Abney Park Part 2: The purchase

14 06 2010

Continued from Part one here: https://backedbyapenguin.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/abney-park/

As I stated in the last post, I knew I had to buy their music. There hasn’t been a new band like that for me in a while (though I still keep up with new CD’s from bands I know I like).

I looked at Abney Park’s site and added up the two albums I knew I wanted then a few others that looked interesting. Before I knew it I had almost 60$ worth of stuff in the cart! That is when I began considering “The Vault”. It is everything they have done in one download. From songs that were done live to recordings that didn’t make it onto physical CD’s! All for 63$! Great news right?

Except it is an MP3 download…

Gahh! This really tore me a new one. I am a bit of an audiophile (ever so slightly) and I like my music crisp and clear. I also LOVE having the ability to transcode into WHATEVER format I want at WHATEVER bitrate that I want WHENEVER I want. Therefore, I rip ALL my music into FLAC. From there I can send it to my rockbox to take with me on the go or I can pipe it over my network to my MythTV entertainment system or transcode into ogg for my wifes portable music player! I can play my music on any Linux system anywhere and at any time that I want. In FLAC I don’t ever have to worry about compatibility issues or license restrictions like I do with MP3. In FLAC I don’t have to worry about sound quality when I transcode to devices that don’t have support for its format like I do with MP3. In FLAC I am in no way bound or restricted like I am with MP3.

But it is all of their work for 63$…

So like most people with the choice of “that which I know is right” and “temporary satisfaction known as convenience” I just caved and went with convenience.

Listening to “The Vault” was interesting. The first thing I noticed was that they claim that the vault is all of their work. Yet according to the Wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abney_Park_(band) ) there are two albums missing. ‘Abney Park’ from 1998 and ‘Return to the fire’ 1999. I am not sure if it is because the band didn’t want their work previous to their redesigned image included or if it is because they redid the songs. Since I feel each album has been better then its predecessor it doesn’t bother me much at all. Again, I listened to the albums in order of the year of their release.

Cemetary Number 1 (2000) : The names and tags are a jumbled mess of mixed and matched names, tracks, cover art, and albums and the MP3s are 128kbs. Huh? Why? It is things like “Rebirth” is actually tagged as from “From Dreams Or Angels”. Also there are two mp3’s not listed in the track listing. “The_Cange_Cage(Abney_Park).mp3” which is only half of the song ‘The Change Cage’ and “the_box(Abney_Park).mp3” which appears to be half the song from “The Box” on ‘From Dreams Or Angels’. Interesting.

From Dreams Or Angels (2002) : 192kbs MP3 and appear to be well tagged and organized.

Twisted And Broken (remixes) (2004) : Again 128kbs and inconsistent MP3 tags and names. Some are listed as goth, while others are listed as blues, industrial, or techno. There should be two remixes of ‘Vengeance’. One by Sinforosa and one by Mephisto Walz. Instead, there are two by Sinforosa. They have different names but they have the same tags, time, and sound the same… There is also “Twisted Slowly Remix by Lethargic Da 1.mp3” and “Twisted and Broken by Lethargi 1.mp3”. They are very similar but also have noticeable differences. Later on, I will listen more closely to distinguish what the differences actually are. Interesting again.

Taxidermy (2005) : 192kbs MP3 and appear to be well tagged and organized.

The Death Of Tragedy (2005) : 192kbs MP3 and appear to be well tagged and organized. It has an extra track called “05 The Root Of All Evil, Live.mp3” and is tagged properly as the live performance for that album. Except that there is a second track 5 Sacrilege which is the actual track 5 for that album.

Lost Horizons (2008) : 192kbs MP3 and appear to be well tagged and organized.

Aether Shanties (2009) : 320 kbs! MP3 and appear to be well tagged and organized. I also really like this album. Only heard it through a few times now, but I like it.

Dark Christmas (2009) : Mix of 128 and 160kbs MP3 and for the most part are well tagged and organized. The info is all there but the mp3 tags are not consistent. Some have the year others don’t. Some are capitalized in the track name. Others aren’t. And I LOVE this album. I have listened to this more then I have any of the others since I bought the vault. It is middle of June and I am blasting Dark Christmas on my computer as I work. This is AWESOME!

Live at Convergence : Entertaining, but the crowd gets loud and music distorts a bit. 160kbs though.

I also downloaded a freebie; ‘Until The Day i Die Featuring Outtasite’. Can’t complain for a freebie, but I prefer the original on ‘Aether Shanties’.

So the end result: Slightly disappointed in the Vault, but I got all of their music which far overcomes any disappointment in my pickiness of music tagging/quality/format. It really does surprise me that an official download would be so recklessly tagged and have partial songs and wrong songs in wrong places and so forth. Maybe I am just way to dang picky about my music. I guess I will just have to budget money in the future to buy the CD’s and get the music in the format I want it in and in the meantime properly tag the music I have now. 😀

I believe it is now official that I am at least ever-so-slightly obsessed with the band and I LOVE their sound.



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