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Deutschegrammophon FLAC Downloads


Labarum
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This is the first I've heard of this. I am so pleased.

 

For my tastes, classical selections really demand high resolution.

 

I've bought from the DGG web shop in the past but 320 kbs is just disappointing -- it just doesn't work for a home system. However the web shop is a good operation; I've never had any problem with the mechanics of downloads there. I hope the FLAC downloads go equally smoothly.

 

Currently it appears they have 50 titles in unadulterated FLAC format. I hope to do my part to encourage them to offer more. :-)

 

2013 MacBook Pro Retina -> {Pure Music | Audirvana} -> {Dragonfly Red v.1} -> AKG K-702 or Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

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I downloaded the Esa-Pekka Salonen "Rite of Spring" in FLAC format. No problems, straight-forward, and very good sound.

 

I use iTunes so I converted to AIFF (using xACT 1.62). No problems there either. The download manager didn't open for me this time through, although I think this has worked in the past. Consequently, in this case I downloaded in the alternately provided zip format.

 

I spent a little time setting the album name, composers, fixing the titles etc. This is time well spent so far as I'm concerned. I don't have a FLAC-capable player so this part may be easier for those that do. The DGG web shop also provides the artwork for download. And it appears if you want FLAC, you must purchase the full album. I believe you can only download single tracks as 320 kbs mp3 format.

 

2013 MacBook Pro Retina -> {Pure Music | Audirvana} -> {Dragonfly Red v.1} -> AKG K-702 or Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

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I checked this out, and downloaded Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5; Piano Sonata No.28 in A, Op.101 Hélène Grimaud & Staatskapelle Dresden. The FLAC metadata is minimalist at best (missing track numbers, year and genre). But the sound quality is great!

 

I will probably buy more, but this experiment needs to be expanded vastly. The FLAC encoding is much less CPU intensive than making MP3s, so I don't see the down-side from DG's perspective. The PDF booklet was nice too.

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

You know, I didn't pay too much attention. At my connection speed I think it took 45 minutes. It goes faster if you use their download manager versus downloading the zip -- as I recall.

 

Steve

 

2013 MacBook Pro Retina -> {Pure Music | Audirvana} -> {Dragonfly Red v.1} -> AKG K-702 or Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

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Let us hope that Decca, Philips, EMI, Harmonia Mundi and other classical labels follow. Imagine Vintage Decca or EMI recordings mastered direct to a lossless format we can purchase and download. Given the appalling stock levels of so-called classical specialist retail outlets, this is an exiting prospect.

 

(Interesting, given that iTunes is mentioned all over the DG site, that DG did not choose to offer Apple Lossless.)

 

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it'd be great if all record companies offered their popular titles remastered in high def. lossless format for download (proprietary high def. formats such as SACD, etc. would be toast). i just wonder if there's enough demand out there to justify this.

 

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considering the significantly lower production & distribution cost of music downloads, record companies should: (a) sell full 16/44 resolution albums for less that what it would cost to buy a physical CD; or (b) sell downloads at same price as physical CDs, but offer greater resolution (e.g. 24/96 or 24/176).

 

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Yes, this is one of the great things with downloads -- we're not locked into the latest proprietary format and expensive single-purpose hardware -- that then has to be perfected and abandoned.

 

Of course, as we know, there's still work to get your computer configured and there will always be room for improvement in music playing software. But overall it still just feels like a better place to be.

 

On the time it takes to download these higher resolution files, it really depends on your network connection. You might want to try downloading one of the free samples you can find on some sites.

 

For example at the Gimell site you can download, for free, the Gloria from Josquin's Gloria of the Missa Fortuna desperata. Go here: http://www.gimell.com/recording-josquin---missa-malheur-me-bat---missa-fortuna-desperata.aspx. Then in the pull-down menu go ahead and select the "Studio Master Pro FLAC" option. See how long it takes to download this track and then you can extrapolate based on the size of this track versus the size of the whole album.

 

There are also some sample tracks on the HDTT site in FLAC format where you can scope out how long it takes to download these longer files. Also, if you're going to convert to WAV, AIFF, ALAC or whatever, these give you a chance to make sure your conversion software is up to snuff. With some software (on my antiquated machine) I wasn't able to get a listenable transfer -- and these sample files really helped get that sorted out. See http://www.highdeftapetransfers.com/page/5/downloadinst.template.php for the link to download the test files.

 

Also it seems to me I get a higher download rate with sites that use a download manager. I don't know why, but that's my experience.

 

Steve

 

 

 

2013 MacBook Pro Retina -> {Pure Music | Audirvana} -> {Dragonfly Red v.1} -> AKG K-702 or Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

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Glad to help!

 

Also, when I said, "With some software (on my antiquated machine) I wasn't able to get a listenable transfer -- and these sample files really helped get that sorted out" --- what I meant is that I couldn't get a good conversion from Flac to AIFF with the first converter software I tried.

 

The results were unlistenable until I switched to another converter program. I'm happy to say that the HDTT guys held my hand while I went through this and in the end I found a conversion program that worked fine for me.

 

Someday I'll get a new computer... :-0

 

Steve

 

2013 MacBook Pro Retina -> {Pure Music | Audirvana} -> {Dragonfly Red v.1} -> AKG K-702 or Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

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