Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Remember where you heard it first ...

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  • matthewbuchanan,

    I was a bit nonplussed to discover the bit rate of the tracks available at iTunes is 128kbps AAC? What the...? Isn't that just a bit low?

    When AAC was introduced by Apple, they claimed that a 128kbps AAC recording was equivalent in quality level to an MP3 of twice that bitrate, ie 256kbps. The thinking seems to be that to an average listener, a 128kbps AAC recording is not distinguishable from the original CD, especially not through those decidedly average Apple earbuds. But an audiophile with a good pair of monitor headphones will most certainly be able to tell the difference. I suppose it depends on where within that spectrum you fall.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • Tomorrowpeople,

    192kbps AAC sounds pretty good.
    Noticeably better than 128 but a lot less room than 256 and hard to tell the difference.
    Depends if space is an issue.

    The Craps tables at the B… • Since Nov 2006 • 188 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    I don't see the point in buying it through iTunes when I can easily walk down to the shops and buy it for a couple of dollars more. I can see huge potential in buying either out of print music, or obscure stuff that would cost $40+ to get imported.

    thats my problem, there are no obscurities. I've never really looked at iTunes before and really expected more.

    Maybe my required obscurities are more obscure than most...

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    thats my problem, there are no obscurities. I've never really looked at iTunes before and really expected more. Maybe my required obscurities are more obscure than most...

    Even after day to settle down, the iTunes Store seems a hell of a mess to me. Try clicking the "Quick Link" marked "browse" on the home page, or any other page. WTF?

    I still haven't worked out a way to browse, say all the available rock releases, as opposed to just the ones iTunes is directing my attention to.

    The page from the "Local Sounds" link or banner only contains one album, by Frontline. But if you scroll down the home page, you see a whole lot more in "Just Added - New Zealand".

    Using eMusic as a point of comparison, iTunes seems surprisingly clunky and not as much fun. I've bought several things (that exclusive Flaming Lips EP was hard to refuse) but I don't think I'll be giving up my eMusic sub.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Matthews,

    It's as if someone forgot to flick the switch to enable the other two million songs that the media constantly mentions. Having a look at the Australian store shows a lot more music and the actual ability to browse. To wait or to start using the request page...

    Christchurch, New Zealand… • Since Nov 2006 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • Dr Huxtable,

    Still a bit underwhelmed. It's nice to have legal downloads on tap, but the selection is poor and I've already had one incorrect song sent through after it was mislabelled in the store.

    My main complaint at this point - where the hell is all the cheesy early to mid nineties hip hop? I just hope they aren't assuming our tastes are the same as those in Australia and that this is a temporary glitch.

    No De La Soul, no Salt n Pepa, no Helluva by Brotherhood Creed, no Young MC. I'm not really sure how I'm supposed to relive the awkwardness and humiliation of school dances without them. Although props for having Freak Me and No Diggity on there - should tide me over until the rest of the content is up.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Grant Stone,

    I've been window shopping on the US and UK stores for months, so I know the music I want is available, but not from here. It does seem a bit odd - if I want to buy a track from a US artist it's not going to be coming from a New Zealand server is it?

    I don't need to get NZ music - that's easy to source from any music store. I'm looking for the stuff that would otherwise be a $40+ import from Marbecks.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Tomorrowpeople,

    I agree - after surfing the US site for quite a while (previewing tracks, searching etc) the NZ ITMS seems 'broke'.

    What gives.

    The Craps tables at the B… • Since Nov 2006 • 188 posts Report Reply

  • Josh Addison,

    I have nothing constructive to add, other than that I was actually listening to "Helluva" as I read Dr. Huxtable's quote. Respect.

    Onehunga, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 298 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Matthews,

    I found this discussion up on the Apple support site. Apparently it's known that the NZ store is broken and that it's not an easy fix. :-(

    Christchurch, New Zealand… • Since Nov 2006 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • Tomorrowpeople,

    hhmmmmm.

    oops.

    The Craps tables at the B… • Since Nov 2006 • 188 posts Report Reply

  • John Holley,

    I've also discovered that music you may want to buy that is highlighted in the NZ iTunes section of the Apple iTunes web pages is often unavailable in New Zealand. <sigh>

    iTunes suggests, in the case of "The Saints are Coming" (Green Day and U2) of changing to the US store as the item is not available in the NZ store. It doesn't help the customer experience when stuff they highlight on the NZ web page ain't available in NZ!

    Still, being able to get stuff like Fat Freddy's Drop Hope for a Generation means I can put up with the teething problems!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    No De La Soul, no Salt n Pepa, no Helluva by Brotherhood Creed, no Young MC. I'm not really sure how I'm supposed to relive the awkwardness and humiliation of school dances without them. Although props for having Freak Me and No Diggity on there - should tide me over until the rest of the content is up

    Actually the selection of soul and hip hop is appalling...the only Motown stuff is a few hits albums. I want Eddie Kendricks and The Originals and the late Motown Jackson 5. That sort of thing. Black music, aside from Jazz and the more contemporary urban stuff, is treated really shabbily.

    You want Young MC?....eMusic has all the Delicious Vinyl catalogue

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Dr Huxtable,

    Thanks for the heads up. My next port of call will definitely be eMusic.

