update their music catalogue daily. Here are some examples:
A Reminiscent Drive; Anne Murray; Anne Sofie von Otter & Elvis
Costello; Carpenters; Dr. Nigel Kennedy; Everything But The Girl;
Fish; French Affair; Front Line Assembly; Fun Boy Three; Haindling;
Imperanon; Little River Band; Love Spirals Downwards; Lyle Lovett;
Mickey Newbury; Newsboys; Parliament; Pleasure Fuckers; Richard
Marx; Tangerine Dream; Tim Finn; Toots & the Maytals
July 13, 2004
Acker Bilk; Angel Dust; At First Sight; Bad Company; Baraka; Burt
Bacharach; First Knight; Keimzeit; Leaether Strip; London Symphony
Orchestra, Royal Choral Society; Man with No Name; Manhattan Transfer;
Marty Lloyd; Moonstruck; Ned`s Atomic Dustbin; Os Mutantes; Pestilence;
Pete Droge; Pete Yorn; Rocky; Serge Gainsbourg; Sling Blade; Stan
Getz; Take 6; The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert;
The Outpatience; The Runaway Bride; The Thorns; Urban Cowboy;
Violet Indiana; Water Rats; Zakk Wylde; Ziggy Marley & the Melody
July 12, 2004
Akercocke; Amii Stewart; Anita Baker; Arena; Bach, Johann Sebastian;
Better Than Ezra; Cafe del Mar (CD Series); Dmitri Shostakovich;
Gustav Mahler; Johann Strauss; Joseph Haydn; LTJ Bukem; Maren
Ord; Mendellsohn; Noir Desir; Patti Smith; Patty Smyth; Ride
July 11, 2004
Cafe del Mar (CD Series); Cage; Chandeen; ClubZone; Colosseum
II; Corey Harris; Daryl Hall; Devil Doll; Dusty Springfield; Dwight
Yoakam; Emmylou Harris; Finntroll; Fiona Apple; Firehouse; Free;
Harvey Danger; Hayseed Dixie; Jai Utta; Johannes Brahms; John
Scofield; Richard Wagner; Skyfire; The Jive Aces; The Rolling
The site is
in 2001, it was, for a while, the best-kept secret on the internet.
But a glowing review in April in the Sydney Morning Herald alerted
many music fans to the site.
that in the
from Russia and, as many online reviews indicate, users were at
first sceptical. But cheap legal downloads, a fairly extensive range
of tracks, and the fact that you can choose the sort of encoding
you want (MP3, MPEG4-AAC, OGG, MPC, WMA) and at various sample rates
won fans over. To date, no one has complained of being cheated by
And if you've been paying for your music downloads, you'd be glad
to know that the music downloaded from allofmp3 has no DRM copy
protection - that means you can copy and re-copy them. And the downloads
are iTunes and iPod compatible.
For convenience, www.museekster.com
has come up with a list of pros and cons regarding the site:
A key plus point is the low pricing. To make use of the facilities,
you have to sign up as a member. Membership is free but surfing
the site, one realises that the "ordinary" membership doesn't entitle
you to purchase all the tracks you want. But it does entitle you
to download free tracks. Many of the "hot" tracks are for VIP members;
in other words, paid members. And this is where Allofmp3 differs
from other download sites.
You pay per
megabyte - 1 US cent per Mb (or $ingapore 1.7 cents). By becoming
a VIP member, you create an account. The minimum payment is US$5
for 500Mb and you can pay as much as US$50 for 5 gigabytes. Payment
can be made through Visa, Mastercard and Pay Pal. [Unfortunately,
the day we signed up, the Pay Pal service was down.]
of MP3 files
Even with US$5
(500Mb), you have more than enough to download the Beastie Boys'
To The 5 Boroughs (39.45Mb), Janet Jackson's Damita Jo (60.94Mb),
Avril Lavigne's Under My Skin (38.30Mb) and Prince's Musicology
(44.75Mb) - which all add up to US$1.83 (or S$3.11).
