The Top 5 Most-Wished-For Albums on Murfie

Pinky the Murfie Genie comes bearing some important knowledge: Out of all the album wishes on Murfie, there are five albums that are wished for the most. With so many people wishing for them, Pinky is wondering who will grab them first.

#5. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours

Fleetwood Mac - Rumours

Year: 1977

Genre: Pop/Rock

Allmusic Review: “Rumours is the kind of album that transcends its origins and reputation, entering the realm of legend—it’s an album that simply exists outside of criticism and outside of its time, even if it thoroughly captures its era.”

 #4. Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon

Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon

Year: 1973

Genre: Pop/Rock

Allmusic Review: “…what gives the album true power is the subtly textured music, which evolves from ponderous, neo-psychedelic art rock to jazz fusion and blues-rock before turning back to psychedelia. It’s dense with detail, but leisurely paced, creating its own dark, haunting world.”

 #3. Dr. Dre – The Chronic

Dr. Dre - The Chronic

Year: 1992

Genre: Rap

Allmusic Review: “What’s impressive is that Dre crafts tighter singles than his inspiration, George Clinton—he’s just as effortlessly funky, and he has a better feel for a hook, a knack that improbably landed gangsta rap on the pop charts. But none of The Chronic’s legions of imitators were as rich in personality, and that’s due in large part to Dre’s monumental discovery, Snoop Doggy Dog.”

#2. Nirvana – Nevermind

Nirvana - Nevermind

Year: 1991

Genre: Pop/Rock

Allmusic Review: “…but no matter how much anguish there is on Nevermind, it’s bracing because [Kurt Cobain] exorcizes those demons through his evocative wordplay and mangled screams—and because the band has a tremendous, unbridled power that transcends the pain, turning into pure catharsis.”

#1. Adele – 21

Adele - 21
Year: 2011

Genre: Pop/Rock

Allmusic Review: “…the best thing the album does is to showcase Adele’s titanic vocal ability, which—more than a few times on 21—is simply spine-tingling.”

 

 

 

It’s time to make your wishes a reality! Head to our music marketplace and pick up these gems—each CD purchase comes with unlimited streaming and downloads in your choice of format: mp3, aac, FLAC and ALAC. :-)

5 disc-ripping fails: What you risk by digitizing your CD collection yourself

So, you’re thinking about digitizing that CD collection of yours. Before you rip away, there are a few things to consider before ripping your CDs at home, since the pitfalls are ones that could ruin your original goal of flawless work that is worthwhile.

There are many reasons why Murfie’s trusted service is ideal for music collectors who want perfect rips of their CDs, which they can download and stream. Murfie prevents the common drawbacks that arise when trying to rip at home.

——————————

5. Wrong file format

It’s safe to say that many folks rip their CDs in mp3 format. While this format is the default on most drives, many people don’t realize that it compresses the music in a way that loses tiny details in the sound. Hence, it’s known as a “lossy” format.

The reason why some people compress music into to mp3 and other lossy formats is to save space. Discarding tiny bits of data is how this is achieved. This makes for a sound that is close to, yet not exactly identical, to the original recording.

Selecting the wrong format may also mean that your music won’t play on all of your devices. At Murfie, we rip and store the music from your CDs in lossless FLAC format, providing the flexibility to transcode to virtually any bit rate at any point in the future. Downloads in mp3, aac, and lossless formats FLAC and ALAC are included with all the CDs you send in. This means your music can bounce around all your devices, easily and without any manual conversion on your end.

4. Wrong bit rate

Even if you select the right file format, you’re still not out of the woods. Selecting the right bit rate (unit = bps) is important because it affects the amount of information processed per unit of time. More bits per second allows more details to be processed, making for higher quality sound.

Bit rate only applies to lossy formats (mp3 and aac) since lossless formats (FLAC and ALAC) make an exact replica of the original recording. Large music retailers like Amazon and iTunes provide digital music downloads in lossy 256 kbps mp3 and 256 kbps aac formats, respectively.

