I am disappointed as well. You can go to iTunes and download the album for $9.99, put it on your OWN CD-R, and print up a nice cover for it for the same or less and there is NO wait time or shipping involved. It also looks like there are no special extras worth getting it this way. I understand this is a way to keep the costs down, but it also feels cheap and makes the fans look like they would buy anything Joss puts out even if it is of very low quality.
I know, I agree that the CD-R feels very cheap and I wish that they would put in a little more money to have a nice CD manufactured and maybe even add some bonus content, like demos or maybe the new musical commentary track.
But, for those people like myself, who are concerned with high quality and maintaining the original form of artistic work (and maybe also concerned with some OCD but I do admit it), buying this will be worth it because the quality will be significantly better than any CD-R that you can make yourself from the lower quality compressed audio files that you get from iTunes. I've waited for months for Joss Whedon and co. to put out a CD because I really dislike downloading from iTunes, and the fact that it's a CD-R isn't going to stop me now! =P
"it also feels cheap and makes the fans look like they would buy anything Joss puts out even if it is of very low quality."
The whole beauty behind Dr. Horrible is that it is "cheap". Production money for "higher quality" media means production company interference. Avoidance of that coupled with high quality actual content is what makes this venture unique.
I mean, the webisodes were distributed FREE in the first place, and Joss put extra production work into the DVD.
The soundtrack is just the soundtrack, it really doesn't need to be fancy.
I will buy it because it is such a unique thing. Of course the cd and dvds are going to be produced by Amazon's Burn on Demand. There was no studio involved in this and the actor's are going to be paid by the revenue generated from these two products. I'm perfectly willing to support this if it means we can get some unique creative work like this from Joss again in the future.
"It also looks like there are no special extras worth getting it this way."
Maybe you didn't read the description of what's included with the CD: Liner notes include lyrics, production photos, and a special note from Joss Whedon.
Those seem like special enough extras to me that it was worth the wait to get the soundtrack this way versus buying from itunes. Now I can burn it to my ipod and have the "special extras" you don't think exist.
I didn't buy the CD, but did get the DVD. While its product page also says it is being produced on DVD-R, my copy appears to be a pressed disc. The data side is silver, not blue or purple, and it says "DR HORRIBLE DVD" in the burst area which cannot be written with a DVD burner.
Has anyone gotten their CD yet, and can offer any similar observations about that disc?
EDIT: I just had to order this CD--can't get enough of the music. :)
I'm happy to report that my CD, like my DVD, is also a pressed disc. Silver back, "DR HORRIBLE CD" in the burst area, etc.
I agree with L. Smith. I'm just happy that they managed to offer us a dvd and cd at all. These webisodes were offered for free. I'm glad to give a little back in order to enjoy the creativity and enthusiasm put into this project. I don't need a fancily produced product. It's the content that matters. It's not like Dr. Horrible is full of widescreen pans of gorgeous scenery that should be viewed in the highest quality possible. When I watch my dvd it looks fine, I laugh at the jokes, I sing along to the songs and I'm happy. Seriously, what more could you want? I definitely plan on buying the cd.
itunes is cheating you though. your purchasing compressed quality audio then putting it on cd-r. this is like putting a 480p video to blu ray. i'm disgruntled as the next person regarding cd-r on demand but atleast it gives the fans the music they want in lossless quality for a cheap price, which to the studio label probably would never release otherwise.
Yeah, I mean I'm willing to buy iTunes or Amazon MP3s because you actually CAN buy them now (no activation), but even still if I want a whole album, I'd sooner buy it on CD both because you get a backup and case art, and also for the higher quality audio. Heck, I rip it to my iPod in higher quality settings than iTunes/Amazon MP3 uses.
I am semi-concerned about the longevity of CD/DVD-Rs though compared to normal commercial products...but then that's another argument against using downloads.
I don't purchase downloadable music. I hate and don't use Ipods. I perfer my music purchasing by CD only. A CD-R...forget it, I can easily go get a torrent copy and burn it myself for free. I record my music on minidiscs. If Amazon sent me a CD-R copy i will immediately send it back and ask "What the hell did you send me?" "I purchased a CD not a copy!"
