The Death of Borders and the Future of Classical Retail

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The demise of Borders, America's second largest book retailer, and the U.S. launch of the online music service Spotify signaled the latest turning point in the way people buy recorded music.

For classical music fans, this double whammy signaled that online retailers are now the main option for buying recordings. But how do the various Internet services stack up in key areas like sound quality, pricing and the ability to discover and access recordings? Do we miss the opinionated record store clerk who could direct you to a favorite CD? In short: is the classical fan better or worse off?

In this podcast, Jeff Spurgeon poses the question to three guests: Anastasia Tsioulcas, a writer at NPR Music; Jean Cook, the director of programs at the Future of Music Coalition, an advocacy group for musicians; and Andy Doe, the chief operating officer at Naxos records and former head of classical music at iTunes.

Weigh in: Where do you go to buy music? What are your experiences with download services? Are there still shops that you frequent? Share your comments below:

Podcast producer: Brian Wise; Engineer: Bill O'Neil