Tuesday, December 29, 2009

NML Jazz iPhone App!

Isn't this a nice little "end of the year" gift!

The Naxos Music Library Jazz has its own iPhone App! The function and form mirrors the NML App. It also, allows access to your NML Jazz individual and account based playlists remotely!

In case you're a bit rusty about how to install an App, here's a link to the NML App installation and set up guide.

Should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call or write!

Happy New Year!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Easily Download Music You Enjoy!

Upon logging into the NML today, many of you notice the "Buy and Download" buttons in the NML. These links will take you to our Download store, Classics Online!

While many users welcome this feature, (as even some of the more well known recordings can be tough to find for purchase), some folks epxressed interest in the ability to turn this feature off.

Here's a step by step guide to turning the links off, should your institution like to.

Here's a Screenshot with the Link on.

1. To Begin: Log into the NML with your administrator Username//Password

2. Click on "Manage Account"

3. The next pop-up will display the account management screen. You can see the "Enable/Disable" option for the COL Links.

That will do it! If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us at Naxos.

Happy Thanksgiving!

615.465.3836 (direct)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Naxos Video Library!

It's been a busy past few months for us in the NOL (Naxos Online Libraries) world. I say NOL, because this post has nothing to do with the NML! With all of the iPhone and NML Development, we almost forgot to do a nice Friday preview for everyone!

The Naxos Video Library is in it's final stages of Beta Testing! What does this mean for you? It means it's now time to show some screenshots, video's, and to share some thoughts!

Since we're still in development, things can and will change from the previews below.

Also, please leave comments or e-mail me directly with anything you'd be interested in seeing in the NVL! Now, let's get to the previews!

As I mentioned previously, I'm still learning all of the Youtube/Blogspot Embed rules. Please excuse the video aspect ratio. *If you know how to adjust this, please share! I've tried all of the suggested tips so far :(*

First is a short video of the Player Window.

Looks Great! You'll notice that just like the NML, the NVL's metadata is linked. Do you enjoy a particular choreographer and want to see what else we have in the NVL by him/her? Simply click on their name to get a full listing!

Next up is the main menu scroll, and Playlist Window.

The Youtube video may be a bit small, so it's best to check out the site itself. Many of the menus have drop downs and expandable options!

The NVL divides all of the videos into the appropriate chapters, and best of all, by work! If you're looking for a particular aria, rest assured you'll be able to instantly jump directly to it! Here's a screen-shot of the chapter and work seperation!

Another great feature of the NVL is the Playlist function. By using the administrator log in credentials, you'll be able to create custom clips (see below for a video on how that works!), and post Static URL's just like the Naxos Music Library.

Here's a screen shot of the "How To" on Clip Creation:

Here's the final clip we've got today. This shows the NVL's "Booklet Download" feature.

You'll be able to save most of the booklets of all available DVD's as .PDF's! So far, this has been one of my favorite features.

Another piece of good news: The Naxos Video Library streams exclusively with Adobe Flash! For more information on Flash, or to download the latest version, click here!

That about wraps it up today! Check back often for more information, and please leave your comments below or deliver them via e-mail! We want your input as much as possible!

615.465.3836 (direct)

Thursday, November 19, 2009


The American Musicological Society recently held their annual meeting in Philadelpia, PA.

I had a great time, and got some great feedback! We appreciate all of the folks who came by and talked about everything from the new iPhone App, to the Naxos Video Library (Look for a post shortly with some great new Developments and Screenshots), to the AWESOME Virtual Haydn.

Here's a clip of the Virtual Haydn we had on display!

(e) - I'm still learning how to format the Aspect Ratio of embedded clips! Please bear with me!

Overall the show was great, and it was nice to see everyone!

Are there other shows/meetings/conventions you'd like to see the NML team at? If so, post below in the comments section, and we'll be sure to try our best to attend!

Here are some pictures from the trip!

NML Booth at the AMS Meeting

Hello from the Curtis Institute of Music! What a GREAT Music Library they have!

Ah, the city life!

Where would you like to see the NML team?


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Naxos Music Library iPhone App is Live!

Hi All,

The Naxos Music Library iPhone App is now Live! You are now able to listen to your personal and account created playlists on the iPhone and iPod Touch!

For more information on the "Nuts & Bolts" of how the app works, see this post.

Search the iTunes App Store for "Naxos Music Library" to download the Free App, or follow this link!

