The world of digital music distribution and consumption has a lot of growing up to do in terms of defining its model. Aurous has just arrived with the intention of jolting an industry shaken by piracy using an atypical system: this program lets you listen to music online but, unlike Spotity and similar streaming services, offers its catalogue over torrent networks, with users themselves sharing their local music for remote streaming but without offering downloads of the files themselves. An interesting system that aims to get around illegality.
The program interface is simple, without any form of integrated advertising, and lets you access the music you want from its search tool as well as insert your own local music. In fact, the latter is what gives life to Aurous, as the local files themselves are what make up the global catalogue, which is also powered by music networks like SoundCloud and the Russian VK. That system is its greatest appeal in terms of offering an endless music catalogue where you can find everything, with filtered and ‘curated’ content, none of this finding 20 versions of the same song with different names and bitrates. The final user receives everything nicely wrapped.
The fact that you can’t download the music locally makes it complicated to determine whether Aurous is legal, although it’s only taken three days for the program to be reported by the Recording Industry Association of America (the U.S. counterpart of Spain’s SGAE) for using third-party music download networks like the aforementioned Russian social network VK, with its streaming and download service for music of dubious quality. We’ll see if in the end the project can survive and we’re not simply looking at the umpteeth release in the shadow of Popcorn Time that doesn’t live out even a full month of existence.