I have two concerns about live concerts that are sold exclusively online, on services such as Rhapsody.
One concern is that when something isn’t mastered for CD, there’s a temptation to be not too particular about any problems with the recording. One song on the live Camper set had what appeared to be a dropout during a word – “cigarettes” – which had been really badly patched by using the middle part of another word – “carrots” – creating “cigarrots” — which may look close on paper but simply didn’t work sonically. So I took a few minutes and fixed it properly, using the same word from another performance.
My second concern, beyond the engineering of these live recordings not being particularly careful, is there’s also the fundamental problem in the way live concerts’ songs flow from one to the other, either with some sustained notes or audience noise. I found that there were silences introduced into the ends of the tracks which I had to edit out. I am not entirely sure where the silences came from though – it is possible that they were introduced by Rhapsody’s built-in CD burner software, and were not present in the original downloads. I am not sure yet.
But it has left me wary.