Kanye West Fans Create Emulator to Pirate Donda 2 Album Instead of Buying $200 Stem Player
Kanye West wants people to buy his $200 Stem Player in order to listen to Donda 2, but some of his fans have other plans.
On Wednesday (Feb. 23), Ye uploaded four tracks from the album onto the Stem Player website, but only users with the device could access them. By Thursday morning (Feb. 24), a Reddit user had already written a script that essentially emulates the Stem Player by tricking the website into thinking an actual device is connected and extracts the layers of each song.
Last night, Kanye uploaded the remaining songs from the Donda 2 listening event, which happened earlier this week, to the platform. By that point, additional emulators had been written and refined, so it was only a matter of time before the MP3s of each track made their way to file-sharing sites.
As of today (Feb. 25), all it takes is a few searches in the right places to find the songs without purchasing the $200 Stem Player.
According to Digital Music News, it's likely that Kanye's Stem Player uses a technology similar to that of Spleeter, which is a program that separates layers of digital song files into individual stems. This allows a user to isolate the vocals or drums of a track, for example, much like how the Stem Player operates.
It's hard to believe that Kanye didn't see this coming. Piracy, in one form or another, has been around the music industry for decades now. From the days of Napster and Limewire to the current state of leak culture and group-buys, the streaming revolution hasn't put a complete end to piracy like some believe it has. Just ask Juice Wrld's team.
It remains to be seen if Ye has any plan to combat what's happening. However, it's worth noting that the Donda 2 songs currently on the Stem Player aren't entirely finished. Many tracks have scratch vocal recordings and some sections are void of vocals completely. With that in mind, can it even be said that Donda 2 has officially been released?
It would seem that at this point the album is going to evolve far beyond its current state.