Frequently Asked Questions
Where's my CD?!?
There is no CD inside the Biopholio™.
The Biopholio™ is a double-sided, 20-panel origami-inspired medium, bursting with vibrant artwork and liner notes; each one made entirely out of FSC-certified, robust paper, hand-folded and printed using plant-based inks.
Found inside each Biopholio™ is a unique code for the listener to digitally download the music in hers/his preferred format including CD-quality, uncompressed WAV files.
This innovative design caters to the environmentally-conscious listener, who is aware of the harmful effects of plastic in the environment, yet feels that a digital download is just not enough. With your purchase, you are supporting the future of this music and the artists who create it with the added bonus of receiving a tangible piece of original album artwork that you can proudly cherish for years to come.
But if there’s no CD, how do I listen to the music?
Found inside each Biopholio™ is a unique download code that the listener will use to digitally download the music in hers/his preferred format, including MP3 or CD-quality WAV files.
Luckily for you, founder of Biophilia Records, Fabian Almazan has made some instructional videos to guide you along the way!
Watch them here:
In English, using Safari
In English, using Firefox
En español, usando Safari
If you'd rather read the Instructions rather than watch the video tutorials, our friends over at Bandcamp can help. They have some useful, clearly laid out tips for troubleshooting. Check out what they have to say here: www.bandcamp.com/help/downloading
Great! How do I buy a Biopholio™?
Alternatively, you can come to live shows and purchase one there!
How do you listen on my smart-phone?
Once the album is released, and the code is redeemed, the album can be streamed on the bandcamp app (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bandcamp/id706408639?mt=8). But keep in mind that all Biophilia Records albums are available via most popular music-streaming services.
Android devices can download the audio files directly.
But aren’t downloads of lesser quality than a CD?
There are several download options available to you. You can download in various formats - including mp3’s, as well as CD-quality WAV files etc.
We also invite you to take check out this interesting link about the various audio-quality formats:
How do I find out about the albums that are coming out?
Subscribe to our mailing list!
You can also follow us on Facebook: @BiophiliaRecords, Twitter: @BiophiliaRecord, and Instagram: @biophiliarecords
Why is there no CD?
Here is an interesting article stating that “billions of new CDs and DVDs are manufactured each year. According to the Recycling Center of America, approximately 100,000 pounds of CDs become outdated, useless or unwanted each month, and millions of discs end up in landfills and are incinerated each year. CDs are considered "Class 7" plastics and are the most difficult to recycle because they contain miscellaneous types of plastics such as polycarbonate and polylactide that are often mixed with other raw materials.”
It is possible to recycle CDs but due to the complex mixture of materials used to make CDs, discs usually can't be recycled at your local recycling center or through a recycling pick-up service.
Here is an interesting article about the effects of plastic waste in the Guardian:
It cites a study that states “In total, more than 300 million tonnes of plastic is manufactured every year”
Lead author of the said study, Professor Jan Zalasiewicz, says “In 1950, we virtually made none at all. It is an incredible rise. That annual total of 300 million tonnes is close to the weight of the entire human population of the planet. And the figure for plastic manufacture is only going to grow. The total amount of plastic produced since the second world war is around 5 billion tonnes and is very likely to reach 30 billion by the end of the century. The impact will be colossal.”
This product comes to you with no plastic packaging whatsoever.
Also with this message, we hope to engage more conversations and thoughts onto how we can lessen the demand of petroleum products and plastic production. There are many ways you can help reduce consumption of plastic, see links for more info:
But I don’t plan to dispose of my CD once I’ve purchased it? How would it end up in a landfill?
The state of the environment and the state of the music industry is both in a state of uncertainty.
In the age of streaming and digital downloads, we hope that an audio CD should be a souvenir and not thrown away. However, we have several reasons why we choose not to manufacture CDs.
According to Julie's Bicycle, a U.K. organization dedicated to reducing the British music industry's carbon footprint, “CD manufacture is the industry’s largest single source of direct emissions with an estimated 30% of the recording and publishing sector”
Not only can the manufacturing process of CD’s be exhausting, but the lifespan of plastic itself will likely outlast the lifespan of the data on the CD. Although it is hard to gage the lifespan of the audio on the CD, but most often the plastic will take 100-200 years to biodegrade while the data will likely have a shorter life span.
