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Pearl Jam Goes Digital For Live Bootleg Series

Old 08-24-05, 04:55 PM
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Pearl Jam Goes Digital For Live Bootleg Series

Already at the forefront of issuing authorized "live bootlegs" of its shows, Pearl Jam will on Sept. 1 launch its own digital download store via its official Web site. Hours after their completion, full concerts from the group's fall tour will be available for $9.99 as 192K MP3s, which are higher than the standard bit rate.

Each show will feature special artwork; a slide show with photos from the performance will run while the files download.

As with past incarnations of the bootlegs, which were at one time available only on CD, the material will be mixed on the fly by longtime Pearl Jam engineer Brett Eliason. Eliason's company, Basecamp Productions, also developed the software to power the download store.

In an interesting twist, the files will be encoded without DRM (digital rights management) restrictions, allowing them to be burned to CD and transferred to portable MP3 players.

"We want to make it as hassle-free as possible for someone to listen to a show they've downloaded regardless of what music-playing device they use," says Tim Bierman, who runs the band's Ten Club fan organization.

The initial plan is to make all of Pearl Jam's upcoming shows in Canada available to download, as well as a Sept. 1 gig in George, Wash., and other select U.S. dates.

During a recent round of beta testing, a live version of "Rats" from a 1994 show in Boston was offered up, but at deadline, it is unclear if Pearl Jam eventually plans to populate the download store with archival recordings.

Since 2000, Pearl Jam has sold more than 3 million copies of shows from the bootleg series, according to a spokesperson.

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Old 08-24-05, 06:01 PM
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ugh... they have to go with mp3s? Why not just burn the concerts directly to disks like KISS and the Pixies did?

Can't stand Pearl Jam, but I'm glad they're doing something like this. I wish more (all) bands would!
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Old 08-24-05, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by nodeerforamonth
Can't stand Pearl Jam, but I'm glad they're doing something like this. I wish more (all) bands would!
Same here. Not a big fan but it's great to see a band go with the flow.
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Old 08-24-05, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Flashback
Same here. Not a big fan but it's great to see a band go with the flow.
An Even Flow if you will.
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Old 08-24-05, 06:32 PM
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Nice move, although I suppose it would be nice if they would offer the uncompressed shows on CD as well for the purists out there.

I've actually just begun converting all my PJ bootlegs to mp3 because nowadays if the music is on a CD then I never get around to listening to it.
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Old 08-24-05, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Flashback
Same here. Not a big fan but it's great to see a band go with the flow.
Actually, I think Pearl Jam started the trend of recording every single concert AND releasing them to the public.
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Old 08-24-05, 08:52 PM
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Don't tell me Pearl Jam is the new Weezer..."I don't like anything after [their first album]".

I'm still a huge fan and can't wait to get the mp3s of the concerts I've gone to. Still, mp3s...why not flac or at least VBR mp3s.
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Old 08-25-05, 12:42 AM
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Yea, I give a big thumbs down to 192K MP3's - I can easily tell the difference when compared to lossless like FLAC or SHN. There's enough live shows of PJ on the internet, why bother with purchasing an inferior sound? Just doesn't make sense unless they figure the 'target' marker are dialup users and it's obviously time intensive to download lossless files(if even possible).

I think I'll stick with bittorrents.
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Old 08-25-05, 07:05 AM
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so are they done with releasing audio cds? i can't see spending $9.99/show for mp3s.

here's hoping they're available in a lossless format..
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Old 08-25-05, 08:42 AM
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A bit more info, from the pearl jam rumor pit newsletter... Not sure about real cds being issued, I know last tour, you could get the mp3s prior to your cd being made and being sent to you, I'm hoping this is the same, just with a nicer set of digital content, I'm doubting it though

Welcome to the
PEARL JAM RUMOR PIT
Bootleg Update - August 24, 2005

Hey Jammers! We hope you're all geared up and ready for the U.S./Canadian shows. We're passing along this exciting news on the 2005 digital bootlegs!


Pearl Jam's Bootleg Program Goes Digital
Beginning September 1

High-Quality, DRM-Free, Digital Recordings Available Just Hours After the
Band's Live Shows at WWW.PEARLJAM.COM

SEATTLE - Beginning with Pearl Jam's sold out concert at the Gorge in George, Washington on September 1, the band will begin releasing high quality digital downloads of their live shows exclusively at www.pearljam.com. The digital downloads will be available for most of the band's 2005 Canadian and US dates just hours after each show has ended; they will include special downloadable artwork and a slideshow specific to each night's show.

Pearl Jam's "digital bootlegs" will be professionally mixed in real-time at each show by Pearl Jam's longtime studio and live engineer, Brett Eliason. Eliason's company, Basecamp Productions, developed the software application that delivers and manages digital downloads. Pearl Jam has opted to encode the digital files at a higher than standard bit rate (192k) in an effort to balance manageable file sizes with very good sound quality. The cost is $9.99 per show.

The "digital bootlegs" are an extension of Pearl Jam's official bootleg CD program which was launched on the band's 2000 world tour; over three million bootlegs have been sold since the program's inception. "The concept for the bootlegs has always been about providing high quality recordings of our shows at an affordable price for the fans who collect them. A lot of the band's fans want to own a copy of the live show they saw in their hometown, or a particularly standout show they hear about from other fans. Making the bootlegs available in digital form is just a natural evolution for the bootleg CD program, and a response to more and more fans turning to the web to buy their music," said the band's manager, Kelly Curtis.

Pearl Jam's "digital bootlegs" are high resolution digital files that will be released without DRM (Digital Rights Management) so that fans can burn them to disc, transfer to them to MP3 players or an iPod, or play them from their hard drives. "The decision to exclude the DRM is unprecedented for a band of this size, but it's consistent with the band's sensibilities," says Tim Bierman, manager of the Pearl Jam Ten Club, which will oversee the digital bootleg program. "We want to make it as hassle-free as possible for someone to listen to a show they've downloaded regardless of what music-playing device they use," Bierman adds.

The technology supporting the "digital bootlegs" is provided by Basecamp Productions (www.basecampproductions.com). Basecamp Productions was founded by long-time Pearl Jam sound engineer Brett Eliason, and his business partner Joshua James. The company combines the expertise of Eliason - who was the technical architect of the Pearl Jam bootleg series from the 2000 and 2003 world tours - with Basecamp Production's proprietary software that delivers and manages digital downloads.

"The mission of Basecamp Productions is to provide artists with the ability to create their own branded online download systems so that they can sell high quality digital files through their websites, rather than re-directing traffic to a 3rd party website, explains Basecamp Productions' co-founder, Brett Eliason. He adds, "The Basecamp system integrates with the artists' existing website, allowing fans to download music direct from the artist."

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To all the new subscribers and new fans - welcome aboard! Here's the current list of tour dates and we hope to see you on the Message Board (http://forums.pearljam.com) where everyone will be sharing their concert memories!
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Old 08-25-05, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Spooon69
Don't tell me Pearl Jam is the new Weezer..."I don't like anything after [their first album]".
If it's Weezer, you meant to put "second album" in the square brackets.
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Old 08-25-05, 03:43 PM
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Old 08-26-05, 12:47 AM
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That sucks, I have several of the bootlegs but am unwilling to purchase a concert in such a poor quality form. I'd pay an extra couple of bucks to d/l flac/shn/wav files of the shows.
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Old 08-26-05, 06:44 AM
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I was a fan of the live CDs, so I hope they still release those. I bought five of the live bootleg CD concerts from BMG.
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