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Thread: New way of getting classical music

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    Default New way of getting classical music

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    Naxos of America and eMusic Introduce MPkey Downloadable Classical Music Collections, Now in Borders(R) Stores
    Innovative Product Bridges Gap Between Digital Retail and Brick-and-Mortar Stores; Brings Hours of Great Music to Consumers
    FRANKLIN, TN and NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 05, 2006 -- Naxos of America, the leader in independent distribution of classical music in the United States, and eMusic, the world's largest retailer of independent music and the world's second largest digital music service, will introduce MPkey, a series of downloadable classical music collections that offers an easy and affordable way to explore and enjoy the world of classical music online. As part of an unprecedented partnership that bridges the gap between the digital realm and brick-and-mortar retailers, eMusic and Naxos will make the first twelve beautifully packaged MPkey titles -- each of which contains hours of music drawn from the extensive Naxos catalogue -- available exclusively at Borders® stores nationwide from now to December 1.

    "This new product in the Naxos family brings classical music to a whole new group of listeners," comments Naxos of America Chief Executive Officer Jim Sturgeon. "MPkey is easy to use and gets rid of any intimidation factor that people might feel toward digital music. Just as important, MPkey delivers music in a versatile format that allows people to fit it into their lifestyles and tastes. Naxos of America has a great relationship with eMusic, and is glad to be able to work with them on this groundbreaking project. Having Borders as the exclusive retailer is a great way to introduce MPkey to the public."

    "Naxos is one of eMusic's top-selling labels and from the start of our relationship, eMusic has worked successfully to create an exceptional digital music experience for classical music fans," said eMusic President and CEO David Pakman. "We are excited to offer the world's first MP3 digital box sets -- compendiums of classical music, assembled by the world's leading classical label and delivered by the world's leading independent music service."

    "Naxos' commitment to music resonates well with the Borders customer, and eMusic is a company known for its innovation," said Borders Group, Inc. Director of Multimedia, Patti Russo. "Our mission is to provide our customers with the information and entertainment they need to enrich their lives. These products will serve as an enhancement to the products we carry in our stores and will provide our customers with another way to enjoy and nurture their love of music."

    MPkey is perfect for internet novices who may have reservations about downloading music from the internet. Each MPkey package guides consumers to a special page on the eMusic site with step-by-step instructions and provides a pass code to automatically download tracks as universally compatible MP3s. Listeners can then immediately begin enjoying their music by playing it on their computer, transferring it to any one of their favorite portable devices -- including an iPod® -- or burning it to a CD.


    Highlighted Links
    eMusic.com
    Naxos America



    MPkey is designed to help people incorporate classical music into their busy lives. Experts at Naxos choose tracks carefully to fit the theme of each title so that listeners will be completely satisfied. The colorful booklets that accompany each release include tips on how to use the music for particular activities and provide concise, accessible write-ups on the music and composers.

    Naxos of America will inaugurate MPkey by releasing twelve affordable titles, six three-hour kits with a suggested retail price (SRP) of only $14.99 and six six-hour collections with an SRP of only $19.99. The three-hour titles include "Chill with Classical Music, Vol. 1" (Music by Chopin, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninov), "Cinema Classics," "Very Best of Classical Guitar," "The Perfect Wedding for All Seasons," and "The Perfect Lullaby Collection." The six-hour titles are "Very Best of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart," "A to Z of Classical Music," "Mind • Body • Spirit," "The Complete Symphonies of Beethoven," "Great Symphonies," "Classical Music for Book Lovers," and "Art and Music: Da Vinci/Raphael/Caravaggio."

    MPkey brings together leaders from different sectors of the music industry. Naxos of America, the leading independent distributor of classical music in the United States, selects the music for each release, produces the liner notes and cover artwork, and distributes the code packages to retail, while eMusic -- a leader in marketing digital music to niche target audiences, focusing on the sale of music appreciated by the 28-54 year old demographic -- provides the online mechanism through which listeners attain their music.

