Last Call: Your Murfie Week in Review


 Monday 5/5 

shinsOn Twitter: @bradleege won a copy of Chutes too Narrow by The Shins in our first #FreeFriday giveaway!

On the Blog: Ally reviewed three of her favorite folk albums (Let’s Be Still by The Head and The Heart, Indigo Girls by Indigo Girls, and Diamonds and Rust by Joan Baez) in Staff Picks: Ally’s Folk Picks.

On Twitter: We responded to a Forbes article called “Taking The Collecting Out Of Music“, letting them know that the spirit of the music collector is alive and well at Murfie.

In the Press: AudioStream wrote an article about us called “Murfie: A New Home for Your CDs in the Cloud“.


 Tuesday 5/6 

377182-largeIn the marketplace: 5 brand new album releases by Atmosphere, Lily Allen, Natalie Merchant, Sarah McLachlan and The Horrors were added to the Murfie marketplace.

On Twitter: We congratulated Musaic for the success of their Kickstarter campaign and expressed our excitement for being a streaming partner!


 Wednesday 5/7 

– On the Blog: Ally gave us our weekly dose of music history in This Week in Music HIstory (May 7th-13th).



 Thursday 5/8 

tbt– On Twitter: Throwback Thursday! Out #tbt tweet included an article and a picture of Matt and Preston from 2011, back when Murfie had “a couple hundred” members.

– In the Press: AV Specialists posted our guest article, called How Does Murfie Work? A Murfie Employee Explains. The post includes a special offer!


 Friday 5/9 

mouse– On the Blog: Andrew posted our #FreeFriday giveaway: The Mouse and the Mask by DANGERDOOM. You still have a chance to win if you retweet us or share our Facebook post!

– On Twitter: We got a shout-out all the way from Australia! The locals love us! :-)


Saturday 5/10

– On the Blog: Ally told us about some Mom-Approved Modern Music for Mother’s Day.


 

Cloud streaming FLAC – Possible, Practical, Awesome

Our friends at @Bliss_audio retweeted this post from @audiophilestyleCloud Storage & High Resolution Streaming – Possible? Practical? Pricey?  It’s a very thorough write-up on streaming your personal music from a cloud storage service, and you totally should go read it right now if you’re serious about high-quality audio (as you can imagine, we’ve done a lot of that math ourselves :)

We reached the same conclusions as well, that streaming lossless music from the cloud is not only possible, but it is also practical and awesome!

When Murfie first offered a streaming music service we insisted on using 320k MP3 as our lowest-quality format.  Most of the experts thought this was unnecessary at the time and most other streaming services used much lower quality.  We disagreed, did our homework and found that we could reliably stream 320k to all the devices we support.  We felt that our members, who were used to downloading high-quality formats (including lossless FLAC) from high-quality sources wouldn’t be satisfied with the low-quality bitrates offered elsewhere.  So we made the investment and the technology to deliver a higher-quality stream regardless of what everyone else was doing.

Not long after our original streaming service went live we were already looking for a way to provide something better.  After more R&D we successfully demonstrated lossless streaming of FLAC over the Internet in our labs, and began to figure out how we could offer this as a premium service to our members who demand the highest quality available from their CD’s with the convenience of streaming from the Internet.  One of the biggest challenges to this project was finding playback devices that could handle streams of this quality but over time these became available, and we released our first lossless streaming service on the Voco music device.

Since that time we’ve been adding more devices to the list of players that can handle our lossless streaming service (we call it “HiFi“), and of course clever hackers can always use our public API to access the service using their own home-grown solutions.

It was very exciting to run across @audiophilestyle’s post this morning and know that there are other music fans out there who care this much about the convenience of streaming without compromising the quality of their recordings.  Paired with the large amount of lossless recordings available in the Murfie Marketplace, we think our lossless streaming service is pretty awesome, but that doesn’t mean we’re not already working on making it awesome-er :)

 

Music Ownership versus Music Rental

The Labor Day holiday this year almost turned into Litigation Day as rumors of Die Hard star Bruce Willis’s unhappiness with the licensing terms of his extensive iTunes library hit the intertubes. A British tabloid apparently started the story, which ultimately turned out to be unfounded. But the substantial dust that the story kicked-up has been exceedingly interesting to watch.

Fundamentally, music services like iTunes and Amazon Cloud Player and Spotify are about renting access to certain music. You pay a fee and you get access. When you stop paying or, in this particular case, when you cease breathing, that access goes poof. This is a reasonable way to consume music so long as you understand that it’s just a rental – not ownership – and that rental extends only to you.

Murfie is different.

We operate on the equivalent of the music gold standard. Each album at Murfie – whether you’re listening to it, buying or selling it, trading it, or giving it to a friend – is backed by an actual, physical CD that is stored in our warehouse. Our customers own their CDs and Murfie takes care of their collections. I guess maybe it’s more of a “silver standard” ;-) .

Instead of having their 100, 1000, or more CDs gathering dust on a shelf, Murfie adds value to our members’ CD collections by digitizing the discs for anytime/anywhere access; by offering a marketplace where they can buy, sell, and trade their discs; and by getting all that plastic the heck out of their homes. If you want your CDs back, or you want to give them to your kids (regardless of your breathing status), we ship them to you, or transfer ownership at Murfie, as you prefer. They are yours after all!

The cloud + music

How the cloud is gobbling up everything in sight

No doubt about it, the cloud is positioned to completely change the way we store, access, and consume personal files. Online storage of data, at your fingertips, with a web browser. No wonder it’s the talk of the town. Right now, a lot of the conversation is focused on the cloud + digital media…that is, storing music files in the cloud. Are you ready for that? Jon Pareles at NYTimes sure is, and he’s put out a fantastic article disclosing his excitement for cloud music services, but at the same time mulling over their limitations. [Seriously, if you know anything or nothing at all about cloud computing, it’s a great read.]

One of the biggest assets of the cloud, Pareles says, is that it dematerializes physical media.

That sounds kinda familiar, doesn’t it? Yep, the cloud and Murfie have something in common. Murfie wants to eliminate physical media sprawl too. Via our free shipping kits, we’ll help you lighten up your home by taking on the physical burden of your CD collection. The bigger question is, is Murfie compatible (even complementary!) to cloud music services? Well, as Pareles mentions, it’s definitely a pain to upload your music into the cloud, especially when it comes to physical discs.

But hey!, Murfie can totally take care of this concern. Per your request, we’ll rip your stacks of CDs, convert the music into digital files in the format of your choice, and make the ripped files available for you to download. If you want those music files in the cloud, no problem – all you gotta do is upload them…which is a whole lot easier than having to rip ’em.

Ok, let’s now schedule a timeout for reactions and comments. What do you think…can Murfie live in the same world as cloud music services? Should there be a world where only the cloud exists to serve your music consumption needs? Doesn’t the cloud impinge on the benefits of true music ownership?