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Joined: Feb 2021
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Since almost everything is going Cloud nowadays, I am wondering where or how people keep those great recordings of classical music? Do you still buy physical CDs, buy albums through iTunes, subscribe Spotify, just watch on YouTube? I am currently learning some pieces and want to listen to various versions of performance. But I can’t decide what is the best way to access these albums. Would appreciate your inputs. TIA!

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I still buy CDs, mostly used, occasionally new. I purchase a lot of box sets.

There are many jewels to be found at used bookstores/shops. My favorite is Half Price Books that has quite a few locations across the US. I’ve also bought used on Amazon without problems.

For most listening purposes, YouTube will have enough professional recordings of major pieces.

I used to subscribe to Spotify, but then switched to the Idagio streaming service. It is well worth the money to me. It has the most exhaustive collection of classical recordings that I have seen. Chances are if you are looking for a particular recording on a major label, they will have it.

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Thank you, spk. I will try Idagio. Have you tried Apple Music for classical music? If yes, do you like it in terms of the collection and the search ability? Because you mentioned Idagio, I did some research and found that apple bought primephonic, Idagio’s competitor last year.

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I just took a quick glance at Apple Music. maybe it will improve in the future, but right now it’s nowhere close to Idagio in terms of recordings, artists, search features, etc.

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I stream losslessly from Qobuz and Tidal under Roon and I think it is amazing.

Last edited by LarryK; 01/16/22 12:36 AM.
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I buy CDs. I like to have an actual physical collection of music.

Two recommendations for buying CDs while avoiding Amazon.

1. Presto Music (Classical) at https://www.prestomusic.com/classical. Very good service. They are a real shop (in Leamington Spa); you can phone up and speak to people. They provide helpful reviews. Excellent mail order service.

2. Foyles, the well known bookshop in the Charing Cross Road in London. They have a wonderful music section on Level 2 - CDs, DVDs, books, scores. They have a superb stock of CDs. To my knowledge, the last "real" record shop in London.

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Originally Posted by LarryK
I stream losslessly from Qobuz and Tidal under Roon and I think it is amazing.

What language is this?

Just kidding - I could do a search and find out what you are talking about, but it struck me as funny that for all I know it could be some invented science fiction language.

Sam


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Originally Posted by Sam S
Originally Posted by LarryK
I stream losslessly from Qobuz and Tidal under Roon and I think it is amazing.

What language is this?

Just kidding - I could do a search and find out what you are talking about, but it struck me as funny that for all I know it could be some invented science fiction language.

Sam

Haha! I am glad I could confuse you with just one sentence. smile That sentence gives you access to lossless streams for literally hundreds of thousand of CDs.

Yes, people will complain that my setup is not free, it costs around fifty dollars a month, but, to put this in perspective, I have probably spent $50,000 on physical media. So, if I have had never bought a single CD, I’d be able to stream for abut eighty three years with that money.

We live in amazing times, as far as access to recorded music, and yet people still complain.

Last edited by LarryK; 01/16/22 07:52 PM.
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Originally Posted by LarryK
Yes, people will complain that my setup is not free, it costs around fifty dollars a month, but, to put this in perspective, I have probably spent $50,000 on physical media. So, if I have had never bought a single CD, I’d be able to stream for abut eighty three years with that money.

So what does this imply for the income stream to musicians from recordings?

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Originally Posted by David-G
Originally Posted by LarryK
Yes, people will complain that my setup is not free, it costs around fifty dollars a month, but, to put this in perspective, I have probably spent $50,000 on physical media. So, if I have had never bought a single CD, I’d be able to stream for abut eighty three years with that money.

So what does this imply for the income stream to musicians from recordings?

It’s a complicated question. The streaming services do pay the artists, and we can argue about whether the amount is fair. How much did the distribution channels for physical CDs take from the artists?

I don’t have any easy answers. I know I listen to far more music now than I ever did when I had to buy a physical copy of of an album. So, I am sure some money gets sent to artists whose work I never would have found in physical form.

Last edited by LarryK; 01/16/22 08:53 PM.
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Originally Posted by Sam S
Originally Posted by LarryK
I stream losslessly from Qobuz and Tidal under Roon and I think it is amazing.

What language is this?

Just kidding - I could do a search and find out what you are talking about, but it struck me as funny that for all I know it could be some invented science fiction language.

Sam

Thanks for suggestions.

I find it even funnier that I googled them and they are very clear in what they want (your money) but not clear on what they offer, they just say "subscribe and see". For example Qobuz does show me its catalog of music which I can download, but then it does not tell me if that catalog is the exact identical one available for streaming. I don't care about their 70 millions available stuff, I care about the ones I want. If something is (or isn't) available for download (which I can check without an account) does that mean it's available for streaming too?

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Originally Posted by Del Vento
Originally Posted by Sam S
Originally Posted by LarryK
I stream losslessly from Qobuz and Tidal under Roon and I think it is amazing.

What language is this?

