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Audio News is one of the best kept secrets on the internet. As a private torrent tracker, it has managed to retain a tightknit community of indie audio enthusiasts, DJs, producers, musicians, and composers who all share a common interest: cataloging, sharing, and downloading torrents of the most useful open-source tools for audio production. The fact that the torrent tracker is private and invite-only has allowed it to prosper for many years. But this can also be frustrating for those of us who have found it difficult to find torrents of these musical tools on other trackers.
The shortcomings of public torrent trackers – Anyone who has any experience torrenting open-source music production software, samples, Virtual Studio Technologies (VSTs), synths, mastering and mixing tools, etc. knows well, finding high-quality torrents of these tools is not often the easiest task.
I have wasted hours perusing these sites, downloading faulty versions of open-source Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) and VSTs on these sites. The torrents that I have been lucky enough to be able to find on these popular, more generalized sites are seldom in good health. And if they are, that does not necessarily mean that they will be fully functional or contain everything necessary to install properly.
Torrent health is, far and away, the biggest issue that I have run into when trying to download music production torrents.
Beyond torrent health, though, another common issue is that, frankly, these public torrent trackers often do not have the open-source software and samples that I need. VSTs are hard to come by. Samples, the ones that you can find, are often not of the highest quality. This is because torrent trackers do not have a dedicated enough community of peers who actually know their stuff when it comes to free indie music production. Which is why a private torrent tracker dedicated entirely to open-source audio production tools seems like the solution to all of my creative problems.
An exclusive members-only torrent tracker for audio production tools – The only issue here, though, is that not just anybody can register and start using Audio News. An extremely exclusive site, the only way to become a member is to receive a special invite code from an existent member (one who is, by the way, in good standing). Audio News, as far as I know, also does not have, as some other private torrent trackers sometimes do, open registration windows.
This, on the one hand, has enabled the site to prosper for so long as a very effective resource of audio production tools; but on the other hand, it can be frustrating to know that such a comprehensive resource of open-source software, samples, and community exists, but you are unable to access it. However, for those who are fortunate enough to get an invite, Audio News can be the only site you’ll ever need to help make your musical dreams a reality.
Audio News by the numbers
Audio News boasts (as of 2019) tons of torrents. This bodes well for the digital indie musician and P2P file sharer. Which is probably why the site also has such a robust (even if private) community of members. With 115,000 users, all of which are expected to keep an upload to download ratio of 0.8 or higher, it is no surprise that Audio News is arguably the best torrent tracker on the web for music makers and producers.
People are torn, though, about whether to use this site. The strict rules of the site (and the frequent downgrading of user statuses) has been cited as a reason to look elsewhere. That being said, if you plan on being a serious member of a private torrenting community, there may be no better home for you than Audio News. So, let’s dive in and take a closer look, shall we?
Audio News has opted for a forum layout. This is a design that has become increasingly common in the torrenting world, and for good reason. So long as the forum also comes equipped with an advanced search and an easily accessible means of browsing files, this layout can be an extremely effective way to archive, catalog, and share torrent files with peers. It also allows users to easily engage in in-depth conversation, whereas the comments sections of other torrent trackers might not encourage discourse as readily.
Home page and forums – There is not really a proper home page to Audio News. From the moment you log in, rather, you are immediately immersed in the site’s comprehensive threads, separated by category. Here, you can jump right into the site’s announcements, review the torrent upload guidelines, kill some time in the general chat section, offer feedback, or discuss torrents. There are also mega threads here for discussing hardware configurations and troubleshooting, chatting about various VSTs and virtual instruments, discuss samples, audio FX, share your own free indie music, and share music production techniques and tips.
As far as being a community of knowledgeable and passionate indie music producers is concerned, Audio News excels right off the bat. Once you have passed through all of the more social forums, though, you will finally make your way to the torrents. Browse open-source mobile apps, audio apps, sample libraries, VSTs and FX, Mac apps and software, Learning resources, presets, and updates. What I love about these forums, too, is the fact that each topic also presents a (sometimes long) list of subcategory tags to choose from, allowing you to quickly jump to the precise thing you are looking for without having to do too much manual searching yourself.
Search and browse – Audio News also has rather intuitive means of searching and browsing torrents. The advanced search function, for instance, allows users to narrow down their search to a specific forum. You can also, of course, search by specific keywords or by topic titles only if you prefer. You can search for post author, filter by your own downloads, and sort by topic, post time, and order of results.
If the forum layout, however, is not your thing, you’ll be happy to learn that the Browse section of the site looks a lot more like a traditional torrent tracker, presenting just an indexed table of torrent files containing seed/leech info, magnet download icons, and file size and upload info. This is my preferred way to navigate the site, but to each his own.
Content and Features
We have already gone over the fact that Audio News has tons of torrents for indie music producers. In addition to torrents of open-source mobile apps, DAWs, sample libraries, VSTs, FX, and utilities, Audio News also offers sheet music, learning resources, presets, and software updates. Basically, anything you could ever need to complete your home studio, Audio News has available. One of the standout features, though, in my opinion, is Audio News’ robust library of samples. Never be without the perfect sound again as a member of this site.
Add to all of this an extremely active community of fellow indie audio enthusiasts, and you have the makings of one of the best audio torrent trackers of all time … arguably one of the best private torrent trackers, period, of any kind.
Mobile and Desktop Experience
Audio News does offer a decent mobile site. It is usable. It’s not the best-optimized, it doesn’t adapt the format entirely for your phone screen or anything, but it gets the job done.
Pricing and Plans
Although Audio News is free to use at the most basic level – so long as you maintain a 0.8 ratio or higher … otherwise you will be downgraded to a limited membership – there are ways to pay to upgrade your Audio News experience. Through donations, you can up your privileges, upload capacity, and number of downloads. One-time donations get you respective amounts of traffic, as follows:
–$10: 15GB upload traffic
-$20: 40 GB
-$30: 60 GB
-$50: 100 GB
Or you can subscribe for one of the site’s VIP packages:
–6-month VIP: unlimited downloads, no limitations … $60
-1-year VIP: unlimited downloads, no limitations … $100