One of the barriers facing streaming services is catalogue availability. Until now, Tidal HiFi was by far the best streaming option for audiophiles and has its jazz and classical repertoire catalogues quite well ‘curated’ (let’s agree to mothball that flavour of the month term).
New kid on the block is Naxos in the guise of ClassicsOnline HD, a streaming and downloading service utilizing the 150 labels that make up the Naxos Records distribution empire. That’s a hell of a classical catalogue.
Naxos calls it ‘the first high-definition and lossless classical music streaming service that uses adaptive bit-rate streaming technology.’
Even though labels such as Decca, DG, EMI and Sony are absent, the Naxos catalogue is vast and growing and will bring great pleasure to classical music fans who can hear the difference between iTunes and a CD.
There are two services available to a subscriber:
Naxos says it comes with the ‘highest possible sound quality for your connection; no buffering or loss of signal; mobile with offline playlist caching; rich classical metadata search; full liner notes available; artist and genre-based radio stations.
It can be heard on Windows, Mac, iOS (iPod touch, iPad, iPhone) and Android.
Much like HD Tracks, you can download files in: FLAC, ALAC, WAV, AIFF, MP3, 16-bit, 44.1 kHz, 24-bit, 44.1 kHz, 24-bit, 96 kHz, 24-bit, 192 kHz, MP3 320 kbps
Price: US$14.99 with a 14 day free trial