I’ve just returned from a voyage of discovery within Deutsche Gramaphon’s newly opened DG Web Shop wherein I sampled a number of tracks from some few dozen albums without downloading any. The site is state-of-the-art from top to bottom and back to front; loaded with goodies from the sterling DG catalog, all available in glorious 320 kbps MP3 format (and it is indeed glorious; for most practical purposes, almost the equivalent of CD quality) and all reasonably priced; and, in my sampling, not so much as a single incidence of a movement of, say, a sonata or symphony referred to as a “song”.
In short, the DG Web Shop is everything a site devoted to the sale of recordings of classical music should be (I’m of course assuming that the download function operates flawlessly as whatever else DG might have screwed up in their setup, their screwing up on that function is an unimaginable stupidity making, as it would, the entire site little more than a bad and very expensive joke).
Given all the above, I’ve just added to my browser a new bookmark folder named, Here Be Dragons, into which I’ve placed the permanent bookmark for the DG Web Shop, the folder’s sole occupant. Downloading is too quick and easy — a bit like the danger of playing with chips instead of cash in a high-stakes poker game; my bank account too meager; and my willpower too frail.
I need the reminder — and the caution.