    In October 2005, eMusic and Naxos of America announced that the digital service provider would offer Naxos' entire catalogue of over 75,000 tracks -- the most extensive and respected collection of classical music assembled. Since the launch, Naxos has become one of eMusic's top-selling labels. Borders® remains one of the top retail sources for Naxos CDs.

    ABOUT NAXOS AND NAXOS OF AMERICA

    Since 1987, Naxos has redefined how classical music is presented and marketed. The innovative strategy of recording exciting new repertoire with exceptional talent has enabled the label to develop one of the largest and fastest growing catalogues of unduplicated repertoire available anywhere -- currently over 2,700 active titles -- with state-of-the-art sound and the consumer-friendly price of $8.99 per CD.

    Naxos of America, the leader in independent classical music distribution in the U.S., is the exclusive American distributor for Naxos, Marco Polo, Naïve, CPO, Dacapo, CBC Records, Analekta, First Edition, PentaTone, Artek, Andante, Profil, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Arthaus DVD, BBC/Opus Arte DVD, TDK DVD, EuroArts DVD, Juxtapositions DVD, Naxos World, Naxos AudioBooks and Amadis record labels.

    Naxos has become what the Los Angeles Times has called an "industry leader" in the field of digital music distribution. Naxos is a significant classical music presence on all the major digital service providers and also offers the Naxos Music Library (www.naxosmusiclibrary.com) streaming service to almost 800 institutional subscribers worldwide. Since September 2005, Naxos has been offering an ongoing series of podcasts on www.Naxos.com and iTunes. Visitors to Naxos.com can register to hear all Naxos CDs online in FM quality (20K) or can register to hear samples of all tracks for free. Naxos also has Naxos Web Radio (www.NaxosRadio.com), a number of streams of music organized by style.

    Naxos of America has two offices: a central headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee and a publicity office in New York City. Naxos of America is owned by the North American Classical Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Naxos Global Distribution.

    ABOUT EMUSIC

    eMusic (http://www.emusic.com) is the world's leading digital retailer of independent music, second only to iTunes in number of downloads sold. The eMusic Web site offers more than 1.7 million tracks from established and emerging artists in every genre from the world's leading independent labels. Created by music experts for music fans, it features award-winning editorial content, a vibrant online community and unrivaled music discovery tools. A subscription-based service that offers 25 free downloads at sign-up, eMusic gives consumers an inexpensive, low-risk way to explore great new music they wouldn't find otherwise, and unlike other download services, its universally compatible MP3 files play on any device including the iPod®. Based in New York, eMusic.com Inc. is wholly owned by Dimensional Associates, Inc., the private equity arm of JDS Capital Management, Inc.

    ABOUT BORDERS GROUP, INC.

    Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., Borders Group is a leading global retailer of books, music and movies with more than 1,200 stores and over 35,000 employees worldwide. More detailed information on the company is available at www.bordersgroupinc.com.

  2. #2
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    I've said it before, but perhaps it may be right to repeat it here. The crisis that exists within the classical music business (i.e. the fall in sales of CD's etc) is NOT really the result of more and more people downloading classical music from the internet. Such an explanation sounds convincing. But it's simply not true.

    The crisis within the retail music industry came about long before the craze from free downloads. It arrived because THE RECORDING INDUSTRY and particular artists made huge and obscene amounts of money from the business of classical music recordings. (Read for example Norman Lebrecht's 'Managers, Maestros and the Corporate Murder of Classical Music - 'When the Music Stops'). The colossal sums of money paid to famous soloists served nobody except the elite within the industry.

    NAXOS arrived and did some good work. I personally think that NAXOS and others like them should do a lot better. They should provide music listeners with the software/hardware to download virtually ANY music and also the recordings themselves. Until they do both NAXOS will be under as much pressure as the industry they now lead.

