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Passionato – classical MP3 download site launched

High quality rival to iTunes focuses on classics

Passionato logo

New classical music download site, Passionato hopes to rival Apple’s iTunes when it comes to MP3s of Beethoven and Tchaikovsky.

The sound quality of digital music files is dependent on the amount of audio compression involved, and Passionato offers extremely high quality – 320kbps MP3 (the average for most pop downloads is 128 or 192), or even the ‘lossless’ FLAC format, ideal to capture the subtle nuances of classical tracks.

Another key selling point is the lack of Digital Rights Management (DRM), which means that a downloaded file will play on any MP3 player, not just iPods. Plus, files can be burnt to CD, or stored on any other of the myriad storage formats available.

Music and social networking link up

There’s also the community aspect to consider, as Passionato includes forums and a recommendations system, while users can also post their favourite music to social networking sites like Facebook.

As for pricing, the average album costs about £7.99 although expect to pay a slight premium for FLAC files rather than MP3. Individual tracks are also available at 99p.

With 200,000 tracks available from big names including Universal Music, EMI Classics and Naxos, there should be enough choice on offer to satisfy most classical music lovers.

There’s also a launch promotion for 10 free tracks when you register, or if you get a special code printed in copies of The Times newspaper, you can increase this to 15. 

For the best sounding MP3 players, check out our reviews.

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