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Free Linn Records 24-bit Studio Master Downloads


JimC
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Hi Folks,

 

For anyone who is interested in doing a direct real-world comparison between 24-bit, 16-bit and MP3, we are running a little 24-bit download series via Twitter. Great to see the guys at Reference Recordings doing a similar thing via Computer Audiophile!

 

These are the exact files we sell in download form, not just some test tone or doctored clips.

 

First up: some awesome Jazz from Alyn Cosker.

 

Download the full 16bit and 24bit FLAC versions of this track for free and have a listen. I think you will be pleasantly surprised! Click the little down arrow on the right hand side to download each track, and make sure you preview them through a DAC or soundcard capable of reproducing 24-bit/96Khz.

 

Get the tracks here

 

Follow us on Twitter too if you would like to keep up with it and hear some more. Coming up in the series we have some classical recordings (at 24/192kHz!) some great rock and pop from Maeve O'Boyle, and as yet unreleased new work from jazz great Claire Martin!

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Jim - Linn Records

 

www.linnrecords.com | Follow us on Twitter

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I had listened to the song samples (320 kbps?) from the Linn site of Alyn Cosker's album already and was undecided. But hearing it in 24/96 has got me sold.

 

The new Mark Moraghan album "Moonlight's Back In Style" is sensational! I'm a big Swing fan and this album captures its essence.

 

I already have Maeve O'Boyle's 24/88.2 download. Hi Rez needs more rock/pop titles like that. We have been raving about her for quite some time here at CA. http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/Maeve-OBoyles-New-HiRez-Album-All-My-Sins

 

Keep up the good work and I hope Linn can find more artists like Moraghan and O'Boyle.

 

Regards,

 

James[br]

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Linn downloads are priced around the same price as an SACD, but they don't have the cost of pressing, they don't have the cost of storage, they don't have the cost of shipping discs around the world and their is not the cost of a retailers 100% markup.

 

So I cannot see why they are priced so high, they are twice as expensive as they should be. Just check out HD Tracks which has some of the best recordings made by Reference Recordings available at 24/96 for US$15.98 a CD's worth of download, which is half the price Linn Records is charging.

 

I won't be buying any of Linn Records downloads, until they start charging a reasonable price.

 

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I was just going to write about Linn prices when I saw Blu's comments. I completely agree with you and your arguments: I won't be buying any of Linn downloads, until they start charging a reasonable price. Maybe a boycot will encourage them to be more realistic. This will also save some of the smaller CD stores and audio shops.

 

 

Walcascar[br]My system: Mac Mini > Exasound e22 (digital) > VPI Classic 3 (analog) > McIntosh C50 preamp & McIntosh MC302 amp > B&W Nautilus 802D (Cables: All Cardas)

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Hi Guys,

 

While we don't have the cost of pressing the CD, there is still a significant cost to selling downloads of this size, something which a lot of people don't appreciate. Bandwidth costs alone on recordings which can have individual track sizes of up to 650MB is significant, and that's not including the infrastructure costs (including keeping everything secure) and all the other expenses associated with paying artists fairly. There is also cost to storing the files too! It is easy to take these things for granted when we live in the web 2.0 age, when many companies offering web services for free are venture capital funded and operate under massive losses, hoping to figure out a way to be sustainable later!

 

But we are always looking for ways we can make things more affordable, but only if we don't compromise on the ultimate quality and service provided.

 

We lament the decline of the local CD shop as much as anymore - we still distribute our records as wildly as possible - and sadly the demise of the record store as we know it can be attributed to far more obvious sources such as piracy and the state of the high street as a whole. We are actually happy for any audio shops to stock our catalog in disc or hard drive form, so you don't have to just download from us! If their are any retailers out there interested, please do get in touch.

 

Jim - Linn Records

 

 

 

www.linnrecords.com | Follow us on Twitter

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Hi Guys - Here is an idea ofhow my storage costs are billed using S3 for storage and CloudFront to speed up downloads.

