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Classical Notes: March 17, 2006 Archive

Downloading: What will make the late adopters come around?

Posted at 4:26 PM on March 17, 2006 by Don Lee

The Los Angeles Times reports today that the L.A. Philharmonic is getting into the downloading game. Starting early in April, the orchestra will make selected concerts available via iTunes for about $10 apiece.

No one expects this enterprise will make a lot of money, at least not right now, but I'm inclined to agree with the LAPO's general manager, Deborah Borda, that it's a wise move. She's quoted as saying, "Ten years from today, they might not be making CDs. We really don't know what the delivery system will be. The new technology takes investigation, investment and practice."

That's where I am personally. I'm investigating these new developments with a fair amount of interest. I've invested in an iPod...for my son. And I'm just beginning to practice; I've helped my son figure out how to use iTunes.

So far, like much of the post-50 demographic, I haven't been tempted to go further. The learning curve isn't the obstacle. The issues are that I'm still dubious about computer audio and I'm still attached to the old packaging: pictures, liner notes, something to hold in your hand. But I'm open to persuasion. I'm sure it's only a matter of time. And maybe I'll make the L.A. Phil's "Minimalist Jukebox" one of my first purchases.