Podcast Classics

Podcast Classics

Radio New Zealand Concert's "Podcast Classics" project is a brilliant idea. In short, each month features a new recording of the APO in concert, released by podcast. Last month, for instance, was Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. This month is Tchaikovsky.

The problem with Podcast Classics, though, is that the execution of the idea sucks. What if I'm not a Tchaikovsky fan? What if I really want to listen to that Stravinsky piece from last month? Well, you can't - because I lost the URL.

See, they seem to have missed the point of an RSS feed: you keep up with it at your own pace. Instead of adding to the feed with each month's new piece, they replace the whole thing. So, you can only ever download the current month's song.

There are other problems too. The mp3s are apparently for "personal use only" - fair enough. But what exactly does that entail? Can I share the files with my friends? (That's provided I don't make a business out of doing so - I'd be a pretty lousy friend.) Can I make derivative works, as long as they're used non-commercially? Can I remix the tracks with Jay-Z for my own amusement? There's a link on the podcast details page promising terms of use, but I can't find where they are on the linked-to page.

Anyway, you might find the following list of tracks I've been able to download (thanks Wayback Machine) interesting. If you find any others (especially the 200711 one), let me know and I'll archive them here.

  • podclas-20070801-0600-Stravinsky_-_Song_of_the_Nightingale_-_APO-192.mp3
  • podclas-20070701-0700-Ravel_Piano_Concerto_in_G_-_APO_with_Cyprien_Katsaris-192.mp3
  • podclas-20070430-1300-Beethoven_Sypmhony_7_-_APO_conducted_by_Christian_Knapp-192.mp3
  • podclas-20071001-0900-Haydn_-_Symphony_44_in_E_minor_-_APO-192.mp3
  • podclas-20071203-1100-Tchaikovsky_Symphony_no._5_-_APO-192.mp3

Don't we pay these peoples' salaries? Well, yes. The APO claim only 4% of their funding comes from local government, but this has been recently raised (in the case of Auckland City Council by about $200,000). In addition, regional funding looks set to be given a major boost by the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Bill, supported by both sides of the House, which will give $9 million spread between 11 regional groups, of which the APO is one. And that's in addition to funding through CreativeNZ (yes, that's public funding) and the ARC (which gives "support" - not sure if that's financial).

Edit: I sent a quick email to the webmaster, and the terms and conditions are now up:

These feeds are for personal use only. No audio or text may be posted to a web site, distributed to a third party or broadcast via any means including (but not limited to) radio, television and the internet without the express permission of Radio New Zealand.

All material is copyright Radio New Zealand or used by permission.

I've pointed out that the Wayback Machine goes against this policy.

The one month feed is apparently a condition of their contract with the APO. The webmaster said that, from next year, the files will be available on the feed for two months, and that the audio files will be purged from the server (they're not currently - hence the list of files above).



I have the The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky - APO was that the one you were looking for?
How do I get it you?
I've got that one too. But I stupidly changed the filename. And without the original filename, I can't figure out the URL. Thanks anyway.