Like it or not, the music industry is focusing its efforts more and more on the distribution and sale of digitally compressed (and, in some cases, uncompressed) music. Or ‘downloads’, to use common parlance. As broadband speeds increase and computer hard drives become larger - and as familiarity with new technologies becomes steadily more demographically widespread – we’re entering a new musical age: one that will undoubtedly benefit the classical music industry in particular.
This thread is intended as a place to discuss downloads, the technologies involved, and where to get the best or most interesting deals. What follows is a brief summary of this thread (now eight pages long), including links that will help new and experienced users of downloads to get more out of this new way of buying and enjoying music.
PLACES TO BUY DOWNLOADSiTunes Music Store
For iPod users who have the iTunes software installed on their computers, iTunes Music Store is a seamless and simple way to buy and download music from a selection of tracks that runs into the millions. Be advised, however, that you MUST own an iPod if you want to transfer the music bought at iTunes onto a portable device. Music downloaded from this site comes in AAC and Apple Lossless formats, both of which place restrictions on what you can do subsequently with the tracks you’ve bought.eMusic
eMusic is fast-becoming the biggest challenger to iTunes Music Store is terms of sales and popularity. All music downloaded from this site is in the universally accepted MP3 format, contains NO Digital Rights Management (DRM) – so you can do what you like with the tracks you buy – and is of high enough quality for PC or portable device listening purposes. Be advised that you need to sign up for a subscription package to use this site, but you can cancel this at any time.eClassical
This classical-only download store also sells tracks in MP3 Format, but works with just four independent labels. However, buying from here is extremely simple, particularly if you have PayPal: you can purchase and download music without a subscription, and you don’t even have to register.
TO BE CONTINUED … EDIT: June 18th - I'm in the process of revising the start of this thread to make it more useful to those unfamiliar with the business of downloading and its attendent technologies.