demand in almost every common format and bit rate is one of the
key features of Allofmp3. Especially for the newer and latest releases,
the songs can be encoded in any of the following formats: MP3, MPEG4-AAC,
OGG, MPC, WMA or lossless formats such as Monkey's Audio, Flac and
OptimFrog. Allofmp3 allows the user to specify the sample rate at
which the songs are encoded, for example MP3s at 128 kbs or 320
Unlike the MP3 format where data has been omitted, Flac is a form
of compression that allows the original data to be reconstructed
exactly from the compressed data. And because there is no
loss of data, the Flac file (CD
much larger than the MP3 file. For example, the MP3 (128 kbs) of
the Beastie Boys Ch-Check It Out is only 2.9Mb. The Flac file
is 21.6Mb. [The audio .aif file is 32Mb.] Hence, the higher the
sample rate, the better the quality, the larger the file, the longer
the download and the more you pay.
It has to be mentioned that all music is ripped from CD and stored
as 384Kbs variable-bit-rate MP3, and when you order tracks they
are transcoded on the fly to the format and bit rate you have chosen. But
at a higher premium of double the cost, you can have songs ripped
directly from the source CD.
the only way
pay for the
for less cost."
is reasonable download speeds (100 megabit/sec, depending on your
bandwidth of course). On a 1,500 kps broadband, it took less than
1 minute to download an MP3 of the Beastie Boys Ch-Check It Out
(128 kbs; 2.9Mb) or even a slightly better version of the song (320
kbs; 7.3Mb); and took about 15-20 minutes to download a lossless
Flac version of the song (21.6Mb).
the complaints about Allofmp3 is its limited catalogue. At press
time, the site had 17,862 albums featuring 5,204 artists and a total
of 216,936 songs. Compare that to iTunes' catalogue of more than
700,000 songs. But still, there is enough variety to satisfy both
the Top 40 fan and those into classic pop/rock.
For instance, the current Top 40 Billboard albums available for
download include The Beastie Boys' To The 5 Boroughs, Avril Lavigne's
Under My Skin, Velvet Revolver's Contraband, Prince's Musicology,
The Cure's The Cure and Wilco's A Ghost Is Born.
For those into classic pop/rock, you can download the entire catalogue
of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Queen, David Bowie, Michael
Jackson and Pink Floyd. Unlike many other download sites, Allofmp3
also offers grey music though the number is limited. For example,
they have the Beach Boys Smile album and the lost Bee Gees album,
A Kick In The Head.
and Metallica have not authorised their music to be sold online
for anyone. Yet Allofmp3 offers about any Beatles and Metallica
album ever released. According to museekster.com, there are
two reasons. One, foreign works released before 1973 are not protected
in Russia. Russia signed the Berne Convention without the retrospective
protection. The second reason is that under Russian law a collecting
society like ROMS (the Russian version of the RIAA) automatically
has the right to license ANY intellectual property to Russian distributors,
even if the author is not subject to Russian law.]
It would be
we see it is
as we can..."
But as a VIP
member, you can listen to an entire album before deciding to download
it. And there are free albums to download (these are at 128bps)
but should suffice for casual listening.
A minor drawback
is that not all the music is available in the lossless format -
a key criteria for those who do not mind the longer wait or the
higher cost of getting CD-quality music.
But a more
serious complaint is the website is sometimes unavailable due to
limited server capacity. Log in during the "peak" period and you'll
be told to return later.
In his Sydney Morning Herald article, Charles Wright contacted Melbourne
lawyer Simon Minahan who said: "There's probably nothing to stop
the individual from downloading this material for private use. For
end users, the issue is a basic question relevant to acquiring a
reproduction of any copyright work: has the rights owner consented?"
the site claims: "All the materials in the MediaServices projects
are available for distribution via internet, according to Licence
# LS-3M-02-36 of the Russian Multimedia and Internet Society." It
also claims it pays licence fees for all material on the site, "subject
to the law of the Russian Federation on copyright and related rights."
As more people have access to broadband, it is inevitable that many
will turn to the internet to download their music. In this regard,
Allofmp3 is showing that low pricing and an efficient delivery system
will be the way to go. As CIO Vadim Mamotin of MediaServices, the
company behind Allofmp3, said: "We think that in the foreseeable
future, the prices of online music stores will drop because of the
constant pressure from the direction of peer-to-peer networks and
their growing popularity and availability."
Russian site is music to the ears
MediaServices CIO Vadim Mamotin on Russia's AllofMP3.com