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Question about MusicGiants authenticity


pescholl
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I have a question about Music Giants Super HD downloads.

Are their HD downloads genuine HD recordings or are they upsampled redbook recordings?

I don't want to pay out good money for upsampled music.

 

I noticed they have music from such labels as Telarc, Pentatone and Vanguard.

I am most interested in some of their jazz releases.

 

Thanks,

Philip in east Texas

 

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First, I would like to clarify that MusicGiants offers both Super HD and HD downloads.

The majority of the catalog is in HD (WMA lossless format) and these files are bit for bit, a true mathematical match to a CD.

Then there is Super HD. These files are SACD and DVD-Audio recordings from the major labels that have been encoded at a much higher quality for 2.0 and 5.1 surround sound. They sample at rates up to 1100 kbps.

 

There is some really great jazz content from Concord and Sony both in HD and Super HD and definitely worth the money!

 

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Thanks for the input kryan.

 

And, thanks for the question pescholl. I'm sure others had the same thing on their mind. With all the low quality download sites out there many people are skeptical of all things that claim to be high quality or HD etc... Fortunately kryan gave us the specifics and I can vouch for the accuracy of those details.

 

When I get more time I can upload a screenshot from iTunes that displays the bit rate, Khz rate etc...

 

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Kryan,

 

I am a little confused... since there are no computer drives for SACD and no real good software for ripping out DVD-A content. Then how is this done?

 

I mean there is a hack to enable SPDIF out of a Sony SACD drive and I guess you could take the DVD-A out on SPDIF and record that as is but the amount of JITTER present would be considerable.

 

If MG is working with these guys and I hope they are... then why not just get the master taps.

 

Gang do note I work allot with several recording studios and the train of thought for all this stuff is that if it is intended for Red Book output then the stuff is usually recorded and mastered at 24/88.2 then downsampled to Red Book for output. No one really uses 24/96 as that does not downsample as well.

 

Thanks

Gordon

 

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I am assuming that Music Giants licenses the music from the Label owners who then supply MG with the 24/88 and 24/96 files.

 

I purchased my first MG Super HD album, "A Boy Named Charlie Brown".

Last night I used Adobe Audition 1.5 to convert the 24/88 WMA files to 24/88 WAV. I then up-sampled them to 24/96 WAV. I used the free program Lplex to author an audio-only DVD output as an ISO file. This weekend I will burn it to a DVD and listen to it on my Yamaha DVD player over my Def Tech speakers.

 

If it sounds as good as my other DVDs I made from HDTT source files, then this will become my modus operandi for Music Giants Super HD downloads.

 

Wish me "Good Music",

Philip in east Texas

 

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Well, after burning the files to an audio-DVD (or as some refer to it, DAD), the sound quality is quite impressive. The sound quality is not state-of-the-art, but for a recording made in 1963, it is still very good, very similar to the Charlie Brown Christmas SACD.

 

I also down-sampled the files to redbook CD quality and burned a CD from them, but I have not listened to it yet.

 

IMO, the price for these files, $19.99, is worth every penny and I'll continue to purchase Super HD files from MG.

 

Philip in east Texas

 

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Philip,

 

I don't think this really proves how good or if the MG files are true.

 

Really the only true way would be to have the 88.2 file in WAV do a file comparison to the original and look at the spectral content of the output. Maybe a better way would be to get the files from say Linn's site and if MG has the same files we could do a comparison that way. Who knows...

 

I think Chris we need to ask them what's up and how they are doing this.

 

Thanks

Gordon

 

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i am the soundczar at musicgiants and i create the WMAL files you have been writing about. We have a proprietary hardware system that allows us to do bit for bit transfers of DVD-A recordings and turn them into WMAL recordings. We have tested this by taking the WMAL file and reversing it back to a PCM file and it matches bit 4 bit to the original. If a DVD-A disks is 6 channels of 96/24 we create a WMAL file that is 96/24

 

For SACD, we get stream the DSD bits using proprietary gear built for us by a division of Sony into DCS format converters which transfer it to PCM. These files sound extremely close to the SACD disks, even though we all know that there is a big difference between PCM and DSD. Various engineers from the record companies have done comparisons of our files to their masters and all are pleased. Ån SACD disk becomes a 88.2/24 bit WMAL file.

 

The WMAL encoder we use was customized for our process by MSFT.

fyi,..

SACD machines only will output stereo PCM from thier spdif ports

 

DVD-A machines only output 48/24 from their spdif ports

 

We do this in my studio. The direct cost of the equipment we use for this process is over $100,000.

