Rock Archive Vol. 1: The Beatles

Rock Archive Vol.1
one of the various CD-ROM covers (scan by Ferran Vallejo)
beatles2.jpg (21598 bytes)
another cover (scan by Juan Carlos Mazas de Lizana
Release Date December 1995
Platform Windows PC
Size 675 MB
Manufacturer unknown (Russia+Bulgaria), different covers, different pressings
Pricing ?

Contents This CD-ROM contains "all" official Beatles albums, excluding the Anthologies. So besides from the standard catalogue, there are the releases "A Collection of Oldies but Goldies", "Hey Jude", "Red and Blue", "Rock And Roll Music (2LP"), "Live at the Hollywood Bowl", "Love Songs", "Rarities (UK)", "Rock And Roll Music Vol.1", "Rock And Roll Music Vol.2", "20 Greatest Hits", and "Past Masters Vols. 1&2".
This CD-ROM was created using Macromedia Director. There is (thumbnail-sized) cover artwork, release dates (UK and US), order numbers and playing times. Clicking on an album will bring up a track listing (incl. timings), and one can arbitrarily select any track of the album and it will play. A double click will present the lyrics of a particular song. The screen layout is quite pleasing.
There's also an alphabetical index of all songs, and to each song there is a clickable list of all albums which contain that song.

Comments This CD-ROM is a pirate disc, that is officially material is sold here without obtaining a license nor paying royalties. This alone should be enough reason to pass on that disc.

Although at the very first sight this CD-ROM looks unbelievably good, you have to know that there are quite a few shortcomings.
First, although this CD-ROM pretends to be complete - it just isn't. For example the Hollywood Bowl tracks - you get to hear the studio recordings, not the live ones! Rarities - some titles are missing entirely, others are the standard mixes. So this is a bit disappointing.
Second - for me the most important issue - is the sound quality. They are using 22.05kHz stereo 16 bit ADPCM (4:1 compression) WAV files which can be played by all Windows systems without installing a player. Although there are no obvious glitches, 22 kHz offers only a frequency range of 11kHz, and this is much less than FM radio and muss less than even a bad cassette player. If you're listening in a noisy environment on lousy speakers it'll be fine I guess. But if you care for quality you will be very disappointed.

1998 Harald Gernhardt's Beatles Pages. All Rights Reserved.