Like with anything else in music industry there are general negative or positive tendencies and there are the very specific and very barbaric efforts of selected individuals who are far out of margins. The case to point my recent events with Pennsylvania company Arkivmusic.com.
The example I would give you is not just feedback of the pissed customer but the illustration of VERY emblematic behaved of the entire industry where an ignorant fool in basemen with his laptop suddenly become the “Joseph the provider”, courtesy to Mann…
I need to say that I dolt with Arkivmusic many times before and they are good company. Their Amazon orders are very accurately shipped and they do fine whatever is expected from them. So, a few days back I got a few relatively rare CDs from Arkivmusic for some friends of mine and for myself and I was surprised that the CD did not look like it was original CD but they look like very cheap counterfeit.
The booklet were printed in bobble-jet printer with crooked an unfocused text and the CDs themselves were the not the commercial printed CD but the easy-scratchble CRW burned. The disk was made to “look” like DG but they not near close. The Arkive CDWs did not sound even near close to the original DG (I do have the original CDs), the sound is flat, compressed with all-eaten harmonic and dynamic inflictions and with stripping any more or less meaningful tonal characteristics. Furthermore the Arkive CDs do not play on the any of my CD players. I was trying 8 different CD players/transports, starting from top of the line high-end transports and ending up with my car changer and CD walkman. Some of the tracks are playable on PC but even on PC the Schuricht Bruckner’s 8th Symphonies for some reasons turned out to have only two movements and Giulini Bruckner’s 7th has Scherzo as last movement.
I did complain to Amazon’s fraud department and here is what I get from Arkivmusic:
“An ArkivCD is a reissue of an out-of-print or otherwise generally unavailable recording. It is produced by ArkivMusic and fully authorized through licensing agreements with the original record label. The music on the disc is exactly the same as the original and has not been processed or altered in any way. ArkivCDs come in a standard jewel case with packaging that faithfully reproduces the cover art and tray card (back art) of the original release, as well as booklets with liner notes. Our Arkiv CD's include a printed spine that is clearly legible on a CD shelf, making for an attractive item that we are pleased and proud to be able to offer to our customers. All ArkivCDs are made from high-quality CD-R media that will play in all standard CD players. As a result of our innovative On Demand process, the CD and packaging are produced after your order is placed on ArkivMusic.com. ArkivCDs are usually ready within 3-5 business days.”
OK, first off all let clearly understand that I am not batching about by bad CDs. Amazon has great customer protection and they did issued the return authorization. It is not the point. The point is the general tendency that is very indication in this case. Here are some points.
1) If there an agreement (I doubt BTW and I would like to contact the authorities and to clear it up) between ArkivMusic and EMI, DG and so on for the ArkivMusic (or alike companies) to reproduce the CDs then nether EMI or DG has knowledge that ArkivMusic make very much inferior products and use EMI and DG publicity to sell the inferior products.
2) The ArkivMusic is basement sweatshop and their CD cope the do not make from EMI’s and DG’s dubs masters but by coping the EMI’s and DG’s commercial CDs. For that the idiots from ArkivMusic need to have their hands to be cut off and the executives from EMI and DG who presumable allow them to do it need to have this stupid heads to be cut off.
3) The cost of “rare” CD that are long out of production of were printed by very small number might be high. Still if ArkivMusic inject into market a tone of counterfeited CDs that are made by “legitimate” coping then what they do selling the CD as they are “rare”? By definition if ArkivMusic do CD coping then none of the ArkivMusic CD are considered as “rare” and must cost no more than any other CD burns that has no value.
The ArkivMusic practice must be stopped as it is objectively not only vandalized music but also fool most of the people who are not so conscientious to what they buy and they get as result. I am very convinced that if even ArkivMusic did found some kind of legal loophole (like archiving copy reproduction and the similar crap) and if any of the authorities from EMI and DG would see and hear what the ArkivMusic doe then would get absolutely furies. I am not saying that EMI or DG are a sigh of some kind of quality but they do have some commonly expected norms and quality control. What ArkivMusic burns is orders of magnitude less acceptable and if ArkivMusic wouls like to run own label then it is fine but the ArkivMusic CD MUST NOT BE SOLD as they are EMI or DG CD.
I would like to say the buyer be aware of the new ArkivMusic CDs but to be aware of what? If ArkivMusic inject into the market own fakes, it is what they are doing now, then all bets are off to buy even used CDs online will be dangers as it always might be the crap from ArkivMusic. All above a great illustration how very specific and very deliberate actions industry participants destroy any credibility of the industry. For quite a long time I am proud to be a critic of shops like so popular among some regards Pristine Record for instance, primary because the Sound Pristine makes and because the company is being run by human waste. Still, Pristine clearly labels own CD as Pristine, so if one consider that Pristine do not have acceptable sound then she/he has option do not buy the CD. ArkivMusic music does not do it and this CD are made to be confused with EMI or DG commercial CDs. This is very bad and considering that the industry is being run by idiots I can see the number of the cases like ArkivMusic growing.
Romy the Cat