The music streaming/download arena is maturing rapidly with the growth of lossless services such as Qobuz and Tidal, and the impending arrival of Meridian’s MQA technology claiming to make even high-resolution music files streamable over existing internet connections. Now Naxos has joined the fray with the worldwide launch of ClassicsOnline HD•LL, a dedicated classical music service offering not only downloads, but also streaming at up to 24-bit/192kHz quality.
Building on the success of the company’s Naxos Music Library subscription service, launched in 2002, ClassicsOnline HD•LL is now available for £11.99 per month, and offers a search facility tailored to classical music, plus a catalogue drawn from most of the leading classical record labels, allowing users to discover new artists and repertoire.
Subject to available content, bandwidth and hardware, it’s then possible to stream music in quality from 24-bit/44.1kHz right up to 24-bit/192kHz, thanks to the system’s use of adaptive bitrate streaming and dedicated player software, or buy music for download at anything from MP3 up to high-resolution FLAC. It’s also possible to cache streaming content for offline listening.
The adaptive streaming system monitors the bandwidth available on the user’s network connection, and adjusts the quality of the feed from the ClassicsOnline HD•LL servers to ensure continuous playback without buffering problems.