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can someone please tell me what's the point of hi res downloads? surely there's only a small nich market for obscure jazz artists and rehashed classical stuff.


furthermore how can you tell if it's any good? unless of course you have several copies of the same music on different formats.


when are these companys going to produce more popular music in hi res, i for one would love to try DSOTM in hi res, or tubular bells, maybe sgt peppers? and no the remaster's don't count!!!


i've no doubt that some people listen to and appreciate obscure jazz/blues/scottish folk etc etc but come on, if you really want to provide a service and make some money lets have something a bit more populist.


rant over thanks



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Can't say I feel quite as passionate about the subject, but I wondered when those of us who don't listen to jazz & classical would get some options. I wonder how long it'll take for the "mainstream" stuff to get into the game?


I'm an audiophile (budding) and I like Mariah Carey. So shoot me. :P


itunes alac > mac mini > pro-ject usb box > pro-ject pre box > pro-ject amp box > totem rainmaker

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i wouldn't criticise your taste's but you obviously understand the point i'm trying to make, it seems (to me at any rate) that there may be an element of snobbery in the hi res audiophile fraternity, e.g. we can't publish maria carey in hi res because the oik's may start buying it, just imagine a hi res chart, at three dvorak's something or other, at two blind willy do dah's whatever and in at no 1 mariah carey with,


well you get the idea.


personally i'd like to see floyd, genesis, air, kings of convenience and a few others that don't qualify as celtic folk.


it just seems so elitist.





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I listen to a wide range of music genres and artists (Mariah Carey is not included - Chrissy Hynde is) and also feel that there isn't much point to offering pop music in hi-res formats. The qualities of hi-res content I really enjoy are:

  • A very wide dynamic range - Instruments or voices at very low levels (pianissimo) still distincly sound like intruments or voices, not murky muttering.
  • Pinpoint soundstaging - Being able to visualize the positions of the performers greatly adds to having an "in the room" experience of the music.
    Realistic attacks and decays - It's great to hear a tympani smack with a solid punch followed by a expansion and changing of tone as it rolls out into the hall.

There are several other sonic attributes of hi-res, but these are the ones that stand out most prominently to me.


Classical and acoustic jazz are the music types that I feel best benefit from hi-res recording.


Pop music, on the other hand, seldom involves acoustic instruments and is nearly always heavily processed including lots of compression. I'll still enjoy the occasional pop song, but I won't seek out a hi-res recording of that song.



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consider the hi-res music an indy or formula 1 car and the cds ripped into the machine the result of the research from racing. Its nice to have a racing car, but most of us listen to cds because they also sound great when ripped and played properly. Some of my best sounding titles are good old fasion redbook cd in uncompressed wav format!




Jesus R



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You can't find any of the popular Classical and Celtic Folk artists on Hi Rez as well.

I don't think that Celtic folk/Classical and pop/rock are mutually exclusive. I enjoy them all and I know of many other people who enjoy all those genres.

I don't quite get why obscure/unpopular artists/recordings = elitist TBH.





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I totally disagree that there would be no point in high resolution for popular music. I am looking for a copy of Fleetwood Macs Rumours on DVD-A to get into my music collection-This is a well recorded album that sounds really good in high res. HD-Tracks does have Alison Krauss and Robert Plant's "Raising Sand" available for download at 24/96. A lot of older popular music (recorded in analog, before the massive loudness wars and resulting compression has killed a lot of music) would be well served by being made available at 24/96 or higher resolutions. The sound of acoustic drums alone gets much better (especially cymbals) in higher resolution if the original recording was well done.

It is true that there are a lot of more recent recordings that would not benefit from being available in high resolution, but not all pop music recordings are poorly done, even recent ones.

There is nothing elitist about what music is offered for download in high resolution, I am sure David Chesky would love to get his hands on more pop music titles to offer at 24/96 or 24/88.2. The problem is that the record companies who usually "own" the titles either do not want to be bothered to offer them, do not think it will be profitable, or are concerned that there is no copy protection on downloaded high res stuff.

What is interesting to me is all the classic rock titles from the late 60s through the 70s that have been well remastered after the mid nineties. These are most likely already archived at high resolution-either DSD or 24/88.2 or 24/96-so it would not be a ton of work to offer these titles for high res downloads as the mastering is already done. All the music that has been offered as DVD-A or SACD already exists in high res, so prepping this stuff for download would be relatively easy (low cost to the record companies). Unfortunately, the large record companies are so backwards in their thinking that it is going to be awhile before they figure out that they can actually resell their catalogs again by download at high res.

We must consider that high res is also not always better, as a lot depends on the mastering: At RMAF I heard some of John Coltrane's "Blue Train" in PS Audio's room, they were playing .wav files on the PWT that were converted from a DVD-A (I think it was supposed to be 24/192) and they sounded terrible. My normal RVG remaster on CD sounds better, I know the problem was not the PS system, but I guess the DVD-A was not well remastered in the first place.

In any case, I look forward to the time when we can just download whatever we want and just pay for higher resolution. Download sites direct from the record companies, where you just choose your resolution is the way to go: MP3 albums for $6.00, CD quality for $12.00, and high res for $20.00.


SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888 speakers-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Purple Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.  ISOAcoustics Oreas footers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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"Download sites direct from the record companies, where you just choose your resolution is the way to go: MP3 albums for $6.00, CD quality for $12.00, and high res for $20.00."


