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In one of my previous posts I wondered “Where is technology taking us these days” Naxos Music Library is one of the web-sites that makes me wonder the same thing. This library, a subscription based service, is an archive of over 38 000 CDs with more than half a million tracks available for streaming (not download, unfortunately) and listening around the globe! Each day new CDs are added to the library (about 10 of them per day). For a monthly rate of US$25.00 (or annually US$225.00) you get a high bandwidth access to the amazing worlds of classical music, film music, jazz, blues, world music, nature sounds and so on and so on. And you can choose the quality of your stream (FM, near-CD & CD) with the choice of three plug-in players: SilverMedia, Flash Player and Media Player (Flash Player has additional useful features). Of course, as expected, the overall experience depends on our internet connection and sound system on the computer. For me, everything went smoothly: not server-down times, no freezing or similar IT issues that can plaque a service like this. Institutional subscriptions are also available on demand. The labels featured are as varied as the genres: from world-leaders (BIS, Chandos, Naxos, CPO, ATMA) to those lesser known ones (2L, Urtext, Zebra art, Amon Ra, etc.) As a subscriber you can make your own play lists, browse the content by composer, label, period and genre. If you want to skip this, you can use quite good search engine. Many composers and artist have a short biography and works in the library have some basic information about them (year of composition, publisher, orchestration etc.) The library is an ‘archive’ since you can find in it many out-of-print recordings. ‘Naxos Classical Archives’ titles add a particular dimension as well. This imprint is not available in stores and covers over 700 historical recordings from 1950s and 1960s digitally transferred. If you would like to hear Malcolm Arnold conducting his symphonies, or Rubinstein playing Beethoven’s piano concertos this is the place to go!  I personally have made many new discoveries using NaxosMusicLibrary, some of them featured in my '10 for 2010' post (Harald Weiss comes to mind…). If you are a musician, educator, or plain music lover (like yours truly) this place on the virtual map is for you!

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