As a lifetime collector of great music and the 'work' of artists in creating and manufacturing music, I find the idea of purchasing "manufactured on demand" CD's or DVD's to be quite objectionable on many levels. These are just a few off the top of my head on the spur of the moment:
1. You do not have "the real deal". No matter HOW you look at it, it's piracy...only this time, who is getting ripped off is YOU (the buyer) as you are NOT getting what you paid for. 2. These cheap immitations for the 'the real deal' will only make the collections of those of us who have collected for years, worth less, if certain CD's, LP's and DVD's can be purchased and manufactured on demand!! (There is really NO WAY TO GET AROUND THIS ARGUEMENT!) 3. You get cheap graphics printed on cheap paper, your CD has NO proper labeling, your CD (since it is a poorly burned "copy" of a "copy" is more than likely going to deteriorate after time so, you'll be no better off than if you bought a crappy download of questionable quality and content. 4. Amazon.com, The Record Label, and the Artist, ALL KNOW that this is a rip off...this is WHY the notation that you're going to recieve a "manufactured on demand" disc is small, out of the way on the information about the product your buying, and is no where NEAR big enough or predominant enough for you to know you're getting ripped off BEFORE you buy it so I'd recommend that if you don't want the product, after you buy it, opened, unopened or otherwise, I would send it back IMMEDIATELY and demand a FULL, uncontested REFUND. If they really were on the up and up about this process, the'd have no problem putting that disclaimer that this is a manufactured on demand product, up front, in bold print and MAKE SURE you know exactly what you are purchasing and not trying to trick you into buying something that is NOT WHAT YOU EXPECTED. If and when I ever get one of these hideous CD's or DVD's, either by my own error of not reading ALL the fine print, or if that is all that becomes available AFTER i made the order, I will cease and decist ordering from Amazon.com, once and for all. I have better things to spend my time and money on than cheap rip offs and cheesy downloads with no artwork or inserts. Thanks Anyway, BUT, I'LL TAKE THE REAL DEAL OR NOTHING... I hope that Artists are paying attention to the dislike of these products as well!!! We do not want them and do not welcome them.
So, IF YOU ARE A COLLECTOR AND WANT A REAL COPY OF THE CD OR DVD, KNOW TO READ ALL THE FINE PRINT BEFORE CLICKING. If you order an item that is manufactured on demand, you are more than likely going to get a cheaply and quickly produced copy of the CD or DVD you are ordering, with little artwork (if any) and no inserts or extras and what you will get is printed on cheap paper w/ standard jet printer ink that will fade after a brief amount of time, as well. Your CD or DVD quality will dissapate after a time making your purchase worthless, so BUYER BEWARE....This is NOT the product you want and it is NOT manufactured by the record label.
These items are OVERPRICED and are little more than Amazon.com making you a cheap, cheesy, copy like your friends used to do for a lot less. How an artist can any artist of any kind of talent and integrity agree to this 'treatment' of their creative property is beyond me and I don't think I want to be collecting their work any longer, either.
I'm sick of downloads and I'm sick of being ripped off. I don't want either, I want the 'real thing' or I'll take ALL my business elsewhere!
SHAME ON YOU AMAZON FOR TRYING TO RIP US OFF EVEN MORE! If you don't have the real deal, take the product off the market!!!! THESE ARE NOT GOOD PRODUCTS....
DO NOT BUY THEM!!! I would definately check other avenues of buying the products you want from other places before I'd purchase one of these cheap copies that are NOT the real thing. I think I'd actually PREFER an old scratched up LP to one of these...at least I KNOW I'd be holding something that will last a lifetime and always be "THE REAL DEAL!"
I'm most worried about the discs dying sooner or later. Supposedly those M-Discs (these: http://www.m-disc.com/m-disc/ ) last indefinitely, and if they were using THOSE it might be just fine...but regular CD/DVD-Rs are supposed to only last maybe months to 10 years tops.
Do we know for a fact that Amazon (or whoever is making the CD-Rs for Amazon) is using the full CD resolution sources to make these CD-Rs? I mean, they could be making them with the same decompressed MP3 files that they are selling alongside the on-demand CD-R.
I have no objections to buying an on-demand CD-R; I really care about the music and not about the packaging, liner notes, etc. I also don't really have concerns about the longevity of the medium; I have CD-Rs that I created almost 20 years ago that I can still play just fine. (An original Kodak CD writer; it was about the size of a small toaster oven, used a parallel SCSI interface, and the 60-minute blanks cost about $20 each. Those were the days :-)
What I've noticed is that with some of these that they're using what ever files they have at hand or copying it from a master disc that isn't always an original issue. For example, they have one where you can buy the MP3 tracks of a album that has been out of print for years and then you can buy the 'on demand' disc. Both of them are cut from the exact same master source (probably and old scratched up LP) and being sold or represented here as 'new' and unless you read the fine print, you'd never know. It's misrepresentation. They're not selling what they're advertising, they think putting a disclaimer on the page in print I'd have to use 4+ power reading glasses or a magnifying glass to see, is OK. It's not.
