTP manually but don't know how, ask your local System Administrator. [SP,RI] BGM: Background music bitrate: In the audio context (also in video), the bitrate cited is usually the maximum volume of digital data (number of "bits") available at a time (e.g. per second) for compressed audio data. It is often used synonymously with compression factor and audio quality (more compression results in poorer quality) because the raw audio data usually starts out with much higher digital size and must be squeezed down the the assigned bitrate. For example, CD audio runs at more than 1 million bits per second, and MP3s typically reduce that to the order of 100,000 bits per second (100 kbps). bootleg: Copies of a work (e.g. CD) made and distributed illegally, especially with respect to copyright laws, which usually stipulate that copying and distribution require permission (and usually licensing) from the original producer of the work. Frequently used synonymously with the term "pirated". Browser: An application for accessing the web, like Netscape. [SP] CCCD: Copy-Control CDs. As the name implies, these are CDs with a form of copy control, particularly to try to block copying of music on computers. Introduced to the market by Avex, it is my understanding that the CCCD is actually a multi-session CDROM with data (plus some black magic) and audio tracks. The audio tracks contain the usual CD format music, but the data track is what computers see, and that typically contains compressed audio files along with a M$ Windows "private player" (it looks like some companies use their own encoding, one company uses K2 enc and Sony uses their minidisc ATRAC). If you want to identify CCCDs, the standard logo can be seen in this Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) news: http://www.riaj.or.jp/e/news/20020418.html There are currently 5 Japanese companies using some variant of the CCCD format (you'll have to use a translation service to read their web pages): Avex (http://www.avexnet.or.jp/cccd) Toshiba-EMI (http://www.toshiba-emi.co.jp/) Japan Victor (JVC) (http://www.jvcmusic.co.jp/cccd/) King Records (http://www.kingrecords.co.jp/cccd/index.html) Pony Canyon (http://www.ponycanyon.co.jp/tpci/cccd) Sony (http://www.sonymusic.co.jp/cccd/) Teichiku Entertainment Universal Music Japan (http://www.universal-music.co.jp/cccd/index.html) Warner Music Japan (http://www.warnermusic.co.jp/cccd/index.html) Avex, King, Universal Pony Canyon and JVC use Cactus Data Shield protection scheme. Sony CCCDs use Labelgate protection scheme. It should be noted that Phillips, the originator of the CD format refuses to allow the CD trademark to be used on these CDs (because they simply aren't audio CDs). CD: Compact Disc. These are 5 inch optical storage disks capable of holding up to 650 megabytes of data or 74 minutes of audio (well, they can squeeze in more, but that's the standard specification). There are a few types of anime audio CDs: soundtrack or original soundtrack or OST - Contains the musical score for the anime. An exception is the soundtrack for Akira, which includes the voices and sound effects! If you just want the music, get the Akira Symphonic Suite instead. symphonic - A full-symphony rendition of the music in the anime. image - Contains music that "evokes the memory (or mood) of the film". This includes new versions of music on the anime, music written for the film but not included in it, and other (maybe new) music somehow related to the film. drama - Much like a radio play, but on CD. The story can be from the video, but often is not. high-tech - A synthetizer rendition of the music in the anime. [SP,RI] CDROM: CDs used for computer data storage. They can, of course, hold audio files, but they can't be played in an audio CD player. Playback is via computer, or portable audio file playback device (similar to the Rio). CD-R: Write once, read many times CD. Can be used to make audio CDs and computer data CDs. Compatible with most CD-only players (home audio and computer alike), however, some DVD decks cannot read these since the laser frequency is mismatched to the disc dyes used. Once written, it can't be written over and more audio tracks cannot be added. Data versions can have additional data written in a special "multi-session" format, which aren't readable on older CDROMs. CD-RW: Rewritable CD. Can be used to make audio CDs and computer data CDs. Can be written over many times (though there is a limit), or written incrementally. Not all CD-only players can play these, but DVD decks should because the dyes used are coincidentally closer matched to the DVD laser frequency than CD-Rs. CD-Single: A 3 inch version of the normal (5 1/4 inch) CD. There's no difference in the data structure, but because it is physically smaller, it holds less music. Usually used for music "singles" (the term "single" is loosely applied as often there are a couple to a few songs on one). These can be played in most normal CD players (if you see a smaller diameter depresssion in your tray and have wondered about it, this is what it's for). CD-V: CD-Video. A CD that has one track of audio-and-video, and three or four additional tracks of audio-only. Not to be confused with VCD (see VCD below). [SP,RI] Compressed File: Files compressed by programs like Unix compress(1), gzip(1), or MSDOS zip. This is done to long files (like long FAQs) to save disk storage space and reduce download time. In order to view such a file, you usually first run a decompression program like gunzip(1), or unzip, in order to convert