Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter track smackdown: Round one - Rote Kappelle

Welcome to the Bank Holiday weekend, and welcome to a scientific* attempt to determine the answer to the question: what's better, Spotify, or Last FM, or iTunes, or We7, or YouTube. Or Amazon. Or maybe Imeem.

* - it's not actually scientific.

The rules, such as they are, are simple. There's a list of twelve tracks - we'll do three a day, using the same search terms on each service. Ten points for a service offering the track, bonus points awarded for coming close. At the end of the weekend, we'll know, beyond any doubt, which music service is the best. The other services will have until May Day weekend to close down.

Exciting, isn't it?

So, round one: the track to get us going is Rote Kapelle's Fire Escape.

Named after a Soviet spy ring in Nazi Germany, and part of the incestuous rock family tree that covered The Pastels, Jesse Garon, The Fizzbombs and The Shop Assistants, Fire Escape turned up on Marc Riley's InTape label back in 1988. It featured - as was mandated by law for all political tracks in that decade - a sample of Thatcher.

So, come on then, online music services: find me some agitjangle.

Nothing at all from Rote Kapelle. It does offer something by the band The Fire Escape, and two other songs called Fire Escape. But that's a zero.

Last FM:
Last FM know all about Rote Kapelle and offer the song in full, from Thatcher's "It is the spirit of Britain" to the jangling end. Win! 10 points.

iTunes offers a download of the "non-dance mix" of Fire Escape, from the San Francisco Again EP. Not the canon version, but enough for five points.

Nothing from Rote Kapelle, and the store mocks its own lack of success by suggesting the Pyromanics' No Fire Escape album. Zero.

YouTube has live clips from a different band of the same name - opening for a band called The Devil Wears Prada, which is an eclectic mix of the highbrow and pop culture references on one bill. But our Rote Kapelle? Not a sniff. Zero.

After a little bit of thinking about it, the search returns <sixteen tracks, including both the seven inch version and the twelve inch remix. And there's even a picture of the seven inch in its sleeve. Fifteen points.

They've never heard of Rote Kapelle; looking for Fire Escape dredges up a lot of results - including clips of Will And Grace. I thought we'd agreed we'd never mention Will And Grace again, hadn't we? No.

eMusic requires a log-in before you can search; I've lost my password and it's taking an age for them to mail it to me. Minus five.

So, at the end of the first round:

Amazon - 15
LastFM - 10
itunes - 05
Spotify - 00
We7 - 00
YouTube - 00
Imeem - 00
eMusic - -05

LastFM does also have the extended Fire Escape, by the way, but you have to go looking for it, even after you've done a search. Also, it's not entirely a version with much of a point, apart from a late goading of U2.

Another round later today.


Ruth said...

One round in and this is already my favourite experiment at least of the day!

Also I feel it worth pointing out Spotify doesn't work on everyone's computer (ie mine). Bad Spotify

Anonymous said...

Yeah I've been wondering about this too.

@ruth I've also been wondering about that too. When I tried it songs were constantly stopping and starting and yet when I searched the usual places (support forums, google, etc.) I couldn't find a single person having a problem. I just uninstalled it and filed it under useless. Since then the website's gone from strength to strength.

Anonymous said...

harsh on emusic!

(they've got it by the way)

Blog Hoskins said...

How about myspace?

Jim W said...

Online music services, meh, but ta for introducing me to a new janglepoptastic band.

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