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.
Download the album at Walter Becker's website.