updated 04:55 pm EST, Wed November 28, 2007
Deutsche Grammophon store
The Universal-owned Deutsche Grammophon, a famous international classical label, has at last launched its own digital online store. While much of the music found on the site can also be bought elsewhere, the DG Web Shop is already playing host to some 600 albums which are no longer on CD, with more out-of-print titles expected in the future. Total album count is currently near 2,400. Perhaps most important is the music's format: while Universal has already been selling some music DRM-free, the DG site goes a step further by using an ultra-high 320kbps bitrate. Even Apple's iTunes Plus service limits files to 256kbps.
Also notable is that the Web Shop is accessible in 42 countries, including regions where iTunes is not available, such as China, India, Russia and South Africa. Prices, though, are in Euros or US dollars: tracks under seven minutes are $1.29 apiece, while albums (including liner notes) cost between $10.99 and $11.99.