This Week in Music History (May 21st-27th)

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

300492-large5/21- On this day in 1970, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young released the single “Ohio” in reaction to the May 4, 1970 Kent State shootings during which unarmed college students were shot by members of the Ohio National Guard.

2174-large5/22- On this day in 1965, The Beatles reached No.1 on the US singles chart with their track “Ticket to Ride”. The song was the group’s eighth No.1 hit. It was also used in the Beatles’ second film Help! and was a part of the film’s soundtrack.

375787-large5/23- On this day in 1970, Paul McCartney‘s debut solo album McCartney began a three-week run atop the US album chart. Apart from a few vocal contributions by Linda McCartney, McCartney performed and recorded the entire album as a solo project.

101405-large5/24- On this day in 1974, jazz legend, bandleader, composer and pianist Duke Ellington died of lung cancer and pneumonia at age 75. Ellington’s career spanned over 50 years; he was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award in 1966, and the United States Mint launched a new coin featuring his face in 2009.

32093-large5/25– On this day in 1968, Simon and Garfunkel‘s fourth studio album Bookends became the duo’s second US No.1 hit. The album was a breakthrough for the pair, launching them to superstar status. It contained their No.1 hit single “Mrs. Robinson”, which went on to win a Grammy Award for Record of the Year.

12589-large5/26- On this day in 1990, the top five positions on the US singles chart were held by female artists for the first time. Madonna was at No.1 with “Vogue”, members of Heart were at No.2, Sinead O’Connor at No.3, Wilson Phillips at No.4, and Janet Jackson at No. 5.

114141-large5/27- On this day in 1977, The Sex Pistols‘ single “God Save the Queen” was released in the United Kingdom. Although the track sold over 200,000 copies in one week and peaked at No.2 on the UK charts, it was banned by TV, radio, and stores because of its controversial lyrics.

Pick up these pieces of music history in our CD marketplace! Every album purchase comes with unlimited streaming and downloads in mp3, aac, and lossless formats FLAC and ALAC. :-)

This Week in Music History (May 7th-13th)

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

The Mamas and the Papas5/7- On this day in 1966, The Mamas and the Papas began a three-week run atop the US singles chart with “Monday Monday”. The group won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group for this song.

The Beatles - Past Masters5/8- On this day in 1964, The Beatles began a 14-week run on top of the US singles chart. The reign was a result of three back-to-back No. 1 hits, including “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (on top for seven weeks), “She Loves You” (on top for two weeks), and “Can’t Buy Me Love” (on top for five weeks).

Louis Armstrong - Hello Dolly5/9- On this day in 1964, Louis Armstrong hit No. 1 on the US singles chart with “Hello, Dolly”, making him, at 62, the oldest artist to ever hit No. 1. This record was broken in 2011, when Tony Bennett topped the charts at 85 with his album Duets II.

12646-large5/10– On this day in 1965, The Rolling Stones recorded the first version of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” at Chess Studios in Chicago. Although the original track featured Brian Jones on harmonica, a re-recording completed two days later in Hollywood contained a different beat.

365913-large5/11- On this day in 1981, Jamaican reggae legend Bob Marley died at age 36 after melanoma spread to his lungs and brain. His birthday, February 6th, was proclaimed a national holiday in Jamaica to commemorate him, and his compilation album, Legend, became the best-selling reggae album of all time.

46-large5/12- On this day in 1973, Led Zeppelin began a three-week run at No. 1 on the US album chart with Houses of the Holythe band’s fifth album. The group’s third No. 1 album, it went on to spend 39 weeks on the US chart.

12921-large5/13- On this day in 1970, the world premiere of The Beatles‘ film “Let it Be” took place in New York City. The film, a documentary about the band’s experiences recording and rehearsing songs for the album Let it Be, features a rooftop performance by the Fab Four.

You can own these and other pieces of music history by hitting up our CD marketplace! Each album purchase comes with unlimited streaming and downloads in mp3, aac, FLAC and Apple Lossless. :-)


Ally Boutelle
@arboutelle

Ally is a communications intern at Murfie, blogging about all things music. When she’s not typing away, she cooks spicy food, does hot yoga, and reads weird history books. She’s also a college student double majoring in history and journalism.


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. :-)

This Week in Music History (April 23rd-29th)

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

6384-large4/23- On this day in 1971, The Rolling Stones released their classic album Sticky Fingers in their native UK. The album, which was the band’s first release on their own label via Atlantic Records, featured art by Andy Warhol, whom the Stones hired for $15,000.

128999-large4/24- On this day in 1979, the state of Georgia made Ray Charles‘ “Georgia on My Mind” its official song. Charles, a Georgia native, recorded the track in 1960 as part of his album The Genius Hits the Road

146-large4/25- On this day in 1987, U2 began a five-week run atop the US album chart with their fifth studio album, The Joshua TreeThe album topped charts in over 20 countries and sold over 25 million copies. Bono and company also went on to win a Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

4999-large4/26- On this day in 1969, Led Zeppelin played their hit song “Whole Lotta Love” in front of a live audience for the first time. The show, which took place at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, was part of the band’s second North American tour.

35056-large4/27- On this day in 1976, David Bowie was detained by customs officers at the Russian/Polish border after attempting to board a train. The officers detained Bowie after finding Nazi books and memorabilia in his luggage, which he claimed were being used for research on a project about Nazi propaganda leader Joseph Goebbels. 

359561-large4/28- On this day in 1973, Pink Floyd‘s iconic album The Dark Side of the Moon hit No. 1 on the US album chart. The album went on to see a record-breaking 741 weeks atop the Billboard Chart, and now has sold over 45 million copies worldwide.

102762-large4/29- On this day in 1933, country music legend Willie Nelson was born. Nelson is one of country music’s most recognizable and influential singers and songwriters, and is also a poet, activist, actor and author. He has appeared in over 30 films, co-authored several books, and campaigned for numerous causes, including the use of biofuels.

All these pieces of music history are available in our music marketplace! Every CD purchase comes with unlimited streaming (Web, iOS, Android, Sonos) and downloads in 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.

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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.

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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!