What a thrilling day for the world of classical music!

Here's a step by step walk-through from finding the app, to synching your device!

1. Enter "Naxos Music Library" ("Naxos" works too) in the iTunes store Search box.

2. Click on "Get App"

3. Enter your Apple ID, or create a new account. Download the App.

4. Once the App has been downloaded, ensure it's in queue to be synched up. I've taken a shot below of everything "as it should be". If you've installed an App from the iTunes store before, it's exactly the same as every App!

Once the App is Installed, it's time to make sure you have some playlists!

1. Visit the NML. If you are an student or member of an institution, you can visit your institutions unique webpage. Ask your Librarian, Account Administrator, or us here at Naxos if you have questions!

2. Any playlist in your personal folder, or account folder will be available. Below is a shot from a University account. Individual subscribers won't need to adjust anything, or log in a second time, to create playlists!

3. Oh, and lest we forget: The iPhone App, synchs both your Naxos Music Library, and Naxos Music Library Jazz playlists! Here's a screenshot of my iPod Touch. The playlist "Allison Wedding " (a very cool Jazz singer) , is an NMLJazz Playlist, while "Bernstien Mass" is an NML palylist.

We'd like to also take a moment and give a very big "Thanks" to our developers!

From all of us at Naxos, Happy Remote Listening!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

NML e-Card; Naxos at AMS 2009!

Hi Folks!

Below is an interactive e-card which you can share, and embed everywhere! The App is in the final stages of approval, and we'll be sure to let everyone know when it's ready to download from the App store!

NML iPhone e-Card! Share me!

- On the e-card page, there are embed links and different embed codes for every social media outlet available!

I've also added the latest question to the Q+A post below!

Q: Who can use the App?

A: All subscribers will be able to make use of the App; Institutions, Orchestras, and individual subscribers! Students at institutions will be able to listen to their personal playlists, as well as those created by the professors and account administrators.

If you require assistance with the "Student Playlist" functionality, please feel free to write! My e-mail address is below!

Also, if you or anyone from your institution, is attending the AMS conference in Philadelphia this weekend, be sure to stop by and say "Hi!" I'll have my iPhone on hand for you to play with!

Happy Listening,

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Q+A with the NML staff!

*** Updated***
The App is Now Live! Check Here for all the information!

Today we posted for questions via our twitter feed, and through our subscriber network!

Here are some of the most asked!

Q: What will the App do?
A: The NML iPhone and iPod touch application will allow remote access to your personal and account playlists. Below are some screenshots of the NML Playlist window, and a direct comparison to the NML iPhone App window.

The playlist tabs in the NML, make up the initial iPhone App window. Folders follow suit, and third come the actual playlists. The progression from the log-in window on the App to listening to a selection, should feel completely natural!

Q: Who can use the App?

A: All subscribers will be able to make use of the App; Institutions, Orchestras, and individual subscribers! Students at institutions will be able to listen to their personal playlists, as well as those created by the professors and account administrators.

If you require assistance with the "Student Playlist" functionality, please feel free to write! My e-mail address is below!

Q: What does the App's button look like?

A: Look below! You can see my iPod's Screenshot! Looks good yea?

Q: Will buffering be a problem on the iPhone?
* From Dan in Portland

A: Buffering will not be a problem! The Naxos Music Library has recently completed a "behind the scenes" transition to enhance the overall streaming experience. Streaming on both the NML website and the iPhone App have been fully optimized and tested.

I've spent my time (Nick) using the iPod Touch through many wireless networks. Everywhere from our office, to my home internet, to (yes, quite the interesting location) the local Mall's food court. Happily, the NML worked everywhere, with no interruption in streaming.

Q: How much room will the app take up?
* From Kate in Georgia

A: I can only speak to the Beta App, as final file size may vary, but the NML Beta App clocks in at 540 KB. Remember, the final version will probably differ a little bit in file size.

Q: Do Playlists I create on the NML update in real time? How fast can I access newly created playlists?
* From Kim in Southern California

A: Updating playlists is simple!
1. Create a new playlist on the NML website.
* For help creating playlists, see our earlier post

2. Click the "Home" button on your iPhone. (It's the button on the bottom which takes you to the navigation window"

3. Log back into the NML iPhone Application.

4. Voila! The playlist should now appear in your list!

Q: How much will the App Cost?
* From "Concerned" in Connecticut

A: Absolutely nothing! The app will be available through the App store. We'll post links on the NML and Naxos' websites, and most likely here on our blog that link direct to the App when it's ready to go!