    We all like different things. The days of accumulating vast libraries is perhaps over. The future seems to be access to huge libraries and the safe, legal means to download them for very small cost. That is what NAXOS should do to remain profitable. They should literally provide consumers with software, hardwarde and recordings, all of these together, with reasonable profits, and a reasonable amount of which would be invested in new recordings.

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    Senior Member Frasier's Avatar
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    The whole download thing doesn't work for me because I'm too aware of the poor quality of MP3 at anything below 256. As for ipod - I don't know whether that's mp3 or some other format but it's fairly horrid to listen to. I borrowed an ipod for a few weeks, had to convert CDs via my computer to store them in this player (it has no codec/translation of its own). I also borrowed a minidisc Atrac3 or something - that was better but in ideal conditions the reduced quality is still noticeable. (I'd LOVE to be able to use this gadgetry as I do a lot of travelling.)

    However, things are moving at a pace such that newcomers will soon know classical music ONLY from these media - ie they won't know any different, so those goodly far-easten experts at managing people's expectations down will have 'won'. All they're in it for is profit - not your musical pleasure...only the gullible would think otherwise from the hype they use!

    I think this portable fidelity would probably be ok for listening while travelling (some sort of conpression routine would be a good idea - very anti-what-the-CD-was-about but there ARE circumstances!) But for listening, relaxed, eyes closed, trying to visualise being at a concert/opera-house...uh, no. Of course, you can always convert CDs to higher quality MP3 and store masses more on a CD than red-book CD format.

    As for bringing classical music into "our busy lives".... I reckon people make themselves hyperbusy to give them a feeling of self-importance! Would they benefit by setting aside a couple of hours per day just to get away from what keeps us busy, and to heck with the system! I get the idea that most people have painted themselves into a corner here - now they can't escape "being busy"!

    Still, as long as people are willing to buy music this way, the merchants will going on selling it.

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    Senior Member bassClef's Avatar
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    I donwload alot of classical music in flac and ape format and the quality is every bit as good as a CD when piped through a decent DAC to a good hifi. But if I love a download, if it deserves it, I buy the CD, I like to have it to hold and to keep (my hard drive will crash eventually!). I've bought dozens of CDs I wouldn't have if I hadn't had the chance to listen to them in CD-quality before-hand.

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    Senior Member Cnote11's Avatar
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    To Frasier, Ipod is a different format. Instead of MP3 it is AAC(Advanced Audio Coding) I don't care for Ipod's myself. The MP3 player I have spits out my music back to me in terrible quality, but I don't use it that often and it's nice to have for long trips no matter the quality.

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    Senior Member Weston's Avatar
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    I'm confused by the OP. I thought Naxos has had classical music available for download for years -- entire albums, not just selected tracks. In what way is this different? The selected track concept sounds horrible to me.

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    This is from 2006...

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    Senior Member Earthling's Avatar
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    At last to guess, instead of always knowing. To be able to say “ah” and “oh” and “hey” instead of “yea” and “amen. ” ~ Wings of Desire

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    In Australia, small record stores no longer sell classical CDs except for the odd 'potpourri' such as 'Best of Berlioz'. Even the big stores in capital cities have a very limited selection. So on-line is the only way left to buy. However, I've discovered a better way, subscribing to a web-site service that allows me to listen on-line to almost any classical CD or track therefrom, as often as I want, at $60 US dollars per year. The site I'm using is "Classical Archives".

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    Junior Member csolomonholmes's Avatar
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    I just happy someone is telling their own story with their "own" voice. As much as I like Chopin, Scriabin, and Rachmaninoff; it gets old hearing the same old stories over and over and over and over as interpreted by this one and that one and the ones over there. I want to hear about the present by the one who is experiencing it using their own voice. I mean, Chopin, Scriabin, and Rachmaninoff told their own stories using their own voices as did countless other musicians/soloist/composers. Then at some point it stopped being acceptable. Now all you hear are mocking birds - albeit talented mocking birds. I've always been curious what a talent like Lang Lang sounds like when he just lets loose and begins laying out his own tales. I'd definitely buy a ticket to hear that!

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