• Tune downloads now available here!
We have been wanting to offer downloads for a long time; but as you might imagine, with about 400 tunes in our archives, this was a big project. Even bigger because retooling for this purpose affected many areas of the site that all had to be redesigned to work together properly. (In the process, we made a number of other site improvements that will greatly enhance your experience here in ways beyond just downloading. More about these below...)
The downloads you get are high quality MP3s (192 kbps, compared to 48 kbps for the streaming demos). Many of my tunes that were previously unavailable in any form can now be downloaded! Some tunes that we do not have full rights to are not downloadable at this time, but we are working to clear as many of these as possible for future use. Note that not all my downloadable tunes are available at once; they must be in rotation on one of the various music pages to be accessible. About half of the 400 or so tunes in our archive are in rotation at any given time... But thanks to our new automatic page updates (more about this below), all of the tunes will be coming onto these pages on a regular basis. (You’ll just have to come back a few times to collect ‘em all!)
To download a tune or album: if you see a download pick-link (as pictured at left) next to an item, simply click on this to purchase the download; you will be taken to the secure Payloadz.com shopping cart; continue shopping until you have gathered all the tunes and/or albums you want to download, then complete the purchase with either your credit card or your Paypal account. Your transaction will be completed via Paypal and you can immediately download your new goodies! (The exact process is easy and self-explanatory.)
Note the two distinct types of purchase links used on this site: the green pick with the arrow pointing down is ALWAYS for downloads, which are all fulfilled via Payloadz.com; the yellow pick with the shopping cart is ALWAYS for “real” CD purchases, which are all fulfilled (as before) via ccnow.com.
The cost of downloading an album is less than that of purchasing the same “real” CD, and you can download free cover art (via the catalog page) to go with downloaded albums. So: should you download our albums, or should you purchase our pre-packaged CDs? We can’t answer that for you; but now you DO have a choice.
• So, what else is new around here?
You’ll notice that our catalog page has been streamlined and simplified. The express lane (on the right side) allows you to instantly purchase either a download or a “real” CD of any of the albums pictured to the left. But the real fun starts when you click on one of the album cover thumbnails; this will bring up a special album page (click here for sample) that includes everything we’ve got pertaining to that album:
• a full size pic of the cover
• a thorough description of the album
• reviews (if available) of the album
• links for streaming samples of every tune on the album
• links for downloading tunes from the album
• links for purchasing a download or a “real” CD of the full album
• a link to download cover art for the album (fit’s standard CD case)
• a link to download additional liner info for the album
We have also added some new music pages (see the revised pick-menu at the bottom of this page) bringing our total to TWENTY (!) specialty pages where you can listen to (and now purchase) tunes. The Surfaris now have their own page; there is a new page dedicated to country flavored tunes, and another with tunes that relate to my Christian faith. (That’s why we call these specialty music pages—there are twenty different options with twenty specialized playlists.)
We’ve also made these additional improvements to the music pages:
• One-click “play ‘em all” function plays entire page (like a CD)
• direct link to album page (if tune is available on one of our albums)
• sharper looking, with larger image icons
• more info included; each tune’s year of recording is displayed
AND! ...you may have been frustrated in the past (as I have been) over my utter failure (I admit it!) to live up to my well-intentioned promise to regularly UPDATE the content of these music pages... My excuse is that I just wasn’t able to find time for this task. I’ve been ridiculously busy, and the process of changing tunes on even one page (let alone twenty) was so time-consuming that it just didn’t get done. But take heart – those days are over! We have created a new pre-programmed automatic page updater that takes care of this for me! In fact, every page will now get a whole new batch of tunes installed once every month. And since each of the twenty pages gets updated on a unique day of the month, do the math and you’ll see that music content will be changing somewhere on the site on an almost daily basis! (The specific day of the month that the tune selection on any given page will change is displayed on that page, in the lower-right portion of the info area just below the “play ‘em all” button.)
A word about the player: many of you have told me how much you have enjoyed that nifty juke box we’ve used to play the tunes on the music pages. For you, this will be sad news... the juke box is gone. This was actually an integral part of our former streaming setup, when all my MP3s were stored (and played) over at my friend Mel Spinella’s Golly Gee Records site. (That’s his juke box!) When I was just starting the site, he generously provided this service to save me the huge job of putting a streaming system together myself. But with the current upgrade, we have had to do just that: create a whole new on-site streaming system with our own in-house player.
On the plus side: even though it may not be as “cute” as the juke box, our player plays the tunes quicker, and it enables us to do a very important thing the juke box couldn’t do... it can play a whole list of tunes without your having to “drop a new coin in the slot” for each one. This is how we can now offer the “play ‘em all” feature on each of our twenty music pages, whereby you can have a 30+ minute listening experience on each page with just one click!
It’s pretty amazing when you think about it: we provide the equivalent of twenty CDs at a time for you to play at your leisure, and every day or two one of them is exchanged for a new one with a fresh mix of tunes! (That’s our automatic page updater in action...) So I hope you will agree that our new player has some real advantages that make it a wonderful asset to the site.