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The first five mp3s of Beethoven’s

The first five mp3s of Beethoven’s symphonies are available for download on the BBC site. The site is really slow though…does anyone have a mirror or a BitTorrent available?

Reader comments

danielJun 08, 2005 at 2:16PM

i'm getting errors with all but symphony1 (speedy 2 KB/sec), this needs to be mirrored bad

Robert D.Jun 08, 2005 at 2:32PM

This seems like a clear example of why Bittorrent is a Good Thing. They should be releasing these through Bittorrent, not straight downloads.

ArminJun 08, 2005 at 2:36PM

Seems we get better service over here, I just downloaded them in around 3-4min each with speeds of about 170KB/sec, sometimes even 190KB/sec.

But then again we should expect better service, after all it's our TV licence fees paying for it. Apart from the fact that I don't have a TV Licence for the simple reason that I don't have a TV.

markJun 08, 2005 at 2:38PM

Way to share the love, Armin ;)

DanJun 08, 2005 at 4:54PM

Heh, perhaps they have implemented something to slow down overseas visitors - I was getting very nice 115Kb/s on my 1.1 line this morning. I think it's a very nice application of our license fee. For once. Although the Backstage section that has been launched recently is impressive, while the 'podcasting' of various radio shows are very nice.

AaronJun 08, 2005 at 8:09PM

I'm in Canada and got very good speed last night, but I use GetRight Pro as my downloading tool.

MartinJun 09, 2005 at 4:22AM

The slowness is probably got something to do with teething problems with the new downloads server at which was specifically introduced for this sort of thing.

Expect it to improve soon.

peter vanDerbeekJun 09, 2005 at 8:27AM


Del ShimandleJun 09, 2005 at 11:10AM

Thanks, Jason, for the link.
Thanks, Peter, for the mirror.

MartinJun 09, 2005 at 11:36AM

Coincidentally, the opening bar of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony (da-da-da-dum) also represent the letter V in Morse Code (dot-dot-dot-dash).

V is also the Roman numeral for the number 5, as in "fifth".

Was Samuel Morse a Ludwig Fan?

krizykronzJun 09, 2005 at 12:11PM

Anybody know where I can get a RARed and segmented (small) archive of
these mp3s? I'd like to be able to download these piecemeal since my
network here at work has a bandwidth limiter for large downloads.

Eugene ChanJun 09, 2005 at 5:58PM

It was often speculated that the V stood for victory, as well.

Andrew StoneJun 09, 2005 at 11:05PM

I managed to download rather quickly (all 5 at the same time, done in about 3 minutes), but i am suffering for the speed by living in a 12 x 12 box that they claim is a dorm room.

What is the legality of me creating a .zip or .rar file of the symphonies and hosting them on my own site? Even though they are free, are there copyright issues?

MartinJun 10, 2005 at 6:34AM

The V for Victory reference in Morse Code was actually just happenstance, when servicemen during World War II noticed the similarity of the Morse V to the opening bars of Beethoven's Fifth symphony.

Subsequently, the 'V' sound (played on drums) became the call sign of the BBC's European radio news services.

Ironic that the fifth symphony became a rallying call for the allied forces, given Beethoven's nationality.

MartinJun 10, 2005 at 6:39AM

Forgot to add this:

A fair few of Beethoven recordings are available to download in OGG format at WikiPedia:

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.