Finally, someone seems to have a rational approach to online music distribution. Allofmp3.com allows you to buy tracks in a variety of lossless formats (FLAC, Monkey’s Audio, etc etc) and charges a flat rate for the track plus a floating rate based on the size of the generated file you select. For example, say you wanted to buy Sigur Ros’s (). You could buy it encoded to 192kb mp3 for $2.02, or you could buy the album in lossless FLAC for just under $10. The former is great for your mp3 player but not so good if you have a $2500 home theater setup, the latter is good for ALL formats you choose to play your music in. This is pretty much exactly what I have been wishing for. There are only two problems – first, not all albums are available in lossless formats. Second, while at this point in time use of the system in the US appears to be legal, it’s under attack from, you guessed it, the RIAA (as well as their counterparts in other countries and a host of related IP companies and institutions). So how long this lasts remains to be seen.
It’s really really freaking aggravating that the only way to obtain digital music unencumbered by retarded DRM schemes (think they’re not retarded? Name one person on EARTH they’re stopping from obtaining the music! It is so completely trivial to obtain music illegally that grandmoms are doing it!) is by taking advantage of obscure loopholes in foreign country’s copyright laws. I don’t really see a clear way out of this mess. What I do see is, this is how a digital music system ought to work. The pricing is rational, you can actually obtain lossless quality tracks, and the music isn’t mucked up with DRM (grandma can go steal all of frank sinatra’s music off kazaa, or she can buy it off of some other system, then god help her try and figure out how to play it in her car. You tell me which system is better).
I’ll also note allofmp3.com has a 20% off sale through January 14th. I bought the album linked above and had it on my computer about 45 minutes later in lossless flac.
I’ll also observe that if you can listen to Sigur Ros’s:
and it doesn’t bring a huge grin to your face, there’s something wrong with you. Beautiful beautiful stuff.