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Businessweek Archives

Roll Over Beethoven (and Tell Tschaikowsky the News)

Classical music lovers like myself are finally getting some respect in the digital world. One of the oldest companies in the music business, Deutsche Grammophon, now a division of Universal Music Group, announced it was making a catalog of 2,400 classical albums, including 600 that are out of print, available for high-quality, DRM-free download from the DG Web Shop starting Nov. 28.

Even better news, at least for those of us in the depressed dollar zone, is the pricing. Individual tracks will be priced from 1.29??ither dollars or euros??nd full albums will be 10.99-11.99. The format will be 320 kilobit per second MP3, which is very close to full CD quality.

Now if they could only do something about us having to refer to the movements of a Mahler symphony or of a Beethoven quartet as ??ongs.? Or about metadata that that can’t decide whether the “artist” is the composer, the conductor, the soloist, or the orchestra.

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