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HDtracks download manager...

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Very interesting - I wonder why some of us have no problems at all, while others can't seem to complete a single purchase successfully :/

 

Yes, I have never had any problems downloading from HDTracks. I don't think their search engine is very good, but otherwise no problems.

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Very interesting - I wonder why some of us have no problems at all, while others can't seem to complete a single purchase successfully :/

 

I think a possible cause is that their download manager cannot handle some types of Internet connections - but that's only a guess. The repeated spins are an indication that something is seriously wrong with the code of the app - given that there are no issues with any other apps that access the Internet, and that none of the usual suspects (firewall, antivirus SW, Mackeeper, Little Snitch, Netbarrier and similar) are in play.

 

I mentioned Apple's interface guidelines a few times. The user interface has, obviously, nothing to do with the functionality issues, but the fact that the developers completely ignore basic Mac conventions is an indication that they are not terribly familiar with writing code for OS X.

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By the way, I'm nowhere near the US

 

Interesting, because in their mail to me HDtracks stated that they do not sell internationally, period. Here's the quote from the email:

 

"Please note, you are outside the U.S. We currently are not available internationally."

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I've gotten around the region restrictions of all the download sites. It isn't very hard to do if you use a VPN or VPN addon in your browser. Sometimes (depending on the site) you have to register with an address from the country in question. Doesn't matter if the address is yours or not. Irrelevant as long as you are only downloading from them.

 

They don't really care (if they did, they'd make the restrictions hard to get around), they just want to be able to claim legally that they did their bit.

 

Once you make the purchase, you can be anywhere. They don't care where the actual download is going to, the region restrictions apply to the sale, not the download.

 

Interesting, because in their mail to me HDtracks stated that they do not sell internationally, period. Here's the quote from the email:

 

"Please note, you are outside the U.S. We currently are not available internationally."


Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>RPi4 (dietpi)>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: (1) CAPS Pipeline>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .(2) CAPS>ifi iDAC SPDIF>Kii Control.

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup. Living Room/Kitchen: RB Pi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Country? One of the problems is in Ireland, and I don't think HDtracks is available there.


Jim Hillegass / JRiver Media Center / jriver.com

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I have tried from the UK to buy various items from HDTracks and failed. However, I have very recently managed to buy from the selection of Everests so perhaps they have world-wide distribution rights for those.

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I've gotten around the region restrictions of all the download sites. It isn't very hard to do if you use a VPN or VPN addon in your browser.

 

Sure, but for me the whole point of legally purchasing music is that it's legal. If I wanted to work around legislation, I wouldn't bother to buy music in the first place...

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Sure, but for me the whole point of legally purchasing music is that it's legal. If I wanted to work around legislation, I wouldn't bother to buy music in the first place...

 

Well, that's fine if it's your point of view.

 

But it has little to do with legislation, it has to do with internal restrictions in the music industry from the pre-digital age designed to divide and protect markets. My point of view is that I'm paying full price for it, so I have no ethical issues with it. Very different from not paying for music at all, as you implied.

 

Like I said, if the companies really wanted to prevent it, they could.


Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>RPi4 (dietpi)>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: (1) CAPS Pipeline>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .(2) CAPS>ifi iDAC SPDIF>Kii Control.

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup. Living Room/Kitchen: RB Pi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I'll take ethics over legality any day ...

Law and justice are two different things.


Jim Hillegass / JRiver Media Center / jriver.com

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..and if HDtracks (or anyone else) don't want to sell in Ireland, why should I give them my money?

Of course they want to sell in Ireland and everywhere else! And they make this abundantly clear...

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See About Us | HDtracks - The World's Greatest-Sounding Music Downloads where they talk about selling master quality files.

 

They've publicly, officially, repeatedly, and explicitly stated for years that they NEVER upsample files and never knowingly sell upsampled material.

