Best deals on the iTunes Music Store?
June 5, 2006 5:23 PM   Subscribe

What album on iTunes Music Store offers the most tracks for the money?

I've found "iMixes" for the longest songs and for the shortest songs (iTMS link), but not for the cheapest songs. The Commercial Album (iTMS) by The Residents offers 40 songs for $11.99; but a standard audio CD can fit up to 99 tracks, so I figure somebody must have done it...
posted by danblaker to Computers & Internet (18 answers total)
A standard audio CD can fit up to 99 tracks, but the maximum amount of time (WAV files) is roughly 74 minutes. If you want the most music for the money, find CDs that have maxed their time limit.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 5:31 PM on June 5, 2006

Or find albums online that offer you songs that you can't find on the CD in addition to the CD itself.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 5:32 PM on June 5, 2006

There's a punk compilation cd with 101 ~30 second songs. I think it's called "short songs for short people." Do they have it on itunes? (I'm at work and can't check.)
posted by clarahamster at 5:50 PM on June 5, 2006

I have the Short Music for Short People compilation CD, which is 99 30-second punk tracks. But regrettably it's not available on iTMS.
posted by smackfu at 5:52 PM on June 5, 2006

Another option would be the old-school Apollo 18 by They Might Be Giants. It has 38 tracks, 21 of which are 10-20 second snippets labelled "Fingerprints". Regrettably, it's not very cheap since iTMS is charging $25 for the album. Considering the physical CD costs $12, something's not right there.
posted by smackfu at 6:09 PM on June 5, 2006

69 love songs by the magnetic fields?

69 songs for $29.97= 43c/song
maybe not?
posted by mule at 6:12 PM on June 5, 2006

The Complete U2 will get you 446 songs for $149.99, or roughly 33 cents per song.
posted by geeky at 6:19 PM on June 5, 2006

The Best of Guided by Voices: Human Amusements at Hourly Rates (iTMS) has 32 songs for $9.99, $0.312 per track. That's still not cheaper than your $0.29975 per Residents song, though.

Mercury Rev's Yerself Is Steam has 99 tracks, most of which are 3-second segments of the last song, then about a dozen silent 3-second tracks, then the hidden track "Car Wash Hair". On iTunes it's just 8 tracks, though.

See also: CD's with 99 tracks, best iTunes deals
posted by hydrophonic at 6:33 PM on June 5, 2006

Mile - A Hush Compilation. 50 songs (quite a few gems among them, at least to my nerdly ears) for $9.99!
posted by kittyb at 6:40 PM on June 5, 2006

There's quantity and then there's quality. I suspect the two are somewhat inversely related. ;)
posted by bim at 6:52 PM on June 5, 2006

I think these are mistakes, but in Canada (and in Canadian funds):

The Monkees - Music Box 99 songs for $9.99 (10.1 cents a song)

Various Artists - That's Entertainment: The Ultimate Anthology of MGM Musicals (Soundtrack) [Digital Version] 132 songs for $9.99 (7.7 cents a song)
posted by boost ventilator at 7:03 PM on June 5, 2006

Los Lobos, "Just Another Band From East LA" - 41 songs, US$9.90
posted by Guy Smiley at 10:54 PM on June 5, 2006

Boost Ventilator, I think those must have been mistakes. The Monkeys collection is now $39.96, and the MGM anthology is now $79.92.

I wonder if the flood of Metafilter hits alerted them that something was up? (Although MeFi's membership is a drop in the bucket compared to the traffic iTunes must get, they might have a mechanism to notice a flood of hits to a previously unpopular album.)
posted by yankeefog at 3:04 AM on June 6, 2006

There's quantity and then there's quality. I suspect the two are somewhat inversely related. ;)

Stephin Merritt: [On what he learned from doing 69 Love Songs]: "I discovered quantity is quality."
posted by ludwig_van at 6:07 AM on June 6, 2006

The Monkeys collection is now $39.96, and the MGM anthology is now $79.92.

They are still $9.99 in the Canadian version of the store (you can switch stores to look...but you can't touch).
posted by boost ventilator at 6:23 AM on June 6, 2006

Adhils Arboretum by Of Montreal on the UK music store is an album that, weirdly, is half the price of the normal albums, yet has a regular full 14 tracks. So.. that's exactly half the price you'd expect. Good album too.
posted by wackybrit at 7:59 AM on June 6, 2006

Actually, the best deals are long-playing jazz records with only a few tracks. You can buy them at 99ยข each and end up with 74 minutes for $4 or so.
posted by klangklangston at 8:19 AM on June 6, 2006

hydrophonic, it appears that the best iTunes deals from your link have expired. Bummer. As for your other suggestion, the Best of GBV album beats out the Residents album in terms of quality music for yr dollar, IMHO, even if it's a little more expensive.

But it appears that the Hush compilation wins. Thanks kittyb, I had completely forgotten that the Hush stuff is distributed on iTMS. That album is chock full of quality standard-length indie-pop songs, which makes it a much better listening experience than the Residents' art project. (Yes, in this case, bim's suspicion is wrong.)

Apparently, Hush impresario Chad Crouch got around the limits of audio CD technology by including 14 standard CD tracks and 36 MP3 tracks on the disc. Which of course doesn't matter at all when buying it from iTMS, since they're all AAC format for iTunes.

Full disclosure: I'm friends with about 20% of the performers on that compilation. In theory, I could call Chad and get a free Mile CD, which would be the best deal of all...

(I generally agree with klangklangston that long songs are a better deal than tons of tracks, but I was really curious!)
posted by danblaker at 1:56 PM on June 6, 2006

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