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Mike Meyer
2007-03-21, 06:30
Has anyone bought any FLAC tracks or CDs at www.mindawn.com? Looks like decent prices. I might have to try it out sometime. They also have OGG tracks and CDs. Decent selection in the genre's that I like, specifically prog metal.

adamslim
2007-03-21, 13:38
My two-minute check brings up a Shostakovich album I've quite fancied for $8.99 on FLAC, when it's £12.99 on Amazon (£11.50 is the cheapest of 'non-Amazon-fulfilled' sellers).

(Starts up Calculator)

That's 60% cheaper than Amazon. Cool - I'll be investigating further :)

Adam

adamslim
2007-03-21, 15:13
OK I've now bought Haydn's Creation. It's downloading and I'll report when I next get a chance. Comments:

The only classical label represented in Hänssler, a South German label. Some decent stuff, but hardly DG. They don't have the entire label catalogue, but a fair bit is there.

Price is great - for under £10 I have a double album which costs £24 on Amazon, or about £20 direct from the label. Price is less good if you buy individual tracks - there are 33 tracks on the two CDs, so at $1.24 each highlights would cost more than the full album!

As far as I can tell you need to install the Mindawn player to download. Naturally, the player is hateful! However, it's only needed for the download itself. (Actually, you can use any web browser, but it's not obvious how!)

Download speed is appalling - I'm getting about 20kB/s. It's going to take all night. Not a problem for me, as my computer is on 24/7. I happily get 700kB/s downloading game demos and the like, so it must be their end.

There were no issues regarding VAT/duty. It was just never asked. I would normally expect some VAT if the value exceeds something (£36 possibly). The system had no problem with me being in the UK.

Files are tagged with the basic information.

Adam

Mike Meyer
2007-03-21, 18:26
That's great information Adam. Let me know how it sounds on your system. I'm sure the quality of the FLAC files will be easier to tell with your classical music than the heavier stuff that I'm interested in. Hope it works out well for you. I'll be trying it out too if you think the quality is there.

Thanks for the info.

Mike

adamslim
2007-03-24, 08:24
Well I bought this album:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Haydn-Sch%C3%B6pfung-Creation-Andreas-Schmidt/dp/B000003JSJ/ref=sr_1_1/202-3561778-4679023?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1174747368&sr=8-1
Which cost £9.40 per my credit card statement, so that's plenty good value compared to Amazon's £24.

Sound quality is fine. The label is not renowned for superb sound quality; it's good but not great, but it is CD quality not MP3. These are recording issues not encoding ones, though

So the experience is fine for me - it's a decent Creation at a great price. There are downsides:

Small library
Difficulty of searching - the Mindawn system is awful
Limited info available about each CD. You often can't see the label, artist, orchestra, anything. (Although this is not a huge problem now, as we know the label - it will be as they sign more. The label has more info, including freely downloadable notes in some cases)
I actually needed to read some instructions to see how to download!

So I'm happy but there's not a huge amount for me there. I might try one or two more.

If they got some larger (or just more!) labels, they would make a lot of money from me, as long as I could actually see what I was getting!

Hope this helps

Adam

Mike Meyer
2007-03-27, 08:58
I made a purchase this weekend and my experience was pretty much the same as yours. The software is bad and the download speeds are brutal. Seemed to fluctuate depending on the time of day I was trying. I got anywhere between 9 and 40kb/s. So it took awhile. Some of my downloads hung up and I had to cancel and start over but eventually got through them. I went track by track because the first time I tried the entire CD it hung up.

The CD I downloaded is Seventh Wonder - Waiting In The Wings. It is a prog metal band and this site has a lot of those for me to look into. I will probably spend some more money here but the software needs to improve as well as the download speeds.

The sound quality is good as far as I can tell. Metal isn't quite as easy to tell sometimes. :)

adamslim
2007-03-27, 09:10
The sound quality is good is far a I can tell. Metal isn't quite as easy to tell sometimes. :)

Couldn't you just feed the digital straight to the speakers, without converting to analogue? Kinda like a modem screech? After all, it's more direct - fewer components and so on ;)

Mike Meyer
2007-03-27, 11:52
Couldn't you just feed the digital straight to the speakers, without converting to analogue? Kinda like a modem screech? After all, it's more direct - fewer components and so on ;)

I don't want to bypass the SB3. If someone could write a Modem Screech Plugin that would be great! ;)