Author Topic: On-line Stores & Sellers  (Read 248618 times)

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Offline Que

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Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #540 on: August 18, 2011, 12:18:44 PM »
Which reminds of a question I should have asked some time ago.  How is US Customs handled on foreign purchases.  Are there thresholds and limits?  Do I just get a bill in the mail.  (So far, the couple of overseas purchases I've made seem to have fallen under whatever radar Customs uses.  Or maybe I'll get some gigantic bill three months from now.)


You guys in the US are lucky, Dutch customs get their hands on everything, EVERYTHING. :'(

Q

Offline The new erato

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Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #541 on: August 18, 2011, 12:21:05 PM »


You guys in the US are lucky, Dutch customs get their hands on everything, EVERYTHING. :'(

Q
Yep, duty free CDs AND a budget deficit!

DavidW

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Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #542 on: August 18, 2011, 01:30:44 PM »


You guys in the US are lucky, Dutch customs get their hands on everything, EVERYTHING. :'(

Q

Well you can think about that again when you're placing another jpc order with free shipping! :D

Offline Coopmv

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Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #543 on: August 18, 2011, 05:59:47 PM »
Well you can think about that again when you're placing another jpc order with free shipping! :D

I think the relatively steep shipping fee charged by jpc for shipping to the US is in part mitigated by the elimination of the VAT.  But then we here in the US also get to buy some CD's that are not even available stateside.

Offline Que

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Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #544 on: August 18, 2011, 10:08:37 PM »
Well you can think about that again when you're placing another jpc order with free shipping! :D

I know, I know. ;D The efficiency of the custom services does mean that I hardly ever order outside of the EU, except for a single disc that wll stay below the threshold.

But frankly, practically anything is available in the EU and most hard-to-find tiny-tiny labels are European. So yes, I'm more than good. 8)
Of course apart from the fact that what you guys pay in dollars for a CD what Europeans pay in euros.... 8) (At least as long the euro is still worth anything - we might soon be forced to pay in Swiss franks or gold... ;D)

Q

karlhenning

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Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #545 on: August 19, 2011, 03:53:51 AM »
I know, I know. ;D The efficiency of the custom services does mean that I hardly ever order outside of the EU, except for a single disc that wll stay below the threshold.

Ah, prohibitive tarriffs, eh?  Free Trade not to the liking of our European brethren, wot? ; )

Offline Que

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Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #546 on: August 19, 2011, 01:57:55 PM »
Ah, prohibitive tarriffs, eh?  Free Trade not to the liking of our European brethren, wot? ; )

Well, I guess it's not anything crazy or anything but it adds up: a tariff of 19% to compensate for the VAT they missed out on, a customs handling fee and then of course the difference in shipping costs. No way that could compensate lower US prices in most cases... :-\

But at least we can buy Cuban cigars! ;D

Q

Offline Coopmv

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Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #547 on: August 19, 2011, 04:53:53 PM »
Which reminds of a question I should have asked some time ago.  How is US Customs handled on foreign purchases.  Are there thresholds and limits?  Do I just get a bill in the mail.  (So far, the couple of overseas purchases I've made seem to have fallen under whatever radar Customs uses.  Or maybe I'll get some gigantic bill three months from now.)

Try to place a single order that is over $400.  I believe the first $400 of  foreign goods you bring back to the States as a tourist is tax exempt.  At least that was the old number I remember.     

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #548 on: August 19, 2011, 05:57:15 PM »
Quick (and possibly dumb) question... :-\

Are the MP3s purchased through Amazon.com the same file size as the MP3s purchased through iTunes?

Offline George

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Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #549 on: August 19, 2011, 06:12:14 PM »
Quick (and possibly dumb) question... :-\

Are the MP3s purchased through Amazon.com the same file size as the MP3s purchased through iTunes?

No, itunes uses AAC and amazon uses MP3, so the files are definitely going to be different sizes.

And there are no stupid questions, only stupid Flanders.
"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lefébure

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #550 on: August 19, 2011, 06:26:56 PM »
No, itunes uses AAC and amazon uses MP3, so the files are definitely going to be different sizes.

And there are no stupid questions, only stupid Flanders.

So for example, could the Amazon.com MP3 of a recording be a better quality sound than the AAC file of the same recording on iTunes?


