Musical Options

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When we started in 1999, music playback online was a nightmare of hiccupping connections and awful-sounding competing formats.  For once, things have got better over the years, but companies are still fighting their wars across our desktops.  Same as it ever was…

At the Stereo Society site, for direct downloading of music you have a choice between mp3 and AAC.  Most players, notably QuickTime, play both.  We suggest you always choose the AAC (m4a) option, since the same file size sounds better (it’s a more recent invention).

We also offer some audio streams in mp3.  Click on one of these links, and a small new browser window opens, in which you can control the player.  These files can also be downloaded and saved if you wish.  With the small browser window active, simply save it and the full mp3 file will be downloaded to wherever you specify.  When playing on a computer with iTunes, it’s probably best to use QuickTime to play them, or you get all sorts of detritus landing in your iTunes library (unless you prefer to store them there, of course).

We can only offer download for music whose copyright we own.  However, in some pages we like to provide streaming audio of other tracks to illustrate the writing, such as in the CBGB music pages.  In this case, we post a Flash player, which plays back without a download option.  Unfortunately, this will not play back on an iPhone or an iPad since Apple, claiming that its processor power consumption was too high, refused to allow the format to be used on mobile devices.  We’re stuck with this for non-downloadable audio nonsense until the promised html-5 player has had the bugs and clunkiness shaken out of it.

Wherever we post streaming audio that we didn’t originate, we provide a link to the appropriate page at Amazon (US).  There, you can ramble round any related album, and purchase if you please.

You’ll also see Purchase Please buttons on some pages.  These bounce you to the appropriate page at Amazon (US).  As with the links from streaming audio, we shamelessly pocket a small finder’s fee (paid by Amazon, not you) if you buy through this link.

In suggested reading order (links are provided between pages)

Musical Options
Audio Quality
Audio Notes: Mono and Stereo
Surround Sound: An Introduction

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We encourage shopping:
Why our CD prices are so low
What you get in packaging
Why CDs sound better
Why you get almost instant satisfaction: wait just three days for REAL quality
We give away HUGE chunks of music so you can REALLY check it out

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