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PostPosted: November 20th, 2013, 10:04 am 
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I don't know if many of you are aware, but In Australia over the last countless years, We've had two compilation series, "Now that's what I call Music" (EMI and Warner), and "So Fresh" (Universal and Sony). Both these compilations come out every three months (every season). They sample the latest Top 40 music chart hits, and are released as:

Now... the Hits of Spring 2013
So Fresh... The Hits of spring 2013

Unfortunately with the amalgamation of Universal and EMI, these compilations are becoming very messed up. Many of the tracks are starting to cross over (same tracks on the different compilations), and older tracks which I have on other compilations. They are no longer consistant.

So, just wondering is there a special lossless version of itunes available for radio stations? I hate mp3, yet so many stores insist on selling this crappy format. They are some special stores like beatport and Junodownload, but music selection is limited, and they are not really top 40 based.

Any help would be much appreciated.

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PostPosted: November 20th, 2013, 12:16 pm 
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iTunes sells 256kbps AAC+ only.
Even though Apple invented their own Lossless audio codec, they don't seem to convince any of the major labels to sell stuff in that quality.

I've found this site is selling Top40 stuff in Lossless: http://melodishop.com/

The british magazine Guardian had an article about them and they were not 100% convinced that the site is legit.
This is mostly because there was a famous russian mp3 shop that was properly licensed and paying royalties in russia, but was then sued by the american recording industry (supposedly because prices were at least 50% cheaper than on the US market and they were selling worldwide) over 1.65 trillion US Dollar.
(I guess 1 trillion is more than all the money cash and electronic there is in the world. A number with 19 digits.)
This obviously doesn't matter to you as a buyer. As long as you buy in good faith that things are legal, noone can hold you liable for the RIAA flipping out about prices in eastern europe. (At least that's how things work in Germany)

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PostPosted: November 20th, 2013, 4:34 pm 
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Benedikt, I read the same article a while ago, but I interpreted not legit as the quality of their music. This got me thinking off the batt that even though they sell FLACs and WAVs, many of them could be upsampled rubbish from mp3s. False transcodes of lossless files are an issue, and I'd hate to purchase something, only to find it's a lossless file, transcoded from a 128 mp3.

Have you used them? Would you be confident that all their files are the real deal, and not transcodes?

Yeah, I do things legally, I pay APRA in Australia, and used Loudcaster for my overseas audience, I do believe they're linked up with SESAC, ASCAP, and BMI, I believe one of those is linked to the Other Australia copyright agency PPCA, where royalties are exchangable.

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PostPosted: November 20th, 2013, 4:41 pm 
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Al well, done three searches, all three came back as available in mp3 320 only. :( :( :(

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PostPosted: November 20th, 2013, 6:20 pm 
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xottery wrote:
Have you used them? Would you be confident that all their files are the real deal, and not transcodes?

No. I must admit that even though I'm a computer science student I still by almost all of my music as physical CDs.
I found that guardian article a while back when SAM 2013 released the FLAC support and saved it as a bookmark.

Their search is definitely bad. But you can find almost everything in FLAC.
I just tried to find German Top 100 #2 and #3 (#1 is not available, but that's no wonder considering the track is from a french electro duo) in FLAC without problems.

Code:
#1 Kilngande - Jubel (Not found on melodishop, they didn't even recognize either the track or the artist)
#2 Avicii - Hey Brother (Single)
#3 Eminem feat. Rihanna - The Monster (The single was not available on melodishop so I picked the track from the Album "The Marshall Mathers LP 2")

After "buying" (you get 10 free tracks if you sign up and validate your e-mail) these two tracks I verified them as suggested by the guardian blog post with audiochecker and that reported both tracks are from a CDDA (normal Audio CD you can buy in stores) with a probability of 100%.

So far about melodishop. See below for my ramblings about legality of melodishop, AllOfMp3 and how that affects licensing for your station.

xottery wrote:
Yeah, I do things legally, I pay APRA in Australia, and used Loudcaster for my overseas audience, I do believe they're linked up with SESAC, ASCAP, and BMI, I believe one of those is linked to the Other Australia copyright agency PPCA, where royalties are exchangable.

