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Bleep.com is definitely one for the music connoisseurs with a few pounds to spend on high quality tracks. Its focus on genres outside of the mainstream is admirable and its collections may very well be exciting to avid fans or alternative music scenes.
This stylish site holds some gems and they’ve certainly been polished. High quality downloads demand a premium price and, combined with the various other merchandise available from Bleep (namely Vinyl records) there is an overriding impression that this is an MP3 site for people who want their music at the quality a DJ might appreciate. Yet Bleep is perhaps a little too domineering; its search facility is flawed because you can either type in a word you want to search for or perform a browse by genre OR artist, not both (or indeed several at the same time). Instead of a decent search facility Bleep keeps a regular update on what’s new and worthwhile within the music sets its interested in, and promotes them. This is a good idea for users who are keen to listen to new tracks and take suggestions, but it’s a relationship of trust. Just how far will you agree with the site administrators and music finders? Well, Bleep does at least allow you to sample tracks (in their entirety, though you have to do this in portions and can’t hear the whole thing without breaks until you pay for it...which is understandable) and has a decent number of write-ups to help you make decisions and keep up to date on the latest electronic music movements.
Any purchases you do make are bound to impress, depending on your taste, and the music would benefit from a high quality sound system. Bleep isn’t about mass appeal or selling you as many tracks as possible for as little as possible, it’s interested in the quality of the music it provides, and speaking to a group of dedicated listeners.
But that’s about it. This is a good site IF you’re interested in the very particular music they’re trying to promote and sell. If you’re looking for something outside of that, you need to go elsewhere. It’s quite admirable to be so devoted and to produce something which does deliver on quality to such a high level, but Bleep seems to have ignored areas which would make their site...well, better. It’s not the genre selection really, but their lack of search functions, no ratings system to help you make decisions, a skeletal FAQ and help section and a sense that you’re being told what to listen to. Bleep feels like music dictatorship at times.
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