SoundsBox is a relatively new music site starting in late June 2007. With its friendly customer service and their willingness to please the customer, this shop is a standout with me. I look forward to their daily new arrivals, because they are usually different than other sites that I go to. They also have very prompt arrivals of new releases in mainstream as well as independent releases.
The site’s goals are to offer quality downloads at the cheapest prices possible, to maintain site availability to their customers and they are proud of their prompt releases on new material.
Pricing / Payment Options / Bonus Schemes
SoundsBox has a very fair pricing policy at only 14 cents a download, with a 10% added bonus, if you buy the whole album. They will also give you up to 45% bonus on $100 deposit. At the present time they are accepting Master Card and Visa credit cards as payment.
When looking for a music site my first criteria is its catalogue. The catalogue of Soundsbox consists of 35,100 artists, 2,000,000 songs and 142,500 albums.
They also have many new independent releases that I also see on eMusic, as well as very prompt releases of all the mainstream releases that I am also interested in. This, to me, creates a well balanced catalogue that keeps me going there daily, keeps me interested and draws me in.
Audio Formats / Bit Rates
SoundsBox has a sampler that samples in full quality 90 seconds - but as of now only works properly in IE. They have said they will fix this to work in Firefox as well. Until then you can use the Firefox add-on: IE Tab to make the site fully functional.
The site administrators say that their average download is 192 vbr. It varies on some of the older titles but on newer titles I see more consistency in quality.
Personally, to my ears, their downloads all sound of good quality, which says to me that they use excellent source material. Most importantly their downloads are DRM free, which means you can use them anywhere you choose.
SoundsBox is an attractive site but with a bit too much flash content for my taste. It has an interface that helps you find the contents of its catalogue. You must point and click to a letter in the alphabet and it will take you to all the artists under that chosen letter. Unfortunately you can not input an artist or an album in the search box, because it does not work properly. I have been told that this will be fixed at the end of the year, when they intend to make site upgrades.
Another way to search is by genre: click on the browse by genre tab and you will be taken to another page with various genres and sub genres, a quite impressive list. On that page you will also find new releases. I prefer to have the new releases on the front page, because this is one of the great draws to this site.
On the album page you can find out such information as release date, total time, genre, time, file size and bit rate. Everything you need to know before making a purchase. One small problem is that I find page loading is a little slow with IE. Using Firefox will speed up your page loading, when visiting Soundsbox.
Support / Assistance
The assistance at Soundsbox is excellent and very responsive. I like that “hands on” approach to customer service. When you make a request, usually in a day or so, you will see it appear on the site. You feel that you are being listened to, and at the same time help to develop the site into a place you want to visit.
Technical questions and results may take a little longer; but from personal experience I can tell you, it will be worked out. This is one of the reasons, I am such a big fan of the site.
ConclusionIf you are looking for a music site that offers great new diverse releases, great customer service and music at a great price, then Soundsbox is a place you might like to spend some time with. They are a relatively new site, so I’m personally looking forward to their future development and growth. I know if they continue on their current path, we (the music lovers) have a great deal to look forward to.