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Apple iTMS TV show quality review

This is an old review I wrote and never posted, but it’s still relevant today. My conclusion is up to date for 2011.

Having just purchased and watched seasons 1 and 2 of The Tudors from iTunes (I missed them on Showtime), I was searching the net for other peoples thoughts on the quality of these TV shows. One review I came across was from, concering iTunes quality vs Bit Torrent. Since their blog post in 2005, Apple seems to have upped the standard of their TV show offerings.

I’m be the first to admit that I’m an Apple fan, with my Mac laptop the primary downloader of these TV Shows, syncing to my iPhone and also viewing the shows via front row on my Mac Mini. It’s the viewing of these on the Mac Mini I will review.

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Melbourne underground band Asbestos Garage

Asbestos Garage Logo

As regular readers of my blog will know, I’m a fan of metal, progressive rock and a bit of eighties rock. The other day I had the chance to speak to the lead singer of Asbestos Garage, a Melbourne based band. Neon Kessler told me of their aspirations to bring glam rock back to Melbourne, and not one of mega-concerts – but something you can enjoy at your local pub. With the up-coming Def Leppard concert in Melbourne this appears to be the right time to do so.

The band is currently promoting their fantastic T-Shirts to raise the funds to go on tour possibly some time in the near future. I personally will be buying the black design.

I’m looking forward to hearing their 2007 promo/demo track “The Will To Breathe“, which can hopefully be released on an independent label soon. Neon advised it is planned as their opening track on their EP “Fire Proof Rock“.

If by chance a music label reads this you can contact the band on the email neon at asbestos garage dot com.

Bigpond (Telstra) start selling MP3 Music

A big surprise is an announcement today that Bigpond Music (A Telstra owned service) has from today started offering tracks in MP3 format. This is a move away from the DRM windows media format that all their songs were sold as.

When Bigpond started offering music sales a few years ago I was an early adopter and purchased music from their offerings. However it soon became obvious that the windows media DRM was a difficult beast to deal with. Windows users know only too well the pain of having to rebuild/reinstall a bloated operating system; the licensing for the Bigpond music files where often lost if you rebuilt windows and did NOT backup your DRM licences.

So I took the lesser of two evils and signed up to the Apple iTunes Music Store (iTMS), where although under a DRM system the licencing was more relaxed (5 Computers, unlimited iPods, burn to CD). Apple, specifically Steve Jobs, wrote about the restrictiveness that is Digital Rights Management, and soon thereafter started offering MP3 downloads. It took the music studios to start understanding the whole premise that DRM was not where the future lay.

Fast forward to August 2008, and today Telstra’s Now We Are Talking site has announced that MP3s are now on offer from Bigpond Music. Not only are they now DRM free, but they encode at a minimum of 256Kbps and up to 320Kbps for their audio tracks. For the end user this means close to if not indistinguishable from CD audio quality. The procrastinators I know who have shunned digital music no longer have an excuse to legally purchase their music.


Pricing is the same as the iTMS being AUD$1.69 per track and a similar price for albums. Downloads for Bigpond internet customers are also uncharged for data usage. A double bonus for some.

While I think purchasing music in this fashion is a good thing for the end user; if you care about the artists you should consider Magnatune. You wont find the latest top 10 tracks there but you will find fantastic music where the artist gets a large amount of the purchase price. They also allow you to pay an amount you choose for an album, or sign up for monthly unlimited downloads and streaming.

You can start purchasing MP3 music from Bigpond Music right away. Although it is not the entire catalogue for now, this is a correct step for Telstra in the right direction. Music sales figures do not lie!

Somewhere Back in Time

I have a short video I took of the Somewhere in Time Tour. It’s from the Powerslave guitar solo as played in Sydney. If you were at either of the events this should bring back some good memories!

For a review of the evening in Melbourne, synultima has a blow by blow review over @

On a side note, some bloke taped a bootleg copy of the 9th Feb show – you can get it while you can, but I can’t condone that.

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