Q: I know nothing about iPhones. Am I going to be expected to troubleshoot my students' devices?
* From Alex in Missouri

A: Not in the least. Since the playlist window is authenticated by a Username and Password tied to a specific playlist, and not by IP address, Referring URL, Proxy Servers, or any combination of the three, there will be NO troubleshooting necessary of the "nuts and bolts" by account administrators.

What you may want to do, as account administrators, is to host a training session on creating personal playlists. If you need help, or would like Naxos to be a Webinar presenter for your staff or students, simply say the word!
We can host the entire presentation on our end!

That's it for today folks! Please feel free to re-post these questions and answers on your blog or web pages!

The NML team is also hosting special promotional pricing to commemorate the launch of the App. Give us a call or shoot an e-mail for all the details! You can also click on the link just below!

Click Here for Information on the iPhone App Promotion!

Happy Listening and Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

NML iPhone Updae

Hi Folks!

Here are a couple pictures from the latest NML iPhone Beta 'App.

It's important to remember that although the overall layout can, and probably will change a bit, a teaser never hurt anyone!

Access to your NML Playlists (both personal and account/professor created) anytime, anywhere is certainly a feature I am THRILLED about!

We hope to have an ETA on the app availability soon!



Monday, September 28, 2009

A great uplifting Monday story

Happy Monday to you all!

Below is a clip from the NBC Nightly News yesterday. Violinist Rachel Barton Pine has an amazing story, and some wonderful playings on the NML. Look for her recordings on the Cedille and Dorian labels!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Marin Alsop and the BSO Previews their Season

If you're anything like me, the fall season brings with it three things: cooler weather, football and a new symphony season! The BSO and Marin Alsop have a killer season coming up. I may have to fly to Baltimore just for their Shaolin Warriors show or Hollywood: The Epics concert.

They have a great promo video up on their website with Marin Alsop talking about the upcoming season. It's a great video and even mentions the Naxos Music Library!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Subscriber Salute

Happy Friday to you all!

Today, we highlight the folks at The University of Arkansas for all of their awesome guides!

Here's a screenshot of their Naxos Music Library landing page.

Lora Lennertz Jetton, the Performing Arts and Media Librarian at the University has created 2 unique User and Faculty .pdf guides. They are step by step Walk Throughs that include everything from basic navigation to finding and listening to music.

The Faculty guide gives a wonderful and easy to follow set of instructions for creating and sharing the professor generated playlists. Both guides also give great screenshots and offer information on how to get in touch with the "powers that be".

Head over to their page to see the guides for yourself!

Many thanks to Lora Lennertz Jetton, and the staff at the University of Arkansas!

Enjoy the Weekend!

Monday, September 14, 2009

iPhone and the NML!

That's Right!

Some NML features are coming to the iPhone! Remote access to all of those playlists!

Stay tuned for all of the information.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Who Says Streaming Is Dead? Not Us!

That's right! Not Us!

The folks at the LA Times have used the NML as one of the "positive gainers" in the world of streaming music! Go ahead.....have a read!

The main focus of today's article is about Rhapsody appearing on the iPhone, but the NML is cited, and the original article is linked as well!

Today's Mention!

Original Article!

A HUGE Thanks from your Naxos team!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New Playlist Window!

It's that time of year!

Back to School, New Orchestra Season Preparations beginning...

We've made some great changes and enhancements to our Playlist window! In addition to the UI (User Interface- Here's my computer geek coming out) changes, we've also added some great new features. Below you can see some screen shots, explanations, and general information!

Here's a "Bubbled Out" version of the new interface. The main new feature here, are Playlist folders. Each professor/librarian/music director can now have their own folder(s) for members to locate the playlists quickly!

We've also updated the playlist control features to support the addition of folders. "Move Playlist" is an example!

Student and Individual Playlists!

Ever have that perfect album playing, and get frustrated you're unable to save it to a playlist?

Not anymore! All members of subscribing institutions (Orchestra's Included!) will have the ability to create and save their own set of playlists!

Here's the window that members will need to fill out.

* Naxos will NEVER sell, rent, or otherwise distribute your e-mail address to a third party*

E-mail in today's world, is simply the easiest way to retrieve and store member profiles!

