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October 6th, 2007

Radiohead’s New Album: Pay What You Want

I’ve got to say that it’s great that a big name band like Radiohead decided to make their latest album available via download at whatever price you want it to be, including $0.00. That’s good, smart, and I’m sure they’re going to rake in the dough.

On the downside? I want to buy it but I have no idea what format it’s going to be in. I think in the “OMG NEW RADIOHEAD!” fervor of the past week, the fact that the band hasn’t said one whit about the download format is strange. I sincerely hope that it’s in an open format like MP3 or AAC. If it were in FairPlay or WMV, I’d be mighty angry. As would most people.

The thing becomes available Wednesday, so we’ll all find out then. In the meantime, I’ll be waiting to buy it until I know what I’m getting.

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

Paul October 10, 2007, 12:52 am

Aha! The word came today (caps theirs, not mine):

“THE ALBUM WILL COME AS A 48.4MB ZIP FILE CONTAINING 10 X 160KBPS DRM FREE MP3s.”

Fantastic. Fantastic. Fantastic.

Joseph October 10, 2007, 6:03 pm

I’d actually prefer WMA. I think it sounds better. Even if in the double blind tests there was no conclusive proof that WMA sounded better than MP3, I didn’t even know of these tests before my ear liked WMA better. I only tried WMA because Audacity saves WMA way faster than it saves MP3. I hadn’t heard of WMA and so went in with the expectation that it was going to suck compared to MP3, but to me, it sounded better.

WMA works in my home audio CD player and in my iPod, so it hasn’t limited me at all. I’v converted a lot of my old vinyl into WMA using Audacity. It’s fun and it beats having to rebuy those old albums, if you can even find them.

Even CD’s made from vinyl sound better than the mass-produced CD’s. The difference between my mass-produced REM Murmer and my vinyl conversion is like night and day. They say that the human ear can’t detect the difference in sound quality between CD and vinyl and that CD’s win hands down because of the clarity, but I disagree. Mass-produced CD’s could, arguably, sound better, but I just don’t think the record companies use all the techonology they’ve got just to save costs.

Remember mass-produced cassettes and how low-quality the raw materials were? Your own metal or chrome (or even ferrous oxide) tape made from an LP sounded so much better than a record company cassette that there was no comparison.

Same for CD’s I think–so why ruin it with MP3? I don’t care what the double-blind tests say. To my ear MP3 sound flat.

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