In all my years of working online, being online, and enjoying how the Internet has changed my life, I’ve come across technology that oftentimes exceeds expectations. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true and I also come across services or tools that set new lows for the worst I’ve ever used.
Today, one company has done just that in my book. Echospin.
It all started with pre-ordering the new Sugarland CD, The Incredible Machine. Yes, I’m a country music fan, but not a hard core one. I’m into the more pop-type, crossover stuff. My daughter and I are huge Sugarland fans. A side note, if you ever have the chance to see them live, you won’t be disappointed. I’ve been to a LOT of concerts in my life including all different genres of music and Sugarland is still at the top in terms of performance value.
So I pre-ordered the CD online a few weeks ago, but interestingly enough, it wasn’t through iTunes as it wasn’t available there. It was through the Sugarland fan site. No biggie. I can expand my horizons to include other music services.
This morning, I get an email that the CD is ready for download. Sweet! I hop online, figure out it’s through a company named Echospin. Echospin it turns out, is a media delivery company for the likes of giants such as Epic, Universal Music Group, Atlantic and EMI. Not a small time gig for them.
The first issue I had was with their requiring a download application to get the CD in it’s entirety through a single link. I absolutely HATE that. I hate that Adobe does it. I hate that Microsoft does it. And now I hate that Echospin does it. BUT, again, I give it a shot thinking I need to be more open minded.
The download starts, but times out at something like 77MB out of 350MB or so. CRAP. I have to take off for a meeting, so I close things down and realize I’m not going to be able to enjoy the CD on the drive over.
I wrap up my meeting and sit down to try again. After half a dozen more attempts to use the download application, it still reports an error. No progress. So I go to the manual download option. Not the world’s end, but a pain having to do each song individually.
Guess what? Yep, TIMED OUT! Multiple times. Where does that leave me? With not even half of the download completed and NO songs from the CD to listen to. What the HECK???!!!
In a world that offers services like Amazon S3 and CDNs (Content Delivery Networks in case that’s a new term for some of you) for these VERY situations, why in the world can’t a service like Echospin get it right…the FIRST time? Makes no sense. Heck, even a guy or gal like you or I could set up a media delivery method that could handle any of these initiatives right from our living room with no out of pocket money to get it going. Yet a company like this can’t even do that? Come on.
My advice after a frustrating morning with the Echospin “service” (and you’d be hard pressed to include any positive connotations to the usage of that word) is if you end up with the opportunity to buy a CD and they’re delivering it, don’t do it. Save yourself a ton of hassle and wait for the physical CD or a more reputable and reliable service like Amazon or iTunes has it for sale.
Hope that saves some of you some frustration down the road.