Ownership Matters: Grooveshark has shut down

Grooveshark is the latest of controversial music services to shut down. They were amidst legal battles over licensing deals with rights holders at the time.

This shutdown was a long time coming. Grooveshark posted on their website, saying, “We started out nearly ten years ago with the goal of helping fans share and discover music. But despite the best of intentions, we made very serious mistakes. We failed to secure licenses from rights holders for the vast amount of music on the service. That was wrong. We apologize. Without reservation.”

The people at Grooveshark also encouraged music fans to use a licensed service. Fans have voiced opinions online, including Reddit, expressing disappointment at the loss of their carefully curated playlists.

“Welp, there goes 5 years worth of playlists,” said one user.

It’s important to know you’re gambling with time, energy, and often money when you use a service that’s not tied to ownership. Streaming services in particular can and regularly do shut down and disappear, leaving you with nothing but fond memories.

The alternative is to invest time, energy, and money into collecting music that you truly own, where you won’t need to worry about it going away in an instant. It will forever be yours.

You also don’t need to decide between owning physical music (CDs and vinyl) and streaming music—what we’ve been doing at Murfie for years has proved that’s a false choice. The streams and downloads you receive from us are tied to CDs and vinyl that belong to you, and you alone—remaining unaffected by any terms of our service.

6 Reasons Why Music Ownership Matters

Why own music in the digital age? When you buy digital downloads or streaming subscriptions, you’re sacrificing important benefits that are tied to ownership.

Buying CDs and vinyl gives you several ownership rights, and with the Murfie service, you don’t have to choose between owning music and the convenience of streaming and download access. In short, Murfie exists to give your physical collection the cloud upgrade it deserves. We rip your CDs and vinyl and upload the music to your Murfie account for you to download and stream on all your devices.

But still, why even start with owning CDs and vinyl when you can just download and stream music? Here are six reasons why ownership still matters in the digital age.

  1. Your music will always be yours.

You can obtain digital music in a snap nowadays. Whether it’s streaming with a service, or listening to digital tracks you bought online, you have access to the music—as long as the service exists.

If you’re renting your music with a streaming service and the service closes, or you decide not to subscribe anymore, you end owning nothing. If you bought a digital download somewhere, you won’t have access to re-download that music after the service is no more. Even if the service stays put, oftentimes you’re limited in the number of times you can download.

When you buy CDs and vinyl records, you’ve made a real investment in your music. These are properties you truly own and control. Your money is well-spent, and Murfie helps maximize the enjoyment of the music you own by moving it to the cloud for you. And if you’d rather not store the physical disc on a shelf at home, well, store it here at Murfie!

  1. The quality is better.

Let’s take a look at popular music services and their bitrates, shall we? iTunes = 256 kbps. Amazon = 256 kbps. Spotify = 160 kbps (ouch!). Spotify does have 320 kbps available to subscribers who pay $9.99/month.

At Murfie, your CDs and vinyl are ripped in lossless FLAC format, providing 1411 kbps of audio quality. FLAC is a favorite of audiophiles who enjoy the highest quality music they can get. At no extra cost, you get unlimited downloads of your Murfie collection in FLAC, ALAC, 320 kbps mp3, and aac, and free streaming in 320 kbps mp3. We too have a paid streaming tier for $10/month—but it’s lossless FLAC streaming of course!

  1. You’re not limited to a device or service.

Buying downloads or a streaming subscription limits your listening in key ways. Many services are walled gardens that make it difficult to transfer your files when you change devices. When you own your music, you’re always in control of where, when and how to listen to it.

  1. There’s no “Buyer Beware” terms and conditions.

Did you read the terms and conditions? When you purchase digital content online, you’re agreeing to whatever that fine print clearly (or not so clearly) says. Sometimes the fine print gives the vendor rights to alter or take away what you purchased. The “Buy” button itself historically implies ownership, but that’s not true anymore.

  1. You have rights to sell, trade, or gift.

Ever heard of the first sale doctrine? It allows you to sell your CDs and records if you no longer want them. It’s a freedom that we as consumers deserve. At Murfie, you can buy any CD, stream it, and return it within 24 hours if it’s not for you. You can also decide what CDs you no longer want and sell them on the site. We also have a nifty gifting feature that lets you gift an album to a friend!

  1. You can will your music to your next of kin.

Unless you own your music, you won’t be able to pass it on to someone after you die. The fate of digital assets after death has lately become a buzz topic. Your Murfie collection, in all its digital glory, comes from your physical CDs and vinyl with ownership rights attached to them—so you can will your music just like the contents of a safety deposit box. It’s yours, after all!

Your Wish is Our Command: Murfie Wishlists!

Dearest Murfieans,

You asked, and we delivered:  we are very pleased to announce the launch of our Wishlist feature on Murfie!

When you come across an album that intrigues you, just click “Add to Wishlist.” An album that’s not in stock or not available for sale? Just click “Add to Wishlist.” An album that you’re not entirely sure you want to buy yet? Just click “Add to Wishlist!” Gettin’ the picture?

