Deutsche Grammophon on-line storePosted: November 29, 2007
<a href=”http://www.deutschegrammophon.com”Deutsche Grammophon just opened an on-line store strictly for classical music. That’s super exciting for the classical genre as it doesn’t get a lot of attention in the music world these days.
The good about the store is its general clean lines. All tracks are very high quality 320kbps MP3 tracks with no DRM poo included. They’re opening up the catalog to titles that are no longer available on CD (600 non published titles so far). It’s internationally available from day one–that’s rare these days. Usually the US market gets all the good stuff first. Looking at their new releases list compared to Amazon classical new releases, you can tell it’s a site targeted for people serious about classical music. On Amazon you see the wisdom of the crowds at it’s worst where top selling titles are mostly drivel making discovery hard for serious buyers–the equivalent of pop overwhelming more serious artists in rock and alternative genres.
The bad about the store is as nice as the site looks on first glance, it’s actually pretty clunky to use in comparison to an iTunes or Amazon for MP3 downloads. When you click on a title, you get a pop-up window. Ugh. Sound samples aren’t available for all tracks. The sound samples that are available are in Real format. I refuse to load Real and Windows Media Player on my machine. It’s Quicktime, Flash or nothing for me since they work best on the Mac platform. Nothing happens when you click on product images–they should lead to the product detail page–that’s a basic ecommerce 101. Some cocoanut web designer actually chose to use frames. So you see ugly scroll bars all over the site. You select which tracks you want to download via 1995 style check box form elements. Again, what web designer would choose to use something like that in 2007? There’s no RSS for easy tracking of top seller or new releases by customers.
All that said, I could imagine myself buying on the site, but only after sampling music somewhere else unless it’s truly a rare title. I also imagine myself checking their new release lists from time to time. But the site has not changed my mind about building a classical music site with Amazon Web Services to make it easier for people passionate about classical music to track and search for new releases. I got to get going on the project. I’ve been thinking about it for years.