The company, based in suburban Philadelphia, has a catalogue of more than 70,000 classical CDs, DVDs and SACDs available for sale through its website, www.arkivmusic.com. Recently ArkivMusic also began selling ArkivCDs, which are custom-burned CD-ROMs of unavailable recordings, packaged in standard jewel boxes with facsimiles of the original cover and tray card. Liner notes are not included.
The New York Times, in reporting the new ArkivCD program, points out that the underlying concept is not new: private collectors have long transferred older vinyl recordings to more durable formats such as compact disc.
Eric Feidner, the president of ArkivMusic, told the paper that he had always hoped to offer out-of-print recordings; the company began licensing them from independent labels two and a half years ago and stored them as uncompressed digital files on its servers.
The company publicized its endeavor last month, when a large influx of titles licensed from Sony BMG and Universal Classics was made available. Offerings were also chosen using data from the company's partnership with classical radio station, such as New York's WQXR-FM, which frequently play out-of-print recordings. ArkivMusic links the playlists posted on these stations' websites to its own site, enabling buyers to find and purchase them, according to the Times.