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Free Classical Music downloads?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I was wondering if there is any site where to download classical music.
Especially interested in lossless audio.

AFAIK there should be no copyright limitations and/or issues with classical music downloads, since composers are passed away, or am I wrong??

EDIT: Links So Far:
http://www.musopen.com/
http://www.archive.org/index.php
|-->http://www.archive.org/details/audio
http://www.peabody.jhu.edu/psorecordings
http://www.rozhlas.cz/d-dur/download_eng/
post #2 of 23
Internet Archive: Free Downloads: Audio Archive maybe?
Regarding copyright. Not all classical music composers have passed away, as composers of today certainly compose classical music as well. In addition the copyright may not belong to the composer only, as the record label certainly have their share as well.
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Well, yes that's true that classical music are composed nowadays.
I meant that copyrights of Beethoven, Bach, Wagner etc are gone or not?

And when let's say when vivaldi lived there were no record labels = no copyrights for anyone anymore?
post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by neo-fi View Post
And when let's say when vivaldi lived there were no record labels = no copyrights for anyone anymore?
But someone in later time have had to perform his music (an artist, orchestra, ..) and a record label recorded, printed CDs and published it. They most probably own the copyright of that record.

You can not convince me that you have records performed by Vivaldi himself 250-300 years ago.
post #5 of 23
Even if the composer is long gone, the performance of a work is still covered by copyright. So you'd have to go looking for a recorded performance that is old enough that the copyright has expired.

Musopen is a project to create and release recorded performances of classical music to the public domain. They take donations to be able to pay for musicians to perform a work and get it recorded. Then they release it to the public domain. Unfortunately they're releasing the music as MP3 rather than lossless.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by krmathis View Post
But someone in later time have had to perform his music (an artist, orchestra, ..) and a record label recorded, printed CDs and published it. They most probably own the copyright of that record.

You can not convince me that you have records performed by Vivaldi himself 250-300 years ago.
So painfully true.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham Sandwich View Post
Even if the composer is long gone, the performance of a work is still covered by copyright. So you'd have to go looking for a recorded performance that is old enough that the copyright has expired.
So copyrights expire roughly in 100 years then... How Long Does Copyright Protection Last?
I guess earliest recordings without copyrights will be like WWI/WWII era.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham Sandwich View Post
Musopen is a project to create and release recorded performances of classical music to the public domain. They take donations to be able to pay for musicians to perform a work and get it recorded. Then they release it to the public domain. Unfortunately they're releasing the music as MP3 rather than lossless.
Thank you very much! Also krmathis' link is useful!
post #7 of 23
archive.org is always a good place for free, legal music.

Another resource you might not have considered is your local public library. They often have a good selection for you to check out and take home. I won't comment on wha you can do in the privacy of your own home.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Guys, you're AMAZING
Just found out that *.FLAC files are at least 10x the size of *.mp3!! :O

Oh, and does an audio CD contain music in lossless form?
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by neo-fi View Post
Guys, you're AMAZING
Just found out that *.FLAC files are at least 10x the size of *.mp3!! :O

Oh, and does an audio CD contain music in lossless form?
They're worth it.

I wish portable capacity would take off, but big hard drives arre inexpensive today. It's worth picking up a 1TB+ drive and loading it with lossless.
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'll have to hear FLAC vs mp3 when I get my Xonar Essence STX.
Got already 1TB HDD with 900GB free space
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by neo-fi View Post
Guys, you're AMAZING
Just found out that *.FLAC files are at least 10x the size of *.mp3!! :O

Oh, and does an audio CD contain music in lossless form?
Classical music tends to compress losslessly more than pop/rock music. A typical classical album will compress using FLAC to around about 400-600 kbps. While a typical rock/pop album will compress using FLAC to around 700-1000 kbps.

Considering that high quality MP3 files are 256-320 kbps, classical music FLAC files are not that much larger than MP3.

And yes, CD audio is lossless. If you rip a CD to FLAC you end up with a perfect copy of what what on the CD.
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham Sandwich View Post
Classical music tends to compress losslessly more than pop/rock music. A typical classical album will compress using FLAC to around about 400-600 kbps. While a typical rock/pop album will compress using FLAC to around 700-1000 kbps.

Considering that high quality MP3 files are 256-320 kbps, classical music FLAC files are not that much larger than MP3.

And yes, CD audio is lossless. If you rip a CD to FLAC you end up with a perfect copy of what what on the CD.
Good to know.
Haven't really paid attention to kbps before.... according to Data rate units - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia this is same unit used to measure internet connection speed?
Checked my *.mp3 files and seems that most are @ 128kbps = crap by Hi-Fi standards?

Also I noticed that in some mp3 files it varied from 120-190kbps what's this about? Why isn't it constant?
post #13 of 23
Audio data rates are measured as how many bits in the file go flying by each second.

Uncompressed CD audio (16 bit at 44100 kHz sample rate) is at 1411.2 kbps.

CBR stands for Constant Bit Rate. That means the bit rate is constant throughout the entire file. CD audio is at a constant bit rate of 1411.2 kbps. MP3 files can be encoded as CBR.

VBR stands for Variable Bit Rate. That means that the bit rate is variable throughout the file. MP3 can be encoded as VBR. A VBR encoded file is free to vary the bit rate depending on how "complex" the music is at that particular moment. VBR makes more efficient use of available bits.

FLAC files are VBR. The bit rate during playback will vary but will always be lossless. Some sections of audio will compress very well (for example silence or near silence) while other sections will not compress very well (for example very loud distortion). But in the end, after decompression, it all ends up lossless and exactly the same as the original file.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
You're good at explaining stuff!

I think I rip some of my CDs to different formats and compare them to FLAC/CD-audio.
But atm I dunno if I hear any difference between those...
Still waiting Essence STX to arrive.
post #15 of 23
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