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major dissapointment: Deutsche Grammophon classical flac downloads
post Jan 14 2011, 00:01
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Today, for the first time, I downloaded an album from Deutsche Grammophon - actually, it was the "Complete Chopin Edition" (17 discs). Download was pretty fast (about 2 hours for 3.8 GB), but the disappointment came after looking at the files respectively, how the were tagged: the way they did it rendered the files absolutely useless for proper indexing.
Can you imagine, that they did not even provide a composer-tag for a classical download? Not to mention, that with their tagging, I had not clue, what the provided titles like "1.Allegro" were reffering to (the albumtitle for all 259 files was just "complete Chopin edition").
I'll just copy and paste the mail I wrote them, and I am sure, you'll understand, why I think, that this is an absolute slap in the face of a customer...

Dear Madam or Sir,

I want to give you some customer feedback about the Deutsche Grammophon FLAC downloads - unfortunately, it will not be a very positive one. But please consider it an honest effort, to provide you a feedback that enables you to enhance your service.
I just spent 4 (four!) hours in properly tagging the 259 downloaded Flac-files of the "Complete Chopin Collection" - something I would expect already being done by a company, that is reknown for its classical catalogue and for the quality of its products.

All tags, that were present in the files were:
1. Artist
2. Albumtitle
3. Tracktitle
Nothing more! If you want to properly catalogue the files on your computer or streaming server, these tags are of absolute no use:
There were no tracknumbers, no discnumbers, no important tags such as composer, composersort, conductor, orchestra, soloist, period - not even an album cover was inside the tags.
Furthermore, tracktitles were absolutely useless, since they did not reflect anything of what the REAL tracktitle was: what would a tracktitle like "1. Allegro" tell me - especially, when the albumtitle for all 259 files was just "complete chopin edition"? Would you be able to tell, what "1. Allegro" is, when you put the file on your streaming server? It could be from a piano concerto, or just a "prélude".... (btw.: special characters like é were sometimes present, sometimes exchanged to a "T", I had to manually correct the faulty ones as well...).
Try to browse such a collection in the search of a concerto or a single movement, or a single piece - it's impossible!

I would at least expect an albumtitle like "Chopin Complete Edition: Piano Concertos 1&2", that reflects the disc and a tracktitle like "Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor, Op.11: 1. Allegro maestoso" or "24 Préludes, Op.28: 8. in F sharp minor".
Additionaly, all you provided was ONE single "one for all"-cover. No individual covers for the 17 disks, no linernotes, no PDF of a booklet etc.

As I said, I spent 4 hours to properly do the work I would expect being done by the company, that is selling me these files.

Considering, that the download does have about the same price as the physical discs, I'd rather buy the discs, store them as a backup and rip them using dBpoweramp and the extensive auto-tagging capabilities included (AMG, GD3 etc.).

I hope, that you consider my customer feedback being, what it is: an honest opinion expressed with the hope, that this service might get the quality-standard, that it should have.
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post Feb 21 2013, 12:43
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Well you can still do it for the Hydrogenaudio laughing stock? tongue.gif
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post Feb 21 2013, 22:56
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QUOTE (Porcus @ Feb 21 2013, 21:43) *
Well you can still do it for the Hydrogenaudio laughing stock? tongue.gif

I might just do that when I can be bothered to sort through my boxes of CD's in the garage and find it. Ironically, I saved the box set because of the extensive liner notes and track information that Decca provided with the set (and did so for all full priced classical CD's and LP's).

To see just how far the classical industry has fallen into the trap of commercial gain at the expense of quality, compare the care and research of the packaging, liner notes, libretto, that came with nearly all classical releases in their disc (LP and CD) form to that provided by current digital download providers. I think Hyperion records and Chandos are some notable exceptions with their high quality, usable resolution, PDF notes.

As for Universal, they should be Universally ashamed.
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Posts in this topic
- dvdr   major dissapointment: Deutsche Grammophon classical flac downloads   Jan 14 2011, 00:01
- - googlebot   Sad thing when dinosaurs run a company. Good tags ...   Jan 14 2011, 00:58
- - birdie   Take it easy, and use any tagging application whic...   Jan 14 2011, 01:01
|- - Nessuno   QUOTE (birdie @ Jan 14 2011, 01:01) Take ...   Jan 14 2011, 09:23
|- - dvdr   QUOTE (Nessuno @ Jan 14 2011, 09:23) QUOT...   Jan 14 2011, 11:00
|- - cyberdux   Further, to fix the tags in my DG FLAC purchases (...   Jan 14 2011, 20:10
||- - exalaskan   QUOTE (cyberdux @ Jan 14 2011, 13:10) Fur...   Jan 27 2011, 18:56
|- - spoon   QUOTE (dvdr @ Jan 14 2011, 11:00) Deutsch...   Feb 10 2013, 13:30
- - Billytheonion   If one is paying top dollar for music downloads on...   Jan 14 2011, 01:06
- - cyberdux   Agreed. The metadata is pathetic (miserably inadeq...   Jan 14 2011, 01:43
- - Nessuno   QUOTE (dvdr @ Jan 14 2011, 00:01) ... I h...   Jan 14 2011, 08:43
|- - dvdr   QUOTE (Nessuno @ Jan 14 2011, 08:43) QUOT...   Jan 19 2011, 12:57
- - Northpack   As long as illegal downloads have better metadata ...   Jan 14 2011, 11:39
|- - Polouess   QUOTE (Northpack @ Jan 14 2011, 12:39) W...   Jan 14 2011, 11:49
- - iwok   I have just bought and downloaded the same set of ...   Feb 10 2013, 13:08
- - DonP   I'd guess the online databases are based on th...   Feb 10 2013, 14:06
- - pawelq   They just don't care. I use Spotify, and class...   Feb 10 2013, 17:44
|- - krabapple   They do seem to be running a haphazard online shop...   Feb 10 2013, 20:11
- - pcmhfx   Two days ago, I made my first (last?) purchase of ...   Feb 20 2013, 03:10
|- - mjb2006   QUOTE (pcmhfx @ Feb 19 2013, 19:10) I...   Feb 20 2013, 23:40
- - mixminus1   Universal owns Decca...   Feb 20 2013, 03:23
|- - cyberdux   QUOTE (mixminus1 @ Feb 20 2013, 12:23) Un...   Feb 20 2013, 04:00
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (cyberdux @ Feb 20 2013, 04:00) tha...   Feb 20 2013, 11:59
- - cyberdux   Porcus, I would love to do that but I think mjb200...   Feb 21 2013, 09:45
- - Porcus   Well you can still do it for the Hydrogenaudio lau...   Feb 21 2013, 12:43
- - cyberdux   QUOTE (Porcus @ Feb 21 2013, 21:43) Well ...   Feb 21 2013, 22:56

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