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Classical downloads service hits right note on DRM

Flac and MP3 supported

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If you prefer Bach to the Beastie Boys and Mozart to Madonna, then you’ll be pleased to hear that an iTunes rival’s been created that panders only to the desires of classical music fans.

Passionato – which launched today in the UK – houses the world's largest collection of classical downloads, the company claims, with over 18,000 recordings available. All of them are DRM free. The website also provides one-minute samples of each download.

Those with an ear for music might notice a difference in the sound quality of Passionato downloads too. It compresses audio at 320kb/s in MP3 format, whereas iTunes’ audio compression is between 128Kb/s and 256Kb/s.

Founder James Glicker told the BBC that 320Kb/s is “high quality audio” and that the only thing hindering the shift in sales from classical music CDs to downloads has been “audio quality, plus the DRM issue”.

The new service also offers its tracks in the lossless Flac format.

Classical music fans can get their audio kicks online now.

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