Published on September 30th, 2005 | by Greg0
Cheap Music- ALLOFMP3 and Why Russia Rocks
Truly Obscure’s writers insist on paying for music. Seriously, we purchase every song we listen to, and wouldn’t even consider downloading music from, say, AllofMP3.com.
Which we hear, by the way, is an incredibly diverse site/software devoted to charging for music by the megabyte. It’s run out of Russia, and is probably not any more legal here in the US than Kazaa or LimeWire. But it does offer a wide library of stuff that can be hard to find out there, and it guarantees they’ll be the real deal.
What’s more, you get to choose the format and bitrate of songs, so if you want to use OGG or have your songs encoded in a super-high quality format (320 kbps) it’s a piece of cake. Again, we are not trying to encourage piracy, but no other music store of similar caliber offers these choices. iTunes is happy to have you download songs in their own AAC format, which isn’t compatible with every other player- and doesn’t go above 192 kbps.
Our, um, friends, have used it download several gigabytes of music, and say they have yet to experience a problem. Most songs run from 3-15 cents each, depending on the options you choose, but you have to pay by credit card in $10, $15, $25, or $50 amounts.
You can use the free, simple software or a web interface and they both function fairly well and are easy to use. In terms of music selection, AllofMP3.com won’t have every single thing you’re looking for- but they do have the latest albums from Grandaddy (a review will be coming shortly), Sigur Ros, Kanye West, Elbow, etc. In addition, their collection shines if you’re looking at certain offbeat bands, such as The Tiger Lillies (9 albums compared to Amazon’s 11 in-stock or available items) or you’re looking for some foreign albums that would be expensive to import (some of the Back to Mine series, for example).
Best of all, you can use the preview feature to listen to most of their available tracks. The quality is mediocre, and it can take a while for the track you want to finally play, but it can help you figure out whether the Emmanuelle soundtrack is worth purchasing (and yes, they have Emmanuelle 2 as well).
All in all, it’s TrulyObscure gives a big na zdorovje! to the Russians for creating a nice alternative to the highway robbery that some feel is the iTunes store. AllofMP3.com won’t be winning any awards from the RIAA anytime soon, and it sucks as a music player, but it’s probably the best place to get music online without the hassles of P2P and with more options than you can shake your iPod at.