The album will be added to your Wishlist, which you can then see in the “My Collection” tab. If an album is not available on Murfe, our expert music-finders will get to work trying to source a copy for you—no extra charge. We love music as much as you do and want you to have every disc your heart desires!

If you had any outstanding trade requests in your account, those are also now Wishlist items in your account too:  we figured you wish you had those!

When a disc in your Wishlist becomes available, you’ll be notified via e-mail. Nice, right?

We hope you’ve noticed that we’ve been on a ROLL lately with new features (it IS March madness, after all)! Bam! Boom!! Bang!!! Hope you’re all digging that Unpurchase button too: https://blog.murfie.com/2013/03/05/introducing-the-unpurchase-button-your-new-bff/

Wait ’til you see what’s next! :-)

The crew at Murfie

Introducing: The “Unpurchase” Button (Your New BFF)

Murfie, meet the Unpurchase Button. Unpurchase Button, meet Murfie!

This new lil’ button does wonders. Only at Murfie, you can buy any album, stream it, and “Unpurchase” within 24 hours if you decide it’s not for you! We’ll credit the amount back to your account—no problem whatsoever.

Now, you’ll never have to hesitate to give any album a try! No more worrying about spending money on something you don’t completely and totally lurrrrve.

Almost like relationship insurance, right? ;-)

Dos & Don’ts of Shipping Etiquette

Let’s play a round of Do or Don’t with the Murfie operations team. These guys work incredibly hard to receive and process your music collections in a timely manner.

From many CDs of experience, they’ve picked up a few basic tips and tricks along the way that should make the whole darn process go more smoothly (for both you and us).

DO: Keep your CD-Rs at home. For copyright reasons, we cannot accept them. — John K.

DON’T: No need to fret about what exactly to send us. All we require is the CD itself. — Tyler S.

DO: Let us be your bookshelf. Include your binders, wallets and jewel cases in your kit; we’ll recycle them and post your music CDs online. — Gao V.

DON’T: Refrain from shipping us discs that are too scratched up to play. We are unable to list those for sale on Murfie. — Gao V.

DO: Album art and liner notes are optional. If you do decide to send them in, we’ll happily keep them in storage with your CDs. — Tyler S.

Got additional Do or Don’t questions? We’ve got answers.

What’s The One Thing? (Murfie Staffers Answer That Q)

When I say “that one thing” – what pops into your head? Is it this or is it that? Whichever it happens to be, I now know a lot more about you than I did before ;)

The sole reason I bring this up is, I asked a few of my fellow Murfie teamsters to name “that one thing” that makes Murfie so unique and singular for them. It could be one word, one sentence, one sentiment, one catchline, one whatever. And BOOM. Here are the answers.

“‘OMG! I haven’t heard this album since I was in college in the 80s! Here it is for a dollar!’ I experienced this sentiment TWICE today…I picked up two $1 albums I hadn’t listened to (or remembered!) since 1986 or 1987.” — Shawn B., Customer Development

“Truly own the music you love.” — Matt Y., CEO

“Space. My entire collection of 600+ CDs now takes up ZERO space in my home, but I still have the benefit of listening to them all whenever I want. (Bonus points: moving apartments will be SUPER easy!)” — John K., Operations

“Trading! I love that music I’ve grown tired of can go to a good home, and I can explore new music as a result. AND it’s all legal! It’s a huge part of the Murfie experience for me.” — Glynnis R., Design & Development

“I’d say ‘value.’ I want to sell my discs, but to me many of them have far more value than what the local used CD store will offer in buyback. I like the idea that someone on Murfie will give my music a good home, where it will be appreciated, and I still make some cash in the process.” — Tiffany G., Design & Development

“My one thing is access. I had tons of albums I never got around to ripping, so they were just sitting on a shelf. Now, all my music is right there via my browser, and with iOS, in my car, my iPad, and also streamed through my new Sonos.” — Shawn L., Marketing

Your turn. What’s “the one thing” that makes Murfie a tailor-made solution for you?

Murfie Fact vs Fiction – Round 2

In the premiere round of Murfie fact vs fiction, we shared six stats and policies about Murfie. This time, it’s personal. Read on for six more #MurfieFacts about our HQ and people, originally trumpeted on our twitter feed, and go behind the impregnable walls* of Murfieland. (*Jk, you just need an invite or a key fob.)

  1. We call the whole process of receiving your kit, digitizing your CDs and storing them in our warehouse “ingesting.”
  2. Our CEO Matt Younkle invented and founded TurboTap. (It pours beer better and faster.)
  3. Our name has its origins in MRF! (What’s a MRF?)
  4. We make our kits in a room called the Favre Room. Don’t ask. (OK, it’s because there’s a poster of Brett Favre on the wall.)
  5. One of the wintertime perks around Murfieland is unlimited oranges. It’s Wisconsin; we need our vitamin C, dang it!
  6. We leave a handwritten note on every outgoing kit. (We like to keep it real, yo.)

Until round 3 . . . feel free to leave us a question you want answered. (whatever, whenever!)