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03 September 2008 @ 03:41 pm
Halp me intertubes!  
I've been taking a second look at Pandora recently because of shelleycat (who got hooked on it because of theinated introducing it to her at ceph's farewell party.)

My first experience with it last year (or the year before?) was that Rush does not work as a good seed, not for me anyways. shelleycat opined that this is because Rush is so iconic that you're not going to find anyone else like them. That certainly seems to be the case using the "Music Genome Project" that underlies Pandora anyways. Well it turns out that "Emerald Rose" doesn't work as a particularly good seed either. This is probably in part because they don't have bands like "Brobdingnagian Bards" on there so there's not much to build onto (and honestly i was rather surprised that they even had Emerald Rose in the first place.)

I also tried making an Uematsu and Mitsuda channel, which burned down, fell over, and _then_ sank into the swamp. Er, that is to say, it's a miracle that Pandora even has those two in its database, but that's it as far as video game music goes. (And the stuff it has for Mitsuda isn't even video game music to begin with.)

But the "Garbage - Push It" channel stayed up! It branched off into No Doubt and Evanescence first but then started picking up some new and interesting artists who i hadn't ever heard of before. (The "Ok Go" channel is, well, okay, but so far hasn't come up with anyone i'm interested in finding out more about.)

Which brings me to the actual point of this post, where is a good place for buying music online?
Requirements: DRM free mp3s, or possibly FLACs.
Really Likeaments(?): Some kind of user account system that will keep track of me and what i've bought and let me re-download any of it at any point i want.

Basically i want something like Audible because DRM aside *cough* they've got a really great system. CDBaby meets the "likeaments," but they're mainly for more obscure artists, and i need some way to get the more mainstream ones. I know Amazon meets the requirement, and i heard something about Napster switching to DRM-free files as well. Any other sites like that out there? Do any of them meet the "likeament" as well? What's the best of the bunch?
 
 
Current Mood: sillytoo lazy to do my own research :)
Current Music: Bowling For Soup - High School Never Ends
 
 
 
Chaos Never Blinkssithjawa on September 3rd, 2008 10:52 pm (UTC)
I like last.fm better than Pandora. they have more music and their algorithm is dumber (based on listening trends more than music analysis) but (or possibly 'and therefore') works better. I hear The man might own them now. But they're fun.

Amazon's still the best I know of music-buying-wise. iTunes still sucks for portability.
DonAithnendonaithnen on September 4th, 2008 03:21 am (UTC)
Does it have video game music? If it has video game music i'll probably switch instantly :) (Of course i'll still at least check it out regardless =)
Chaos Never Blinkssithjawa on September 4th, 2008 03:33 am (UTC)
It has some video game music. It has a whole lot of artists, like almost every artist ever, entered in the database (some multiple times), but only some have playable music. I used to have a game music tag on it but now I can't find it.
Chaos Never Blinkssithjawa on September 4th, 2008 03:45 am (UTC)
It does look like at least at the moment the video game soundtrack stations are too popular. They follow the rules for internet radio where they can't play a single artist too many times within a short time frame, so the more popular artists are, like, never available to play. I can see there's a lot more that *should* be playable than will actually play.
Coraacoraa on September 3rd, 2008 11:03 pm (UTC)
Amazon is the best I've seen in terms of both variety of offerings and DRM-free-ness. They explicitly do not allow redownloading, though.

I haven't found anything else that's DRM-free that actually has a reasonable number of songs.
Pava: Osaka Sez!jmpava on September 3rd, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC)
I would think that non-DRM would remove the primary reason of needing to re-download. Namely that you can backup/transfer the files on your own and you don't NEED their system to do it.

Edited at 2008-09-03 11:11 pm (UTC)
DonAithnen: Coulton - Re Your Brainsdonaithnen on September 3rd, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC)
That works great, until you screw up and delete something you didn't mean to, or your hard drive crashes and you don't have a backup, or you're at another computer (work, SO's house, parent's house, whatever) and want a copy of something you didn't think to transfer by some other method.

More importantly, when we all have a few dozen TBs of free disk space it might seem silly to not be keeping our favorite music in FLAC or some other lossless format, and if we bought our music from a site that allows you to re-download there's at least some chance that they'll offer downloads in a higher quality format in the future.

Which isn't to say that the other system isn't workable, but given the option i'd far rather have the ability to get another copy if necessary.
Pava: OsakaHurahijmpava on September 3rd, 2008 11:54 pm (UTC)
I don't disagree. I think my main point is that... given the issues with either DRM-ness or selection (or both) at pretty much all the other options, that seems a less mandatory reason to pass over amazon in this case (since it wouldn't be a REQUIREMENT, although yes I can see it being desired as you mentioned above). It's basically saying 'I'm going to avoid the thing that has the stuff I really need because I wish it had this other enhancement as well that I don't explicitly need'. That assumes you don't find something else that has the first thing though, of course. *shrug*

Mostly, I find it hard to believe that a (big enough to have decent selection) site could do both no-DRM AND re-downloading. I'm not holding out hope there will be one. Which is more important?
DonAithnen: Beeda: Haruhidonaithnen on September 4th, 2008 03:13 am (UTC)
Um, dude. "Requirement." "Really likeament." If your point was that the one called "requirement" is a requirement then... uh, what _was_ the point? =P
Pava: OsakaKinfejmpava on September 4th, 2008 03:17 am (UTC)
My point is just that it sounds like you really have three requirements (No-DRM, good selection and re-downloadability) and won't be satisfied unless you find all three. And I don't think all three exist. Maybe I'm wrong.

At least, given the way you appear to be writting off amazon for lack of the third seems to classify it as a requirement ;->
DonAithnendonaithnen on September 4th, 2008 03:25 am (UTC)
Well if Amazon doesn't meet both my requirements and my desirable features then i'm certainly writing it off for at least as long as it takes me to check out competitive sites that may have everything i want. It would be pretty dumb to stop at the first place i come across and say "well this has _some_ of the stuff i want so i guess i'll stop looking now."
DonAithnen: Coulton - Skullcrusher Mountaindonaithnen on September 3rd, 2008 11:33 pm (UTC)
That's not counting http://cdbaby.com/ right? They have quite a number of DRM free mp3s, including some from at least a few artists i know you like. But as i said, they're not the place to go to find "mainstream" artists.

Hmmm, if Amazon doesn't allow redownloading i'll have to start out by checking out Napster, unless someone else has some other suggestion.
Coraacoraa on September 3rd, 2008 11:35 pm (UTC)
I don't consider that cdbaby has anything like the variety that Amazon does. Plenty of things I might enjoy, sure, but if I hear a song on the radio/in a TV commercial and decide that I want it, chances are good cdbaby won't have it, and Amazon will.
Coraacoraa on September 3rd, 2008 11:59 pm (UTC)
But then, I'm a barbarian who discards her CDs after ripping them, half the time, so. :D (Part of the reason I switched to buying albums online is that it reduces the amount of garbage I produce.)
DonAithnendonaithnen on September 4th, 2008 03:19 am (UTC)
I on the other hand have kept every CD i've ever bought (well, okay, except for a few that i've given as gifts to SOs or similar) and some of them have been ripped multiple times in different levels of compression or encodings, so clearly my approach is different from yours :)
DonAithnendonaithnen on September 4th, 2008 03:18 am (UTC)
No, it doesn't have as many as Amazon by far i'm sure, you just said you didn't know of any others that have "a reasonable number of songs," and CDBaby certainly has at least that for some values of "reasonable" :)