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Really serious problems on current HD download services.

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Hello folks, I've been reading this forum and involved in downloading HD files since Linn Record launched its service in 2007. For more than 4 years, I indeed saw some improvements but I am now rather disappointed with progress and recent developments are...... rather tragic.


I believe these unfortunate events are happening due to problems that have not fixed yet. Here are......





1.) There is no standard for outside of the files.

=> No one really knows what is "High Res" means after so many years of DVD-A, SACD, downloads and recently Blu-ray Audio. Sad but it's a fact.


Some say it's only for 24bit audio. Some say it's only for 24bit/192kHz. Some say it's DSD. While FLAC finally became standard format (thanks god) for high res downloads, there are still people who prefer releasing albums in different formats, sometimes with strong opinions on other formats.


People still believe losslessly compressed audio is somehow inferior to uncompressed (if you believe this, then pigs can play). I am very dumbfounded by such unorganized selling practices and large amount of misinformation still prevail today.





2.) There is no standard for inside of the files.

=> Again, we have zero solid definition for "High Res". Are analog-tape master transfers really high res? Did they use equipment capable of handling high frequency during recording sessions and mastering process? We have literally no idea on sources of those high res releases.


Only viable solution seems analyzing the files and looking at the graphs to see if there is any evidence of up-sampling. But unless we establish solid ways to identify the origin of the files, and establish the definition of "High Res", the arguments and fighting will only continue to happen and continue to rise while deepening the mistrust toward record industry further.





3.) Everything is fragmented.

=> People want to sell their stuffs at their website, only. And even if they decide to sell stuffs outside, they only choose specific routes.


Region restriction is really icing on cake; the reason iTunes is so successful is that people really do not have to search outside to find what they want. Same goes for amazon which happen to have pretty much everything else.


I know monopoly is bad, but currently it's so badly fragmented that I only see a certain label at a certain website. If they really want to sell their stuffs at few places, at least we need some good index/search engine/website to gather the data.


And please get rid of region restriction.... it is such a stupid idea if you think about the size of high res market.





4.) Everything is badly tagged.

=> This area has been improved a lot, but I still see tons of files really badly tagged that I have to manually fix them all. Sometimes even mp3tag just fail to fix such mess automatically...





5.) Nearly everything is too expensive.

=> Valve, a online game download retailer once showed the data that there is more than approx 300~1,300% increase in the sales (in actual money, not units sold) when they lowered the prices of games as low as 30% to as high as 90%+.


While I am not asking 5 bucks for each high res albums, I must point out that high res albums in general, especially 192kHz ones, are rather overpriced.


I think that 24/96 albums should not be more than 18 bucks, and 24/192 no more than 20 bucks. Asking 30 bucks per album is really outrageous, and considering the fact that most of people do not trust record industry now days (for many good reasons since 1998), it is just shooting at one's own foot.





*Smaller concerns:



1.) Marketing terms.

=> Just what the heck is "Studio Master" really? Although I've seen these words so many times, I cannot grasp how can this be automatically linked into high res audio.


Some records' masters are only 16bits, some others are recorded in analog-tapes which bring some doubts.


"Studio Master" literally has zero information on itself whatsoever. I'd like to see more informative such as "(Lossless) digital master" and "Analog transfer master"


And please do not use "FLAC-HD" it is just pure nonsense if you know the meaning of the format.




2.) Customer service.

=> I know this is getting bigger problem these days. You just can't run the company just by passion. You need to care others to accomplish what you want.




Thank you for reading.



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