 

OK, I had a look at that page. They never state that the source files they receive are actually 24bit/96k. They talk about 'master tapes' (who masters to tape these days, and then converts back to digital? Or are they talking about ADAT tapes? Remember these?) and 'master quality' - which means, if it's a regular CD master, 16bit/44k.

(Off topic: the best resource with good information about mastering I found is 'Mastering Audio' by Bob Katz.)

 

The information is decidedly non-technical. They mention LP and SACD in the same sentence, stating that these formats can hold 'a lot of information'. The dynamic range of an LP is not even close to that of a CD or SACD, LPs are mastered to make sure that the needle does not jump out of the groove. So maybe they refer to lyrics when they talk about 'information'. Or notes, there sure are a lot of notes on each LP.

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There is a new You Tube Video with Steven Rochlin of Enjoy The Music TV and David Chesky from HD Tracks. Chesky talks a bit about their use of 24/96 music files. But he dodges a question about the new record industry statement that talks about "Master Quality (MQ)" music and the proposed MQ-C designation (Master Quality - CD Sourced, 44.1).

 

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..and if HDtracks (or anyone else) don't want to sell in Ireland, why should I give them my money?

 

They want to sell everywhere, they are prevented from it by the record labels and music publishers. They are a corporation and have to respect the legal system, or they can't operate, unless they want to be an underground organization.

 

I certainly understand your frustration, but your anger is misdirected.

 

That's exactly the reason I've got no ethical problem with paying for the files and getting in a back door of the system


Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>RPi4 (dietpi)>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: (1) CAPS Pipeline>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .(2) CAPS>ifi iDAC SPDIF>Kii Control.

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup. Living Room/Kitchen: RB Pi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Boy you are so overthinking this and basing a conclusion on over interpretation of limited info. You contention is simply incorrect, which you could find out if you took the trouble to look into it a bit.

 

They've publicly and repeatedly stated it in interviews, web posts etc. They will also confirm it to you personally in writing (they have to me) if you take the trouble to write them and ask instead of engaging in idle speculation and obsessive deconstruction of a web page.

 

This is an old topic that apparently is new to you. Instead of arguing the point based on a lack of knowledge, do your homework instead of repeatedly bringing the point up in the forum.

 

Their source files can be analog tape, SACD, or hi-res files. Their policy is that they never knowingly sell upsampled digital files as hi-res. Either the source is hi-res to begin with, or it is a hi-res transcription of analog material. Except for Chesky records, they don't produce any material and only resell what labels give them. They can be given upsampled material, but remove it from the site if it's discovered.

 

OK, I had a look at that page. They never state that the source files they receive are actually 24bit/96k. They talk about 'master tapes' (who masters to tape these days, and then converts back to digital? Or are they talking about ADAT tapes? Remember these?) and 'master quality' - which means, if it's a regular CD master, 16bit/44k.

(Off topic: the best resource with good information about mastering I found is 'Mastering Audio' by Bob Katz.)

 

The information is decidedly non-technical. They mention LP and SACD in the same sentence, stating that these formats can hold 'a lot of information'. The dynamic range of an LP is not even close to that of a CD or SACD, LPs are mastered to make sure that the needle does not jump out of the groove. So maybe they refer to lyrics when they talk about 'information'. Or notes, there sure are a lot of notes on each LP.


Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>RPi4 (dietpi)>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: (1) CAPS Pipeline>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .(2) CAPS>ifi iDAC SPDIF>Kii Control.

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup. Living Room/Kitchen: RB Pi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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This is an old topic that apparently is new to you.

 

No, it's not, but I come from the musician/sound engineering side, not from the audiophile side. Nothing obsessive about expecting a minimum of clear technical data.

 

If you have seen a 'Mastered for iTunes' label, that means the source before conversion to AAC is a 24bit/96k file. If a conventional music retailer like Apple can state that, I would expect someone specialising in HD to match or exceed this type of information, and do it officially on their website, ideally with specifics for each album.

