Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Don't Buy iTunes Classical Music!

Over the weekend I downloaded the CBSO/Rattle performance of Mahler's 8th Symphony. I wish I hadn't. The interpretation is excellent, the sound straight from Symphony Hall. A bargain. Until I started to listen to it. Rather than explain in more detail, here is what I submitted as an iTunes review (we'll see if they publish it!):

A great fan of Mahler's music and a frequent member of the CBSO's audience when in Birmingham, I decided to download this recording. I immediately wish I hadn't. iTunes has divided the music into its 25 tracks but has done so in such a way that you cannot enjoy the music. It sounds like someone took the original tape and hacked it into separate pieces using a blunt axe. All I can recommend is that you buy the CD and upload it to your computer. Until iTunes learns how to deal with this situation I will not buy any more classical music or, for that matter, albums where the tracks are supposed to run together.

The music, the performance and the interpretation all deserve 5 stars but not the way iTunes has presented it. Imagine someone in the audience who coughs in your ear between each section of the symphony. You would not be too happy. The experience is much the same.

I am really disappointed by this as, in theory, I want iTunes to succeed as a way to distribute music over the internet. But the delivery system and the product must be to the same standard as the CD I could have/should have bought.

It will be interesting to see if I get a response from iTunes. If I do, I'll post it on this blog.

Four hours later, I checked and they have posted the review!