Just kidding - I could do a search and find out what you are talking about, but it struck me as funny that for all I know it could be some invented science fiction language.

Sam

Thanks for suggestions.

I find it even funnier that I googled them and they are very clear in what they want (your money) but not clear on what they offer, they just say "subscribe and see". For example Qobuz does show me its catalog of music which I can download, but then it does not tell me if that catalog is the exact identical one available for streaming. I don't care about their 70 millions available stuff, I care about the ones I want. If something is (or isn't) available for download (which I can check without an account) does that mean it's available for streaming too?

Ah, you know, they're providing a service and must charge money for it. I guess it's either charge money or deluge you with ads, which I guess is what Spotify does. I'd rather pay a little money and not get bombarded with ads.

I don't download, as it seems kind of pointless. I don't know if there is some divide between what you can download versus what you can stream. I don't need to save all of those files on a storage device and manage them. I stream directly and never worry about it. I can flag CDs as being in my library. I now have a Tidal login in my Tesla, so that's cool, all of my music goes with me on the road, for what I already pay.

As for what they provide, it's more music than I will ever listen to in my lifetime, and when Qobuz is paired with Tidal, it's an amazing resource. I'd love to see the Naxos Classical Music library integrated under Roon but that does not seem like it will happen. I used to subscribe to Naxos, which is quite a bit more expensive.

Anyway, if you won't spend $10 to see if you like it, I guess you're not customer for them. I believe Tidal has some free tier now. You could check that out.

Last edited by LarryK; 01/17/22 10:44 AM.
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Originally Posted by LarryK
Ah, you know, they're providing a service and must charge money for it. I guess it's either charge money or deluge you with ads, which I guess is what Spotify does. I'd rather pay a little money and not get bombarded with ads.

I totally agree with that, and I'd be eager to subscribe (that's why I following this thread and checking them out). However I want to know BEFORE I give them all my personal and financial information, WHAT I get in exchange. Like when I go to the store, I check the ingredients of the food I purchase. If they don't specify that BEFORE, to me it looks that their target audience is either the crowd of "just give me some music without ads, I don't care what it is besides some approximate classification" or the wealthy ones who subscribe to something, and then forget about it, for which the recurring charge is a great tool. I am not in either camp.

Or perhaps I'm just an old grumpy dinosaur and I'll be soon be extinct and the world will be better without people like me.

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Originally Posted by Del Vento
Originally Posted by LarryK
Ah, you know, they're providing a service and must charge money for it. I guess it's either charge money or deluge you with ads, which I guess is what Spotify does. I'd rather pay a little money and not get bombarded with ads.

I totally agree with that, and I'd be eager to subscribe (that's why I following this thread and checking them out). However I want to know BEFORE I give them all my personal and financial information, WHAT I get in exchange. Like when I go to the store, I check the ingredients of the food I purchase. If they don't specify that BEFORE, to me it looks that their target audience is either the crowd of "just give me some music without ads, I don't care what it is besides some approximate classification" or the wealthy ones who subscribe to something, and then forget about it, for which the recurring charge is a great tool. I am not in either camp.

Or perhaps I'm just an old grumpy dinosaur and I'll be soon be extinct and the world will be better without people like me.

Well, they might not want to divulge their complete catalog for competitive reasons, I don't know.

If you can give me a sample of the titles that they absolutely must have, I can look them up for you.

I'm no young man myself. I've been using computers for a long time, back from the days of the DecWriter II, which printed its output on paper.

Every advance in computing, networks, and music streaming, is magical to me.

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Originally Posted by LarryK
If you can give me a sample of the titles that they absolutely must have, I can look them up for you.

I'm no young man myself. I've been using computers for a long time, back from the days of the DecWriter II, which printed its output on paper.

Wow, that is so kind of you. Here is an abridged list of what I think would be the most difficult ones.

- Some old recordings of the likes of György Cziffra and Vladimir Horowitz

- Some historical recordings of people like John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and Art Tatum

- I assume they have them, but they are "a must" for me, so if you have time to check: Keith Jarret, Bill Evans, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock

- I assume they have them, but if you still have time to check, recordings of some contemporary "big" and rising stars (and less known ones) like: Daniil Trifonov, Valentina Lisitsa, Simone Dinnerstein, Mariam Batsashvili, Eric Lu

There's more that I care about and which is more niche, but I guess if they have all of this it may be "good enough to get started" and I'd look for the other stuff as a plus if they have it.

Originally Posted by LarryK
Every advance in computing, networks, and music streaming, is magical to me.

For context: I work in the compute industry and on the first machine I used the "filesystem" were tapes which I needed to manually seek to the location of the file (or wait a really long time for it to "seek" by reading the whole tape). On one hand, I agree: the technology has improved incredibly. On the other, I know what it is possible now (but not done for lack of a market), and what it could be possible if there were investment and "good" direction, and I am sad. I see the direction the computing industry is going being almost the 180 opposite direction of what I think would benefit humanity... but that would be too much of a digression, so let's stay with these streaming services which can be really good if well done.

