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Direct Concerts & Operas into Your Computer

April 3, 2010

With the continuous decrease in CD sales over years, the orchestras need to find a way, besides selling concert seats, to make money. In this article, “The 21st-Century Orchestra: Now Hear It This Way” Wakin lists how these modern orchestras sell their recordings directly to music fans.

New York Philharmonic introduces the iTune Pass: 30 concerts for $150. You will receive an email notice when the concert is available to download, weeks after the performance. The download is DRM-free, AAC files at 256 kbps.

Berliner Philarmoniker focuses on live streaming of its concerts through a “Digital Concert Hall”. The Berliner offers a 12-moth pass for the unlimited access to live performances and the season archive at a price of 149 euros. The monthly pass (30 days) costs 29 euros. For 10 euros, you can hear one live concert or an archived one for two days. You can get a free trial here after the registration.

You can see the offers from other orchestras in Wakin’s article.

The Metropolitan Opera already started Met Player in 2008. The subscription plan offers annual payment at $149.99, monthly payment at $14.99 and opera rental at $3.99 or $4.99 for high-definition format to watch or listen within 30 days. Plus the 6-month subscription at $49.99 for some Met members.

In my earlier 7-day free trial with the Met Player at that time, the problem was on the bandwidth (watched it at work). It’s kind of annoying, especially on the live performance when many people are connecting to the server. Maybe now it’s better. 😕

NYP’s download is appealing but I’m not satisfied with the bit rate. The Berliner’s plan is more expansive. In any case, the annual subscription is often too costy for me, but the Met’s rental plan sounds good to me.

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