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The Future of Music
Artist: Various ChristianMP3s
Label: Eclectica Records
Length: 100 MP3s and 5 CD tracks

An MP3 file is a small digital music file with big CD sound. Normally, you download it from the Internet to your computer and play it through an MP3 player that you've also downloaded. If everything goes well it can be a great experience. Put together by Dan Chick and Eclectica Records, this CD is supposed to have 100 MP3 files on it and an MP3 player for hours and hours of musical enjoyment, but technical problems caused my personal experience with this new CD to be mostly frustrating.

Ok, I'll admit up front I'm not the most computer literate music freak on the block, but an MP3 disc designed for mass consumption should play simply enough. The five bonus songs that will play on any CD player were not a problem, I got to hear them, but the rest of my saga sounds like a call to a help line, something this project's sketchy instructions are badly in need of.

I went into the files on the CD and uploaded one of the two MP3 player formats (Mac and PC) on the disc. It uploaded and I got it open, so far so good. I spent quite a while trying to transfer the MP3 files to the MP3 player so I could hear one. Finally I went to Windows' Explorer and opened the files from there and figured out that I could drag them to the MP3 player's playlist. A less patient man would have given up already but I wanted to hear the Violet Burning song that is supposed to be here. It just so happened that the first song I dragged was the Dan Chick song and it began playing. The song is terrible, but I was happy to be hearing something from the player I'd spent so long getting to work. The next song I uploaded was one from Isaiah Six because it was within eye shot and sounded interesting. It's a praise and worship group, and sounded nice. I was indeed praising the Lord that the MP3 player was going to work and I was going to have fun playing with it for a while. I dragged the Violet Burning song next and about ten other songs after that as I listened to Isaiah Six leading worship. I closed Windows' Explorer, assuming that the songs I'd dragged over were there in the MP3 player's playlist.  However when the Isaiah Six song was over it didn't go to the next tune. It sat there. I clicked on the Violet Burning song but nothing happened. I clicked again and again. I tried clicking on any song, even the ones I had already heard, nothing. I exited the player and restarted it, but nothing happened.

Repeated tries, reinstallations, nothing. Now I couldn't get any of the MP3 files to do anything. What music disc needs a technical advisor to get it to play? Well, just call me "Mr. Won't Give Up," because I kept messing with it until it once more worked, although I could not repeat the phenomenon when my wife came home.

A whole CD full of MP3's could be a cool idea. Cramming 100 independent artists on a single CD is a bargain, and this one has some of the biggest names tucked in between the unknowns in every style from folk to praise to punk music. So don't write it off because of my misfortunes. After all, I did get it to work eventually.

Tony LaFianza 4/10/2000


The label is aware of the problem with the mp3s - they aren't exactly sure what happened but they are working to resolve the problem. See http://www.christianmp3.com/.



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