That's not what I meant and not what the guardian blog is about. If you run a music shop you can either sign a license with every recording label individually (that won't work if you're a small ukranian company, but it's a good idea if your name is Google, Apple or Amazon). The other option to legally sell audio files is to simply pay the royalties due for copying and "making available" the audio files to a royalty collection agency. This works much the same way as licensing a radio station.

The thing is that royalty prices are usually depending on the overall pricing level in the respecting country. Prices in Central Europe, USA, Canada, Australia will typically be higher than in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and South America. Most countries have signed multinational treatys to cross license stuff and to respect each others artists as protected under the local copyright legislation. Apparently Russia (where AllOfMp3 was located) only agreed on parts of that. Especially their royalty collectors have no cross-licensing agreements with their american counterparts. That means an artist could still collect income from royalties in russia if they register with the local collecting agency, but they won't get the money automatically from their local agency.

Melodishop on the other hand is not in Russia, but in Ukraine and from the looks I'd say they are part of one of these international cross-licensing networks.
Regardless of whether that is convenient for the RIAA (or in your case the Australian counterpart), it is legal to buy music there in both cases as long as they comply with local laws and there are no import regulations. (For example you cannot legally import stuff, even digital-only goods from Cuba to the USA)
This should not affect the licensing of your station. (It is obviously impossible to run a station on pirated music)

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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2013, 3:51 pm 
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OK, I went one step ahead and actually purchased some credits there.
They accept payments only via credit card, which involves some heavy lifting for me (I don't own a real credit card and my virtual credit card is prepaid-only and thus not always accepted).
It was a little bit disturbing to go through a credit card processing company from latvia, but after some research I found that AllData is in fact a global business and Latvia is their Eastern Europe/Russia Branch.

Really, there should be more eastern european/russian music shops. Their price levels are so damn low when compared with a typical western income.

So far I purchased 3 full albums. 2 FLAC and 1 MP3/320k (There was no FLAC version of that Album, probably because a physical CD was never actually sold for that album)
The FLAC versions look like real CD rips, the MP3 album is a bit hard to check unless I buy the album from another source again and compare it, but quality is fine.

I've also investigated a bit more as to why they can offer the stuff so cheap and still stay legal:
Melodishop and other eastern european/russian music download shops use a gap in the legislation of these countries.
The reason for that gap lies in the history of collection societies and differences in legislation between "east" and "west".
Collection societies have been responsible for collecting license fees for reproducing music. In the past reproduction was transfering an LP, Cassette or CD to the signal for your radio/tv station's antenna.
For physical CD sales you typically don't need that license as you don't reproduce the music yourself. And the CD manufacturers are typically owned by the labels themselves, so they set the prices high enough.

In the western world, collection societies had to agree on seperate treaties with the music industry when electronic reproduction and distribution were a new business. That's why we have so high prices here.
In the eastern world, the collection societies didn't even think about asking the labels but simply assumed their current legislation already covers all reproduction stuff.
The governments of at least Ukraine and Russia don't care about music licensing and haven't made any attempts to clarify that so far.

Apparently the business of these eastern music shops is not big enough for the major labels to risk a trial on court about this.
Instead they just complain about it in the media and in the press releases from their "ant-illegal copy" lobby organizations. (see here: http://www.iipa.com/rbc/2012/2012SPEC301UKRAINE.PDF)

So in fact there is no law against these shops, but it's also not sure if the collection societies may just apply the broadcaster prices to the electronic distribution people until a court decides on that issue.
AllOfMp3 was shut down due to diplomatic influence and I believe pressure on the credit card companies and not due to any court order in russia.

German law says it's legit to buy stuff unless it's from an obviously illegal source. (Obviously illegal doesn't apply here, because you actually PAY them, the payment is backed by your credit card company [PayPal got into the news when they disallowed a major german retailer to sell cuban rum, just because that's illegal in the US] and last but not least they explicitly state that they got a license)
German law also says it's not up to the customer to check whether the retailer has all the necessary licenses as long as it looks fine to a layman.

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