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Pauline Lerner

Digital downloads

January 7, 2008 at 7:04 AM

I finally took one little step into the world of digital downloads. Almost everyone I know except for me has an iPod. I haven’t bought one because I have several hundred CDs, and I don’t feel like starting over with something new. If I were younger and just beginning my album collection, I’d go digital. If I spent most of my day in an office and/or spent a lot of time driving, I might get an iPod. When I worked full time in an office, I used a portable CD player and good headphones. The CD player was big, clumsy, and prone to problems when dropped. It always needed fresh batteries. Still, it worked if you handled it carefully. I try to stick to a budget, and downloading music from the Internet for a fee could be dangerous. It might lead to impulse purchasing. In fact, I’m sure that’s exactly what the purveyors of downloadable mp3s have in mind. CD sales in 2007 went way down, and sales of music downloads increased. (The increase in downloads was not enough to compensate for the decrease in CD sales. I’ve been searching the Web for data on classical music in particular, but I haven’t found anything yet.)

So what finally drove me to download and buy some music? I’ve always liked Jacqueline du Pre’s performances of cello music. I read recently that she is especially well known and admired for her performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto, which I don’t remember hearing. I checked my CD collection, and it wasn’t there. Next stop, with sound samples. I found several CDs that were compendia of performances by du Pre, but I either have the other pieces on CD or don’t want to buy them. My course of action was clear: I simply downloaded (bought) the tracks of Jacqueline du Pre playing the Elgar Concerto. I’ve found my niche in the world of downloadable mp3s.

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