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December 28, 2007


Bryant Manning

I've always adored Suzanne Vega, so looking forward to getting my hands on Beauty & Crime. Can't wait to hear it.

Happy holidays from chicago!

Peter Gannushkin

Interesting list. The most amusing observation about it for me is not that only one position (Myra Melford and Tanya Kalmanovitch Heart Mountain) got in both your list and mine, but that none of the other CDs you listed I ever listened to. Makes me think I missed a lot of interesting stuff in 2007.

PS Actually, looking closer I found Brad Shepik Trio CD which I have, but thought it was out in 2006.

jon abbey

"DG Web Shop The venerable Deutsche Grammophon label unveiled the first download store guaranteed to please the pickiest classical audiophile."

huh? they're a lot better than iTunes, but they're still 320 MP3s, which are nowhere near lossless files, so not sure why you'd write this. am I not seeing a lossless option somewhere?

Steve Smith

Okay, Jon, for you (and with no disrespect intended, mind):

"…guaranteed to please the pickiest classical audiophile -- provided that he or she is open to the notion of downloading compressed files to portable players (as a viable supplement to a regular diet of uncompressed recordings on LP and CD) in the first place."

For those of us who actually do occasionally listen to classical music on iPods and the like, the DG sound is the richest available, bar none.

There is also the tantalizing promise of getting out-of-print recordings in a digitized form, as opposed to paying through the nose for quite possibly scuzzy vinyl.

Possibly most important of all, the DG Web Shop is designed in a manner that doesn't disrespect (or simply disregard) the needs and intelligence of the classical consumer.

I'm not surprised that you would call me on my slight hyperbole, Jon. But then, if I'm not mistaken, you're not the target audience of a download store, anyway.

Steve Smith

(I should add to the above that I do not at present consider any download store as being my first choice for acquiring music, nor any compressed format as being optimal for listening.)

jon abbey

yeah, sorry, Steve, but I think the differences between MP3s (even 320 MP3s) and CD quality music is a huge issue in today's musical climate, and too many people gloss over it, so with the way you worded that, I felt compelled to chime in. it amazed me how many people simply paid for that Radiohead download without even asking what quality it was, then got irritated later when it turned out to be a 160 MP3.

anyway, IMO the terms "audiophile" and "compressed files" have zero overlap. FWIW, I have an iPod, with plenty of MP3s (as well as plenty of lossless files), but I'd certainly never pay for a MP3 of anything, I don't see that changing.

"For those of us who actually do occasionally listen to classical music on iPods and the like, the DG sound is the richest available, bar none."

this isn't true either of course, as you can rip your own CDs as lossless files. it may be the best quality legal DL available as of now, but the qualitative differences between that and an actual CD are still too important to ignore IMO, and if someone like you doesn't register that as important, then pretty much no one will.

anyway, that's my two cents. happy new year, my man!

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