在发烧唱片的领域当中，David Chesky此Norman Chesky这对兄弟档，可说是非常成功的独立制片公司，但是过去三年来，这对兄弟档，却把事业的重心转往另一家公司，成立了HDTracks。从发烧音乐制作转向网路发行，HDTracks可说从零开始，自行开发软体，架构网站，同时要和许多独立制片的同业协商下载收费机制，现在HDTracks虽然仅是Beta测试，但已经开始收费营业，标榜无版权管理（DRM）的高品质数位音乐下载。
如何定义「高品质」？简单的定义就是解析度至少和CD规格相当。HDTracks虽然也销售一般320kbps规格的MP3，但受到瞩目的规格则是无损失压缩的FLAC与AIFF。David Chesky表示，HDTracks将是除了iTunes Store之外，第二家提供AIFF与完整音乐档案内容的音乐网站。在HDTracks网站上，用家可以付费下载规格最好的AIFF与FLAC，而且HDTracks还把完整的唱片资料都一起附上，譬如唱片内页的介绍以PDF档案发行，HDTracks同时也提供唱片相关的评论、演唱者或作曲家的介绍。换句话说，传统CD里面应该包含的东西，HDTracks全部都不缺，只是全部以数位形式发行而已。.......
“With this sampler, you will come to know what it truly means to achieve the ultimate download experience via nine tracks encoded in professional-quality 96/24 audio, all handpicked for your maximum enjoyment and enlightenment. In short, it’s what great sound is all about. If you’ve never been engrossed by music this way before—or even if you’re a veteran of the compression wars—you’re in for quite a treat. Happy listening. Ready, set, immerse!” Mike Mettler Editor-In-Chief, SOUND+VISION
1.) Madeleine Peyroux, “The Kind You Can’t Afford” (from Standing on the Rooftop) Courtesy of EmArcy/Decca/Universal Music Group
2.) Sonny Rollins, “St. Thomas” (from Saxophone Colossus) Courtesy of Concord Jazz/Concord Music Group
3.) Esperanza Spalding, “Short and Sweet” (from Chamber Music Society) Courtesy of Heads Up International/Concord Music Group
4.) Marvin Gaye, “Let’s Get It On” (from Let’s Get It On) Courtesy of MOTOWN/Universal Music Group
5.) The Allman Brothers Band, “Statesboro Blues” (from Live at Fillmore East) Courtesy of Mercury Records/Universal Music Group
6.) The Kinks, “20th Century Man” (from Muswell Hillbillies) Courtesy of eOne Music
7.) Ottmar Liebert, “This Spring Release 10,000 Butterflies” (from One Guitar) Courtesy of Spiral Subwave Records International/Holland Group
8.) Eiji Oue and the Minnesota Orchestra, “The Snow Maiden—Dance of the Tumblers,” composed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (from Exotic Dances from the Opera) Courtesy of Reference Recordings
9.) Glenn Gould, “Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Aria” (from Bach: The Goldberg Variations, 1955 Performance) Courtesy of Zenph/Sony Masterworks
What do you want to hear when you listen to music? Do you want lower fidelity version of what the artists, engineers, and producers heard in the studio? Or would you prefer to hear exactly what they heard in the studio? Of course, you’d prefer the latter. But you’re probably getting the former — unless, that is, you’re listening to high-resolution downloads from HDtracks. If you’re listening to CDs, MP3s, or even vinyl records, what you’re hearing is not a precise copy of the original digital recording or analog tape. It’s downconverted. If it’s on CD, the digital resolution has been reduced. If it’s on vinyl, the audio has been remastered and the record you’re listening to is actually a third-generation mechanical copy. Sure, it might sound OK. But it’s not the best fidelity you can get. HDtracks is.
WHAT IS HIGH-RESOLUTION AUDIO?
Basically, high-resolution audio has more information and thus better fidelity. It’s like comparing a 1-megapixel image from a digital camera with an 8-megapixel image. Just as you see more detail in a high-resolution image, you hear more detail in high-resolution audio. That’s why professionals use high-resolution digital audio in the studio. Unfortunately, they then have to reduce the resolution to get it onto CDs. On a CD, each audio sample is stored using 16 digital bits, which means a CD can produce 65,536 different volume gradations. That may seem like a lot, until you calculate that the 24-bit high-resolution downloads on HDtracks can produce 16,777,216 volume gradations! That’s more detail, more depth, and more subtlety. It’s also less noise: With CDs, the noise is 96 dB below the highest sound level. With HDtracks high-resolution downloads, it’s 144 dB below. Digital audio on CDs is sampled at 44.1 kHz, or 44,100 times per second. This gives CD a frequency response of about 20 kHz. HDtracks high-resolution downloads are sampled at 96 or 192 kHz, yielding frequency responses of
slightly less than 48 kHz and 96 kHz, respectively. Some audiophiles feel that even though you can’t hear sounds at those high frequencies, you can in some way sense them. Some audiophiles think that higher sampling rates sound better because the filters used to pre-condition the audio signal for digital recording are at much higher frequencies so their negative effects can’t be heard. Indeed, both contentions have their merits.
"With this sampler, you will come to know what it truly means to achieve the ultimate download experience via nine tracks encoded in professional-quality 96/24 audio, all handpicked for your maximum enjoyment and enlightenment. In short, it’s what great sound is all about. If you’ve never been engrossed by music this way before—or even if you’re a veteran of the compression wars—you’re in for quite a treat. Happy listening. Ready, set, immerse!" Mike Mettler Editor-In-Chief, SOUND+VISION
01. The Kind You Can’t Afford
02. St. Thomas
03. Short And Sweet
04. Let’s Get It On
05. Statesboro Blues
06. 20th Century Man
07. This Spring Release 10,000 Butterflies
08. Snow Maiden: Dance of the Tumblers
09. Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 98 Aria