Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter track smackdown: Round four - Bernard Cribbins

Welcome back to Easter Track Smackdown, a definitive attempt to prove which online music service is the best by asking them to offer up some tracks of variegated scarcity and rarity, and awarding points on a borderline unfair basis.

We enter into the second day with Amazon's mp3 store in the lead, while much-fancied golden boy Spotify is turning into the Lewis Hamilton of the competiton, yet to score. eMusic has been punished for its poor usability and elevation of putting its sign-up page ahead of actually letting people explore its catalogue.

So, now one that will separate the Zunes from the iPods. Described by Danny Baker as "the most sublime reading of the most sublime lyric", can our competitors bring us Bernard Cribbin's version of I've Grown Accustomed To Here Face?

Spotify, what say you? Yesterday, you came back with nothing. Can you save your face?

Why yes, you can: thirty-two slices of Cribbage, including the very song we're looking for. Suddenly, it looks like we might have a competition on our hands. Ten well-earned points.

Which is just as well, as this would really drag if it was all going to go Amazon's way, right?

Oooh, so close - by virtue of listing The Very Best Of, I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face is there for the scrobbling, but the only full track on offer is Right Said Fred. No points for you, Last FM.

Again, The Very Best Of... turns up trumps for its digital overlords, and I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face can be yours for 79p. Only iTunes has, so far, pointed out that as well as a touching love song about the scent of perfume in the air, you can also enjoy Cribbins' role in Frenzy, but no extra points for suggesting tie-related murders. Ten points.

Whoever would have thought that this one would prove so easy? Even We7, so far resigned to sitting on the sidelines, has The Very Best Of. 88pence for the track, though, so docked one point for being greedy.

While stacked with various versions of the more-familiar comedy stuff, YouTube can't offer us the Cribmeister doing this particular song. Indeed, it looks like Google has no evidence at all of Bernard's straight music career - how right the PRs are to characterize them as buffoons of the highest order.

There is, though, a strange, potato-like stop-motion animation version of Right Said Fred, which I'm sure once popped up on TV as a filler item during some sort of technical or industrial relations breakdown. And scarred me for life. They're not getting points for that.

Amazon also have The Very Best Of loaded and ready to pump at you faster than you can say "Star Turn Challenge". And since they're ten pence cheaper than iTunes, for the sake of consistency Amazon get 11 points.

Only The Hole In The Ground and Right Said Fred. It's like an ITV documentary version of his work. Zero.

Usability meltdown nightmare time. Yes, says the search, we have Bernard Cribbins. Step this way... only to show a compilation album with 49 tracks, of which you can only see the names of 15 tracks at a time, and none of which have the names alongside. Until you leave the artist page altogether.

And then it turns out that they've got Sit Down, You're Rocking The Boat. One point for having something, taken away again for being cussed.

So, four rounds in - here's the leader board:

Amazon - 25
iTunes - 15
Last FM - 12
Spotify - 10
YouTube - 10
we7 - 09
Imeem - 01
Sweeping The Nation - 0.5
emusic - -04
The Internet As A Whole - -10

This afternoon, we go searching for something that originally came in a plastic bag. No, not Pete Doherty's "lunch".


Anonymous said...

Interesting and fun.

The price for we7 is for the download - the stream is free (as for all we7 streams). you can stream it and also add it to a streaming playlist for free. and of course share the song or the list with friends. For free. No application to download either....
If you love it, you can buy the download. How cool is that? Do we get our lost point back please?

whilst you are on we7 I hope you will take a minute to check out the We7 Tastemaker - some great new talent - my favourite at the moment (topical too) is The Joys of Spring by Big Strides.

Happy Easter.

John Taysom

PeterD said...

plastic bag you say, minty? wedding presents George Best?

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