it back to its original form. There are some programs that allow you to view compressed files without manually decompressing the files first. Also, in the case of tar or zip, the content is usually more than one file (even whole directory structures). [SP,RI] DMCA: Digital Millenium Copyright Act - a US Bill that amended US Code 17 (Copyright Law) (e.g. Chapter 12). Acquired some infamy with one of its intents which was to update Title 17 to deal with computer technology's effect on intellectual property. In particular, the DMCA deals with two issues: measures that prevent unauthorized ACCESS and measures that prevent unauthorized COPYING (defined as the exclusive rights of an author). BUT it explicitly does not affect the other aspects of USC 17, including the various exclusions and limitations of copyright. And then came the uproar. The DMCA says that "No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work...". Unfortunately, some people have taken this to mean that anyone that does something like a screen capture of a DVD for a term paper is breaking the law because piping the DVD player's analog signal into a capture card is "circumventing" the DVD's encryption. That isn't the case, because a) term papers are fair use which the DMCA allows, and more importantly, b) the DVD deck is a permitted way to play back the DVD, c) "circumvent protection..." is defined as "means avoiding, bypassing, removing, deactivating, or otherwise impairing... a measure". b)&c) indicates ACCESS has clearly not been circumvented since the data went RIGHT THROUGH the protection. As long as you use standard (authorized) equipment to play back digital media, DMCA is a far smaller issue than alarmists make it out to be. Check Chapter 12 of USC 17, for more details on the actual law. If you are into lawmaking, you can find the text of the act at the Library of Congress site: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c105:H.R.2281.ENR: Like most amendments, it's a bit messy, so the US Copyright Office has an enlightening Summary at http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf Dolby Digital: Used to be called AC-3, a digital audio specfication for sound recordings used mostly with video. It is not limited to surround sound, as the specfication allows for monaural (1.0), stereo (2.0), and surround (5.1) sound. It has since been extended to 6.1 and 7.1 in DD Surround EX for more precise rear or back surround sound placement. This is still technically 5.1 because the extra surround speaker info is encoded in the left and right surround tracks then decoded for the extra speakers by the EX-enabled sound system. This means a DD 7.1 recording can still be played back on a 5.1 sound system. This is not MPEG, which is ironic because the video it usually accompanies is MPEG. Drama track: Some CDs have radio-play style skits between music tracks. They can be comedy or drama, but are still refered to as "Drama tracks". DVD: The next generation of optical storage medium after CDs. Introduced as a video medium, the specifications for the audio variant was only finalized in early 1999. The audio DVD can hold a vastly larger volume of music data, some of which is directed towards a higher audio quality than CD and some of which can be used for surround audio, thanks to MPEG compression (see MP1/2/3 and MPEG below). However, audio DVDs are rare, and it isn't clear that older players will be compatible with DVD-audio software. For more information, check Jim Taylor's DVD FAQ at http://www.dvddemystified.com/dvdfaq.html ED: Ending credits. Also used in reference to the music playing during the ending credits. FAQ: Frequently Asked Question. A question which is frequently asked by new (or casual) users of a newsgroup. In order to increase the Signal-to-Noise ratio, some newsgroups have a person in charge of posting a monthly list of FAQs and the correct answers. [SP] FTP: "File Transfer Protocol". A method of moving files from one computer to another that involves logging into the other machine and issuing commands to get and put files onto either machine. Logging in essentially opens a data pipeline between the two machines that are normally closed off from each other. Most of us will use it as Anonymous FTP (see Anonymous FTP) for getting a file from someone, but the folks providing that file probably used straight FTP to put the file where we can get it. If you want to use FTP manually but don't know how, ask your local System Administrator (it's pretty simple most of the time). HD: "High Definition" video. The allowed picture dimensions are 1280x720 and 1920x1080, with a 16:9 ratio. Compared to "standard" video, that's a lot better resolution. IM: Image Song (see Image Song below) Image Album: See CD above. Image Song: A song on an anime-related CD that isn't actually used in the anime show. It usually has some aspect that is tied to the show, like the atmosphere or imagery, or the singer sings in character. IMHO: In My [Humble|Honest] Opinion. J-Pop: Japanese Pop. A term used to refer to, well, pop music originating in Japan. Some anime music fall under this category, and some VAs have some sort of J-Pop career. Karaoke version: Some CDs have tracks from what were originally vocal music, but without the vocals. This is for folks that want to sing their rendition of the vocals. That is, this is for Karaoke. Some companies call these "off vocal version". kbps: kilobits per second. Unit of measure for bitrates. See "bitrates". M3U files: "MPEG1 Layer 3 URL", a file containing a list of