Friday, February 08, 2008

Does Number of Albums equals to Good Selection?

Do numbers really matter? When it comes to mp3 websites, do the number of albums a music store claims to offer corresponds with the quality of the music selection? One of the readers did a small research with a band I'd never heard of, the "Flying Burrito Brothers", to find this out - with interesting results.

He decided to take a look and see just which sites even offer their albums, and which sites don't. You should take into account that using a single band as the deciding factor about the quality of the catalog on a website isn't really fair; however, I think it's a good approach - and it should probably be done regularly. In fact, if enough comparisons are done using semi-obscure artists, I believe it will be easier to identify the sites that are mainly interested in stocking mainstream music (like Linkin Park, or Madonna) rather than the less well-known (like Adrian Legg, or Live).

A quick Wikipedia check shows that the Flying Burrito Brothers have 10 regular albums, 8 live albums, and 4 compilation albums. When searching, the aouthor decided to disallow individual tracks on other compilations (like a country-western CD with a single track of theirs). Let's see how all of these sites stack up against each other:

Site Site Albums Burrito Brothers
Burrito Brothers
Burrito Brothers
?? 0 0 0
JustMusicStore 159,890 0 0 0
MP3Fiesta 65,097 5 4 1
MP3Sugar 49,866 0 0 0
35,781 2 0 0
59,890 0 0 0
MP3Search 40,313 2 0 0
MP3Sale 86,029 0 0 1
MP3Stor 76,396 3 0 0
MP3Ninja ?? 0 0 0
1 0

At least, it is clear that the winner here is MP3Fiesta. Surprisingly though, JustMusicStore (with it's whopping 160,000 albums) didn't have a single track by them - and neither did MP3Ninja or iSound.

LegalSounds and MP3Sugar both had at least one track, but no albums.

He also conducted a second search using the artist "Adrian Legg", and came up with far fewer results: only LegalSounds and MP3Sale had any albums by him at all; the rest came up negative.

"Who cares about these guys that I've never even heard of before?" you might be wondering. I suppose the point is this: if you are interested in obscure artists or albums, simply going for the music provider with the largest number in the "Albums" category might not be the way to go. You'll certainly want to do a search ahead of time if you need to get your Flying Burrito Brothers fix.

Thanks to Rob for the researches. We will continue with this exciting activity and will keep you updated.

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