Methods for archiving information are being adapted to accommodate the deterioration of data on CDs. Here is an interesting article from NPR on the life-span of CDs which states “Rapid changes in temperature and humidity can stress the materials. Gravity can bend and stress the discs. Fingerprints and smudges can do more damage than scratches”
Also, please keep in mind CD packaging not only comes with the plastic of the CD, but often also with the CD disc tray as well as the plastic shrink-wrapping process.
This product comes delivered to you with no plastic packaging whatsoever.
But aren’t digital downloads undervaluing the music and isn’t buying CDs helping the music industry?
Never has music been as easily obtainable as it has been today. Our music can be streamed in various formats, and oftentimes illegally uploaded onto youtube or various torrents. Though our exposure has increased, unfortunately the system has been made to the disadvantage of the musician. Tech companies who control the medium, control by under-valuing the product of music. One thing that was taken away from digital distribution was the physical, tangible, giving the fans the artwork.
In creating the Biopholio, we hope to give the listener a designer product which restores their connection with artist and the appreciation of the music, whilst being plastic-free.
Why no vinyl?
Poly Vinyl Chloride, better known as PVC, has a long history used in a wide range of building materials from pipes to wall and floor coverings. Durability and economical up front costs are it's primary functional advantages. In terms of sustainability, the PVC controversy is centered primarily around the health related concerns for workers during the manufacturing phase of the products, environmental release of toxins during production, as well as the release of toxics from products when they burn.
PVC is a plastic non grata among environmentalists, because of concerns about dangerous emissions during its production and—if burned—its disposal. (One LP manufacturer the Lantern spoke with talked about experimenting with bioplastic—but the switch to vegetable-based albums isn't likely to happen any time soon.
In addition, an LP is about twice as heavy as a packaged CD, which translates into higher fuel usage for transportation.
Carbon Counting can be complex, what about the materials made to use the computer, to buy the smart phone, the internet connection?
Firstly, many people already have or need smartphones or computers - they already have setups in place already and are not buying this technology just to download this music.
According to this article in Slate, researchers from Carnegie Mellon concluded that “The impact categories for CDs are pretty obvious: You've got to manufacture those discs, booklets, and jewel cases and then shuttle the finished product along a supply chain until it reaches the final consumer. When it comes to digital files, the environmental costs come from the energy consumed by data centers, those rooms full of servers and network equipment that serve as the backbone of the Internet. Plus, you have to consider the electricity used by your home computer and some (tiny) fraction of the resources associated with manufacturing it”
In both analyses, the downloaded album came out ahead of the store-bought disc: The computer version produced 13 percent as much carbon dioxide and used 13 percent as much energy; it was also 37 percent as materially intensive.
There is also a bigger market for recycling smart phones, but the same cannot be said of CDs.
Isn’t buying the digital download better for the environment than having a physical product?
Yes, to have less of an impact on the environment, a direct digital download is best. Even better, ride your bicycle to a concert and see us live!
We don't want to imply paper has no impact, however, in comparison to the impact of a CD and plastic production, we see this as a better alternative - there is no plastic in any of the packaging involved.
We understand that the music doesn’t need the physical package to be delivered, but we can give you something restores and enhances their physical connection to the music. This is designed for environmentally-conscious music fans who are aware of the harmful effects of plastic on the environment, yet feel that a digital download is not enough. With your purchase, you are supporting the future of this music and the artists who create it with the added bonus of receiving a tangible piece of original album artwork that you can cherish for years to come.
What is the inspiration behind the design?
Inspired by the ancient Japanese art of origami - 折り紙, from ori meaning "folding", and kami meaning "paper."
Origami has influenced countless areas of art and design, but also mathematics, science and technology. Here is an interesting article on how origami is helping to change space technology:
Biopholia means "an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems." Here is an interesting article about origami found in nature:
It’s efficiency and beauty were the catalyst for this Biopholio™ design.