Dancing to the Music!
Oct 24, 2005 (Updated Nov 15, 2005)
It is a challenge to buy my father gifts. My best choices are a bookstore gift certificate or music. Since I like to vary my gift giving, I often buy him music CDs from The Beautiful Music Company. They offer a wide range of music, which is great since he enjoys listening to everything from the 30's, 40's and 50's to steel drums, ragtime, big band, blue grass and instrumentals.
Music ... Lots of Music!
The Beautiful Music Company slogan at the top of their website is: All the Music You Love Best! I think the slogan is a bit misleading since this website caters to music through the 1980's. You wont find new rock, rap or hip hop tunes here. This is the website address: http://www.beautifulmusiccompany.com
Navigating the Website
The website is very simply set up. No flash or glitz. Actually, the site appears rather flat and (dare I say it) boring. However, it offers all the information you need to explore music offerings and to make a purchase. The site has over 6,000 songs and artists to pick from.
Besides the company logo, the top of each web page includes a Search Box where you can search the site by Artist, Title, Song, Product Code, As Seen on TV, or New. Just select a method of searching and type in the keywords. For example, I chose to search by Artist and typed the keywords Elvis Presley then clicked the green Go button. Five results displayed two Elvis Presley collections and three compilation albums where Elvis music was included.
Beneath the Search Box is a row of text links that include: Home, View Cart, Checkout, Customer Service, Help, Free Catalog. (These same links also appear at the bottom of each page.)
To the Left
The left is a vertical navigation menu. This menu includes a large list of Music Categories. Click a category to explore its offerings. The categories include:
1930's & 1940's 1950's & 1960's 1970's & 1980's Adult Contemporary Big Band Blue Grass Broadway/Show Tunes Caribbean Christmas Classical Comedy Country & Western Dance Favorites
Ethnic German Gospel Hawaiian Inspirational Instrumental Irish Italian Jazz Latin Military Novelty Opera Polka Pop Standards Pop Vocal Groups Rock n Roll Oldies Spoken Word World War II
In the Middle & to the Right
The entire middle and right of the Home Page is filled with two columns of selected music offerings to entice the viewer. Thumbnail photos of album covers are displayed next to the title of the album and artist. The various ways to purchase the music is also listed (ex: CD, cassette, DVD, video). Click on the photo or the album title to bring up a dedicated page featuring that selection.
Each dedicated product page displays a larger picture of the album cover. There is a brief description of the album as well as list of the songs included. The song list only includes the title with no other information such as how long each song plays. If there are a lot of songs on the album not every song is listed. Each product page has an area at the top to choose the quantity you wish to order and the price. This website does not offer any sample tunes to listen to.
Filling My Shopping Basket
I find it easiest to shop this website by having The Beautiful Music Company send me their print catalog. Then I can sit at home and take my time viewing the selections. The catalog lists the music pretty much as it is displayed on the website with text and song lists, including a photo of the album cover. The advantage of the website is that you can easily search for specific music.
After browsing the catalog, I go to the website and use the Search Box. I then choose search by Product Code. I type in the item number from the catalog, and the music I want is displayed. All I have to do is check the box indicating I want to order the CD (or other format) and enter the quantity. The price displayed on the web page is always the price for one item. If I order two of the same item, the price does not change to reflect the increased amount. However, when I click the Click to Add to Shopping Cart text link, the screen changes to show the item in the Shopping Cart. On this page, I can view all the information of the order ... including updated pricing and a subtotal for the order. Note that shipping & handling is not displayed until the order confirmation page.
Surprisingly, the website does not offer gift certificates for sale. In case you are wondering, the print catalog does not offer gift certificates either.
