Staff Picks: Spring Edition!

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Spring began Monday, March 20th this year, but it wasn’t until this week we really began to feel it. The birds are chirping, the clouds are shapely and voluminous, and with all the rain we’ve been experiencing in Madison the grass has finally started to turn green.

The world is alive and we have fresh ideas about how we’ll spend our summers. For us music lovers, you can guarantee a lot of time will be spent listening to our favorite albums,  kicking back, enjoying barbecued meat and craft beer with friends and family.

However you enjoy your time this spring and summer, on the golf course, at the park or in your own backyard, make sure you have the right tunes in your proverbial jukebox. Below is a list of staff picks we thought you might enjoy…

Steven chose Sabotage by Black Sabbath

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“Sabbath truly is one of the bands that started it all. When it comes to modern doom metal/sludge metal/stoner rock, Sabotage is one of my favorites in their discography. It also takes the cake as my second favorite Black Sabbath album cover (the self-titled being the obvious first choice).”

 

Nate chose Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by The Flaming Lips

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“Released in 2002, this album features electronic-influenced, psychedelic, indie rock compositions. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots tells a story of how Yoshimi battles mechanical monsters, drawing on a wide range of emotions. It is a great album to turn on when in a melancholy mood and take in the beautiful tracks. Fun fact, it was later turned into a musical in 2012!” 

Jason chose Kala by M.I.A.

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“The first time I heard M.I.A.’s song “Paper Planes” off her album ‘Kala’, I was watching Slumdog Millionaire in theaters. It was one of those rare occurrences when I was so captivated by a song in a movie I went out and bought the album.  M.I.A.’s music is pop, but it is soulful, artsy and perfectly imperfect. To this day I see Kala as a shining beacon in a sea of cookie cutter pop albums.”

Maren chose Soundtrack to the End by Communist Daughter

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“The debut release from indie rock band, Communist Daughter (St. Paul, MN), will sooth your soul, quiet your mind, and set your feet to dancing. It’s simply aural bliss.” 

 

 

Andrew chose Psychocandy by The Jesus and Mary Chain

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“I gotta say I only picked this because “Just Like Honey” came on the radio this morning. The fuzzy guitars and lackadaisical vocals were the perfect backdrop to an otherwise quite drab commute on this rainy spring day.”

 

 

What suggestions do you have for our listeners? Please let us know if there are any albums you think people should know about and we will do our best to spread the word!

We hope you enjoy our picks and as always, check out Murfie.com for other great albums!

FLAC Lovers Don’t Let “Google Play” You!

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As collecting digital music and streaming it on preferred devices becomes increasingly popular, one begins to ask what the benefits are to using one company’s service over another.

The answer seems simple enough. If you are an Apple user, you will use iTunes to purchase, listen and catalog your music, whereas Android users may be more likely to utilize Google Play or Amazon. Truthfully, this is more of a marketing ideal than anything. Companies like Apple are working to ensure their customers utilize their services when consuming media, not their competitors’.

To date, Apple, Google Play and Amazon have all played a major role in consumer’s lives by selling them a way to experience their music. Each company has worked tirelessly to develop a means in which listeners can organize their music easily and stream it on their preferred devices.

Matching software designed by these companies scans waveforms and attaches or acknowledges metadata which makes for easier cataloging; however, consumers who wish to digitize their collections into lossless formats such as FLAC should be wary of using scanning and playback services until they have done their research on what formats are supported and whether or not their files are being delivered in the same quality they started with.

What we found:

Apple does not support FLAC files, however, they have provided an alternative, ALAC, which for all intents and purposes is identical to FLAC. The only downside here is that you must convert your files to ALAC for playback on Apple devices. This is also true for .WAV files.

Google Play, on the other hand, claims to support FLAC and ALAC files, but downsamples and converts them to 320 kbps mp3 files on upload.

Amazon does support FLAC files so long as the metadata matches their internal database. You must also use a 3rd party system to retrieve metadata or enter it manually if none exists presently.

With all of these options, it seems as though listeners are doomed to struggle eternally with converting files to playable formats, listening to downsampled music, and manually entering in metadata, unless of course there were a solution!

Solution: Send your collection to Murfie! We aim to synchronize your collection across all platforms flawlessly. We’ll convert your entire catalog into uncompressed lossless files, apply the appropriate metadata, and make your music available for 320kbps mp3 streaming on our web player and mobile apps. With a Murfie HiFi subscription, you can unlock lossless streaming for your Sonos, Bluesound or Autonomic system. We offer free downloads in FLAC, ALAC, mp3, and AAC, and we can even send you a hard drive loaded with all of your music for easy home access and storage.

For more information feel free to contact us. For information on pricing click here. Let us make digitizing and cataloging your music hassle-free!

Murfie Vinyl is Here!

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In 2016, vinyl sales were reported to have been at a 28 year high by Fortune.com. They explain that amidst the creation of Record Store Day in 2008, the purchasing of actual vinyl records began to reemerge in pop culture. They state that so-called hipsters in their 20’s and 30’s were looking for a way to diversify their listening experience.

It is fantastic to see that there are an increasing number of vinyl enthusiasts out there growing their collections, supporting local record shops and keeping the vinyl industry alive. But for those of us whose records haven’t left the crates or shelves in years (because we long ago traded in our turntables for digital technology), how can we re-experience our vinyl collections at maximum quality with minimal effort? That is where Murfie comes in!

Using state of the art recording equipment we will clean and digitize all of your old vinyl and make it available for stream or download in the following formats: FLAC and ALAC, mp3 and AAC complete with metadata. Click here for a detailed description of our vinyl services or to get an online quote.

Feel free to contact us at any time if you have questions about any of our other services.