Chandos Records have sidestepped the death of the CD by releasing music on a series of 12 USB memory sticks, each containing up to 16 CDs’ worth of recordings.

The pre-loaded sticks of the Chandos Plug & Play Collections will also contain booklets, print quality artwork and instructions on how to burn the music to a CD.

Included among these initial USB releases are Sir Reginal Goodall’s recordings of Wagner’s Ring cycle, the complete Symphonies of Vaughan Williams, and Richard Hickox’s Elgar Oratorios.

This is not the first time a label has attempted to use digital storage devices, other than CD, in selling classical music. In 2008, Hänssler Classic released the BachPod – an iPod containing recordings of J.S. Bach’s complete catologue. That particular item did not sell well, with many choosing instead to purchase conductor Helmuth Rilling’s complete Bach set in the more traditional CD form.

Australian readers wishing to purchase these latest offerings from Chandos will need to do so online, with local distribution unlikely.