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Originally Posted by Del Vento
Originally Posted by LarryK
If you can give me a sample of the titles that they absolutely must have, I can look them up for you.

I'm no young man myself. I've been using computers for a long time, back from the days of the DecWriter II, which printed its output on paper.

Wow, that is so kind of you. Here is an abridged list of what I think would be the most difficult ones.

- Some old recordings of the likes of György Cziffra and Vladimir Horowitz

- Some historical recordings of people like John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and Art Tatum

- I assume they have them, but they are "a must" for me, so if you have time to check: Keith Jarret, Bill Evans, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock

- I assume they have them, but if you still have time to check, recordings of some contemporary "big" and rising stars (and less known ones) like: Daniil Trifonov, Valentina Lisitsa, Simone Dinnerstein, Mariam Batsashvili, Eric Lu

There's more that I care about and which is more niche, but I guess if they have all of this it may be "good enough to get started" and I'd look for the other stuff as a plus if they have it.

Originally Posted by LarryK
Every advance in computing, networks, and music streaming, is magical to me.

For context: I work in the compute industry and on the first machine I used the "filesystem" were tapes which I needed to manually seek to the location of the file (or wait a really long time for it to "seek" by reading the whole tape). On one hand, I agree: the technology has improved incredibly. On the other, I know what it is possible now (but not done for lack of a market), and what it could be possible if there were investment and "good" direction, and I am sad. I see the direction the computing industry is going being almost the 180 opposite direction of what I think would benefit humanity... but that would be too much of a digression, so let's stay with these streaming services which can be really good if well done.

I remember tape, of course, and ran programs on a IBM mass storage system with a robotic arm that loaded little spools of tape, lol.

My first computer science class, in LISP, was taught by a guy who programmed on the Harvard Mark I.

I suppose I found the most elegant programming solutions in symbolic languages, such as LISP, which dates back to the 1950s, and Smalltalk, which came out of Xerox PARC and was designed by Alan Kay and Dan Ingalls back in 1978 and was the start of personal computing. Smalltalk = LISP + Simula.

Apple ripped them off but did a poor job of it, because they did not realize that Smalltalk modeled the whole machine and allowed for everything to be changed at runtime through the use of late binding and incremental compilation.

Anyway, I looked up György Cziffra, thinking that he might be the least known of the artists you mentioned and found that I can stream thirty eight CDs. Since I pay for both Tidal and Qobuz, I’ll have to analyze which are on which service, or both services.

I’ll work through other names on your list.

You know, I work with all these brilliant robotics engineers who can build autonomous vehicles and I now have a car that drives itself. Life is amazing. Human progress is amazing.

Last edited by LarryK; 01/17/22 05:38 PM.
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I second the above opinion that Idagio is by far the best source. It is a german outfit (but in all languages) and strictly restricted to classical, so less well known and featured in general media. It offers all the best streaming standards, quality wise, and I use it on all my devices, including in my car. But the ultimate result, of course, is when listening at home, lossless, through my preferred hifi rig and speakers. You do so by connecting the Bluesound Node device into your hifi. It's simplicity itself to use, you control all your streaming from any Apple touchscreen.


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Originally Posted by Vikendios
I second the above opinion that Idagio is by far the best source. It is a german outfit (but in all languages) and strictly restricted to classical, so less well known and featured in general media. It offers all the best streaming standards, quality wise, and I use it on all my devices, including in my car. But the ultimate result, of course, is when listening at home, lossless, through my preferred hifi rig and speakers. You do so by connecting the Bluesound Node device into your hifi. It's simplicity itself to use, you control all your streaming from any Apple touchscreen.

I wished Idagio would integrate with Roon. There was some talk of doing that on the Roon forums. I’d probably subscribe to them as a third streaming option after Tidal and Qobuz, lol. I am lunatic fringe. If Naxos integrated, I’d pay for that one too.

It appears that Roon is safely past the risk of losing their only streaming source with the support of both Tidal and Qobuz.

Last edited by LarryK; 01/17/22 08:56 PM.
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I've had exceptionally good luck purchasing classical CD's and LP's at my local Goodwill stores (we have several in our city) for about $1 (CD) or $2.50 (LP) each - sometimes less. Some of the CD's were brand new in the original wrapper, but even the used ones are usually in fine shape. It's more of a mixed bag with the LP's - but I've found several that are pristine in original packaging. Of course playing these disks requires a good turntable and CD player/changer, which are hard to find these days. I bought a new turntable on Amazon but had to resort to purchasing lightly used late model CD player/changers on Craigslist. I now have a collection of audio equipment that should last at least 10 years. ha


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The home page of Idagio often contains "new" items that remain as new for weeks if not months on end. But I became so frustrated with Idagio's search/browse function that I cancelled my subscription to their service.

Regards,

Last edited by BruceD; 01/18/22 01:41 AM.

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