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If you have seen a 'Mastered for iTunes' label, that means the source before conversion to AAC is a 24bit/96k file. If a conventional music retailer like Apple can state that, I would expect someone specialising in HD to match or exceed this type of information, and do it officially on their website, ideally with specifics for each album.

 

You are right about that, but if you look you will see that none of the main hi-res download sites do a really good job of that. HDT is probably worst; they claim the labels don't give them the information, or that the labels themselves don't even know it when asked. In general, their downloads that are 88 or 176k are generally derived from SACD or from recordings in those formats.

Acoustic Sounds does a better job of providing info, especially with releases they produce themselves. To their credit, if asked they will go to the trouble of finding out more detailed information about source files and provide it to you.


Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>RPi4 (dietpi)>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: (1) CAPS Pipeline>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .(2) CAPS>ifi iDAC SPDIF>Kii Control.

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup. Living Room/Kitchen: RB Pi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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You are right about that, but if you look you will see that none of the main hi-res download sites do a really good job of that. HDT is probably worst; they claim the labels don't give them the information, or that the labels themselves don't even know it when asked. In general, their downloads that are 88 or 176k are generally derived from SACD or from recordings in those formats.

Acoustic Sounds does a better job of providing info, especially with releases they produce themselves. To their credit, if asked they will go to the trouble of finding out more detailed information about source files and provide it to you.

 

I have a ALWAYS had trouble downloading from HDTracks. The whole process reminds me of a clunky 1990's website.

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I have a ALWAYS had trouble downloading from HDTracks. The whole process reminds me of a clunky 1990's website.

 

Since many of the hi-res sites (including HDTracks) now use the same download manager (from JRiver), how is the HDTracks experience different? I download from them weekly and have not had a problem in at least a year.


John Walker - IT Executive

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Sure, but for me the whole point of legally purchasing music is that it's legal. If I wanted to work around legislation, I wouldn't bother to buy music in the first place...

 

I believe that you are operating under a misconception. While HDtracks has licensing agreements with the record companies that may make it illegal for them to sell downloads outside a geographic area, that does not make it illegal for you to buy and/or possess those downloads. You don't have any contractual relationship with the record companies. As has been pointed out, the system is archaic and out of touch with the reality of today's system of digital downloads. Having paid for the downloaded music, you should be free from any possible liability.


"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted"- William Bruce Cameron

 

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I believe that you are operating under a misconception. While HDtracks has licensing agreements with the record companies that may make it illegal for them to sell downloads outside a geographic area, that does not make it illegal for you to buy and/or possess those downloads. You don't have any contractual relationship with the record companies. As has been pointed out, the system is archaic and out of touch with the reality of today's system of digital downloads. Having paid for the downloaded music, you should be free from any possible liability.

 

Different countries have different VAT percentages. VPNing into a different country to download is tax fraud.

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Different countries have different VAT percentages. VPNing into a different country to download is tax fraud.

 

As I understand it, it might be tax fraud or tax evasion to use a VPN to make a purchase in another country where you would be subject to higher taxes if you were to make the same purchase in your own country. As you can't make the purchase from HDtracks from your own country without using a VPN, I don't see how it would be illegal. IMO, there is no intent to evade taxes by using the VPN and therefore there should be no liability.

 

Practically speaking, the chances of you facing any liability are probably somewhere between zero and none. And, as others have said, there is no ethical consideration here as there is with illegal "free" downloads.


"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted"- William Bruce Cameron

 

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I cannot get their Download Manager to accept my password to save my life. Everything they've told me to try does not work. Frustrated...


Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Mac Mini->Roon + Tidal->KEF LS50W

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Different countries have different VAT percentages. VPNing into a different country to download is tax fraud.

If I fly to the USA, and take my computer with me, the purchase is legal. With a VPN, I save the cost of the airfare, still buying product with money, not stealing or torrent methods.


AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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