Once logged in, members will be able to add, edit, and delete tracks from their individual playlists, all while having full access to the account playlists. Indeed, the NML is becoming the destination for classical music lovers of all walks of life!

Adding Directly to Account Playlists!

Some people know exactly what I'm talking about! As an account adminstrator, or professor, you will now be able to place playlists directly into the "Shared Playlists" area!

The "Folder" pull-down menu will allow you to drop those playlists right into the "shared" access area. No more un-necessary moving! This feature is available as a direct result of User communication, so please keep those comments coming!

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to write or call!

Stay Classy,


Friday, July 31, 2009

Congratulations to our winner!

Congratulations to Mr. Sam Cook!

He's won a fantastic pack of Naxos American Classics CD's, as well as some other Naxos things!

A big thank you to all of you who entered! We received over 200 entries through all the various sites!

Until 1,000,000 tracks(or the next post),



Monday, July 27, 2009

The NML reaches 500,000 Tracks: We Celebrate!

We've done it!

500,000 tracks!

To show our appreciation we want to say "Thanks" to all of you!

We're going to be giving away 20 of our Naxos American Classics CD's!

4 Ways to Enter:

Twitter: NaxosMusicLib
Follow us on Twitter, and tweet with the following Hash-tag

Reply on our Facebook Wall, to the story about this Post!

Post on our Myspace Wall with the Hash-Tag #NML

NML Blog
Comment on this post!

We'll pick a winner at 4:00 PM CST on Friday July 31, 2009!

A big Thank You to everyone involved in making the NML the resource it is today! We look forward to many more years of fine music!

Best of Luck, and Happy Listening!

Nick NaxosUSA.com

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Brave New World of "Flash Only"

Wow how time flies!

August 1st is just over a week away, and we're already excited to transition the NML to an Adobe Flash player.

At 12:01 AM on August 1st, 2009, the NML will retire it's Windows Media Player and Microsoft Silverlight servers, and offer only an Adobe Flash player.

Since October of 2008, the NML has been streaming in all 3 available formats. Many have called and written about the various ways they've been able to easily upgrade older computers.

The change from WMP to Flash is welcomed, especially by our friends and colleagues who work on Mac's. Now, the NML will "just work" on Mac's! No more Flip4Mac. No more crazy WMP Plug-In's!

We're also working extensively with the folks that maintain EZ-Proxy to ensure continuous access. Should you encounter any of those infamous Gremlins in the system, please don't hesitate to call or write to us!


Here's an e-mail clarifying many of the recent questions!

Hi Sam, Richard, and all,

We've actually just finished re-encoding all of the old AAC (flash) files. The issue currently / previously, is the encoding.

"FM-Quality" (20 KBP/S)- were playing through the Flash player, as "Near-CD".
"Near CD" (64 KBP/S)- were playing through the Flash player, as "CD" quality.
"CD Quality" (128 KBP/S)- were not playing through the Flash Player. These were being streamed at 192 KBP/S.

Just recently we here in Nashville received more files to test from our colleagues doing to actual encoding, and have finally sorted everything out. In fact, I'll be working with them later this evening on the final details, so that once August 1 comes around, there won't be any Sound Quality issues.


A few people have also written in regarding EZProxy. We've been rewriting all of our back end code to work with EZProxy. Also, the folks at EZProxy have adjusted a few settings regarding how the NML works through the servers.

Here's a bit from an e-mail with Chris Zager, a technical designer at EZProxy:

"I can alter EZProxy in any way required to hand the user off to your service. This would eliminate the proxying component, and uses EZproxy just for the authentication component. From my perspective, this is ideal as it eliminates any of these side-effects and also reduces network bandwidth requirements since the media does not have to pass through the university network."

Please keep the questions and comments coming! They are crucial to ensuring that everyone is happy!

Stay Classy!

Nick NaxosUSA.com

Thursday, July 16, 2009

500,000 Tracks of Music- Here we Come!

We're close to that magic 1/2 million track count!

How do you think we should commemorate this special event? We really want to have a giveaway, but what to give away... now that's the real question...

And how to achieve these type of results......

Video c/o Youtube User: ArielColella

If you aren't a Naxos Music Library Twitter follower, be sure to look us up!


Until Next Time, Stay Classy!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Student Playlists Coming to the NML!

Student Playlists Feature Being Added to the Naxos Music Library

You read correctly! Student playlists will be available very soon for all NML subscribers.

