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Amazon DRM-Free Music

I bought a couple songs on Amazon’s new DRM-free MP3 service. They’re 224 and 241 Kbps, and sound pretty good on the crummy speakers I have at work. I’ll listen to them on the ROR monitors at home later.

I’ve only bought one song from iTunes since iTunes 6 introduced AES encryption, and that was in a pinch. Ironically, that buy was also a DRM-bit-me-in-the-ass buy, as I had a drive crash just after that and had to buy it again to complete a project. Grrr…

iTunes Plus only has 3 of the 90 or so songs I bought pre-iTunes 6, which I upgraded, and each of the songs on my wishlist at iTunes are not on iTunes Plus. Two of them were on Amazon.

I bought Flowing Waters and Mundian To Bach Ke.

md5sums here:

014c916bda49c5ee40df2d9328a1423e  5 - Flowing Waters.mp3
f4db372907ac22fa19640575a54e384b  15 - Mundian To Bach Ke.mp3

in case anybody wants to spend 88 or 98 cents to compare.

Each song/tune has a good story. Flowing Waters is one of the tunes on the Voyager 2 probe’s gold record, and is probably the most ancient song known to modern man, its notation having survived the passage of time. I believe this is the correct performance, there’s some ambiguity among the transliterations of the performer’s names’ but a few Google hops apart it appears to be the same guy and the length is within a few seconds.

Mundian to Bach Ke has no such noble heritage. I was at an Indian wedding last summer. It was 107 in the shade in Memphis, and the reception was a bit slow, the band being on break, and the DJ playing the traditional ‘wedding songs’. Well, on goes Mundian to Bach Ke, and nearly all of the Indian relatives get up and start doing what I naively call ‘the push up dance’ to the Knight Rider theme, half of them probably over 60, around the illuminated swimming pool. My head nearly exploded from the deliciously unexpected juxtaposition.

The missing song from the wish list is Iron Man. Neither Amazon nor iTunes has Iron Man DRM-free. I can wait, I just wanted to compare it with Flowing Waters, as it appears to be the inspiration for “The Riff” in Iron Man. I haven’t found such a connection discussed elsewhere on the ‘net, but who really compares ancient Chinese music to 70’s British Metal? Not a big fan of pentatonic scales, generally, but both seem pretty good to me.

Voting with my dollars….