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Passionate about classical music?
Sunday 14 September 2008 09:38:28 by Andrew Ferguson

Most music download stores focus on the top 40 most popular tracks and target the youth market. is focusing on classical music and is trying to offer content that is of better quality than other stores.

The service does not use DRM which will make it more popular as you can move the content between your computer and portable music player at will. Two download formats are used, MP3 at 320Kbps and the lossless FLAC format (not all tracks are available in FLAC format), though check what your music player will support prior to purchase. To get people to register for the site the service which has just launched is offering 10 free downloads. An MP3 track is priced at around 99p with the FLAC files costing roughly double.

The BBC has been talking to the person behind Passionato, James Glicker, who reveals that the service has launched in the UK due to the vibrant classical music scene, and the investment available from groups such as the Creative Capital Fund.

The site appears to be hosted in the United States, so hopefully transatlantic bandwidth will not prove a bottleneck for when people are downloading content, or simply accessing the site as the frontpage is 0.7MB in size.


Posted by imbsuk over 9 years ago
As a classical fan it seems a bit too expensive. I appreciate that it's DRM free and high quality, but I could just purchase the CD for the same price.
Posted by c_j_ over 9 years ago
"I could purchase the CD for the same price."

Is it expensive or not? Today's Deal of the Day seems to cost £2 for the full 35 track set, a bargain, or over £35 if bought track by track??? Whereas the 2 CDs at Amazon is £10. Same artist, different CD: £5 at Amazon, £8 to download. Is it me that's confused, or them ?

Amazon £10
Download: £2 or over £35 for track-by-track???
see also
Posted by dustofnations over 9 years ago
Double the price for music encoded in the FOSS format which is actually free for them to use... Oh the irony.
Posted by KarlAustin over 9 years ago
lol, just because the software is free, doesn't mean the extra storage space or the bandwidth is free.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Id normally attack this like others have done, however prices for some of the content seem far more resonable than other music sites, i like there is no silly DRM also. If anything with regards to price i would had to see the average price for an MP3 be 50p and FLAC 99p. The 10 downloads if you sign up is a good idea also. All in all still not a perfect service and yes the odd price is still maybe a little high per track but other than that in terms of price, format and NO DRM its 10x better than some sites :) I will probably give it a go for the odd harder to find tune :)
Posted by Canopus over 9 years ago
Being ten times better than the deals on some sites actually dams other sites more than make this good. Until music downloads are in lossless format, without DRM and costs less to download a CD's worth than a CD costs many people will still head for P2P. At least they are heading in the right direction.
Posted by dustofnations over 9 years ago
@ KarlAustin

Well yes, granted more BW and Disk space, but not an incredible amount (considering even one FLAC track is only 30MB which is 1/26th of a relatively poor film/video @800MB), so you're paying rather a lot more per MB. Clearly it's not directly comparable but it's still rather pricey... bandwidth of that size range is not massively expensive
Posted by KarlAustin over 9 years ago
Well compare a FLAC to a MP3, there's about an 6:1 difference in size, that does change cost bases significantly, no matter that it's a free, open format. When you're storing 10,000 tracks, that's a difference between 50GB and 300GB, now lets talk 100,000 tracks. Yes, a 1TB hard drive may be cheap, but storage on a 24x7 business grade level to cope with lots of traffic, isn't that cheap.
Posted by terrygoodfellow over 9 years ago
I'm with imbsuk - CD is cheaper and it's yours to keep with no danger of losing it when your system goes down!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Partly agree about costs, theres no way id regularly pay 1 or 2 quid for a SINGLE download DRM protected or not when you can have the CD for similar amounts.... It is however a useful conveinience service or good if you cant find the track you want on sale in shops... This one may not be the cheapest or the largest online download store but hey atleast once you buy it is yours and not shackled with DRM bloat, for that reason alone its worth atleast bookmarking incase they have a track in future you cant get elsewhere
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