Hello ladies and gentlemen, DJs and Producers, consumers and pirates. Welcome to the very first segment of a hopefully well received series that will cater exclusively to online music stores. That’s right folks I’m going to be reviewing some of the most popular sites of the year and give you all something to think about. So before you decide to sit down and start buying tunes, check out what I had to say about…Traxsource!
A Little History
So let’s get started. First and foremost I always like to give a little bit of history just because it’s interesting and you never know when you’ll be on a game show (eat your heart out Ken Jennings.) Trust me…you don’t want to be the Weakest Link. Moving on, Traxsource was founded by a group of individuals but for the most part Brian Tappert and Marc Pomeroy are considered the founding fathers. Both happen to be successful DJs and Producers who saw an opportunity to capitalize on the market and basically ran with their idea. Since they were so deeply involved with music it became no surprise that Traxsource took off as a digital music site. I mean if you have the means to network and connect with a large audience and talented people, you essentially have all the ingredients needed to construct a sturdy business.
Website Layout and Functions
Alright so enough of the history lesson, let’s get down to business. Now Traxsource isn’t one of those flashy beautiful sites that will take a million years to load on your PC or Mac. It’s pretty quick to open in your browser and I didn’t notice any eye popping flash that might cause seizures like that Porygon episode in Pokemon. In fact, most of the site is very average looking and the graphics could use some updating.
I was a bit shocked at the simplicity with some of the buttons. For instance, when you want to preview a track the demo opens up in a new mini window instead of streaming directly from the main page. This can be annoying to people who aren’t used to that type of technology and I think some pop up blockers will prevent the player from showing if it is active.
But if the retro pop-ups weren’t bad enough…the site can be odd at loading sometimes. By odd I mean it can stall out forever loading a preview or it will be unresponsive when clicking on a new link. However, that’s fine because the links are rather small anyways and they don’t pop out at you. Yeah, blue text on a gray background…of course people who have eye trouble would NEVER get confused there. And even if they did the help button is all the way at the bottom clustered with the other blue text that is kind of hard to read. Oh the irony.
Now I’m not saying Traxsource should be this epitome of technology with a brilliant website. I just find the site could use some sprucing up because it’s not pleasing, it looks boring, and sometimes it’s clunky like driving a brick in a racing game. By brick I mean a car with bad physics that turns like a boat out of water. I just think a revamp of the site would bring in more customers and allow people to actually SEE what they are looking for. I mean you need Mr. Magoo glasses to see some of those fonts sometimes and it’s crazy because sites like ITunes and Beatport throw everything right at your face. I don’t think Traxsource should be that aggressive but it would be nice to have something newer and maybe more polished.
The biggest downside to Traxsource is the variety of music in my opinion. Although Traxsource constantly pushes itself as a digital music site for all EDM music…it mostly caters to HOUSE. Now I enjoy house, I dig the smooth sounds and the hard basses from time to time, but I also want the ability to dabble into other genres. If a site is going to push EDM music as a whole it doesn’t make sense to just have house sitting everywhere. I mean if you look at the front page you’ll see house links galore. I saw Jacking House, Tech House, Progressive, Soulful, and Disco and then like this tiny fraction of Techno, Electronica, and Hip Hop. That sounds boring! If you dig house this is a great setup but I just really feel like they are missing out on some great sounds by promoting house all day long.
Aside from their obsession with house they do deliver music wise. I signed up with them and it was rather easy thankfully. After validating my account via email I decided I was going to purchase some tunes. Cue my eye of the tiger music. So I’m strutting around the site and I bombarded with house music which causes me to check out two tracks that really catch my eye. So I preview and I really enjoy “Want you in my soul (Hot Toddy Remix) by the Lovebirds featuring Stee Downes. Like seriously, that track is amazing and I was so chilled out when it began playing. So I figured hey, I’ll download it and add it to my collection.
Now the music prices on Traxsource differ from $1.99-$2.99 with the occasional track that might be $.99 or $3.00+ depending on whatever formula they use. The Hot Toddy Remix was $2.99 and I bought another track I didn’t really care for which ran $2.99 as well. So I head over to my cart and BLAM! I see something that makes my right eye twitch. I get a standard warning about file sharing…and a note that my file has been encrypted with information that will always lead back to me. If that’s not enough I will also be charged a $.27 cents service fee because my total is under $10.00. But what really takes the cake IS THE TWO DAY DOWNLOAD POLICY. I have two days to download my tracks and if I don’t…well…I’m up a creek without a paddle. To keep matters short and sweet I purchased my tracks, downloaded them, gave Traxsource a very rude hand gesture and exited out the site. Oh wait I forgot. There was a redeeming quality there. I was actually able to use paypal during check-out so instead of giving my card numbers to a bloody thirsty site like Traxsource, I left it in good hands.
In conclusion this Blue Kitty is going to have to give Traxsource a 3/5 because they did everything they could to annoy me. The site, while functional, is very primary and needs updating in order to keep up with the growing demand of the internet. There is no need to have quirky technical issues on a site where traffic is pretty frequent and heavy. I felt like the font was too small and colored in a way that might be bothersome to people with eye trouble. I wasn’t a fan of the pop-out player and found the overabundance of house music to be daunting. I hear enough House on the radio because it’s a dominant genre right now. However, it’s not the ONLY genre and a digital music site should be all about dropping fresh tunes.
Once again my biggest concern was the check-out. I’m a paying customer, not a criminal, and I don’t need to be told in red letters about music distribution. If I had any ideas to distribute music freely I wouldn’t be buying it in the first place. I’d be better off torrenting like everyone else. Secondly, two days isn’t enough time to download tracks. What if someone’s computer shuts down randomly or there’s an emergency? Aren’t they basically… (Insert favorite expletive)? Why can’t there be a download limit instead? In that way people have time to download when they want without running the chance of being locked out. I mean if you’re going to charge me a processing fee for not spending all my money at your store…the least you could do is allow me ample time to download my purchases.
So sorry Traxsource but today you did not impress me and if anything you’ve lost a customer. Please let me know when you decide to upgrade and ditch the two day download limit. Until then I’ll keep on searching for that one special digital music store that totally understands me. Traxsource you are the WEAKEST LINK. Good-Bye.