 

S3

 

United States

Storage

 

* $0.150 per GB – first 50 TB / month of storage used

* $0.140 per GB – next 50 TB / month of storage used

* $0.130 per GB – next 400 TB /month of storage used

* $0.120 per GB – storage used / month over 500 TB

 

 

* No charge for delete requests

 

Europe

Storage

 

* $0.180 per GB – first 50 TB / month of storage used

* $0.170 per GB – next 50 TB / month of storage used

* $0.160 per GB – next 400 TB / month of storage used

* $0.150 per GB – storage used / month over 500 TB

 

 

 

 

 

CloudFront

 

United States Edge Locations

 

Data Transfer

 

$0.170 per GB – first 10 TB / month data transfer out

$0.120 per GB – next 40 TB / month data transfer out

$0.100 per GB – next 100 TB / month data transfer out

$0.090 per GB – next 100 TB / month data transfer out

$0.080 per GB – next 250 TB / month data transfer out

$0.070 per GB – next 250 TB / month data transfer out

$0.060 per GB – next 250 TB / month data transfer out

$0.050 per GB – data transfer out / month over 1,000 TB

Requests

 

European Edge Locations

Data Transfer

 

$0.170 per GB – first 10TB / month data transfer out

$0.120 per GB – next 40 TB / month data transfer out

$0.100 per GB – next 100 TB / month data transfer out

$0.090 per GB – next 100 TB / month data transfer out

$0.080 per GB – next 250 TB / month data transfer out

$0.070 per GB – next 250 TB / month data transfer out

$0.060 per GB – next 250 TB / month data transfer out

$0.050 per GB – data transfer out / month over 1,000 TB

Requests

 

 

Hong Kong Edge Locations

Data Transfer

 

$0.210 per GB – first 10 TB / month data transfer out

$0.160 per GB – next 40 TB / month data transfer out

$0.140 per GB – next 100 TB / month data transfer out

$0.130 per GB – next 100 TB / month data transfer out

$0.120 per GB – next 250 TB / month data transfer out

$0.110 per GB – next 250 TB / month data transfer out

$0.100 per GB – next 250 TB / month data transfer out

$0.090 per GB – data transfer out / month over 1,000 TB

Requests

 

 

Japan Edge Locations

Data Transfer

 

$0.221 per GB – first 10 TB / month data transfer out

$0.168 per GB – next 40 TB / month data transfer out

$0.147 per GB – next 100 TB / month data transfer out

$0.137 per GB – next 100 TB / month data transfer out

$0.126 per GB – next 250 TB / month data transfer out

$0.116 per GB – next 250 TB / month data transfer out

$0.105 per GB – next 250 TB / month data transfer out

$0.095 per GB – data transfer out / month over 1,000 TB

Requests

 

 

 

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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Hi Chris,

 

We have, and still are, investigating Amazon among other cloud based CDNs. *This is a whole other debate though!*

 

But it is not just as simple as the prices make it appear. the CDN has to be capable of good large object transfer and not just website acceleration (as CloudFront is aimed at) and/or cheap storage. We also need to look at how the cache flushing of the POPs work on the CloudFront setup.

 

It's not just a question of cheaper storage either, there are security issues that have to be addressed when using S3 + CloudFront, making sure that this all ties in securely to the to the server dealing with the transactions. With out getter uber geeky and slightly boringly un-music-related on here, there are other issues too.

 

As I said, we are always working on providing better value, but we have to make sure that this isn't at the cost of quality or service.

 

Thanks for all the input though!

 

Jim

 

www.linnrecords.com | Follow us on Twitter

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Hi Jim - I serve all large files like the free RR downloads via S3 and Cloud Front and the speed is awesome. I'd say the large object transfer is very good. Almost any dedicated server can handle website acceleration so I only use S3 and CF for images and large files. Cache flushing is another story, but there are simple ways to work with how it functions today.

 

I know of other download sites using this same setup and the security concerns are not higher than any other system as long as it's configured correctly.

 

One thing that should be underscored is Linn Paying the artists fair compensation. If this ads to the price of a download, as all overhead does, I would be happy to pay that price. Storage, bandwidth, and transfer are pieces to the much larger puzzle.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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Do you use EC2 at all? Interested in your experiences with that. It would most likely require a combo of that for token authentication... but we really are getting boring now!

