Saturday, August 23, 2008


I've downloaded some singles from Amazon before, but today I decided to go for it and download a whole album. It's going to take a while on dial-up, even though I have almost the fastest connection possible for dial-up.

One reason it's going to take extra long is that the mp3s are at 256 kbps. When I rip CDs or digitize my analog recordings, I just save them at 128. I'm not sure my ears can even hear the difference between 128 and 256. But one of these songs I had downloaded from a file-sharing system several years ago (and subsequently lost). At 128 it was about 16 megs (it's a long song). At 256 it was over 29 megs.

I was hoping to be able to individually download only the bonus tracks on the 1999 re-release of Marillion's Clutching at Straws, because they document a transition phase between Marillion with Fish and Marillion after Fish. But unfortunately, none of the tracks are available for download, so I'll have to buy the CD set (I already have the original Clutching at Straws).

So today I'm downloading B'Sides Themselves, which is a collection of b-side singles from Marillion. The opening track is the epic "Grendel," which is the 29 meg file I mentioned. It was the b-side of a 12-inch single, not a 7-inch.

More details on all this stuff when I work my way up to Marillion in my collection.

UPDATE: I was wrong. They are not recorded at 256, but at 320. This makes more sense, because if I recall correctly, 320 is considered "CD quality."


  1. One of my favorite albums is ZZtop Tejas. I have it on album and it just sounds ok. I have it on tape and the sound is very full and my ear can tune in to every bit of it.

    I bought the CD and it sounds like it's being played through a pillow.
    Muffled and dead. I wonder if they pull high and low range sounds out of the music when they remaster it?

  2. No. I have several remastered CDs and they all sound excellent. This is an engineering problem with that specific album. I don't know how it happens, but it does. I remember that the original CD release of "The Wall" sounded like crap. Way back in the 80s I picked up some audiophile catalog that focused on albums that had been re-released on CD, and that was one thing they talked about a lot. It was amazing how many albums they basically said, "Wait for another release, because this CD sounds worse than the record."

    The Rush remasters are mind-blowingly spectacular, imo.

  3. For a lot of music the 128 is just fine. I prefer 192, myself, because I listen to a lot of jazz and baroque chamber music.