R.E.M. Artistic License and Corrupted Audio

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I was checking out the story that the band REM is releasing 11 videos for its latest song under the Artistic License 2.0. Very neat. Check it all out on the song's web site.

Someone noted that they are not going all the way and offering the audio for free, but of course, it's in the video, so I looked at the audio of the downloaded files: 16 bits, 48 kHz. Slightly better quality than the 16 bits, 44.1 kHz of CDs. Also very neat.

But then on the first track, "Studio #1," I noticed some dropouts. I opened the audio file up and saw this:

REM Studio #1

There are four gaps at about 1:23 (only one shown). This goes on throughought the song (including more gaps later, such as at 2:20 and 2:30).

Each track has different audio, though it is all of the same song. Some of the other tracks with the studio audio are messed up in various ways. Some are totally overcranked. Track 11 might be hork-worthy. Maybe a little soft, but better than a little clipped (or, like track 10, almost completely clipped).

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