We’re fans of a higher default bit rate at Murfie, making for better quality sound. We use at least 320 kbps for mp3 downloads, and 320kbps for our standard free streaming. That’s a higher default rate than Amazon, iTunes and Spotify. 320 kbps streaming is available on Spotify, but with a premium paid membership. And as for Murfie’s paid premium streaming membership—well, that’s in lossless FLAC format, of course.

3. Errors/Incorrect Metadata

How do you know your rips are error free? Going back to listen to everything once you’ve ripped it and cross-checking track titles and album metadata against other sources will more than double the amount of time you’re spending on digitization. Every disc that’s ripped at Murfie is checked twice against our database to ensure all metadata like album title, artist name, and track names are correct. If Murfie does your ripping, you won’t have to worry about the unpleasant experience of putting your disc in a drive to find there is no metadata at all.

Metadata aside, Murfie uses AccurateRip to ensure the files themselves are seamless. We actually clean CDs that need to be cleaned, and polish CDs that have scratches. All this is to ensure error-free downloads and flawless streaming.

2. Data loss

Long-term, secure storage of your data is essential if you want your work to be worthwhile. Computer crashes, hard drive issues, theft, and other factors can be a nightmare for music collectors.

When your discs are ripped at Murfie, the original FLAC files are stored on our server, always available for you to request another download if your original is lost. Your discs can be stored in our secure facility in Madison, WI, alongside ~500K others that our members have already entrusted to us. With your original disc and FLAC files made available to you 24/7 for streaming and downloads, we’ve got the security of your discs covered in a way that goes above and beyond your average backup.

1. Your time

Time is money. Based on our calculations, a person can rip 10-20 discs per hour if they have one CD drive on their computer. That’s not counting any manual metadata entry and error checking.

Say you have 200 CDs in your collection. It would easily take you 10-20 hours to digitize everything. Is there something you’d rather be doing during the time it took to rip those discs? If your answer is no, check out these handy guides for ripping discs on Windows and Mac computers.

What’s your time worth? If you’re ripping at home, you can expect to process a maximum of 20 discs per hour. Again, time is money—and for 99¢/disc, Murfie can process your CDs for flawless streaming and downloads, shipping included. Let us do what we do best.

——————————

Murfie is working to bring you uncompromised anywhere/anytime digital access to your music collection, in the highest quality possible. We’ll make your perfect ripped files available via downloads to your computer or hard drive, and via streaming to your iPhone, iPad, Android phone and tablet, web browser, and Sonos and other devices.

Do you have vinyl records that you want ripped too? Email info@murfie.com to learn more! Are you an all-round audiophile? Check out our lossless FLAC streaming available with Murfie HiFi.

Murfie is music collecting perfected. Request a shipping kit and begin your uncompromised collecting and listening experience!

sendcds

Comparing Audio Formats: High-Resolution vs. Current Standards

With the introduction of PonoMusic’s Kickstarter (which at the time of writing sits at just about $5.3M in crowd-funding with almost two weeks left), high-resolution audio has been on the mind of a lot of music lovers lately.  The Neil Young-backed campaign currently has over 15,000 backers, with over 13,000 backers preordering an actual, physical PonoPlayer, which shows that there is a real demand for higher-quality audio.

But what is high-resolution audio?  The simplest answer is that high-res audio is digital music that uses larger samples at a greater frequency than standard CD “lossless” audio.  It all boils down to more data representing the audio you’re listening to.  If you’ve ever downloaded lossless audio in formats like FLAC and ALAC (both offered on Murfie), you’ve probably gotten CD-quality files that use a 16-bit sample size and 44.1 kHz sample rate.

The team behind PonoMusic looks to push the currently less popular high-res audio standards into the mainstream.  These files typically use a 24-bit sample size at a sample rate of either 96 kHz or 192 kHz.  In the past, these files were prohibitively larger, but increased network speeds and decreased storage cost has finally made them a viable option.

