A Digital Symphony

Classical music from Computer to HiFi

About this Site

This site is a repository of thoughts on the general subject of (mostly) classical music recordings stored on, and played from, data on hard disc as distinct from CDs and other physical items. It does not cover the various internet streaming services such as qobuz.

The principal differences that the move away from physical CDs entails are that

  1. you no longer have to find accessible physical storage for your music
  2. (in theory) it is easier to find the piece of music you are looking for, but
  3. you need to be able to access the music and see information about it (often on multiple devices)

This introduces new challenges beyond just filing physical CDs. Many are seduced by the apparent ease of ripping and downloading music, only to find that the complications overwhelm them. This is particularly the case with classical music as the whole music streaming scene is dominated by the (relatively simple) requirements of popular music.

It is hoped that this site may help those who are struggling with these issues, or who want to "dematerialise" their classical music and need to understand the issues and options.

It is also hoped that the site might be read by hardware manufacturers, software developers and music publishers, so that they can enhance their products.

This site is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to the subject. For that http://www.thewelltemperedcomputer.com is an excellent site to visit.

I should say that this site is based on my own personal experience rather than extensive research. This is naturally coloured by my choice of hardware and software. Currently this principally comprises:

Raspberry Pi running Logitech Media Server and Squeezelite (Max2play implementation).
Windows laptop running Muso and Mp3tag.
Squeeezebox touches (2x).
iPad, iPhone and iPod running iPeng.

Lastly, a health warning: this site is under (constant) development. At any time, the information is likely to be incomplete, inaccurate or just plain wrong. The author accepts no responsibility for problems encountered in using the information. One matter under review is to increase the consistency with ID3 tag (informal) standards. Please post any comments to the Muso forum or the Squeezebox forum.

Update March 2017: Apple have finally got around to recognising that classical music exists and have introduced (Feb 2017) new tags for Work, Movement Name, Movement Number and Movement Count. The tagging scheme provided here has been updated where relevant.