March 12, 2009 by Arlen Schweiger
Since we’re in an online music mood today, we wanted to pass along the latest friendly offering over at high-quality download service HDtracks.
The company that’s been supplying, and augmenting its library, with 320-kbps MP3s, AIFF and FLAC format along with super-high-quality 96-kHz/24-bit downloads, wants you to check out the high resolution taste test yourself.
Back when it launched, HDtracks allowed users to download a free “Ultimate Download Experience” disc with some sweet-sounding music from audiophile record labels. Now that its 96/24 store is open, HDtracks is giving away the sampler disc in that more high-resolution format.
If you’ve wondered about whether you’ve got golden ears to appreciate the greater depth, resolution and detail of 96/24, go put your download shoes on and check it out. With the 96/24 FLAC files, you’ll need some combination of a media player that can support the format, or DAC (digital-to-analog converter) running from your PC to your stereo system, or other DVD conversion software (24bit turtleside has a good FAQ and tools area)—HDtracks also has a nice links section to point you in the right directions.
Then if you want to take the Pepsi audio challenge, you can go back and download the standard CD format 44/16 version of the “Ultimate Download Experience” and compare.
We know that comparing differences between standard CD audio to high-res versions isn’t quite as apparent as standard-def versus high-def video, but it’s never too late to open the door to the audiophile world.
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Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.
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