Downloading Music & that Russian Site

  garrema 11:24 04 Jun 06
Locked

I have been looking into downloading music rather than cluttering the house with CDs and prior to looking into it believed it would be certainly cheaper.

What you get with a CD - nice polycarbonate disc in a box with a picture to look at albeit not as impressive as vinyl LP artwork. The data is full fat and not compressed so the playback quality is affected or limited by the player you put it in.

What you seem to get with a download from Woolys, Tesco, napster et al is a compressed file so not CD quality. Some services demand a subscription, or have rights management so I can't make a compilation CD for the car. It all seems very contrived.

Checking out the costs however it just doesn't stack up. A single 35-70p and an album from 6.4 to 10gbp yet you can buy most albums from Play or CDwow for 7-11gbp and do what you wish with them.

So where is the middle ground for people who have not bough a CD on the high street for the past 5 years and find that downloading music isn't all its made out to be.

Onto the click here site. I've looked up in the forums here and a few comments including "bargepoles" and the moneysavingexpert forums callit the site that should not be mentioned. Why?
You buy a variable rate download (better than a fixed) for a slip of the UK price from a server in Russia. They pay a royalty to the artist and you then own that download for your own reasonable use. Russia is in the WTO and trade from UK to Russia isn't illegal.

Why are there apparently so many misgivings with this??

  GANDALF <|:-)> 11:38 04 Jun 06

The site is a con. If you want to hand over your credit card details to someone in Eastern Europe than be it on your own head. The site believes that, due to Russian laws (which are a total mess) they are legal...in Russia but they are not legal in the rest of the world. The warning bells shopuld have been ringing clearly for you. click here

G

  bosmere 11:56 04 Jun 06

GANDALF <|:-)> from the site you've quoted:

"I am not going to let my credit card number fall into the hands of Russian mafia". A phrase that appears in almost any discussion about Allofmp3.

This is absolute nonsense. Credit card payments are processed by Chronopay, a third party payment processor in The Netherlands. This company is verified by companies like Visa and Mastercard"

The site is not a con - just illegal everywhere except in Russia ;-(

  GANDALF <|:-)> 13:27 04 Jun 06

There is a huuuuge problem with corruption in Russia so I would take that staement with the hugest pinch of salt.

G

  DieSse 13:44 04 Jun 06

I have to say, that reading the link that GANDALF <|:-)> supplied, would by my reckoning make it legal in Holland and the USA. I would have therefore thought it probable that it might be legal in the UK too.

  JYPX 14:11 04 Jun 06

garrema - First of all you raise one of the great mysteries of our time. Why are millions of people not interested in sound quality? The MP3 files which seem to have become almost the standard music carrier are compressed to a standard comparable with the compact cassette tape popular in the last century. Are the same people also uninterested in video quality? Perhaps they buy DVD's and rip them onto VHS tape so that they can enjoy a file size that is only one tenth of the original....Ok - rant over. The web-site that you are looking at is notable for having the full CD for download - yes 800 meg, or a FLAC download at around 400 meg that even I am satisfied with. The latter costs between 4 and 5 pounds so in the case of a chart cd you may decide to buy the cd from Tesco for £8.99. However, for non chart CD's the download starts to look attractive. Legality of the site? I cannot help you there, but I will point out that the Sunday Times gave allofmp3.com a very strong and enthusiastic recommendation, and I believe that they employ one or two lawyers...

  ade.h 15:19 04 Jun 06

I totally agree with your rant!

As for "that site": maybe it is legal, maybe not. Is it morally right? Perhaps not, because I would question whether the due royalties really get to where they are supposed to be.

When I searched Allofmp3 recently, I could not find any of the kind of artists that I'm interested in anyway, but each to their own I suppose. I much prefer to be given one or two free (with permisson) tracks from the legitimate sources like Download.com, decide that I like it and then buy that artist's albums.

At least half my CD collection has been chosen that way, and surely that's the best use of digital music online, because I get to discover unusual artists and those artists get their share of all the CDs that I buy. Not mass downloading via peer to peer or spending £1 per track and still not physically having any albums.

  DieSse 15:56 04 Jun 06

.
*Is it morally right? Perhaps not, because I would question whether the due royalties really get to where they are supposed to be.*

That's a whole new can of worms - is it morally right that the large media companies were proven to operate an illegal cartel to fix prices - have things really changed on that front?

Is it morally right that certain organisations are virtually forcing people accused of illegal downloading to pay up, by the very nature of their threats?

Is it morally right that media industry lobbies have for years been upping copyright periods, whilst governments have paid little attention to consumer represenations or public interest.

Is it morally right that media companies are forever seeking to place more restrictions on what consumers can do with material that they have purchased rights to?

I could go on - but it's been done so many times. What we lack at present is balance, as between public interest and private and commercial interest.

  ade.h 16:09 04 Jun 06

In order:

No, perhaps, yes, and yes.

  garrema 16:22 04 Jun 06

Just refering to the credit card number issue - I have in the past entrusted such info to the good citizens of India, Jersey and the US - a bunch of Russians can't be worse. Or can they?
Has anyone used this site - How is your cell:-)?

Thanks for the link Gandalf - The condenced upshot just seems that its "Grey".

So if I did use this site who would chase me for 20$ of royalties

  Arnie 16:27 04 Jun 06

1. It seems that it is safe to use a credit card on the site.

2. The legality of the copyrighted downloads are a ‘very grey area’.

3. The arbiter of the morality of it all is the user’s conscience.

4. I don’t think there is an icicle in hell’s chance of any Russian legislation being changed in the near future. The Russian government will tend to think that they have more urgent matters to hand.

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