The Beethoven ExperienceBBC Radio 3's website has recorded more than 650,000 downloads after a week-long Beethoven special.

The Beethoven Experience ran from 6 to 10 June and featured live performances of the composer's complete works by the BBC Philharmonic orchestra.

Web users were able to download the broadcast in full which was free and available on the site for a further seven days.

"This trial was all about gauging listeners' appetite for downloads and the results are astonishing," said Simon Nelson, controller of BBC Radio & Music Interactive.
"We are hopeful that we have attracted people who wouldn't previously have explored much classical music, as well as inspiring others to embrace digital technology."

The BBC has recently experimented with podcasting, publishing audio files for selected programmes that can be distributed directly to users' desktops.

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