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school me on Hi-Rez downloads

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school me on Hi-Rez downloads

Old 07-26-14, 06:12 PM
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school me on Hi-Rez downloads

Does anyone here purchase/ download hi-rez albums?

how does this actually work?

where do you download it to?

how do you playback the hi-rez audio to your receiver?

from what I've read, one can purchase a machine to catalog/retain the albums in one place - right?... any recommendations on which are the best?

other than HDTracks who else offers albums in 96/192kHz?

... yes I've been called a Luddite when it comes to all this technology and stuff - anyone??
Old 07-27-14, 06:38 PM
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Re: school me on Hi-Rez downloads

http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/forums/music-corner.2/
Old 08-03-14, 10:54 PM
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Re: school me on Hi-Rez downloads

-- Does anyone here purchase / download hi-rez albums?

I have (although only for favorite albums that I think are worth the extra expense). I also have a portable digital recorder that can record in hi-rez


-- how does this actually work?

Not sure exactly what you are asking with this question, but I've bought some hi-rez audio as downloads and others as physical discs ("Blu-ray Audio" seems to be taking that over, but there's also the older formats SACD and DVD-Audio that both seem to be fading away.)


-- where do you download it to?

For downloads, just to my computer.


-- how do you playback the hi-rez audio to your receiver?

Could probably use an iPod or a smartphone for this, but I use a Sandisk Sansa digital player which can handle higher bitrates formats in FLAC (lossless) or MP3 (lossy), so I just set the player's volume to maximum and connect to the receiver via an adapter cable to connect the headphone output to RCA stereo input.

If the hi-rez is a "Blu-ray Audio" disc, just use a Blu-ray Disc player to play it. (Likewise, SACD requires a player that can handle it, such as a lot of Sony Blu-ray players can also handle SACD. I don't know if there are any DVD-Audio players available anymore - maybe Oppo.)


-- from what I've read, one can purchase a machine to catalog/retain the albums in one place - right?... any recommendations on which are the best?

Sorry, I don't know anything about this.


-- other than HDTracks who else offers albums in 96/192kHz?

I bought SACD and "Blu-ray Audio" discs from Amazon. (Search Amazon for that exact term: "Blu-ray Audio" to find them.)


However, I do recommend starting with HDTracks because you can download some free sample hi-rez audio tracks from them. Then experiment with playing those free tracks back first to see if you can do it before ever spending money on buying any hi-rez audio downloads or discs.

Last edited by dhmac; 08-03-14 at 11:01 PM.
Old 08-03-14, 11:39 PM
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Re: school me on Hi-Rez downloads

You have to read reviews before buying them, many of them are not worth the money or have questionable masterings.

I'd recommend buying a SACD player and getting into that format.
Old 08-03-14, 11:54 PM
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Re: school me on Hi-Rez downloads

Yea for sure look at reviews some just aren't worth it. But the ones that are sound beyond amazing. It doesn't really matter if it's SACD either, not all of them the effort was put in either. Frankly it's like that for all formats, just because something is on blu ray doesn't mean it looks great either. Don't let that stop you from enjoying the good ones that are out there in whatever format it you pick.
Old 08-04-14, 06:20 PM
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Re: school me on Hi-Rez downloads

Just to be clear, an iPod or smartphone cannot handle FLAC (maybe some Android phones can, but I wouldn't count on it), so you'd need to convert the files to .wav first. And even if they did, those are designed to be listened to with average run of the mill earbuds. If you're bothering to get hi res lossless audio files, chances are you will not want to play them through a standard grade MP3 player.

Neil Young has announced a company, Pono Music, which is going to be manufacturing and selling a portable lossless player with a nice high end DAC in it and it will have hookups for plugging in to a receiver. If you want something portable, I recommend waiting till those go on sale. They had a Kickstarter and I managed to snag one for $200, but normally they will go for $400. I'm excited to hear it once it arrives, whenever that will be.
Old 08-04-14, 09:48 PM
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Re: school me on Hi-Rez downloads

On Android they have supported high res flac for over a year. Also most or least many headfi users use an OTG cable out to portable DAC/Amp and make it even better experience on Android.
Old 08-05-14, 04:11 PM
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Re: school me on Hi-Rez downloads

Thanks for the clarification. But it does show that playing FLAC straight from a phone still isn't a good solution.
Old 08-05-14, 09:56 PM
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Re: school me on Hi-Rez downloads

Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
Thanks for the clarification. But it does show that playing FLAC straight from a phone still isn't a good solution.
It's not an ideal solution, but it works until eventually can set up a better way to do it.
Old 08-05-14, 10:02 PM
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Re: school me on Hi-Rez downloads

I found out that one of my favorite albums got a hi-rez release on Blu-ray Audio recently:

The Who - Quadrophenia ( link )

I'll track its price for a while to see if it drops, but I will eventually pick this one up.
Old 08-06-14, 12:45 AM
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Re: school me on Hi-Rez downloads

Knowing how picky Giles is about sound, I doubt playing it straight from an Android phone would be acceptable.

For a standalone MP3/FLAC portable player, check places like this: http://www.head-fi.org/t/681636/reco...le-flac-player
Old 08-06-14, 04:02 AM
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Re: school me on Hi-Rez downloads

Id much rather use android phone with OTG cable out to DAC/AMP. If you're gonna carry a whole other device it's the only proper way if you ask me. The list of supported android devices is rather large at this point , like anything past android 4.2.1 Either way its way beyond Apple's Nazi attitude.