pointers (originally URLs) of MP3 files for streaming audio. Used by some MP3 players as a playlist file, which contain a list of files, or the location of off-site files, to play back. Some streaming audio sites use these, but the actual audio is MP3 format. See also PLS files. MD: MiniDisc. An optical music storage format, using a 2.5 inch disc in a cassette from Sony. These make use of Sony's proprietary ATRAC (Adaptive Transform Acoustic Coding) compression format to fit data onto the smaller form factor. This compression uses the same principles as MP3 (see MP1/MP2/MP3) but is a different implementation, and thus incompatible. This format has occasionally been used in .wav files. Discs can be rewritable and those can be written and deleted on the fly. There are home stereo units that can record and play the discs, as well as portable playback units. Never caught on as well outside of Japan as CD did, despite the recordability, though Sony started a push in the late 1990's. Note, this is not the same thing as CD-Singles (see CD-Single). For more information, try http://www.minidisc.org/ MDLP: MiniDisc Long Play. A newer MiniDisc encoding format that allows the disc to hold 160 and 320 minutes of data. The bitrate is actually lower than half and 1/4 of the standard (SP) due to the inclusion of space for dummy data to make this format compatible with SP. Players that can play MDLP can play SP, but machines made before MDLP or without it cannot play MDLP formatted discs. MIDI files: As noted above, MIDI files are intrinsically like MOD files, deriving sound from individual samples rather than one continuous waveform. However, MIDI files use a more standard sample set, and with the proper hardware you can play a piece on a keyboard/synthesizer and have your computer record it as a MIDI file. More information can be found on the alt.binaries.sounds.midi, alt.music.midi, and comp.music.midi newsgroups. [SP] Mini-Disc: See MD. MOD files: MOD files use discrete instrumental samples plus other information (frequency of the note, volume, etc) to play sounds, as opposed to WAV and AU formats which just play back a single continuous waveform. Any sample, generally up to a size limit (in number of bytes), can be taken, unlike MIDI which has a specific, though growing, standard set of samples. The MOD format started on the Amiga and was subsequently ported to PCs, Macs, etc. The original format has also been improved from its original four channels and somewhat limited effects to more than 30 channels and a multitude of effects (volume and tonal slides, vibrato, etc). Probably the most popular "advanced" MOD format is the ScreamTracker Module, or .S3M file. More information can be found on the alt.binaries.sounds.mod and a.b.s.mod.d newsgroups. [SP] MP1/MP2/MP3 files: Sound files which use a "lossy" compression algorithm to reduce the size of the sound file an order of magnitude from the raw size. It takes advantage of the human ear's inability to perceive variations beyond certain levels (e.g. frequency). It can be adjusted to throw more or less information away at the cost of audio quality. The actual formal denotation is MPEG1-layer1/2/3, so that the acronyms result from truncating the "version 1" index. That is, MP2 is NOT MPEG2, it is a subset of MPEG1. There are other MPEG audio codecs, but relative to the efficiency of MPEG1-layer3, the returns are so poor they are not broadly used, except possibly MPEG2 in DVD. There are now portable hardware that can input and play back MP3 files. MPEG: "Moving Picture Experts Group", a series of specifications for compressing digital video and audio data. They use a "lossy" compression philosophy, which takes advantage of our senses' inability to percieve variations beyond certain levels. It relies on playback devices to have code that does a decent job of approximating the original information based on the reduced information from the compressor. There are actually 4 "phases" of MPEG, with varying degrees of public recognition. MPEG1 is commonly used for video CDs (see VCD below), movie files, and MP1/MP2/MP3 audio files (see MP1/MP2/MP3 above). MPEG2 is what DVDs use for video (and Dolby Digital or MPEG2 for audio). MPEG3 was found to be redundant with MPEG2. MPEG4 is for extreme compression situations, like telephony and internet movies. MPEG1 was used a lot for transmission of programming to local broadcast stations, but the Digital TV age will guarantee MPEG2 dominance for that purpose. For more information, check the FAQs at http://www.mpeg.org. Off Vocal Version: see "Karaoke version" Ogg Vorbis file: An audio file using an open software compression algorithm. The aim is to be an alternative to MP3 because of licensing issues for MP3 players. Algorithm uses a similar lossy compression philosophy (see MP1/MP2/MP3), but implements it differently so that intellectual property rights are not violated. Most major audio players should be able to play this format. OP: Opening credits. Also used in reference to the music playing during the opening credits. OS: Operating System (computers). After all, computers are used to play music, too. :) OST: Original Soundtrack (see "soundtrack"). Usually in reference to a soundtrack as a body of work (e.g. CD, LP). Sometimes used synonymously with ST. outro: The ending sequence or credits, or in the context of music, the ending theme. see also ED Overseas version: These seem to be CDs destined for foreign (outside of Japan) markets. They are either produced in Japan for export, or produced by a foreign