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Comment Re:ArkivMusic or Naxos (Score 1) 228

Yes, my comment lacked specificity. I'm well aware of the difference between lossy and lossless music formats. My reference to buying "digital" is simply a reflection that it's hard to find Classical online for sale in any digital format (particularly if you're looking for a specific ensemble, conductor, soloist, or recording), much less in lossless formats.

My opinion is that lossy classical music is not worth buying at any price (with the exception of something like the Naxos streaming service I endorsed where you're not looking for permanent additions to your collection, but the ability to sample their entire catalog at will). If you must purchase music in a digital format online, buy FLAC or other lossless encoding method preferably (though options there are fairly limited), and at an absolute minimum, 320 kbps or lame alt-preset-extreme equivalent or better (and even this is hard to come by at shitty stores like iTunes or Amazon). Anything less and you are simply wasting your money.

Comment ArkivMusic or Naxos (Score 5, Informative) 228

First off, mp3 is simply not good enough for Classical. If you must buy digital, go for 320 kbps or lame alt-preset-extreme equivalent. As a giant Classical snob (I listen to Classical exclusively), the only way I buy music is physical CDs, and then rip to FLAC once it arrives.

For purchasing physical media, I enthusiastically recommend ArkivMusic. They have a pretty damn good selection, and a really good sorting method where you can browse by composer, conductor, orchestra, soloist, et al., in a very granular fashion. I too checked the local brick-n-mortar stores in Atlanta when the recent re-release of Golijov's Passion of St. Mark hit the shelves only to find no one carrying it. I ended up ordering it from ArkivMusic.

Naxos also has a pretty decent online presence. You can buy from their comprehensive catalog on their site, as well as pay a subscription fee for unlimited mp3/radio quality streaming off their site from their entire collection. While the performers on Naxos aren't always the highest quality, I'd be willing to bet that Naxos has the most comprehensive Classical catalog of any publisher on the planet. Considering the breadth of their collection, if you just want to try new music, the streaming subscription is a pretty damn good deal, poor to middling quality or not.

Submission + - Coal Plants Could Be Adapted To Use Solar Power (

Al writes: "Technology Review reports that the electricity industry's Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is investigating the benefits of adding solar thermal power to new and existing coal plants. The idea is to feed steam generated using a huge array of mirrors and heat-collecting tubes into a coal plant's steam turbine. The approach should be more efficient than retrofitting natural-gas plants because these use a gas turbine to generate power. Fuel combustion displaced by solar collectors at gas plants could equal 2.75 million tons of over the plant's 30-year lifetime--the equivalent of removing more than 18,700 cars from the road each year. But the same solar collector field on a coal plant should displace about double that much CO2, according to early estimates."

Comment Re:That is, as the Brits say, bollocks (Score 5, Informative) 951

Allow me to acquaint you with Pete Stark (D-CA-13). He's been openly out as an atheist since January 2007. In addition to Stark, there are ten other current members of Congress who decline to list their religion, opening the possibility that some of them are, at least, closet atheists/agnostics.

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