With the transition of the Naxos databases from Windows Media Player to Adobe Flash, we're able to put many of your suggestions to good use!

I'm a Professor! What does this mean for me? Another Interface?

Nope, Nada, No Way! The basic professor window will remain exactly the same. We're actually going a few steps further to make creating and maintaining playslists easier than ever.

Professors will now have the option to create customized Folders for all of their playlists. Once created these folders can be renamed and password protected! For some students it can be very confusing with so many Music Theory Listening playlists, or History of Bach playlists. Your students will now be able to easily find exactly what you want them to see!

Will I really be able to make my own playlists as a Student?

Yes, Si, Ja! As a student you'll be able to visit your schools Unique URL (http://YOURSCHOOL.NaxosMusicLibrary.com), and click the playlist window.

From there you'll see a brand new window! --->

Simply enter the basic information (so you can easily retrieve your playlists).

Naxos will absolutely not sell or rent your personal information.

After you're done with that, it's pretty simple. Find your tracks, and add them to the playlist you want. If you need help with general playlist creation, there's a step-by-step walkthrough on the playlist page!

Another Great Feature

We missed my favorite feature though! I love the (+) symbol. The (+) button. All things (+). Maybe it has to do with the inherently positive nature of the symbol? Who knows. People tend to laugh at my over-enthusiasm .

Students, Professors, and all NML subscribers will have a (+) button added to the Flash Player, as well as "check mark" boxes added to the left-hand side of the track window. You'll be able to "check" various tracks, click the AWESOME (+) button, and instantly add thm to any of your playlists.

Stay Classy!

Nick (at) NaxosUSA.com


Friday, June 26, 2009

Media Player: Parsing Error & Silverlight Error

Over the past 3 days, I've gotten a couple different complaints about the NML's media player. The error everyone is getting looks like this: Then, it appears that once you get that error in whatever web browser you are using, the other 2 players (Windows Media Player and Flash) no longer work!

Thankfully, there is a really easy solution. All you have to do is clear cookies and clear cache from your web browser. If you have any trouble figuring out how to do that either check out the two links about cookies/cache or send me an email and I'll walk you through it!

tvick at naxosusa dot com
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Getting an Invalid Argument Error on the NML?

I've received a couple of different emails about the streaming.asp error some students receive when trying to stream music from the NML. If you've ever gotten the error, it should look like this:

As you can see, you'll get an Invalid argument message, which will then continue to display when you try to stream music using Flash, Silverlight or Windows Media Player until you adjust your settings in either Internet Explorer, Safari or Firefox. Now, the key here is not to panic. I know website errors make my body temperature rise and my palms start sweating, but I promise there is no need for such a reaction anymore!

The key is to clear cookies. Yes - this will stress some of you out even more than the error message, but in order to get the NML to work after you receive that error message, you must delete cookies! (Picture courtesy of Scott Beale / Laughing Squid)

According to Ask Leo, cookies are simply a way for websites to remember who you are the next time you visit. He sites Amazon.com as a great example:
When you visit a site like Amazon.com and log in, Amazon might place a cookie on your machine that contains your account name, and the fact that you're logged in. When you come back a day later Amazon.com picks up the cookie and sees who you are and that you had successfully logged in the day before.

So if you rely on cookies to remember who you are for websites, make sure you have a record before you delete cookies! The best way I've found is to keep either a log on a table in Word, Excel, or just keep a running list at your desk. As always, if you have any questions, be sure and ask!
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Monday, June 22, 2009

Naxos Music Library Content Suggestions

It's that time of year again where I get antsy for new music, and who better to get suggestions from than you?

For example, I was going through our catalog and realized we don't have much Moses Hogan music. Since I am the office choir nerd, I thought that Moses Hogan definitely needs to be in the Naxos Music Library. His music pretty much defined my choir experience in high school (enter Elijah Rock!, The Battle of Jericho, Wade in the Water, Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel, My Soul's Been Anchored in the Lord...the list goes on...).