branch of a Japanese company, or licensed by a foreign company. Beware! Sometimes this tag is used for bootlegs. [editor's note: Which overseas-version producing companies are legit? Which aren't, or which make lousy CDs?] PCM: Pulse Coded Modulation audio format. This is what the uncompressed or raw data data on CDs is called. You'll see the technical sections of your CD and DVD players refer to this. This is also the required format for audio on DVD-Audio (i.e. compressed MPEG audio formats are optional). PLS files: Shoutcast PlayLiSt file used by some MP3 Players, which contain a list of files, or the location of off-site files, to play back. Some streaming audio sites use these, but the actual audio is MP3 format. The main difference with M3U files is extra information (e.g. title) and syntax, but otherwise serves the same function. SACD: "Super Audio CD". These are CDs that are encoded with a special format to highly increase the bitrate, thus increase audio fidelity. They require a special player for the high quality playback, but can be played on standard CDs with standard CD quality sound (by virtue of a standard CD layer). The increased bitrate also allows for surround sound playback (again, only on SACD compatible players). seiyuu: Japanese word for voice actor. soundtrack: the music that plays during a show, or the score. Sometimes used synonymously with OST CD. SHM-CD: "Super High Material CD". These are CDs made with a high transparency plastic that reduces read errors, thus apparently improving sound quality. Some reports suggest nearly as good improvement at SACDs. Regardless, these are totally compatible with standard CD players and the improvement should apply to any CD player (possibly moreso with poorer quality CD players). ST: Soundtrack (see "soundtrack"). Sometimes used synonymously with OST. URL: An URL is used by programs (usually browsers) to find a specific file or location anywhere on the internet. URL is short for "Uniform Resource Locator". For example, two sites may have the same file called priss01.gif, but the URL's will be different, such as ftp://tcp.venice.com/pub/anime-manga/sorted/bgc/ and http://www.rit.edu/~bmk7411/anime/priss01.gif For the technically minded, a URL is made like this: http://www.rit.edu/~bmk7411/anime/priss01.gif ^1 ^2 ^3 ^4 ^5 ^6 1: The type of service (such as FTP, Telnet, etc.). 2: The separator to the actual address. 3: The address (or site) on the internet where the information can be accessed. 4: The seperator to the local directory/folder of the information. 5: The folder/directory structure to locate the item. 6: The actual file itself. This isn't always there, and when it isn't the computer pointed to by #3 will send over a default file, the directory listing, or other information. [SP] Usenet: Technically, the proper name for "news groups". It is a messaging system in which each message is broadcast to, and stored at any site that wishes to provide access to the message to its users, by category, or "news group". That means there is no central server, and no one controls or rules usenet. Many news groups are grouped under "hierarchies" which have different policies. Usenet has been around longer than the internet, but now mostly uses the internet to transmit messages (it doesn't have to). Note, "news groups are not the internet", and vice versa, and "news groups are not web boards", etc. VA: Voice Actor VBR: Variable Bit Rate. For some digital audio (and video) compression schemes, the Bitrate (see "bitrate") can be continuously changed to suit more or less complex changes in sound (or picture). This helps to optimize the storage space (e.g. on a DVD) and reproduction quality. This is done at the authoring phase and is out of the user's control. VCD: Video CD. Video is compressed using MPEG1 lossy algorithm. The specification (White book) is fairly strict, allowing for only a fairly limited bitrate and only 352x240 (NTSC) or 352x288 (PAL) resolution. Can hold up to just over one hour of video, as well as menu driven access and still images, and computer files. Not really an audio format, though not out of the question. Not to be confused with DVD. WWW: World Wide Web. A global, interactive, dynamic, cross- platform, distributed, graphical, hypermedia information system that runs over the Internet. Note, "the web is not the internet", and vice versa. [SP,RI] ---------------------------------------------------------------------- A. Contributors As with most FAQs, the information documented in the this FAQ comes from many people (yes, anime fans are people, too). Our thanks should go to these people. Steve Pearl (who started this FAQ) Avatar Chika Clinton Moulds Daniel (a.k.a. vanfanel) Joshua Kaufman K.E. Bosco Mike Quin Nikkou Nobutoshi Ito Pipian Rob Kelk Rob Maxwell Ru Igarashi Simon Palko Thomas Chan Tom Norrill Wayne C. Morris Terrence Huey Michael Hayden Joe Curzon Glenn Shaw Nunya Biznes Kaijyuu Miyuki-chan Josh Berry Eric VanHeest Zoe (of zoemi.com) James Mccawley Phil Lee Dave Watson Sean O'Connor John Lee Baird HimuraLain Skeleton Man Mark Weiss Wesley Kwong Tomoe (smency20) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- B. Disclaimer This document is provided without any warrantees, implied or expressed. The editor assumes no responsibility for damages resulting from the use of the information the document contains or the lack thereof. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Edited by Ru Igarashi. E-mail submissions and questions about the newsgroup to ru.igarashi[at]usask.ca.