 

Jim

 

www.linnrecords.com | Follow us on Twitter

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Linn, Acousence, and Naim all charge around $29 for a 24/96 download. 2L used to charge about the same on their old site in Norway. If I am converting from kroners to US$ correctly. Their new site has 24/[email protected]$20 tho probably because they have to compete with their own product on HD Tracks at such a low price. iTrax charges around$22 for 24/96. HD Tracks aggressive pricing strategy in an emerging market is their choice. Many businesses choose to break even or even lose money while getting a new business established. Hopefully it will work for them. Certainly consumers are benefiting! Other companies choose to make money to guarantee future survival and expand their artists and products. Hopefully all will thrive and expand. Given the niche market of high fidelity, high resolution computer audio products and hi resolution downloads at this time I'm not really surprised at the prices that we are paying. The more players the better. I will continue to support them all. Given that, price is a definite consideration!

 

Regards,

 

 

James[br]

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You do have some interesting music for HI REZ downloads yes:

 

But until you actually realize that I and lot of others simply don´t buy your argument nor your downloads LINN is the one to lose the most!

 

It is actually as simple as that!

You are ripping people off with your download prices being much higher even than an SACD ,that has to be pressed physically stored shipped delived and what not.

 

You are OVERCHARGING A LOT AS THINGS STAND , SHAME ON YOU!

 

I repeat I paid Pound sterling 11,32! including shipping for the double set Mozart symphonies on SACD and you charge 25 € for the download and you don´t call that a rip off!!???

 

I also downloaded and paid 9.DOLLARS and 99cents for the complete Brahms´ Requiem 24/88.2 HI REZ files from the BSO this morning!!!!!

 

It was a bit of a hazzle mainly because I was stupid.

 

But once I got it was worth it.

 

You should charge LESS not MORE for HI REZ Downloads !!!

 

And until you do neither I nor many others here and elsewhere I think, will buy any downloads from LINN !!!

 

Chrille

 

 

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SACD is not really a product that is competing with Hi Resolution Downloads for the computer audio market. Given that you can't rip it to storage. These are the factors that companies like Linn are weighing when they are selling Hi Res downloads. For most computer audiophiles the SACD is not a viable alternative for their system. Besides the fact that many consider Hi Res PCM downloads to sound better than SACD. See relevant threads...

 

The SACD is at the end of its life cycle as a product and that means lower prices. Most continue to provide SACD to their customers but are moving toward other products for the future. See 2L comments on their plans. OTOH Hi Res downloads are a new product and that means higher prices. (Excepting HD Tracks strategy as mentioned in my previous post). New products are purchased by innovators as seen on this forum in Computer Audio. And by early adopters. Generally, these people buy for personal reasons and money is most often not as big a concern.

The marketing strategy of Linn, Acousence, and Naim is the standard approach for a new product in a new market. Their prices are similar to when other products first came out like the first Hi Res TV Monitors.

That doesn't mean you have to like it! Prices will come down in time.

 

Cheers,

 

James[br]

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  • 2 years later...

Can I add that an early adopter premium is fine but this butting computer audiophile format could get a huge boost of new adopters if the cost of a 192k download from LINN for example was far lower than its SACD equivalent.

 

I also think if an SACD is seen at $25 and download of the same performance for $24 it will encourage kids to copy and share the files with a clearer conscience, right or wrong. The original purchase will be seen as a gouge and the seller of it less moral in some way.

 

If the argument is no longer one of delivery, storage, quality, and security but one of "an indulgence" (Audioquest's word) then yes, listening to your newest download of the evening will sound all the much sweeter but if we want to sell more DACs and sign on more kids to this new wave of hires audio, lowering the price now should make more sense both short term and long term.

 

Final point, Steve Jobs had a unique way of personalizing customers with regard to speaking about them as flesh and blood for example in his keno addresses, "I think people want to do the right thing." What relates here is I personally appreciate, say, 2L for uploading and making available for free a vast number of full-length test tracks in multiple formats. This has single handily been most helpful in trying out these new toys, hearing subtle differences in rates etc and because of it I've been left with a warm and fuzzy feeling towards 2L and every time I see their logo or label or blu-ray for sale now I think to myself, "I'm going to buy several more 2L products as soon as I get can." And I mean it. Because I want to reward the idea that 2L is excited and hungry to share this new technology and their wonderful new recordings. They want people to hear their music.

