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Sunday, February 27, 2011

A primer on downloading from Archive.org

Now I'm sure this is redundant for many of you, but in case you just hopped on the bus and you were wondering exactly how you could download any of the dozens of free soundboard recording by the band, here's the lowdown on one of the greatest resources on the internet, Archive.Org.

First things first; you google Archive.Org, open up the home page and you see this:

You select Live music Archive from the drop down menu, and put "mclovins" in the search box and the show list will open up for you.

On the right sidebar you'll have a number of search options, choosing to search "date added" assures you you'll get the newest shows as soon as they're posted on the site.

Opening any show and you'll see on the left side bar, the options for either streaming the show through your media player or downloading the show in .mp3 format or flac for conversion and then burning to a cd using Nero or any burning software.

Streaming is like it says, the show will play in order, by file name through your media player.

We'll deal with flac which is a lossless format first. Clicking on the VBR zip, you can download the entire show in flac format. This is a lossless format which has to be converted to a wav file so that is may be burned to a disc. This is the highest quality audio, and the choice of archivists.

When you download your flac files, you now have to convert them to the wav format for burning. Out of all the different decoders available, I love Traders Little Helper, a free app which allows you to convert any audio format to almost any other format. For lossless flac or shn files, this really is the best choice. They allow you to save the converted files in the same folder as your lossless files, so again, the choice for archivists.

If you have no interest in converting the files and you're just looking for the .mp3 files, the easiest way I've found is download the files directly from the http list.

You create and rename a folder wherever you want to keep the files, and then you download each mp3 file individually to that folder.

It's easy as pie, you can download the newest show in minutes, burn a disc, or make a compilation if you'd like. These show recordings are approved by the band and they're taped by a dedicated group who get nothing more than the occasional thanks for their hard work. So lets thank the tapers who first latched onto the band, Keith A., and Taper John. Dave Malloy was next on board and still tapes when he can though the torch is now carried by Greg who is the bands primary taper. The majority of McLovins recordings are SBD matrix utilizing a board feed and auxiliary microphones. It's easy to get spoiled with such an embarrassment of riches, so download your ass off, burn and give away some discs to people you think will dig the band and share the wealth of free shows we all have access to.

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