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DM 3: Wetlands $0.75
Average Rating:4.0 / 5
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DM 3: Wetlands
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DM 3: Wetlands
Publisher: V Shane
by Christopher H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/08/2008 11:59:27

The Good: Your opinion of this track will depend somewhat on your opinion of this type of ambient music in general. The publisher says that this track is for "situations of a [sic] adventurous and meandering nature," and the track works reasonably well for that type of setting, I think. The subtle and not-entirely-steady drum beat evokes the feeling of an overland march, and the rest of the music suggests unknown territory. Yet other aspects of the track are a little confusing. It seems to open with crashing waves, and the cries of what sound to me like seagulls evoke images of a sea or beach, but the down-tempo music doesn't suggest a storm on the open sea, despite the recurring thunder. By the way, that thunder is prominent enough that this track would be rather inappropriate for "situations of a [sic] adventurous and meandering nature" on a sunny day! This is the music you play when the adventurers are traipsing through a wilderness area while a thunderstorm brews overhead.

The Bad: Why can't this publisher encode consistent ID3 tags in these products? To date (September 8, 2008), there are three tracks in the DM series (DM 1: Watch Tower Awaits, DM 2: Persistent Shadows, and DM 3: Wetlands), and every single one of them has a different artist and album encoded in the ID3 tags. This track, which the product information calls "Watch Tower Awaits," is encoded with the title "WatchTowerAwaits" (no spaces), the artist "Sigil," and the album "Watch Tower Awaits." DM 2 is encoded with the title "Persistent_Shadows" (why the annoying and totally unnecessary underscore?), the artist "V Shane" (note the space), and the album "Dark Myth." DM 3, however, is encoded with the title "Wetlands," the artist "VShane" (note the lack of a space between V and S), and the album "Ruins of Dark Myth." These wide variations make it hard to locate the music in a large iTunes library, and they suggest a real sloppiness that's not evident in the music itself. Encoding ID3 tags properly is the easiest thing in the world to do, so publishers who want to sell MP3 download music should do it right, and do it right the first time.

Oh, and why exactly is this track called "Wetlands"? There's thunder overhead, sure, but a thunderstorm doesn't create a "wetlands," at least not in the normal usage of that term. Where are the ducks and frogs and crickets and stuff? A title like "Marching through the Storm," though not terribly creative, would better communicate the ambience created by the piece.

My Rating: If I were just rating the music itself, I'd give it 3.5 stars; if I were rating the production value of the MP3 as an MP3 file (metadata), I would give it 2 stars. So I rounded the musical rating up to 4 and split the difference.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
ID3 tags Well if you consider the distance in the dates between the songs were put out, and at the time unaware of the importance of such tags, you can kind of fathom the why. As far as Sigil, that was just a music ID I had been toying with for some time (just like the music I create outside of here is Vhee) AND taken into effect I just recently myself began using the MP3 libraries system for my portable (Zune-iPod what have you) and just now realising the importance of the ID3 tags. Where before I had not used them to any degree and had no idea of the consistancy issues that might entail in the future. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, your the first to mention it. I'll see what I can do to get these straightened out.
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