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jazzfan
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Archieve.org - Is it worth it? I think so

Those of you who are regulars to the Stereophile forum have by now come across one one of my posts mentioning how great the archive.org web site is and I'm quite sure you're tired of reading about it.

Well I decided to put money my where my mouth is, so to speak. I made a list of about 60 out of the over 1,000 bands with live shows currently archived on the live music section of the site just to prove that it not filled with all unknowns and total garbage (although Garbage is not one of the bands available on the site, which is too bad because I have a live bootleg of theirs and they are a pretty good live band).

I'm in no way implying that this list is in any way comprehensive. It's just the bands that I recognized as somewhat of merit and doesn't mean that I necessarily like them. I also did not include the number of shows that the site has available of each band, hey, you have to do some things for yourselves. And lastly, I've added some comments where I felt appropriate. Thanks for looking.

A Partial Listing of the Bands Available on Archive.org (as selected by Jazzfan)

311
Almost Acoustic Band
American Music Club
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
Billy Bragg
Calexico - Listed in the "Best of 2005" Thread


Camper Van Beethoven
Charlie Hunter
Common Rotation - Buddha please take note


Country Joe McDonald
Cowboy Junkies
Cracker
David Gray
Death Cab for Cutie (recent recordings)
Del McCoury Band
Derek Trucks Band
Dirty Dozen Brass Band (recent recordings)
DJ Logic
DJ Spooky
Donna the Buffalo - well worth checking out.
Drive-By Truckers
Dub is a Weapon (who I haven't heard but am told is quite good)
Fareed Haque Group
G. Love and Special Sauce
Garage A Trois (a Charlie Hunter group)
Garaj Mahal
Gavin DeGraw
Gin Blossoms
Grateful Dead (streaming only but that is a recent policy change before that you could download flac or mp3 versions of their shows just like any of the other bands on the site)
Guster
Henry Kaiser
Jack Johnson - Listed in the "Best of 2005" Thread


Jason Mraz
Jazz Mandolin Project
Jefferson Starship - mostly the new band.
John Butler Trio - well worth checking out.
John Vanderslice - Listed in the "Best of 2005" Thread


Little Feat - both older and newer versions of the band.
Los Lonely Boys
Martin Sexton
Matisyahu
Mekons
Michael Franti and Spearhead - well worth checking out.
moe.
My Morning Jacket - Listed in the "Best of 2005" Thread


Over the Rhine
Radiators - well worth checking out.
Robyn Hitchcock
Rusted Root
Ryan Adams - Listed in the "Best of 2005" Thread


Soulive
Southern Culture On The Skids
Spin Doctors
Spoon - Listed in the "Best of 2005" Thread


String Cheese Incident
The Decemberists - Listed in the "Best of 2005" Thread


The Soundtrack of Our Lives
Warren Zevon
Ween
Yo Miles!

Please refer to some of my other post for comments about the sound quality of the recordings, 24 bit/96 kHz availability, etc.

I almost forgot to add that most of the groups have links to their web sites and all of the groups have given permission for their recordings to be made available on archive.org so anything you download from the site is completely FREE and LEGAL.

WonkoTheSane
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Re: Archieve.org - Is it worth it? I think so

One artist that Jazzfan missed is the late Elliott Smith. You may have heard his music featured in the films "The Royal Tennenbaums" "Good Will Hunting" and his cover of the Beatles "Because" during the credits of "American Beauty." You might also recognize him from his Academy Award nomination. If you haven't heard any of his songs, there are some great performances on the Live Music archive. They lack the intimacy and intricate nature of his studio arrangements, but they are a good place to start.

deadfeat1
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Re: Archieve.org - Is it worth it? I think so

I agree with Jazzfan. Great place to hear all kinds of music...new, old, great to not so great. Well worth visiting.I've been going there for about two years and have found a lot of interesting and entertaining music. Have fun!

Buddha
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Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Holy Mother of Pearl!

They have 122 Little Feat shows!