 

Linn on the other hand, if my memory serves, offered a couple simple Test Tracks of less than a minute each? Not a crime just presenting the difference in perception it leaves on patrons like myself.

 

Nothing is free and nor it should be. But to argue that a premium should be charged to early adopters in this day and age and in this context - it's one thing if your company is offering a new piece of expensive elaborate innovative highly exclusive electronics produced by a massive team of pioneer with millions of R&D behind it. But to argue that the same master file sitting in a master hard drive somewhere which is then uploaded to a server values a similar premium, I think is a stretch.

 

One of many exceptions to warrant a premium for a period of time might be when a recording is remastered and remixed from an older real-to-real. This has earned the right to be accompanied by such a surcharge.

 

I don't know everything but just wanted to suggest that, if possible, it may be a good time now to try and lure in the next generation of modern masses with not only realistic, but fun and encouraging pricing to share our latest classical recordings, jazz, blues, classic rock albums, modern recordings, microphones, the ambience of halls and churches, the plucks from an acoustic guitar, the snaps of an analog drum, clean vocals, lowered noise floor, and the like.

 

Subtle, high performing, heavy, audio gadgets are awesome fun to play with. And art can change the world for the better. We just need to provide access to the material and not overcharge for it under the quise of, "If you want to be one of the first you'll have to pay extra for it." It's an uploaded .flac file in the end.

 

Kind regards

 

 

 

 

 

 

2011 17\" MacBook Pro, 2.3gig quad-core Intel i7, 8gig RAM, 500gig solid state internal HD, Apogee Duet 2 with async USB 192k.

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JimC, please do be übergeeky. I understand you won't share corporate secrets with us, but this is a great opportunity for us to learn something about the issues involved in distributing downloads. We mostly know about CDs --- much has been written --- but most of us know very little about the business issues surrounding downloads. When I started thinking about whether your prices were "too high", I realized I had no way to think about it. I, for one, would greatly appreciate an "Introduction to the Business of Online Music Distribution". I am tantalized by what I've learned in this thread so far.

 

larryb

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I have been buying some top quality classical FLAC downloads at 44/16, 44/24, 88/24 and 96/24 from eClassical.

 

They offer music priced by the second, a little higher for higher resolution, for example with new material you can buy Trio Zimmermann's Beethoven String Trio's for $15.49 for 88/24 and CD quality 44/16 for $11.06, for 1 hr 13 minutes worth of great music, on the Swedish BIS label, which has a reputation for good quality recordings.

 

They also have specials on every day at 50% off, recent examples include Bach Cantata's by the world famous Bach Collegium Japan, at $6.39 for 44/24 and $4.56 for 44/16 for 1 hour of music.

 

They also offer deals on recent 24 bit recordings at 16 bit prices for a short period of time, at present the Spanish composer Albeniz Piano Music Vol 7 at 96/24 for 1 hr 11 min of music for $10.65, and also Volume 1 at 30% off, 44/16 at $7.89.

 

This compares with Linn Records charging $24 for 44/24 (324MB download) versus $13 for 44/16 (222 MB download) for 40 minutes of "Under Wires and Searchlight" by Marconi Union, nearly double the price for going from 16 bit to 24 bit. It's definitely not double the size in download is it?

 

An even better comparison is HDTracks charging $24.98 for 29 minutes of "The Wonderful World of Antonio Carlos Jobim" at 192/24, they also offer 1 hr 27 min of "The Last Concert by the Modern Jazz Quartet at 192/24 for the same price. I would certainly feel ripped off, buying the Jobim download. HDTracks certainly started out charging reasonable prices but they have been gradually going up in price. Probably following the example of Linn Records.

 

Anyway all I can say is I'm spending too much money at eClassical these good prices have got me burning up my credit card, but I'm certainly enjoying the music.

 

Blu

 

 

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