There should be a CLEAR NOTICE on the Amazon site stating that the item is a copy and an explanation of what the source of the (CD-R) copy is. In a generic page should list what steps are taken to maintain the original sources fidelity.
So far I have only a few CD-R on demand products (less than 5) and haven't had any major quality issues, however they may not meet the expectations of true audiophile listeners. People who buy CD's do so for good reasons, in my case: 1) Fidelity/Sound Quality 2) So I have a hard copy and the one the $money$ makers don't like -> 3) To avoid supporting the inferior quality disposable music culture (mp3) or lossless D.R.M. formats. Some online sellers offer wav or flac format which is much more agreeable to me, however they are too expensive and the source is often not disclosed.
Provided the source is lossless and is of good quality, the average purchaser can use modern technology (VST plugins etc) to fix small imperfections in on demand CD-R's if needed.
Discerning music listeners need to band together as a group and shout very loudly to stop record companies and online music sales outlets from foisting expensive, inferior and heavily copyright controlled digital music on them. This type of music is highly profitable for everyone except the end user, a real marketers dream! It wont be easy to get the snouts out of the troughs though...
1. This is not piracy. Amazon would go out of business if they were bypassing the intellectual property laws willfully. You can bet that the rights owners are getting compensated. How much of that pie goes to the artists in question could actually go up over time with this deal as production costs would go down.
2. Any reprinting of limited issue will make a collectible worth less. Making out of print material available again reduces the need for someone to search for another willing to part with the item. This has no bearing on whether the buyer buys "manufactured on demand" or not. It does imply that you can no longer count on collectibles to stay out of print for a given demand to be reached, they can now print for a single person.
3. Yes, the secondary materials (cover art, etc) are probably more cheaply printed. You aren't in a brick and mortar with them needing to compete on that front. It shouldn't impact the quality of the sound though, which is the primary product. Also, this is not magnetic media, it is plastic. Like any material it will age, but cared for properly it should last. At the risk of sounding condescending, you are on the internet and apparently have a valuable music collection. I recommend investing in a hard drive large enough to back it up to a lossless format so you can re-burn it at need and in a second (backup) hard drive (or better yet, backup to a web service for off-site backup).
4. This is not necessarily a rip off. It is evidently a cost cutting measure as many companies are doing. Smaller labels especially are going to be hit by the recession and looking for alternatives like this. Yes, given the option for the same product and price, I would prefer high quality packaging. If this removes barriers to artists however, I'm glad to see this. Less sure products will no longer have to forecast counts for production runs and potentially manufacture product that may take a long time to sell.
You have a valid gripe about pricing. As a cost cutting measure we should get a portion of that savings passed on to us. Not having bought CDs new for some time I can't say if this is the case. The one I am looking at is $10.
This is not a cheap, low-quality copy of an existing soundtrack that devalues the collections of people like you for whom the value of what they have (and others don't) seems to a main point - more so than the music, it seems. This product is the way Joss Whedon published his soundtrack without having to involve a large company for a little project he pulled through with friends and collagues that was originally offered for free on the internet. I'm very happy to have this CD, and by the way: The quality of the CD and booklet are excellent, I've played it hundreds of times without a glitch. I know of different cases (some of Warner Brothers DVD-R publications are extremely unreliable when it comes to quality), but this CD doesn't deserve such a negative comment.
If the CD-R is produced from a lossless source, I have no problem with this. I can copy it in lossless format to my computer, and compress it for portable use knowing that I won't get the fidelity problems that come from re-compressing a CD that was created from a compressed source to begin with. My question is: How do we know that the CD-R was manufactured from a lossless source? Has Amazon made a statement to that effect?
If Amazon is reproducing the album complete with booklet, and a quality recording, that is fine. They should HAVE to list their source for the material, what kind of process was used for the transfer, compression, what the product includes, and anything else the consumer might need to make an informed decision before purchasing. Otherwise I believe they are deceiving the buying public. Even if they have the right to do this and are paying royalties.