If you're going through the Naxos Music Library (Jazz, or Spoken Library too!) and think we need to add something to our catalog, let us know in the comments! I'd love to get more ideas for content you want in the NML. Better yet - I challenge you to come up with your favorite composer we don't have in the NML yet!Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, June 19, 2009

Pick of the Week: I Dreamed About You - Songs of Love and Longing from World War II

As we are 2 days away from Father's Day (June 21 for those of you who don't know) I thought it only appropriate to create a Pick of the Week based on what my Dad would dig. He's obsessed with WWI and WWII. Growing up, we spent a lot of time walking around battlefields throughout France where my great grandfathers served. While most kids got a Gameboy for Christmas, we would get lectures on these Great United States. At the time I resented all that gab, but now I cherish our family folklore more than anything.

However, one of the things I find so interesting about the period of 1910-1945 is the music. It really conveys how good and bad things were during those times. I can't imagine anything more difficult than sending loved ones off to war, and anything more joyous than having them home safe. That being said, I bring you I Dreamed About You - Songs of Love and Longing from World War II. It is a great collection of music from the 1940s from ABC Classics. Here's a quick song listing:

1. Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree
2. We'll Meet Again
3. Amor
4. It's Been A Long, Long Time
5. Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive
6. I'll Walk Alone
7. I Cried for You
8. Nightingale
9. A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square
10. Room 504
11. Why Don't You Do Right?
12. Poinciana
13. I'm Beginning to See the Light
14. Star Eyes
15. I've Heard That Song Before
16. Don't Fence Me In
17. Frenesi
18. Home Town

I'm planning on putting together a playlist for my Dad on his account. Do you have any suggestions for all the Dad's out there? Hope you have a great Father's Day!

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Are Music Subscription Services Working?

On Wednesday, John Bailey (Program Director over at KBIA) posted a very thoughtful blog about music subscription services. We've all known about the trials and tribulations of Napster, Rhapsody, and the many other attempts to direct music lovers to subscription-based music. There isn't a ton of inspiring information on the success of any of those models, so hopefully I can shed some light on what I think makes our model successful.

We have a very focused purpose which is to educate classical music students and aficionados about the history of music. We don't have any limitations on how much you can stream, and the only way you can increase the cost is by getting a higher-quality stream. Plus, we just upgraded to a Flash player, which streams at 96kbps (Near CD-Quality) and 192kbps (CD Quality), instead of our previous rates with Windows Media Player (64kpbs and 128kbps).

Clearly, classical music remains an important part of a music student's education and is used as background music in countless movies, video games, commercials, TV Shows, websites, etc. A subscription service is the perfect way to add to anyone's classical music collection, especially since you can take it with you wherever you go in the world with an Internet connection. You don't have to overload your computer or iPod with hundreds of megabytes, which is a MAJOR problem for me. Plus, it's so cheap! It's like buying 1 or 2 new CDs every month, even though we add roughly 500 tracks a month (if not more) from a ton of labels.

Are you using a music subscription service and which is your favorite? Better yet - if you do subscribe, what have you discovered that you'd otherwise have no idea about?
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Key Word Search Function Down

We haven't received any inquires about the Key Word Search function yet, but wanted to let everyone know that our KWS server is down. We are in the process of rebooting it, but it will not be complete until tonight.

Please be advised that the Advanced Search function works. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Taylor or Nick and we'll help you find what you're looking for. Contact us at NMLHELP at NAXOSUSA dot COM.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

IE8 Compatibility with the NML

The latest and greatest version of Internet Explorer 8.0 was released back in March, but many of our users have been slow to download it. (We haven't updated our office yet either - so don't feel alone)! Needless to say, there are still some bugs that the guys over at Microsoft are still working out, and one of the major ones affecting many websites is the lack of compatibility with most websites.

Sadly, ours is one of those that's being affected! However, there is a remedy to IE8's compatibility issues. I found these instructions online from Craig Bailey.
  1. Go to the TOOLS menu
  3. Select the check mark box titled "Display all websites in Compatibility View" near the bottom of the pop up window
  4. Click CLOSE
Hopefully this will resolve some of the trouble with viewing the NML in IE8.0. If you have better instructions and/or more insight into IE8.0 we'd love to hear from you!

Google's homeage to Stravinsky

Have you checked out the Google homepage? One of my coworkers discovered the homage to Stravinsky (it's his birthday today)! Which pieces are represented?

In case it goes away or Google changes it before you can get there, here's what it looks like:

Google homepage on June 17, 2009
Pretty cool, huh? I'll give you a hint. The part on the left can be found in Fantasia 2000 and the part on the right started a major uproar when it was first performed. The crowd actually rioted!! Who says classical music is boring and for stuffy old people?

