I picked up the Condo Fucks album on vinyl, "why not, " I thought. I like using my record player. I like to think that records can carry a greater sound than a CD is capable of and whenever I see an album on vinyl now a days I am more likely to pick it up. I also a huge Yo La Tengo fan, and since Condo Fucks is Yo La Tengo creating a mythology, well why not. And also the record clearly stated a full download of the album! "Awesome," I thought. I can now totally get a crappy encoded version of the album to go along with my really hifi version of the album and I’ll be set! Usually that little sticker on the outside of a record will sell me on buying it. As long as I know I don’t have to do too much extra work to convert this album to mp3 or whatever format then I’m pretty close to being sold. You know, letting the vinyl gather dust and listen to the crappy quality recording but! that vinyl is going to be in excellent condition, and then who’ll have the last laugh!! Still, not me. I side tracked there, sorry.
Return home and promptly (7 days later) open up the album. Excitedly I scurry over to my computer holding the card from inside the sleeve with all the instructions necessary to claim my prize. It’s like opening up the cracker jack surprise package to find a smaller less flavorful cracker jack inside. "Oh boy," I thought. The download finished, the file was uncompressed and the folder was open. And there was no album. There were two files:
Condo Fucks – Straight Outta Connecticut.mp4 – A 4 minute and 40 second tribute to the Condo Fucks in sort of a The Band That Would Be King style…if the Fucks were real that is.
And the second file:
Condo_fucks_sorry.doc – A little letter telling you that well since these songs are all covers we can’t let you download them. We can make you pay for them. We can tell you that we’re going to give you to them. Flat out fucking lie to you so that you purchase one version of your product. Well fuck you Matawhore records. And what the fuck Yo La Tengo?? You’re actually fine with this? I have to believe this since it’s your fucking product. Just because it’s produced under a pseudonym does not relieve you from your integrity, especially since most of the people buying this fucking album are your fans. Way to fuck us over. It’s not like you guys are trying to hide the concert, you appear to be proud of it. It’s not an Alan Smithee credit! So what the fuck!?
So all that aside, the part that really bugs me more than anything for some odd reason is that the sorry file is a Microsoft Word document. Now I know that the office suite is one of the most popular products in general, and that there are other programs that read doc files and all but shit! Put it in a format that is readable by everyone no matter who opened it. There was a photo in the doc, which I guess is the reason that it was made a doc but the same thing can be done with an html file easily, just to name one of the many ways that are much more universally comparable than a doc especially when you have to go to a web site in order to download it all. Or just a txt file and a gif or jpg or bmp! I mean there are so many ways to do it without having to use a proprietary format! And the damn video was in mp4 format! Another highly proprietary format! I mean that part is pretty funny that the two files are in formats specialized by two of the biggest rivals (Microsoft and Apple), but I hate having mp4 files even with a Mac. I’ve gotten used to them over the years but I still don’t prefer them unless it is specifically to be transferred to a portable device
I haven’t listened to the album yet. Once I do I’ll let you know how it is.