FAQs



Why are you different from any other site?
1. We deliver lossless audio (FLAC) or high quality MP3.
2. We provide extensive artwork.
3. We don't clutter the site with advertising, blogs, chatlists or forums.
4. We are 100% legal and pay the artist and relavent taxes.
5. We are passionate about the quality of the product we provide.
6. And we are passionate about customer satisfaction.
7. We only deliver full albums or EPs, we are not a "quick track fix" site.
8. We provide label and artist "portals", as well as an extensive keyword search facility.
9. We review many of the albums in depth.
10. We provide at least one, and often several, high quality track samples for each album.

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All download music is MP3 isn't it, so what is FLAC? 
There are many types of download music. They fall into 2 categories:
 
Lossy eg MP3, AAC, WMA - these formats make the original music files much smaller by removing information. MP3 is by far the most popular and pervasive lossy format. The key is not to take out too much information, so that the quality remains high. We encode the MP3 files at 256K CBR, which is nigh on CD quality.
 
Lossless eg FLAC - lossless is the original WAV file with no information lost, however it has been compressed to make the file smaller. It's a bit like WINZIP, only fine tuned for Audio WAV files.
 
Once you decode a FLAC file back to WAV, it will be an identical copy of the original WAV file.
 
For more info on FLAC, including advice on free programs to decode FLAC back to WAV, go to www.musiczeit.com/xtra/flac/ 

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Yes, but it's still download music isn't it? So it can't be as good quality as a CD?
FLAC will be at least as good as CD. And potentially superior...
 
Many artists now work completely in the digital domain. They then produce a CDR, send it to the pressing plant who convert it to a stamper that produces the CD. The CD you get could be 2, 3 or 4 times removed from the original WAV master files. And have been through many weird and wonderful stages to produce it.
 
With many of the albums on this site, what you get are 1st generation copies of the original WAV files delivered in lossless FLAC format.
 
What do you think will potentially sound better?

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Can I burn a CD from the FLAC files?
Absolutely yes. We think many of our customers may well go this way. You can either decode the FLAC files to WAV before burning a CD, or you can find a program that does the decoding and burning all in one.
 
However, if you are a real audiophile, think "out of the box" for a moment. CD players are great, but they are a mechanical device which introduce inherent issues such as jitter and have to employ significant error correction techniques to compensate.
 
Imagine being able to play a 1st generation WAV master of the original album in a solid state player that simply decodes the original information bit-by-bit. No ambiguity, no mechanical inaccuracies. Such devices exist. And they will truly surprise you.
 
PC Specific:
 
Have a look at Burrrn which is a free CD burner which can create a CD direct from the FLAC files.

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Will a CD I create from the FLAC files play gaplessly?
Yes, it will play gaplessly as long as you have specified that there should be no gaps between the tracks. Note that some burning programs, by default, will insert 2 second gaps hence you will need to adjust this in the options (often the option is called "Disc At Once" - select this and no gaps will be inserted). 

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Anything else I should know about FLAC?
Yes. Another good thing about FLAC is that it guarantees that the WAV file you get is exactly the WAV file that the artist created. FLAC will only decode to WAV if every single byte is perfect. If even one byte is changed or missing, it won't decode. So, in effect, it's a very quick "perfection" check!

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Why are you providing MP3 at all if FLAC is so superior?
We are big fans of the MP3 format. For music "on the move" it's an ideal format, and the visual side of things with tagging/artwork makes MP3 an exciting prospect. And at 256K, you'll be hard pressed to distinguish it from CD.

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Do the music files contain DRM (Digital Rights Management)?
No. We trust you.

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Do I need a broadband link to download the music?
Yes, the FLAC files especially would be too big to download over a slow dial-up link.

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How big are the files and how long will it take to download them?
A full FLAC album will be around 300Mb, a full MP3 album is around 100Mb.
 
How long it will take is purely down to the speed of your broadband link. What we can say is that we've invested a lot of money to ensure that our servers and the links to them will not be a delimiting factor!

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What if my broadband link drops while downloading a file?
No problem. You get 3 chances to download each track, and you've got up to 28 days to do it all in. So you don't have to panic!
 
If you do use all 3 attempts and still haven't got the track(s), simply contact us via the form on the site and we'll allocate more.

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Why is FLAC more expensive?
It takes up more space on our server and more bandwidth to download.

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Can I convert a FLAC file to an MP3 file myself?
Yes, as long as it's for your own personal use that's no problem.

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Why are you using CBR instead of VBR for MP3?
Pervasive opinion seems to be that VBR is the best quality / filesize compromise. However, we don't want to compromise on quality or filesize. And we don't want to let an algorithm dictate the bitrate. We'd prefer every nuance of the music to be encoded at a high bitrate.
 
You will be very hard pressed to tell the difference between 256K MP3 and CD, especially in the "on the move" environments where MP3 music is usually experienced.