(Note: According to their Kickstarter FAQ, the PonoMusic store will offer files at CD-quality, not just high-res, stating that the store “has a quality spectrum, ranging from really good to really great, depending on the quality of the available master recordings.”)

Neil Young + Pono
Image Copyright CBS (via The Quietus)

The only remaining question, then, is if the difference in quality is worth the added cost.  Additionally, labels have been slow to make albums available in this quality, and many works were never recorded in a way that allows for high-res products.  I don’t want to take a position one way or the other, but I do want to give you the chance to test out some high-res music and decide on your own.

To help you decide if high-res audio is for you, we’ve enlisted the help of The Cypress String Quartet, who have generously allowed us to share a sample from their release Beethoven: The Late String Quartets.  Below, you can download a high-res test sample in 24-bit / 96 kHz FLAC (which Murfie currently offers for vinyl digitization), as well as CD-quality 16-bit / 44.1 kHz FLAC, 320 kbps MP3 and 320 kbps AAC.

Audio Format Comparison Samples (right click & “save link as”):

All formats in one zip folder

High-Res 24-bit / 96 kHz FLAC
CD-Quality 16-bit / 44.1 kHz FLAC
CD-Quality 16-bit / 44.1 kHz ALAC
320 kbps MP3
320 kbps AAC

If you need a program to play the samples, VLC media player is a free, open-source application that will do exactly that.

So, what do you think?  Take a listen to the samples, and let me know in the comments or hit us up on twitter.


Note: These samples are provided courtesy The Cypress String Quartet, who reserve all rights.  Please do not re-distribute without permission from the quartet.

This Week in Music History (April 2nd-8th)

What’s music history got for us this week? Learn up and boogie down!

4/2- On this day in 1977, Fleetwood Mac’s album Rumourswent to No. 1 on the US album chart. The album is the band’s most successful release, selling over 45 million copies worldwide and winning the 1978 Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

4/3- On this day in 2007, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards denied in an interview that he had snorted his late father’s ashes while taking drugs. Richards had previously quipped about the “incident”, but his manager told MTV news that she could not believe anyone had actually taken the comment seriously.

4/4- On this day in 1964, The Beatles simultaneously held all of the top five places on the US singles chart, topped by “Can’t Buy Me Love” at No. 1. They also had another nine singles on the chart, which brought their total to fourteen singles on the Hot 100.

4/5- On this day in 1994, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain committed suicide at his home in Seattle. His body was not found until an electrician came to his home on April 8, when a suicide note was also discovered.

4/6- On this day in 1965, Pixies singer and guitarist Frank Black/Black Francis (born Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV) was born. In addition to Pixies, Black was a member of Frank Black and the Catholics and a solo artist who released numerous solo albums.

31918-large4/7-  On this day in 1981, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band kicked off their first full-scale tour with a performance in Hamburg, Germany. The 10-country tour was Springsteen’s first outside North America.

4/8- On this day in 1964, The Supremes recorded “Where Did Our Love Go” at Motown Studios in Detroit. The track was the group’s first No. 1 hit single, although they would go on to have 12 No. 1s on the Billboard Hot 100.

Check out these albums in our CD marketplace—all ready to stream and download in mp3, aac, FLAC and ALAC!

This Week in Music History (March 26th-April 1st)

What’s music history got for us this week? Learn up and boogie down!

3/26- On this day in 1985, radio stations in South Africa banned all of Stevie Wonder’s songs from the airwaves after he dedicated his Oscar win the previous evening to Nelson Mandela.

3/27- On this day in 1965, “Stop! In the Name of Love” became The Supremes’ fourth US No.1 single. The song was nominated for the 1966 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Rock & Roll Group Vocal Performance.

3/28- On this day in 2005, U2 kicked off their 131-date Vertigo tour at the iPay One Center in San Diego, California. The tour grossed $389 million, the second-highest number ever for a world tour.

3/29- On this day in 1967, The Beatles began recording “With a Little Help From My Friends” at Abbey Road Studios in London. They recorded over 10 takes of the track during the first day of work.