Im pleased with the value for my dollar. This website typically offers a choice between either CDs or cassette tapes. Sometimes DVDs and videos are offered. Here are some samples of their music offerings:
Alan Jackson (Christmas favorites) (1 cassette $10.98 / 1 CD $12.98)
Andre Rieu (live in Tuscany) (1 CD $18.98 / 1 DVD $19.95)
Caribbean Steel Drums 30 tracks (1 cassette $12.98 / 1 CD $16.98)
Celine Dion (greatest hits) (1 cassette $12.98 / 1 CD $18.98)
Celtic Woman (as seen on PBS) (1 CD $19.98 / 1 DVD $19.95)
Frank Sinatra 69 songs (3 CDs $19.98)
The Romantic 50's 75 songs (3 CDs $19.98)
Tom Jones (greatest hits) (1 CD $12.98)
Wagon Wheels 50 songs of the Old West (2 cassettes $19.98 / 2 CDs $24.98)
Willie Nelson 25 songs (2 cassettes $12.98 / 2 CDs $16.98)
Check Out & Payment
When finished shopping, just click the Checkout link on the Shopping Cart page. The Checkout link is also at the top and bottom of each web page.
The screen changes to show a list of the items being ordered. You can still decide to continue shopping if you wish, or you can continue to checkout.
This page features an area to fill out billing and shipping information. They also require credit card information and accept American Express, MasterCard, Visa and Discover. (Note that the website lists MasterCard as Master Charge, yet the print catalog lists it as MasterCard.)
They also request your e-mail address and a Dept # that is found on their catalog (provided you are ordering from a catalog). There is also a drop-down menu of choices indicating where you learned about their company. At the very bottom of the page is a Confirm Order link in blue. Click this to confirm your order. On this confirmation page, the shipping & handling is added. (Sales tax is only added if you live in New York, and the sales tax is not displayed on the order. It will appear on your credit card statement.)
When I finished looking over the Order Confirmation, I printed the page for my records before finalizing the purchase. Awhile later, I received an e-mail stating that my order had been received and was being processed. There was also an e-mail link for customer service should I need to write them. This was the only e-mail I received. No order tracking is available.
A great benefit is that if you order two or more items, shipping and handling is free. If one item is ordered, a $3.95 shipping charge is applied. The website does not state how the order will ship.
Receiving My Order
My order arrived via US mail. I ordered three CD sets. Two of the CD sets contain three CDs each (75 songs in each set) and only cost $19.98. The other is a two CD set that contains 100 songs for $24.98. They arrived in a sturdy corrugated brown box obviously designed to hold CDs. The box was in perfect condition.
Opening the box, I was surprised to only see two of the three CD sets. The packing slip consisted of a postcard with both CD titles listed. The missing CD set was not listed on the slip ... and there was no explanation why it wasnt there. Nothing indicated the CD was on backorder. I also noticed that one of the plastic CD cases had a cracked corner.
I phoned The Beautiful Music Company customer service phone number. The woman who answered the phone told me that the missing CD was on backorder and could not give me a date when to expect it. When I pressed a bit for some kind of date (after all, this was a gift), she told me shortly. I then mentioned the damaged CD case for one of the 3-CD sets. The woman offered to send me a replacement case. That made me happy.
Update -- November 15, 2005
The company mailed me the replacement CD case. I received it a week and a half ago. It came via U.S. mail.
Yesterday I received a postcard in the mail that said my backordered CD would be available in 30-days. The card said to do nothing and the CD would be sent to me, or they would provide a refund if I contacted them.
The Shopping Cart page features The Beautiful Music Companys guarantee in bold print. It says, Every cassette, compact disc, video and DVD comes to you with a money back guarantee. If you are not completely satisfied we will refund your money ... No Questions Asked!
I have ordered from The Beautiful Music Company many times and have been overall happy with their service. They offer music for those who enjoy a stroll down memory lane with classics and oldies as well as a selection of music not easily found in my local stores. My father is happy with the CDs. He enjoys the quality music in these collections.
I hope that you have found this review useful.
Enjoy your day,
The Beautiful Music Company
24 Woodbine Avenue, Suite 3
Northport, NY 11768
Phone # 631-261-2254
Between the hours of 9:00 am - 4:00 pm EST
Please read my other reviews:
Best Buy Online Store
Buy.com Online Store
Staples Online Store
Hogwild Online Store
Harry and David Online and at the Mall
Betty Crocker Online Catalog
Cooking.com Online Store
The Republic of Tea Online Store
Burpee Online Store
Keepsake Quilting Online Store
Joann.com Online Store
Writers Digest Book Club
Uproar.com Online Games
Pogo.com Online Games
Copyright 2005 Dawn L. Stewart