09 February 2010

la la la

Hey! Watch me advertise.

Antsy for some fresh tunes? Check out Amazon's stash of free mp3 [aka digital/downloadable] albums. The free library covers the whole spectrum of genres, from well-known artists to "what are these noises?", with a fair dose of non-Western-culture stuff. Some "albums" are merely single-song samplers, but oh well. I downloaded everything available a few days ago (DMC internet is speedy, even if I have to go to the lounge downstairs to use it), and it turned out to be 120 albums/675 songs... Do the math to figure out the ratio of whole albums to single-songers. It looks like they rotate stuff in and out often [frequently!], so it appears to be wise to check for new'uns every few days.

To get this goodness onto your computer, just make your selections and download away; Amazon makes you install their "MP3 Downloader" tool first (and only once per computer), but it's small, easy, and a truly convenient download manager. The songs are hi-qual mp3 files without DRM, so you can play them on any computer or music player that supports the mp3 format. BTW, that's essentially any device ever made - they're so commonly called "mp3 players", after all, as the format is beyond ubiquity.

I like having hi-qual, real, physical copies of music I like, so I could never depend on a digital download store for tunes - iTunes, Amazon MP3, or otherwise. However, repositories such as Amazon's free music are pivotal to supporting musicians; if I listen to stuff and actually like a band, I will...ohmy...buy albums from them! Scary how that works, I know. That's some of the purpose of the radio, too. What a strange world, people listening to music and buying what they like.

Also BTW FYI JIC, I did pick a few albums since I was trolling for recos from you:

Charles Mingus - Mingus Plays Piano (thanks, j/a)
Aphex Twin - Ventolin [EP]
Ming + FS - Human Condition
The Postal Service - Give Up
KMFDM - Krieg
Beck - Modern Guilt

I suppose I have some listening to do. How terrible! Rock yourselves out.

Technical notes: the files from the Amazon digital coffers are MP3 format, encoded in the neighborhood of 256kbps VBR, though a few tracks are done at a constant [CBR] 256kbps. That's not quite CD-quality, but it's easily good enough for all but the snobbiest of audiophiles. Amazon's download manager is compatible with Windows (probably XP and newer) and "sufficiently recent" versions (meaning I don't know which ones) of Mac OS X. I didn't check it out, but I'm assuming Linux users are hung out to dry. Feel free to leave a comment if you can confirm/deny *nix compatibility with Amazon's downloader tool. To ballpark average file size, consider that my downloading spree ended up as follows: 675 songs; 2d 1h 34min 43sec (2:01:34:43) total time; 4.95GB total space consumed. I'll leave the dimensional analysis up to you...

1 comment:


    happy listening, john!