• Downloading Circus Money Directly From Walter Becker



     

    It's not often that I purchase something sight unseen. Purchasing music is a completely different story however. Tonight I finally got around to downloading the new Walter Becker album Circus Money. I hadn't heard a single note of this album before purchasing the FLAC download. I took an educated guess that I would like the music and that the recording quality would be excellent. Well I'm two for two on this one! Read more for a little information on the release and some screenshots from the whole download experience from Walter's website.

    Walter is offering the FLAC lossless version, as well as an mp3 compressed version, directly from his website. The album release date isn't until Tuesday, June 10 in North America and July 14 internationally. If you purchase the FLAC version you can download it instantly right now before the physical disc is released.

    Since this is not an album review I won't get into all the gritty details. I will say after listening to the album continuously tonight I really like the music and the sound quality. The songs are very laid back with a great mix of instruments and backing vocals. As usual Becker has insured excellent sound quality. Circus Money was mastered by Bernie Grundman at Bernie Grundman Mastering.

    The process of downloading purchased music ranges from simple to c'mon how in the hell does this work. Downloading from Walter Becker's website was very easy but wasn't without one annoyance. i was able to select all the songs, cover art, and liner notes to download at once. However, before each song downloaded the Flash application used for the downloading process asked where I wanted to save the file. I'm not sure why anyone wold save songs from the same album in different locations. Plus you could always move the files if you really needed. Anyway, saving twelve songs, one cover photo, and the liner notes really wasn't that bad. I just want to let everyone know about the process.

    Once I downloaded the whole album of 16 bit / 44.1 kHz FLAC files I used Max to convert them to AIFF files of the same resolution. Then I added them to my iTunes library on my Thecus 5200B Pro NAS unit and moved the original FLAC files to a backup directory on my local laptop hard drive.

    Here are some screenshots of the download process.


    Walter Becker Circus money Download Experience
    click to enlarge


     


    Walter Becker Circus money Download Experience
    click to enlarge


     


    Walter Becker Circus money Download Experience
    click to enlarge


     


    Walter Becker Circus money Download Experience
    click to enlarge


     


    Walter Becker Circus money Download Experience
    click to enlarge


     


    Walter Becker Circus money Download Experience
    click to enlarge


     


    Walter Becker Circus money Download Experience
    click to enlarge


     


    Walter Becker Circus money Download Experience
    click to enlarge


     

    Download the album at Walter Becker's website.
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Hey Jim - Max is an OS X only app. Try using db Poweramp to convert the FLAC to another format. There are about five million other PC apps that will accomplish this as well.
    1. markr's Avatar
      markr -
      .. Steely Dan fans UNITE for digital downloads. This is about as good as 16/44.1 gets. Natural. Airy. Soundstage. Pick your adjective. I'm glad Chris prodded me to go ahead and download this. I was unfamiliar with Walter's solo work. I'm going to go back and find all I can. REALLY good - and good sounding - album IMO.<br />
      <br />
      markr
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Hey Mark - I'm glad you wound up downloading it. You did sound a little hesitant at first :-)<br />
      <br />
      This is one of those albums that I can listen to critically and love it and also listen to while I am just hanging out and love it.<br />
      <br />
      Nothing but pleasant surprises with this one!
    1. markr's Avatar
      markr -
      ... starting the album over and haven't even converted it from FLAC to AIF yet.... c'mon people listen to THIS one. .... lovin' it.<br />
      <br />
      markr
    1. Gonzo1's Avatar
      Gonzo1 -
      Agreed. This is an incredibly fresh and yet familiar offering from Walter. Where else will you hear a bass clarinet in a reggae song!!!!????
    1. dogdogj's Avatar
      dogdogj -
      Chris - I'm the developer who actually wrote the flash downloader for Walter Becker's store - thank you so much for the wonderful comments! In regards to your one complaint, please understand that one inherent limitation of the Flash platform is that whenever it is instructed to download a file to the user's computer, and for each and every file it attempts to download, it will prompt the user for a place to put said download. This is largely for security reasons - if it didn't prompt the user, less scrupulous developers could write flash apps that would pour all manner of crap onto your hard drive while you would be none the wiser. I agree that it's an annoyance, but I hope this comment will give you a better understanding of the reasons for it.<br />
      <br />
      Thanks again!<br />
      -Jeremy
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Hey Jeremy - I can't thank you enough for explaining the reason behind my one minor annoyance. I think consumers are so used to "The Man" telling them how it is going to be and offering no reasons for it. It is really refreshing that you took the time to post on Computer Audiophile and actually provide some usable information.<br />
      <br />
      Thanks again Jeremy!
    1. markr's Avatar
      markr -
      Both for stopping by here and for being involved with such a great project as Circus Money and ensuring that it gets to the fans safely for it and the customer's computer.. i am really enjoying the album. I really couldn't have asked more for the download experience either now that I know the reasoning for the pauses.<br />
      <br />
      I you get the chance, tell Walter to NEVER stop doing this stuff! We love it and want more and better works and resolutions from this team of obviously greatly talented people.<br />
      <br />
      markr
    1. cornishmanc's Avatar
      cornishmanc -
      As much as I love Steely Dan's music it hacks me off that he wants to charge as much for a digital download as a physical CD AND the download doesn't get the 13th track. It's petty and it's annoying. These kind of annoyances put me off dealing directly with a musician's site.
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Hey cornishmanc - Welcome to Computer Audiophile. I agree that not including the 13th track is a big downer. But, I have no problem with the price. Instant access certainly is worth something to me. Also, as I'm sure you know, the infrastructure to sell downloads is not cheap to put in place and maintain.<br />
      <br />
      The price of music does not bother me in general either. $15 can't get you anything that brings as much enjoyment as music and you can listen to the music over and over and over without limits. Contrast that with going to see a movie or spending $15 on food.<br />