Pando

In praise of things that just work: Armageddon Eve edition

By Paul Bradley Carr , written on November 7, 2016

From The Politics Desk

Tomorrow, either the world will end or it won’t.

If you haven’t decided by now to help make Hillary Clinton the first female president of the United States, and the most qualified of either gender to take that office, then stop kidding yourself: You’re helping to elect Donald Trump.

There’s really not much more to be said. Not now, and not by this particular Brit who isn’t even eligible to vote. Either America will do the right thing, or you crazy fuckers will make a mistake of such historic and self-destructive proportions that it’ll make Brexit look like a typo.

If last minute urging is what you’re after, by all means close this window and visit any other news site on the planet.

Instead of adding to the noise, I’ve decided today -- Armageddon Eve, let’s call it -- would be the perfect time for another faith-restoring episode of my series: Things On The Internet That Are Delightful.

In previous installments, I wrote about Delete.ly and Rinse.

Today, it’s the turn of online music retailer Murfie.

One of the last things the Internet needs is another music download or streaming service. In fact, the only thing it needs less is another CD retailer. And yet, Wisconsin based Murfie is wonderful and brilliant despite being both of those things.

In a nutshell, Murfie (which has raised  $1.4 million and is part of TechStars) sells second hand CD albums for about a dollar. Inventory includes a whole bunch of special editions and hard to find discs that aren’t easily available digitally. So far so cute, and cheap.

Here’s the fun part: Once you’ve bought your CD, you can either have it shipped to you ($3.99) or Murfie will instantly rip the entire album in FLAC (CD quality, much better than MP3) format. You can immediately download it (as a ZIP) or stream it via Murfie’s proprietary player or via services like Sonos. I bought a dozen or so albums yesterday and the average time from purchase to streaming/downloading was less than five minutes.

Fuck iTunes with its $9.99 albums. Murfie offers FLAC downloads of mainstream and hard to find albums for a buck. Five bucks if you want the plastic disc mailed to you as well.

It’s so good it sounds like it should be illegal. In fact, Murfie skirts just on the right side of copyright law: You’re buying the actual CD so the high quality ripping and streaming is just for your personal use. It’s exactly the same as ordering a second hand CD and ripping it yourself, except far, far easier, and -- I can’t emphasise this enough -- you can download an entire album for a dollar. That’s better, faster and cheaper than a thrift store.

In the unlikely event that Murfie doesn’t have the CD you’re looking for, you can order it from Amazon, eBay or wherever you like and have it delivered directly to Murfie for ripping and streaming. And you can mail them your existing CD collection for the same purpose.

Yeah, I know, all the albums in the world won’t drown out the sound of jackboots if Donald Trump wins the election. But on today of all days, it’s nice to be reminded that there are places on the Internet you can visit and come away happier than you went in. Murfie is one of those places.

Vote Hillary.