It appears that folks in Europe like the iPod. But they don’t like iTunes, says the BBC. Most of the music on those portables is ripped from real CDs. I am neither European, nor an ideal example, but that is the same way I am consuming music. Old-school, I suppose?
There are alternatives to the DRM-stricken iTunes store downloads. The Philadelphia Orchestra recently announced their new plan of releasing archival performances via mp3 and high-fidelity FLAC downloads, without DRM, for a reasonable price. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is offering free downloads of classical music performed live in the easily digest form of podcasts.
Some at the forefront of classical music appear to be ahead of the curve, right up there with the indie MySpace folks, when it comes to distribution of music. Classical music was some of the first music to be recorded, and provided the industry with its first hits. This, coupled with the announcement from the Met shows that even the old industry is able to move and make sense of the new media environment.