April 14, 2010 at 5:00 AM
Deutsche Grammophone (DG) tries hard to market their recordings online, and I'm on a couple of their email lists. A few weeks ago, they sent me an email about DG Webshop, a web radio site that plays classical music from the DG catalog 24/7. The email said that this site has two channels, one general and one focused on a specific kind of music. The focus would change weekly. I know that DG has carried a lot of fine music over the years, and I was eager to listen to some of it for free.
When I got to the DG site, I tried the general music channel, and it worked like a dream. You can look at one CD after another and choose what you want to listen to. After that, you can let it progress stepwise to all the other CDs, choose what you want to listen to, oreven listen to the same CD more than once. Some of the CDs were so good that I listened to them many times. The CDs are changed on a rotating basis, so when you go to the website, there is always something new to hear. The programming on DG Webshop is good. During the week before Easter, they played a lot of sacred music, including Bach's B minor Mass and Mozart's Great Mass in C, both immense, beautiful works. I listened to them over and over. At times, I even picked up my violin and tried to play along when I knew the melody. I have not had success with their special focus channel. It has not changed from piano music, at least on my computer, and I've never been able to get past the first album. Like other web radio stations, you can not pause the music, so if you leave the room, you miss the music.
Like many web radio sites, DG sells what it plays. Their prices are very good compared to amazon.com's prices. For example, DG sold a 2 CD set (David Oistrakh with others in piano trios) at the price of one CD, while amazon.com charged twice as much. Also, DG gives 25% off of everything when you buy it from their Webshop. Some of their CDs are out of print, and DG is trying to get rid of them by selling them really cheaply. I bought one very good one for $5.24 (USD). I'm calling them CDs, but they are really music downloads.
I thought that DG would make it very easy for you to buy whatever you're listening to, but when I tried it, I had trouble. I am not a sophisticated techie, and the programming was anything but user friendly. You can choose to download via their download manager or as a zip file. Their download manger presented everything as a file with the extension .jsp. I wasn't familiar with that, and I was unsuccessful at downloading these files, so I wrote to Customer Service and asked what application I should use to open a .jsp file. They told me to use Java. I'm not a techie, but that did not sound right to me, so I emailed some of my techie friends. They told me, if I understand them correctly, that .jsp is not a file type like .mp3 or .doc. Rather, it refers to the kind of script the software was written in. Someone even gave me directions on downloading the .jsp files as audio files, but I could not get it to work. I ended up using the zip files, and they worked fine. I don't understand why they are longer than the .jsp files by several orders of magnitude, but that's fine. In the end, I got all the music I wanted to downloaded.
All the music on DG Webshop is good, and it's all cheap. If you just want to listen, it's free. In spite of its glitches, I recommend it highly.
Thank you, Pauline! We mostly listen to music over the computer so this sounds great.
I'm glad I could be of help to you, Fran. I hope you enjoy the music.
I have been enjoying this music today. I have always been a fan of Deutsche Grammophon. Thanks for the link and the info!
Now I'm accessing the piano channel, and it's very good. I'm glad are enjoying listening to the music on the DG Webshop.
What a great find - thanks, Pauline!
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