I almost fainted.

Now, here's where you will lose all respect for me.

I clicked, and didn't understand the download options.

I assume the download with the most megabytes (is that the right way to type it?) would be the one, but it had VBR ZIP or Shorten Zip in it, thus losing me.

Any idea how to choose the "best" format and load that to an external drive?

I think my external drive is named "Z."

You were right, they have Common Rotation! I looked for Spoon but I couldn't find "Best of 2005."

Los Lonely Boys is cool, Yo Miles, 63 Warren Zevon shows (!), 46 Big Head Todd and the Monsters shows!

I gotta figure this out...

WonkoTheSane
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Re: Holy Mother of Pearl!

Buddha;

If you want the whole show, look at the left hand side of the screen, find the box titled "Download Show" use your mouse to right click on the "lossless" link and select the "save target as" command. When the box pops up, go to your external hard drive, consider making a new folder so you can keep your Little Feet seperate from your Spoon, and click the save button. Then go make a sandwich while your free new music gets delivered.

The spoon show I liked (with tunes from their 2005 album "Gimme Fiction") was on Feb 28, 2005 at the Garage in Highbury, London. YMMV.

jazzfan
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Re: Holy Mother of Pearl!

Buddha,

As a movie bad guy might say "You're in for a whole new world of pain, my friend" once you start playing around with the various different versions of lossy and lossless compression file format available in the world of computer audio.

I'll give you a very, very quick primer but you'll have to do the bulk of the research on your own via the web and google.

Flac - These are a form of lossless compression files, the largest file size and the best sound quality. No loss in quality from the original wav files.

Ogg Vorbis - A competing lossy compression file format similiar to mp3, which many techies feel is superior to mp3 (i.e. better sound quality in a smaller file size) however, is not supported by all the different media players without various plugins. Plugins are yet "another world of pain".

64Kbps MP3 - the smallest file sizes available for downloading and the poorest sound quality. To be avoided unless you are downloading for use at the local school for the deaf.

VBR MP3 - variable bit rate mp3 files. Many techies feel that vbr mp3s offer the best sound quality for their file size. I basically agree and rip all my mp3s (I use vbr mp3s on my iPod) using a vbr setting. A good choice if you're only going to be listening to the download on a computer or portable device.

SHN - An older form of lossless compression (actually the grandaddy of lossless compression), similiar to flac. Still in use by Deadheads and some old school tapers but basically past it's prime.

Other things you should know:

*.md5 files - these are called checksum files and used to verify the integrity of the data within the files being verified. Very useful in assuring that your massive download doesn't contain any errors. You will need one of the many programs available which can read md5 files and do the file integrity check.

There are also fingerprint files but even I don't know what the heck these are. I think they're similiar to md5 files but I'm not sure.

And then there's the various text files and metadata files which I'm sure you can figure out for yourself.

And if you think downloading from this site is a chore, you should try using bit-torrent or downloading from the newsgroups - now that's where it really starts to get complicated. Then you have to know about par files, image files, rar files, cue files, iso files, and boat load of other nonsense. Whoever said doing all stuff was easy didn't know what they were talking about.

Buddha
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Re: Holy Mother of Pearl!

Hola, amigos!

I did as Wonko instructed, it is downloading as we speak.

428 megs is quite a few!

Now, it will play when I click on it after it's loaded?

I never did any of that FLAC stuff, just "saved" it.

I'll post an update in about 15 minutes.

Buddha
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Re: Archieve.org - Is it worth it? I think so

Silence.

Dang.

I'm lost.

Jeff Wong
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Re: Archieve.org - Is it worth it? I think so

Buddha - You can usually play FLAC files using Winamp (it might require the installation of the plugin - it's been so long since I've done the plugin installations, I couldn't say - mine works by double clicking the FLAC files.)

You can also drag the FLAC files into the FLAC frontend and hit the Decode button on the right side convert to WAV files. You should then be able to replay with the player of your choice.

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