Offline George

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Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #551 on: August 19, 2011, 06:43:38 PM »
So for example, could the Amazon.com MP3 of a recording be a better quality sound than the AAC file of the same recording on iTunes?

amazon:


Quote
Where possible, we encode our MP3 files using variable bit rates for optimal audio quality and file sizes, aiming at an average of 256 kilobits per second (kbps). Using a variable bit rate allows us to allocate a higher bit rate to the more complex sections of music files while using a smaller bit rate for the less complex sections. The average of these rates is then calculated to produce an average bit rate for the entire file that represents the overall sound quality. Some of our content is encoded using a constant bit rate of 256 kbps. This content will have the same excellent audio quality at a slightly larger file size.

itunes:


Quote
From May 29, 2007 tracks on the EMI label were made available in a DRM-less format called iTunes Plus. These files are unprotected and are encoded in the AAC format at 256 kbit/s, twice the bitrate of standard tracks bought through the service. They are labelled as "purchased AAC audio file" (.m4a) rather than "protected AAC audio file" (.m4p) in iTunes and the context menu obtained by right-clicking the song includes an option to convert to MP3.

In January 2009, Apple announced that all music would be available in the iTunes Plus format, bringing an end to the sale of music with DRM on iTunes. In April, the sale of protected music ended in the western versions of the store, making all music in the iTunes Store "iTunes Plus".

So, it looks they are both 256 kbit/s, but AAC is supposed to have better sound quality at the same bitrate as MP3. However, I suspect that differences at this level will be very, very minimal, if even audible at all.

The best thing to do is get a CD you are familiar with and rip a track you know well at 256 AAC and then again at 256 MP3 (variable bit rate, or VBR) and compare the two tracks on the source you will be using to listen to the music on.

When I rip my own CDs to listen on my Blackberry, I use VBR MP3, at approximately 245 kbit/sec (V0, lame encoding) and it always sounds great, whether classical, rock, pop, etc.  :) 
"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lefébure

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #552 on: August 19, 2011, 06:46:11 PM »

amazon:


itunes:


So, it looks they are both 256 kbit/s, but AAC is supposed to have better sound quality at the same bitrate as MP3. However, I suspect that differences at this level will be very, very minimal, if even audible at all.

The best thing to do is get a CD you are familiar with and rip a track you know well at 256 AAC and then again at 256 MP3 (variable bit rate, or VBR) and compare the two tracks on the source you will be using to listen to the music on.

When I rip my own CDs to listen on my Blackberry, I use VBR MP3, at approximately 245 kbit/sec (V0, lame encoding) and it always sounds great, whether classical, rock, pop, etc.  :)


Very cool, thanks a bunch for the info, George.

Offline George

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Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #553 on: August 19, 2011, 06:47:07 PM »

Very cool, thanks a bunch for the info, George.

My pleasure.  :)
"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lefébure

DavidW

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Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #554 on: August 19, 2011, 08:02:31 PM »
Just wanted to add that I buy music from both and they sound the same.  And even though initially aac was a better codec than mp3 (at 128k and below), the amount of work that has gone into improving the mp3 codec has made it as efficient as aac. 

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #555 on: August 20, 2011, 02:30:28 AM »
Just wanted to add that I buy music from both and they sound the same.  And even though initially aac was a better codec than mp3 (at 128k and below), the amount of work that has gone into improving the mp3 codec has made it as efficient as aac.

Thanks, David.
I buy from both depending on the cheaper price. Biggest downside to iTunes...A few months ago I pulled out my older external hardrive to upload some of my iTunes purchases from about 5 years ago. Forgot that I had bought them under my ex-wife's account and couldn't access them anymore without her iTunes account/password, even after moving them from my old laptop, to external hardrive to my new iMac and it still asks for that account info because my iMac is not authorized for those purchases.
She always finds a way to haunt me  >:D
« Last Edit: August 20, 2011, 06:41:47 AM by TheGSMoeller »

DavidW

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Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #556 on: August 20, 2011, 05:08:32 AM »
Oh well they're not protected anymore, everything I've bought is in m4a format.  It is a drag for those that purchased music before then. :-\

Offline Brian

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Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #557 on: September 14, 2011, 03:27:00 PM »
Is MDT's website down?

Offline George

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Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #558 on: September 14, 2011, 03:29:11 PM »
Is MDT's website down?

Just checked and it's working fine for me. 

Give me your credit card info and I'll order it for you. I promise not to order $500 worth of stuff for myself.  8)

But seriously, yeah, it's working fine for me.
"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lefébure

Offline The new erato

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Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #559 on: September 14, 2011, 09:42:49 PM »
Is MDT's website down?
I did my usual dozen orders last night, and it worked like a charm each time. Unfortunately.  ;D