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Thread: iTunes and Universal Music Group classical releases

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    Default iTunes and Universal Music Group classical releases

    Hello,

    This isn't scientifically proven yet, but I've been having some noticeable but not necessary artifact issues with iTunes classical downloads of -- I have recently decided as a result of reviewing my iTunes Library purchases -- releases from labels under the Universal Music Group.

    Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, L'Oiseau-Lyre, all labels I've been familiar with since the 1960's (yes I'm that ancient).

    I love the music and the convenience of being able to purchase/backup via iTunes, but the sound issues are frustrating. And they are not intrinsic to iTunes; I have classical and other albums with delicate, pure tones recorded at low or high levels from other publishers on iTunes that are not demonstrating this artifact.

    The artifact is a specific, very quiet, "quaver" or "gargle" that is modulating sustained, pure notes at roughly a 1/32nd note frequency (it may be doing so to other notes, but is not noticeable in those cases) in a way that contaminates their purity, and makes them sound like they have the palsy.

    I've verified it is not equipment- or download- related, having used different hardware, transducers, re-downloaded the files, listened to previews of them streaming from the store, etc. I'm pretty sure it's not Parkinson's, either, as I never hear it on CD recordings, but it sure feels like it after hearing it for awhile!

    I've contacted customer support at Universal Music Group, and would contact Lucian Grainge himself about this if I knew how, as I am sure he'd care.

    I do hope it's something Universal can resolve, as there are many lovely recordings that sound quite good in AAC, and it's a real revolution to have the DG/Decca/L'Oiseau-Lyre catalogue on iTunes; but this particular artifactual annoyance can be quite distracting once you notice it.

    Just some information to review in case you end up running into anything similar.
    Last edited by Copperears; Nov-17-2013 at 22:58.

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    Senior Member quack's Avatar
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    You might be hearing UMG's watermark

    http://www.mattmontag.com/music/univ...ible-watermark
    The soft complaining flute in dying notes discovers the woes of hopeless lovers.

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    Yep, that's it.

    No more music from UMG for me, then! Thanks for the heads-up.

    I wonder whether I can get reimbursement for my purchases from iTunes, or UMG; will be looking into that next.

    I've gone for many years without refreshing my collection and never felt I missed much. I will now do that again.
    Last edited by Copperears; Nov-18-2013 at 18:30.

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    It's kind of scandalous that it isn't talked about more but then it is probably only audible in certain music such as a few classical pieces, although once you have an ear for it you will likely hear it everywhere. It's easily deniable by UMG, who can put it down to some encoding glitch while tweaking the algorithm a little more, and until a weight of consumers are complaining it will stay. The complaints aren't flooding in though and few are noticing, or putting it down to faulty equipment or tinnitus most likely. Meanwhile UMG are persecuting everyone with poor audio in some misguided attempt to conquer piracy.

    Good luck getting a refund, might be worth publishing it here if you do get a response.
    The soft complaining flute in dying notes discovers the woes of hopeless lovers.

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    Thanks, we'll see.

    As we used to say back in the day when TV was free: "if you don't like the programming, change the channel."

    There are plenty of other ways to get music from small, independent labels. I am increasingly, in my life, taking the strategy of sidestepping anything made by any large corporation, if I can. This is in food, clothing, housing, transportation, even; and certainly entertainment.

    There's an alternative economy out there that's growing rapidly, and it is going to leave the current one an empty skeleton ready to crumble into the dust.

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