 

I hope this helps and am happy to answer any questions

 

Elliot

 

 

 

 

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  • 3 months later...

Chris: i am sure the answer is on the site somewhere, so apologies for not looking. I am very interested as I would love to be able to play my Music Giant Super HD files on iTunes. Is there any concern that quality will be lost in the conversion?

 

Regards,

Jim

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Hi jxo - Don't worry about scouring the site for the answer. If you have a question just post it! We're laid back around here, no worries :-)

 

Here is a review I did on a Super HD album from Sonny Rollins. At the end I have a little bit about converting to AIFF. http://www.computeraudiophile.com/node/226

 

If it's not clear let me know and I'll be happy to help you work through it. The possible loss of quality is always present, but I haven't noticed any glaring issues. Trust your ears. If you like it cool, if not it's back to the wma version.

 

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Thanks Chris. The ony twist for me is I am using iTunes on a PC (running XP). So steps 1, 2 and 4 are clear. Will a converted wav file play on my iTunes. Is it necessary for me to covert again from wav to AIFF? If so, is the MAX application something that I will be able to run on a PC? Is it a tool in iTunes?

 

Conversion steps from your linked thread:

1. Download the lossless wma music

2. Use the Windows Media Audio 9 Lossless to PCM Converter to convert the wma files to wav files. This tool will keep the sample rate and size at 88.2 KHz & 24 bit. Beware it is a command line utility, but the syntax is real easy.

3. (Optional) Move the files to your Mac and use the MAX application to convert wav to aiff. This is necessary to support tags and cover art.

4. Import into iTunes and you done. MusicGiants 24/88.2 music on your Mac!

...

Here is another free

Here is another free converter to convert WMA to WAV for windows http://www.nch.com.au/switch/index.html You can then convert to Apple Lossless within iTunes.

 

Regards,

Jim

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Hey jxo - I did steps one and two on my PC since MusicGiants doesn't support OS X. All you'll need to do is skip step three. The wav files will be just fine on your PC. They are uncompressed and sound no different from AIFF files.

 

I used the Windows Media Audio 9 Lossless to PCM Converter because it didn't change the music from 24/88.2. Other converters I tried down converted it to 16/44.1. Of course there are many others out there that'll work just fine as well.

 

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Chris: sorry for being dense. After this tool is installed, how do you access it? Do you simply right click on the file itself and select a the conversion option in the tool window?

 

Regards,

Jim

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This tool can be tough if your not familiar with the command prompt. Here are some instructions.

 

 

Click START

Click RUN

Type CMD

Click OK

Type cd (then hit ENTER)

Type cd program fileswindows media componentstoolswmal2pcm (then hit ENTER)

Type wmal2pcm c:exampleyour-song-name-here.wma c:exampleyour-song-name-here.wav (then hit ENTER)

 

In my example above replace "c:exampleyour-song-name-here.wma" with the real path to your file and replace "c:exampleyour-song-name-here.wav" with the path to where you want the new file and also enter what you want to new file to be named. Leave the wav extension though.

 

 

Here is the syntax of the command prompt when I used the converter

 

 

Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]

© Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

 

C:Documents and SettingsComputer Audiophile>cd

 

C:>cd program fileswindows media componentstoolswmal2pcm

 

C:Program FilesWindows Media ComponentsToolsWMAL2PCM>wmal2pcm c:examplecool.wma c:examplecooler.wav

 

 

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I am a big jazz fan and Concord is one of my favorite labels. I remain confused, as a Mac/iTunes user, regarding the viability of getting better than CD quality from their downloads. As it stands, I can get most of their CD's from Amazon for about 8 bucks. I would love better sound but am unsure a) how real it is and b) how viable it is for a Mac/iTunes guy.

 

I think I have asked this question, more or less, in several posts, but I may be a little dense. I am still not sure of the answer, but the mention of Concord makes me that much more interested. I visited their facilities a few years back and their catalog and collection of great jazz is astounding.

 

 

 

Audio Research DAC8, Mac mini w/8g ram, SSD, Amarra full version, Audio Research REF 5SE Preamp, Sutherland Phd, Ayre V-5, Vandersteen 5A\'s, Audioquest Wild and Redwood cabling, VPI Classic 3 w/Dynavector XX2MkII

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Hey baxtus - I wish this one was that simple! The reason I'm suggesting this roundabout method is because this is one of the only ways to keep the music at 24/88.2. iTunes will down convert during the import process.

 

If the wma files are already 16/44.1 then the conversion vance done very easily with many different tools.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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