Saturday, December 01, 2007

Classical downloads done right?

Jazz, blues, avant-garde, classical, some indie-rock and world music... that's what you'll suffer in my car. (There could be stories about me and Mahler's Second!)

"In my car" means mp3s, or more precisely, digital downloads. And there's the rub.

Classical music demands context: information about the composer, performer, composition, etc. Most mp3 retailers don't provide this; most don't even provide a hi-res album cover (front and back). Classical music (and jazz) audio fidelity also requires higher audio definition than the low-resolution 128 or 224 kbps (kilobits per second) often offered.

DG Web Shop
Now comes Deutsche Grammophon opening up their catalog to digital download. Owned by the Universal conglomerate, DG has often been thought of as the gold-standard of classical music labels. Two reviews of their new on-line store offer this information:

  • DG is offering their current in-print recordings and a growing list of their out-of-print recordings: that is wonderful news.
  • The music has no digital-rights-management (DRM) restrictions. Translation: you're not restricted to one player, such as the iPod.
  • DG is loading up each track with appropriate meta-data: meaning artist, composition, conductor, movement number, etc. will be included in the viewable properties of each track.
  • A full pdf file is included of the album front and back.
  • Each download will be encoded at the higher quality rate of 320kpbs.
I haven't used the store yet, but will - and will post on the experience: ease of use, ability to search for composer/composition/performer, etc. If the store is as advertised, then as Gizmodo put it: Deutsche Grammophon Shows How Digital Music Stores Should Really Work. Yahoo Tech's review here.

DG Web Shop

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment here ...