LA Times Articles: Who says subscription music services are dead?

Don't you love Google alerts? Well, I sure do. Otherwise, I'd miss important articles like the one from the L.A. Times! They just interviewed our CEO and our National Manager about the varying music subscription services Naxos offers. A major thank you is in order to our hard working PR gals at Naxos and to Jon Healey for a great article. Pretty fantastic way to start my Wednesday. You can find the article on L.A. Times website here or just keep reading below!

Technology: The business and culture of our digital lives, from the L.A. Times

Who says subscription music services are dead?

6:16 PM, June 16, 2009
campus music services, classical music, MP3, Napster, Naxos, online music, Rhapsody, subscription music Consumers have been slow to embrace music subscription services, so much so that Napster recently slashed its price by more than half to try to spur growth. Even services that colleges offered for free (or with the charge buried in other student fees) failed to catch on (killing off start-ups Ruckus and Cdigix), a testament to the enduring popularity of music-sharing and free downloading on campus. But one music industry player says it's actually "extremely successful" with a subscription music-on-demand service for the college market. That would be Naxos, which specializes in ... classical music. And it's prices aren't cheap, either.

This is a lesson in the value of finding the right niche in a time of technological upheaval. Naxos is both an independent classical-music label and a distributor of classical music. That's classical as in Charles Ives symphonies, not John Williamssoundtracks (which Naxos of America Chief Executive Jim Selby refers to as "crossover" classical). Using music from its own and its customers' rosters, it put together a service called the Naxos Music Library that's both an online jukebox and a classical-music database. (Note: the service offers no downloads, tethered or otherwise. It's streaming only.) "The metadata is incredibly deep," Sean Hickey, sales and business development manager for Naxos, said in a recent interview. That information -- which is comparatively sparse on other services -- is crucial to Naxos' target audience: music students, educators and musicians. They pay $220 to $240 a year for the service (which is sold only in bundles of five or more subscriptions), compared with $60 for Napster's music-on-demand offering. Selby said Naxos has signed up more than 1,000 colleges and universities for the service, collecting hundreds of thousands of subscribers there. Subscription sales are up 35% year over year, Selby said. It helps that there are more than 600 accredited music schools in the U.S., as well as music degree programs at many other institutions. The company is offering the service to younger students too, having just signed up the public school systems in Baltimore and Chicago. "It's not Rhapsody, but it's not meant to be," Selby said. "There's lot of educational tools on there.... No one else is trying to do that."

By the way, Naxos claims that the Naxos Music Library is prospering with no contributions from the major record companies.

The subscription service is just one of the company's efforts to attract and retain a new generation of customers. It's made about 350 podcasts that combine music and commentary from authoritative sources. Every member of its 12-person marketing staff is blogging about releases and performances, commenting on other blogs and Twittering, Selby said. So are many of Naxos' artists, who the company encourages to self-promote through social networks. "A lot of the things the pop guys are doing, these guys are doing as well." He hasn't seen a way yet to sell music through the likes of Facebook, and he's not sure how it could be done. But those networks are a good way to spread reviews, which are still the biggest driver of Naxos' sales, he said.

It also supplies tracks to online stores and has one of its own -- ClassicsOnline.com. One problem that vexed Naxos and other suppliers of classical music was the 99-cents-per-track business model at iTunes and its ilk, which priced entire symphonies and other lengthy classical pieces the same as a two-and-a-half-minute pop song. Naxos' response was to offer longer pieces only as part of a full-album purchase, not individual sales. This year, though, the company is offering individual works for sale with prices scaled to the length of the piece. The new offer may not matter much to "core classical buyers," who want the whole album anyway, Selby said. But it should help attract casual fans, who are an important source of growth for the genre.

Naxos has thrown itself into digital distribution despite the fact that its CD sales haven't slumped as badly as those in other genres, Selby said. Classical music fans haven't been as quick to shift to MP3s, nor has Naxos been reliant on the big-box retailers that have cut their support for CDs. (Most of the company's sales are through online retailers that specialize in classical music.) That helps explain why the company had its best year ever in 2007, and was on track to top those results in 2008 until the bottom fell out of the economy. This year looks good so far, Selby said, with first quarter sales in line with 2007 and April and May's results even better. Here's hoping that its results are a leading indicator for the economy in general.
-- Jon Healey

Healey writes editorials for The Times' Opinion Manufacturing Division.