224303-large3/30- On this day in 2013, famed US music producer and music pioneer Phil Ramone died at 79. Ramone was one of the most successful producers in music history, having won 14 Grammy Awards and worked with stars including Bob Dylan, Elton John, Paul McCartney and Ray Charles.

3/31- On this day in 1967, Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire onstage while appearing at the Astoria in London. Lighting guitars on fire became symbolic of Hendrix’s performances, and the Fender Stratocaster that he burned was sold for $280,000 at a 2008 London auction.

4/1- On this day in 1966, David Bowie’s first solo single, “Do Anything You Say”, was released by Pye Records. Before the single, Bowie had previously recorded as David Jones and the Lower Third.

Check out these pieces of music history in our CD marketplace! Every album you buy is made available to stream (via Web Player, iOS, Android and Sonos), download (mp3, aac, FLAC and ALAC), and ship!

New Cool Collection: Podcast Guests

In the Murfie marketplace, we’ve hand-picked collections of albums for you to shop, which we call Cool Collections. They’re over on the left sidebar of the shop for you to browse.

But hey, you know that already—so it’s time to introduce our newest collection, Podcast Guests!

Man, I can’t believe it’s been over two years since the Murfie Podcast started! Our first ever Murfie Podcast featured Josh Harty, which we published on January 10th, 2012. Since then, we’ve continually been amazed at the awesome interviews we’ve landed, and have been more than happy to introduce to you some musicians and bands who are on their way to the top.

Hit up the Podcast section of our blog to take a trip down memory lane. Then, stock up on the musical goodness we’ve gathered together—albums by artists from Everest to Eric Hutchinson, from Amy Ray to Pure Prairie League, and most recently Zoë Keating, who have all been taken the time to record an interview with us.

Every album you buy is ready to stream not only on the web, but on iPhones, iPads, and Android phones and tablets with our app, as well as Sonos and VOCO devices. At Murfie, you’re streaming 320kbps mp3, which is excellent quality. Check out our new lossless streaming service too (released on Sonos last week!). You can also download any album in your Murfie collection in mp3, aac, FLAC and ALAC, and have it shipped to your door.

Shop our Cool Collection: Podcast Guests
Listen to the Murfie Podcast on Soundcloud

This Week in Music History (March 5th-11th)

What’s music history got for us this week? Learn up and boogie down!

3/5- On this day in 1983, Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” started a seven-week run at No.1 on the US singles chart. The song was his fourth solo No.1 in the United States, and also went to No.1 in the United Kingdom.

3/6- On this day in 1965, The Temptations became the first male group to have a No.1 hit for Motown with their single “My Girl”, written by Smokey Robinson.

3/7- On this day in 1969, Led Zeppelin appeared at the Bluesville 69 Club at the Hornsey Wood Tavern, Finsbury Park, in London. The venue was a tiny room in back of the pub, with a stage that was so small that only the drum set fit onstage. The rest of the group was forced to stand on the floor with the crowd.

3/8- On this day in 2008, China began to impose tighter regulations on foreign pop stars after singer Björk caused a controversy by screaming “Tibet, Tibet” after performing her song “Declare Independence” at her concert in Shanghai.

3/9- On this day in 1991, British punk band The Clash scored their only UK No.1 single with “Should I Stay or Should I Go”. The song shot to popularity after it was used in a Levi’s TV advertisement.

3/10- On this day in 1964, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel recorded “The Sounds of Silence” as an acoustic duet. The song did not become a hit until late 1965, when record company producers added electric guitar, drums and bass to the track.

3/11– On this day in 2008, Madonna was inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at a ceremony in New York City. The singer thanked her detractors in her acceptance speech, particularly those who “said I couldn’t sing, that I was a one-hit wonder”.

Pick up these pieces of music history in our CD marketplace! Every album you own comes with unlimited streaming and downloads in mp3, aac, FLAC and Apple Lossless! :-)