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Do the MP3 files play gaplessly?
Gapless playing is a function of the player, not the MP3 files. If the player implements gapless then, yes, the tracks will play gaplessly. For example, iTunes v7 onwards has gapless playing.
 
Note that if you burn a CD from the MP3 files that is no guarantee that the CD will play gapless. You are likely to hear small clicks between the tracks. If you want a fully gapless CD, you need to buy FLAC.

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Are the MP3 files tagged?
Yes they are. The following information will be tagged:
- Artist
- Album
- Track number
- Track name
- Year
- Genre
- Artwork (300x300 graphic of front cover)
 
Note that players that recognise both ID3v2.3 and ID3v2.4 tags (eg iTunes) will display the tags with no problems. Players that can't display ID3v2.4 tags (eg Windows Media Player) may not show some tags such as the artwork and the genre if the files have been encoded with ID3v2.4 tags. An easy fix would be to open the files using a free tagger such as MP3tag available at http://www.mp3tag.de/en/index.html -  simply saving the track(s) will revert the tags to ID3v2.3.

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Are the FLAC files tagged?
Some are, but not all of them. If you wish, you can easily tag the files yourself - all taggers allow the information to be derived from the filename which contains artist - album - track number - track title.
 
Our main use of FLAC is a an efficient delivery mechanism for the WAV files. We encode the WAVs to FLAC to make them smaller, you decode them back to the identical WAV files. For this purpose, tags are irrelevant because they are stripped off.
 
However, FLAC is emerging as a format in itself, with increasing numbers of hardware and software players which can play FLAC directly. In this case, tags can be useful.
 
PC Specific:
 
If you want to add tags to FLAC yourself, download the excellent MP3tag. It will tag all your files in seconds, deriving the tags from the filename. It can even add artwork if you wish.

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Why aren't the albums cheaper - you have no manufacturing costs!
We pay the artist a very fair percentage, we pay all taxes, and we've invested heavily in the technology to deliver the music to you. Our margins are not huge!

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Yes, but some of this music I can get for free from some dodgy site my friend's brother has heard about.
Give it a try. Make sure your antivirus / adware / spyware and phishing software is up to date. And don't have great expectations of the end product, or indeed whether the end product is actually what it purports to be, or whether it exists at all. If you set your expectations along these lines, you won't be disappointed.
 
And remember, such sites are illegal. People have been traced and fined. The music is there without the consent of the artists, and they don't get paid a penny.

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Can I make a backup copy?
Absolutely yes, indeed we'd actively encourage you to make a copy of all your digital music for backup purposes. You can buy external USB hard drives very cheaply nowadays.

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If my hard drive crashes and I lose my music, can I download it again from you for free?
No. You'll have to pay again. We are not a backup service, you must back the music up yourself.

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If I have a problem with one or more of the tracks, will you sort it?
If there is a problem with any of the music tracks which is within our control (eg skip, jump, partial track etc) we will fix the problem and make sure you can download the corrected track. We're confident this will be a rare occurrence though!

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If I don't like the music once I've purchased it, can I have a refund?
No. Once you've purchased the music you are commited to buy. All albums have at least one 1 min+ sound sample (many have multiple samples) and many have extensive reviews, so you should have a very good idea of what you are buying.

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I've had a listen to the samples and only want to purchase one track. Can I?
No. We only sell full albums.

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The samples sound pretty good, will the full MP3s & FLAC files sound as good?
The samples are encoded at 128K MP3, the full MP3 files are encoded at 256K so will sound noticably better than the samples. FLAC is full CD quality so will sound better again.

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What sort of artwork is provided?
At the very minimum you'll get a 24cm x 12cm folded front cover that will fit in a full size or slim jewel case, or can be used with a slip sleeve. Generally though you'll also get a rear sleeve which will fit a full size jewel case, a disc image to print or stamp onto the CDR, and sometimes an inner sleeve.
 
The files are provided as high quality jpg files, sized to the correct dimensions. All you have to do is print them out, and trim off the excess.

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I'm using the Firefox browser and can't see the sample play buttons.
You need to install the Adobe Flash plug-in for Firefox.

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Can I use download assistants / plugins / programs eg DownThemAll! with Firefox, or Download Accelerator Plus?
We would strongly advise against using any download plugins or assistants. Quite often these products try to speed up the download by opening multilple sessions, in effect clicking the download button multiple times. Not only will this fail, it will instantly use up all your download attempts.
 
Please use the download functionality delivered with the actual site, which may involve temporarily disabling the download plugin or program you have installed.
 
There are buttons provided which allow you to either download the tracks individually, or download all the tracks and artwork in one go as a zipped archive. You will, however, then need an unzip program capable of opening the archive if you opt for the one-click download.

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I do not own a credit or debit card, can I pay by some other method e.g. Paypal?
Currently we do not accept Paypal or other forms of payment beyond the major credit and debit card services accepted by Sage Pay (formerly Protx).

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