High Definition Audio / Hi-Res Downloads - follow up.
I came across an interesting article a while back in the old favorite 'Hifi News', a UK publication that I started reading way back in time. I've been experimenting some with high res downloads in various sampling rates and formats, and the article in HFN basically tells me that in a lot of cases the files were never truly high resolution to begin with. I kicked the notion around for a while then yesterday came across this website itrax.com and low and behold there's an article written by the owner of itrax, a Mr. Mark Waldrep, Ph.D. who makes reference to the original article in HFN. First off, iTrax are a high resolution audio download company, much like HD Tracks who I reviewed here, but supposedly offering an enhanced version of the standard hi-res audio file (audiophile?) which is truly high definition.
Mr. Waldrep has an interesting report on the HFN article which supports all of the facts reported by HFN and claims that the state of the high res download industry is...well, it's basically a debacle.
To paraphrase one of the claims within the report - Audiophiles buying hi-res music downloads do it blindly on trust. But so called premium 24-bit/88.2, 24/96, 24/176.4 of 24/192 files do not always (in fact, most commonly) deliver the expected bandwidth enhancements in a way which transposes to superior sound quality.
The report goes on to mention certain culprits and in doing so a couple of high-profile companies are brought into the spotlight, namely Chesky and Linn.
HD Tracks, a company I've used to purchase most of my own high def / hi-res downloads seem to be acting quite transparently by re labeling tracks purported to be high-res with the actual bandwidth and bitrates measured. However, I've had bad customer service experiences with HD Tracks and I'm no longer recommending them.
So I look forward to iTrax developing their catalog of high def downloads and for the existing players in the industry becoming more open about the resolution of the music they offer.
Meanwhile if you have any information on this subject I'd appreciate hearing from you, just drop me a line through the website.
Last Updated (Saturday, 12 January 2013 19:24)