    The lack of hip hop and soul is certainly disappointing, and perhaps points towards a misjudgement of our muscial tastes, and the preference for greatest hits collections over actual albums is galling. Having said that, I have managed to pick up some early Stevie Wonder and Jackson 5.

    Still missing Helluva though: "She looks more better so I wanna more badder", etc.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    No De La Soul, no Salt n Pepa, no Helluva by Brotherhood Creed, no Young MC.

    I feel your pain, Dr H. I could do with some Young MC right.

    And in this vein, I checked out some others. iTunes only has the Jungle Brothers' "Done by the Forces of Nature" and only has A Tribe Called Quest's "Midnight Marauders" (and that's a "partial album" - WTF?!).

    But most importantly (for me, anyway) - no Justin and no Robbie. What is going on here?!

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Thanks for the heads up. My next port of call will definitely be eMusic.

    Ooh. Could you email me via the Reply button on the blog? If I recommend you to emusic, they give me some free downloads - and you, too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Grant Stone,

    I've just been looking at eMusic myself. All the music I'd planned on buying on the iTunes store is there: Chris Whitley, Tom Waits, Richard Thompson. Plus Dan Zanes and The Wiggles for the kids!

    It's suddenly dawning on me that I might have spent months waiting for an online music service when the one I really wanted has been here all along...

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Tomorrowpeople,

    Wiggles?

    The Craps tables at the B… • Since Nov 2006 • 188 posts Report Reply

  • Grant Stone,

    Once you have kids you realise that most children's music is unmitigated crap. The Wiggles totally kick Hi-5's collective arses. They're pretty good. Dan Zanes, though, he's something else. Music for children, mainly 1930's folk music. Usually has guest artists: Nick Cave, Natalie Merchant, the Blind Boys of Alabama. If you have to listen to children's music, you'll be very glad to have a Dan Zanes CD.

    Plus, the fact that eMusic has the Wiggles should make it easier to justify in the budget.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Matthews,

    I'm going to have to second The Wiggles in regards to children's music. Will be interesting to see how they handle the disappearance of Greg.

    An album that is quite good is The Underwater Melon Man there's a track listing here, quite a few big name acts on this.

    Christchurch, New Zealand… • Since Nov 2006 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • Grant Stone,

    Since I seem to have dragged the conversation down to children's music, I can confirm that the wiggles are not available on the NZ iTunes store at the moment. And the only Dan Zanes track is from the Natural Born Killers soundtrack. Eep.

    Just about sold the family treasurer on eMusic, I think.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • samuel walker,

    ha hah suckers,

    while i was reading your discussion on the finer points of childrens music my two and five year old were dancing around the living room dancing (stylewise i would call it jacking......i am sure some cultural references get passed on via dna.....) to the trippiest minimal dubby techno on the new M.A.N.D.Y at the controls compilation.

    purchased today from the goldmine that is Real Groovy Records.

    Since Nov 2006 • 203 posts Report Reply

  • Compie,

    Somewhat disturbed at the dive this thread has taken and being a father of two, I have to add my 5 cents worth (that will be a sign of one's age soon).

    The Wiggles, you have to be joking. It is one show that if my son catches on telly I have to immediately put a video of Little Einsteins on.

    The Wiggles. Considering how much money they have made are taking the proverbial. The production is beyond amatuer, I've seen better production on Alt Tv (no disrepect), and music is just shite. Why didn't they filter some of the money back into writers, sets, production, argh. It might appeal to kids, but considering that adults have to be in the rooms they might have made the show a little less painful.

    Thankfully kids being kids, he loves the classics like on the Don Linden cd's. I guess its abuse of some kind, but my 3 year old likes Morningwood (http://www.morningwoodrocks.com/) and Salmonella Dub. The sky music channel Kids isn't too bad.

    As for the shoddy iTunes at least they don't have the Wiggles on there.

    Yikes what a rant, don't get me started on myspace... that's another post.

    As for the Cambell Live take on iTunes launch, the guest seemed to think (as many commentators do) that iTunes is used to only transfer music to ipods. Well in many cases yes, but as my laptop is also my DVD player (s-Video out) and connnected to stereo at home, iTunes for me is used 99% of the time to actually play music (home and work). Unfortunately its becoming in danger of being bloatware, it now actually takes time to load. I hope apple rememeber those of use who just want a dammed good music app that isn't a victim of convergence.

    Dunedin/Vancouver • Since Nov 2006 • 114 posts Report Reply

  • Grant Stone,

    So getting back to the real issue - what are we supposed to do with the iTunes store? It's clear that it's not finished yet. Forget the wiggles, you can't get Dave Dobbyn. On behalf of us all, I screwed up my courage and searched for, dear god, Phil Collins. 2 CDs. Same search on the aussie store returned around 8. I can't say precisely because my eyes started to bleed.

    So what gives? Anybody from Apple care to comment? When can we expect the real music store?

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Tomorrowpeople,

    The top 10 albums says one thing in list view and something else on teh main page.

    WTF?

    How can the 12 Man album be number 1 and number 12 at the same time?


    PS: about the Wiggles - they look like a bunch of looney child-molestors that any parent would hide their kid from if they say them coming in any suburban shopping mall.

    Yeah, you can't judge a book by its cover but the Wiggles look like the dodgiest bunch of kiddie fiddlers ever.

    The Craps tables at the B… • Since Nov 2006 • 188 posts Report Reply

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