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Old 04-20-2008, 06:25 AM   #1
dthomsen8
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Default MP3 Music Downloads

I have been thinking about buying a MP3 music player for travel use. BestBuy and others have MP3 players plus ambient noise reducing headsets for a total under $100. More for really large memory capacities, but at least one player is available with a slot for extra memory chips.

What I am curious about is the price of classical music downloads. Pop songs are available for less than $1, but classical pieces are far longer than pop songs. I have been poking around on the web, but I haven't found any good information on this question.
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Old 04-20-2008, 07:39 AM   #2
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I poked around a little and found:

http://www.eclassical.com/

Free ones here:
http://www.classiccat.net/

Googling "mp3 classical" pulls up lots of possibiliites

   
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Old 04-20-2008, 08:15 AM   #3
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I use the Rhapsody "to go" feature. With this I pay a monthly fee for the rights to use an extensive music library, including downloading to my MP3 player. I can also purchase the files. But I would not recommend them if your primary interest is classical.
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Old 04-20-2008, 12:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dthomsen8 View Post
What I am curious about is the price of classical music downloads.
I have an iPod, so buy mine from the iTunes store. You can buy whole albums there as well as single movements.

   
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Old 04-20-2008, 09:25 PM   #5
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Unless you are after a particular piece you don't have on CD (yet), you could also try listening to a classical Internet radio station and ripping the stream.

Most of the music I listen to is various Internet radio stations, using WinAmp to listen, and I have a StreamRipper plugin going most of the time. http://shoutcast.com/ has a huge collection of stations searchable by keyword. (Pay attention to the station's bitrate to get good quality for modern recordings; though for really old ones it doesn't really matter. )

The only disadvantage is that eventually you have to sort out the MP3 files it writes, as invariably there will be doubles... that can be a time consuming (though not unpleasant) job.

   
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Old 04-21-2008, 12:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dthomsen8 View Post
I have been thinking about buying a MP3 music player for travel use.
I have a Sony Video Walkman with 8Gb memory. Which has excellent sound reproduction, IMO better than the iPod Nano - and cheaper, at least in the UK. My main consideration when buying was the sound quality, and this is difficult to test before purchase. The second consideration was battery life, the longer the better. - the Walkman has about 30hrs of music play between charges. I looked at a lot of personal product reviews before making my decision, and, once I came to buy, the Walkman was on half price offer at Amazon.

It comes with really good quality earpieces, not noise cancelling, but I have a pair of those anyway for train & aircraft use. The reproduction of music is not as good with these, though. Also the added option of video is useful even though the screen is 42mm x 32m in size - I have the 1968 Cream farewell concert from the Albert Hall on there at the moment. I can have a lot of photos as well as a couple of hours of video and (currently) over 20 hours of music tracks. Files can be added/removed by simple drag & drop in Windoze explorer.

Getting tracks on mp3 is not difficult at all. Either buy the files for download or rip them from CD or radio. Our local library has a wide range of CDs for rental, each one costing 50 pence (about $1) to borrow, so that opens up another source to me.

   
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Old 04-21-2008, 12:00 PM   #7
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Amazon has MP3 downloads for $0.89 per song and no DRM. I've found things there that iTunes doesn't have, but have yet to buy from any store other than iTunes. Given the price, no DRM and the fact that some things I want I can't get through the iTunes store, I plan to buy from Amazon at least to try it.

   
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Old 04-21-2008, 12:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelvyn View Post
I have a Sony Video Walkman with 8Gb memory. Which has excellent sound reproduction, IMO better than the iPod Nano - and cheaper, at least in the UK. My main consideration when buying was the sound quality, and this is difficult to test before purchase. The second consideration was battery life, the longer the better. - the Walkman has about 30hrs of music play between charges. I looked at a lot of personal product reviews before making my decision, and, once I came to buy, the Walkman was on half price offer at Amazon.

It comes with really good quality earpieces, not noise cancelling, but I have a pair of those anyway for train & aircraft use. The reproduction of music is not as good with these, though. Also the added option of video is useful even though the screen is 42mm x 32m in size - I have the 1968 Cream farewell concert from the Albert Hall on there at the moment. I can have a lot of photos as well as a couple of hours of video and (currently) over 20 hours of music tracks. Files can be added/removed by simple drag & drop in Windoze explorer.

Getting tracks on mp3 is not difficult at all. Either buy the files for download or rip them from CD or radio. Our local library has a wide range of CDs for rental, each one costing 50 pence (about $1) to borrow, so that opens up another source to me.
Aircraft use is why I am considering this idea. I think I should get the MP3 unit and the noise canceling headphones, and learn how to convert a CD to the MP3 player, which doesn't seem difficult at all. I am flying to Malaysia via South Korea in August, a very long flight, and that makes me think about entertainment, plus at least one good book. Sound only is sufficient for me, but I do need to think about battery life. There is also an air travel kit for the headphones available, providing a variety of plugs to connect to the aircraft with the better headphones than the airline provides.
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Old 04-28-2008, 12:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dthomsen8 View Post
What I am curious about is the price of classical music downloads.
One interesting source of MP3s is http://www.classicalmusicmobile.com/, a European website that specializes in recordings that are over 50 years old. According to the site, these recordings are in the public domain under international copyright law. (In the USA, the site says, copyright protection of recordings depends on the state.) The price of a download is one euro per work, regardless of its length. Even with the decline of the dollar against the euro, the downloads here are quite a bargain, especially for operas and other long works. The monaural sound of most files may be a drawback for some, but stereo recordings are beginning to appear on the site.
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Old 04-29-2008, 12:39 AM   #10
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Oooohhh, thank you, thank you, thank you. Some of those recordings are all-time classics.

I'm about to bankrupt myself and force the purchase of a second iPod...

First up is the Menuhin recording of the Bruch, then maybe Callas singing Bellini...

   
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