I agree with Rainer about the CD media. It's a universal format still, although it probably won't be
at some future point. CDs are cheap to manufacture and have a long shelf life. They are also pretty
much impervious to the hazards of shipping if they are packaged properly (a technique long ago
mastered by Bear Family). Memory sticks are somewhat fragile in that they can be erased by strong
magnetic fields and they do not react well to getting wet (although neither do expensive books).
Rainer made another important point -- this is an archive more than it is a music album to be
listened to front-to-back. It's like a Mosaic set on steroids.
I've always done the following with Mosaic sets, I break them up into albums and then set up the
albums as playlists on my iPod. I also use Exact Audio Copy to get all the WAV files onto my DAW and
sequence my own CDs. I consider Mosaic sets to be finely remastered archives, not something to sit
down and listen to like an album. Many Mosaic sets covering material from the LP era keep the
original album sequences intact, but many don't. I always like to hear material in the sequence and
with the takes the original producer and/or artist chose, so I usually don't pay much attention to
out-takes and alternate takes (there are some excellent exceptions, but I usually find that the
master take was chosen for good reason). With sets from the 78 era, I cherry-pick what I like and
keep that on my iPod. Unfortunately, Mosaic gets overly completist with those sets, in my opinion,
putting on a lot of dreck (dance-band-ish material recorded by jazz artists, crooned vocals by
average singers, rejected takes, etc). I figure I'm still getting a bargain if I like 3/4 of the
material because of the excellent remastering. In a perfect world, I'd pick and choose the tunes
more carefully and thus end up with less pricey sets containing fewer discs.
In the case of Rainer's set, it's so broad and complete that it's unlikely anyone will like all the
material for regular rotation. As he said, it's an archive. I imagine Bear Family will release the
most popular stuff as single or double CDs with small booklets at some future point.
One man's opinion, but I prefer carefully chosen compilations vs. "the kitchen sink." I am a
collector, not an accumulator, so I don't need cutting-room-floor stuff and inferior work of
usually-excellent artists. But, a strong argument can be made that a Mosaic set or an archive like
Rainer's massive work provides me with all of the raw material so I can truly collect my own
compilations, exactly to my own taste. And how much room do a few extra CD's really take up?
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Birgit Lotz Verlag" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2012 3:17 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Black Europe
> Look at it this way: You buy two splendid books and get 40 CDs free.
> Nobody in a sane frame of mind will listen to the 40CDs in one go. Look at it as an archive: You
> pick the tracks you want to hear whenever you are in the mood, or need them for further research.
> As far as I am concerned, Bear Family is not overpricing: they go for the highest possible quality
> in printing the books and mastering the CDs. The CDs can be bootlegged, the books can not. Yes,
> the music could be put on a memory stick, or on DVDs, meaning that John Doe cannot or will not
> play them - how many of you people use their PC for listening pleasure?
> The print run obviously will depend on demand. The more people show an interest in this esoteric
> subject, the higher the print-run, and the lower the production cost. It is easier to sell Michael
> Jackson than Pete Hampton... On a subscription basis and direct sale, prices would be lower. If
> one distributes through retail channels and bookstores etc. you would have to add maybe 50%.
> We are all waiting for Bear Family to do the final calculations within a few more weeks. It is a
> tricky situation: Nothing like this has ever been done before, and for a medium sized family
> business the required investment, and risk, is huge.
> Steve Ramm schrieb:
>> Maybe part of my point is missing. I really wasn't as concerned that they were only making 100
>> sets, I was concerned that with 40 CD (and the two books), using Bear Family's current pricing
>> in they book and Cd sets of about $25 to $30 per disc in the set (depending on where the DM is
>> at that point in time) a 4--Disc set would cost....... ta da! ... $1,000 to $1,200. Making it
>> virtually unafordable for most. Let's also consider that 40 CDs at 75 minutes will take 47
>> hours to listen to.
>> Yes, there won't be a lot of folks who will buy for $1,000. (though I'm sure some will buy for
>> investment value!). And, as Mike said more folks heard Rainer give his talk in New Orleans than
>> there are sets to be available.!
>> I also see a cottage industry where someone buys a set and then reissues the CDs just like
>> Proper and JSP. Heck, who cares about copyright, they say?. If priced out of reach, this might
>> well happen.
>> The concept of flash drives made sense. And, of course, you could make your own CDs or transfer
>> to an Ipod or iPad or whatever once you purchase it.
>> We are getting closer to reality for it's release. So we will see. I also thought there was
>> going to be a special discount for ARSC members but we shall see. Making suggestions to Richard
>> at BFR probably won't mean much. Anyway, glad to hear I'm not alone on this feeling.
>> Steve Ramm
> Dr. Rainer E. Lotz
> Rotdornweg 81
> 53177 Bonn (Germany)
> Tel: 0049-228-352808
> Fax: 0049-228-365142
> Web: www.lotz-verlag.de