Australia’s Melba label expands download offerings

Posted on: December 2, 2011

In Thursday’s (12/1) Sydney Morning Herald, Anthony Clarke reports, “Melba Recordings has already established itself as one of the world’s premier classical music labels. Its focus is on the highest possible quality, both in artistry and in audio, which is why most of this Melbourne label’s releases come in two forms—conventional compact disc and the superior high-fidelity super audio CD (SACD). Now, as the days of the silver CD draw to a close, Melba has become this country’s leader in direct high-quality internet sales of its product, joining a small group of international retailers offering premium audio-download products. Melba IT business manager Michelle Jeffries started researching Melba’s proposed download website two years ago. Working with audio engineer Richard Girvan, who is on secondment from the ABC, the site had a soft launch in August.” Jeffries says the label has 43 download offerings currently, but will be expanding rapidly. “Because Melba’s reputation comes in part from superlative audio quality, standard CD or MP3 downloads are not enough for this site. These are not the standard compressed downloads in low bit-rate MP3 formats, which infest the world’s iPods with inferior audio. Melba offers its catalogue in the audio world’s favoured compression mode, FLAC, a ‘lossless’ compression method that reduces file size for fast downloading but preserves the original audio information.”

Posted December 2, 2011