Instead -

May I suggest MP3 for $20 and Hi-res for $6.00!!!!!!!!

Hi-res for all.

Maybe then this will encourage more people to invest in a decent Hi-Fi and we will no longer have to suffer with the ubiquitous BOSE system at your friends parties.


Naim 282/250/hi-cap/cd5xs/dac/stageline, mac book pro/fidelia/amarra hifi/halide bridge, rega p3/24, focal utopia scala

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so it seems to me there are two main thrust's in the reply's that argue against the availability of popular music so far

1. a technical issue with regard to the original quality of the recording.


2. the record company's don't/won't release the material.


please allow me to address both,


i have some cd's which sound awful because of the recording and or mix, afterall the beatles have just been remastered to improve? on the originals, so the quality can be 'adjusted' hopefully to an acceptable level.


secondly i'm sure there would be a much larger market for more popular music than obscure celtic folk/blues/opera which is at best a niche market to say the least.


so what we are really saying is that audiophile's don't or won't listen to pop music errrrrrr i think they might occasionally at least and that record companies don't want to make money, again i beg to differ, i'm sure we've all gone through the format wars and ended up with multiple copies of our favourite albums, isn't hi res download just another format?


cheers steve


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The vast majority of modern popular recordings are heavily compressed, and often with a large amount of clipping.

This is clearly obvious if you look at the .wav files in a program such as Sound Forge.

There is even a commercial program called SeeDeClip Pro, which can often help to make the recording sound far more natural.

Often after using the process,there is a marked increase in natural ambience.

Some Promo Music Videos respond very well to this program, and become not only watchable, but no longer fatigueing to listen to for any period of time.

You can also make some quite decent compilation DVDs by using this program to fix some of the audio problems.

However, mosr CDs do not respond as well as the videos, which suggests that the Record companies deliberately make the promo videos look good, as well as sound reasonable, just to encourage sales of the much heavier compressed CDs, which are often converted to MP3 format for portable use,where sound quality is secondary.

Listening to heavily compressed audio, with severe clipping is very annoying with high resolution equipment.

Not everybody wants to listen to material that has been made very loud to cover up high level background noise,

such as when travelling in a commuter train, on a home stereo system.It would be pointless releasing heavily processed music in high resolution.

I feel sure that many people who have heard and enjoyed CDs recorded before the "Loudness Wars" began in 1987,

would grab the chance to hear their favourite artists as they sounded at the opriginal recording session.








How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.


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perhaps if we get more proactive and start badgering hd trax etc with our want's maybe people power will out.

what do you think? should we start a petition for say the top 100 albums of all time to be made available as hi res downloads, and yes i know that there are many top 100 lists but i bet there's not a huge difference between individual list's maybe we could agree to use say the Q list or the NME/rolling stone or whatever and go from there. afterall they are the top 100 for a reason, they're good!! not only that people like/buy them so they already have a proven market thus cutting down the risk for the companies.




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Sorry... "can't".


The main problem is contracts. Most of the time, the label owns distribution rights to the music. Then they have to give a portion to the artist/writers/composers/lyricists... an so on depending on the distribution contract that was agreed upon. Hi-rez downloads are so new that these were not stipulated in the older contracts and it just a legal nightmare to write new contracts for hi-rez downloads.... especially tracking distribution. Most of the time it's just too large of fee that they have to pay for licensing the music.






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so let me get this straight, there's an opportunity to sell a back catalogue all over again and the record companies can't get themselves organised to make even more money?


as suspected the older stuff can be/has been re-mixed/remastered into a hi res format e.g. DSOTM but record companies don't want to cash in.


is it any wonder operations like pirate bay/limewire etc etc flourish, perhaps i should set myself up as a recording studio the same as Bruce then i could get my hands on the stuff i want.


thanks Bruce very informative.



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that the major labels are not catching on to this? They have never really figured out how to make money via downloads, and they have really spent all their energy trying to figure out how to do things the same old way, and whining about music being copied, etc. If they were smart about running their businesses they would have embraced new methods of music distribution from the beginning. Instead, a computer company (Apple), that has virtually nothing to do with the music business, comes along with I-tunes and makes all kinds of money, while the majors sit back and wonder how to protect their catalogs. Much like the US Auto industry, the major record labels are stuck in the past, instead of embracing the future.

The funny thing is that a lot of the music we are talking about here is already remastered in high resolution for archive purposes, or for prior release on SACD (DSOTM) or DVD-A. A lot of the most popular music is ready for downloading in high resolution without the added expense of remastering.

Ultimately it appears fairly obvious to me that virtually all media will be distributed online in the future: news, movies, music, literature, etc. what audiophiles need to do now is to hope (and exert what little influence we have) that music will be available for purchase in various resolutions-otherwise we may end up getting stuck with only lossy compressed formats to listen to. I encourage everyone to purchase as much high resolution audio product as possible, and be willing to pay a premium for it-this means downloads, SACDs, DVD-As, etc. It requires more bandwidth to download a 24/192 album version, so we should be willing to pay more for the high resolution version.

If we are lucky, the record companies will realize that some are willing to pay more for increased audio quality, and maybe they (record companies) will respond with more high resolution music.


SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888 speakers-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Purple Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.  ISOAcoustics Oreas footers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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