- medici.tvby MUSEEC
This quarterly column offers reviews of free and fee-based music resources in a variety of digital media, including online subscription services and databases, World Wide Web sites, mobile applications, CD-ROM products, and music-related software of any kind. Some reviews may cover a number of related sources together. Excluded from this column are reviews of media in purely digital audio format that would normally be reviewed as sound recordings. The dates of access for each review of an online source indicate the dates during which the reviewer was evaluating the resource. All Web sites were last accessed to verify availability on 1 June 2013.
The streaming video service medici.tvbegan operating in 2008. It focuses almost exclusively on Western art music and dance, and primarily offers European concerts and productions. As of March 2013, there were over 1,100 videos available (in the “catalogue”), and an additional thirteen “live” videos. The catalogue contains the following types and numbers of videos, as classified in a dropdown menu on the home page: New releases (12), Opera (49), Dance (30), Concert (221), Archives (127), Artist portrait (225), Documentaries (386), and Educational programmes (68). The new releases also appear in the other categories.
Institutional pricing is not publicly available, but it is based on full-time enrollment and has no limit on the number of concurrent users. Interested institutions are asked to contact medici.tvdirectly for a price quote or a one-month free trial. For individuals, a variety of subscription options exist. The Classic+ subscription ($17.90/12.90€ per month, or $159/129€ per year) includes access to all videos and live events at high quality (up to 320kbps for audio; video quality is not stated), as well as the ability to stream to mobile devices. The Classic subscription ($10.90/7.90€ per month, or $99/79€ per year) includes all videos and live events, but content is delivered at lower quality and does not provide access for mobile devices. Additionally, subscribers can provide “balcony-invitations”: fifteen days of free access for ten friends (Classic+) or for three (Classic). Individuals under the age of twenty-five can subscribe for $7/5€ per month. Gift subscriptions for Classic+ are available for three months ($39), six months ($69), or one year ($119). Yet another mode of access is rental of single videos. All titles are available with the Classic+ level of quality and mobile access for $3.99/2.99€ or $4.99/4.99€. Upon rental, the video is available for thirty days. Once viewing has started it can be watched an unlimited number of times during the following forty-eight hours, after which it is no longer available.
This review will not focus exhaustively on content; viewers without a subscription can register for free and see all background information for each title (performers, conductor, date of recording, etc.). After an overview of content and a comparison with other streaming services, this review will look more extensively at issues of navigation, access, and content delivery. [End Page 156]
Of the twelve new releases listed in early March 2013, seven were concerts from the 2012 Verbier Festival in Switzerland. These concerts are not available on other streaming sites, and cannot yet be purchased on DVD. Verbier Festival concerts are prominent on medici.tv; at least thirty-seven concerts are featured, from 2007 to 2012. For com parison, Alexander Street Press’s Classical Music in Video(hereafter, ASP and CMV) has two, and Naxos Video Library( NVL) has none. The Opera category shows a wide range of works with only one opera appearing twice. The compilation is fairly standard (essentially “opera’s top 40”) with a few surprises, including Olivier Messiaen’s Saint Francois d’Assise, Jean-Baptiste Lully’s...