Lot of people seem to have usb DAC/AMps at their work desks. At home I use Aune T1 and its fantastic with the right tube.
Old 08-06-14, 08:06 AM
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Re: school me on Hi-Rez downloads

Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
Knowing how picky Giles is about sound, I doubt playing it straight from an Android phone would be acceptable.

For a standalone MP3/FLAC portable player, check places like this: http://www.head-fi.org/t/681636/reco...le-flac-player
And the Sandisk Sansa player that's the first thing recommended there is exactly what I have (I have both the Sansa Clip+ and the Sansa Clip Zip).
Old 08-06-14, 07:13 PM
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Re: school me on Hi-Rez downloads

A hi-rez audio website worth a look:

http://hiresaudiocentral.com

(a lot of good info to find there)
Old 08-06-14, 07:16 PM
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Re: school me on Hi-Rez downloads

also this SH direct link:

HDTracks News thread at Steve Hoffman Music Forums
Old 08-06-14, 07:25 PM
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Re: school me on Hi-Rez downloads

And here's the website for Pono Music, that new Neil Young venture: http://www.ponomusic.com/#home
Old 08-07-14, 02:15 PM
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Re: school me on Hi-Rez downloads

Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
Knowing how picky Giles is about sound, I doubt playing it straight from an Android phone would be acceptable.

For a standalone MP3/FLAC portable player, check places like this: http://www.head-fi.org/t/681636/reco...le-flac-player
no siree Bob!

Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
And here's the website for Pono Music, that new Neil Young venture: http://www.ponomusic.com/#home
yes - I'm eyeing that.
Old 08-07-14, 04:33 PM
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Re: school me on Hi-Rez downloads

The thing that has me excited about Pono is that supposedly tracks and albums in their music store will be direct from the masters with no additional processing. A lot of current hi-rez files still have had some amount of processing added. Also tons of musicians are on board with Pono so I hope they put their best foot forward on it. Either way I'm ready for my player.
Old 08-09-14, 11:48 PM
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Re: school me on Hi-Rez downloads

I was perusing an older issue of Entertainment Weekly (#1304 - March 28) when Pono was announced/detailed at SXSW and they were trashing it very prematurely - but what do they do know anyways... whoever decided to mention this came across as rather douchey?
Old 08-10-14, 12:21 AM
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Re: school me on Hi-Rez downloads

I really don't get it at all. Lots of things can play high res files at this point. The product is 10 yrs to late if you ask me. As for the musicians support it , please I've seen the videos on the site they did it as a favor to Neil. I mean jesus they demoed it in a car for christ sake, probably the worst place on the planet for decent audio.

I mean portable music players are basically dead now. This is not going to make any waves at all. Especially when every top phone or tablet coming out now can play high res flac. I just don't really get it at all. And I'm a big fan of this type of stuff. It just is honestly a decade to late.
Old 08-10-14, 11:09 AM
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Re: school me on Hi-Rez downloads

Originally Posted by hdtv00 View Post
I really don't get it at all. Lots of things can play high res files at this point. The product is 10 yrs to late if you ask me.
Music in hi-rez did come out over 10 years ago in DVD-Audio and SACD. The failure of either format catching on (due to either public indifference or have 2 incompatible formats once again fight it out with both losing), aside from niche markets, probably set hi-rez audio back for years. I guess it took the market shifting away from disc media towards more digital downloads to bring hi-rez back from the dead.

Last edited by dhmac; 08-10-14 at 12:04 PM.
Old 08-10-14, 12:18 PM
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Re: school me on Hi-Rez downloads

I think DVD-Audio & SACD failed precisely why Pono will. You have have a new device & then there's not shit to listen to on it. I was HUNGRY for some hi-rez back in 2003/2004 & had both types of players. But other than a handful of titles I bought in the beginning, there was nothing to listen to on them. Hardware alone does not make a successful format.

I for one, will not be buying something that looks like a wheel chock just to listen to a bunch of Neil Young music on it. Now if every new release also got an uncompressed Pono version, that would be a different story. But that will most likely not be the case.
Old 08-10-14, 12:57 PM
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Re: school me on Hi-Rez downloads

SACD and DVD-Audio both failed because the stupid record labels introduced them before HDMI connections were widely available. In SACD's case, it took years for them to allow HDMI connections at all. Early Hi-Rez adopters had to jump through hoops to hear the surround tracks with as many as six analog cables, supposedly their raison d'Ítre. By the time the issues with HDMI were worked out, the market had already moved on to iTunes. They could have converted more CD buyers into Hi-Rez buyers with a few changes back then.
Old 08-10-14, 03:45 PM
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Re: school me on Hi-Rez downloads

SACD and DVD-Audio were never going to be anything more than a niche market. You can blame the lack of titles or lack of HDMI, but the main reason why is simply because people don't care about sound quality.

The only advantage people cared about with audio was convenience - sound quality of CDs and MP3s are perfectly fine.
Old 08-10-14, 04:02 PM
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Re: school me on Hi-Rez downloads

Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
And here's the website for Pono Music, that new Neil Young venture: http://www.ponomusic.com/#home
I actually had to laugh at Flea giving a testimonial on the Pono site. Has he actually listened to a RHCP CD? They are the shittiest sounding records of the last 30 years. Now with Pono you get to hear the the clipping in Californication with 30 times the resolution.

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