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Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 19, 2012
Great news for non-USA HD download lovers, Linn Records has added Universal Records to its roster of HD downloads that includes records from John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, and Bob Marley to name just three. Linn calls their HD downloads "Studio Master..." which are offered in FLAC and WMA formats. In Linn land, a "Studio Master" appears to be any recording delivered with a bit depth of 24 and sample rates from 48kHz up to 192kHz.

If you browse the Linn Records website, you'll also notice a lack of 'provenance' information for these "Studio Master" recordings which is a hot topic around these parts. Hmm...Did I miss the 'where's my HD download provenance outrage' aimed at Linn?

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 18, 2012
Domino Records has teamed up with DRIP.FM to offer customers a monthly subscription plan that gets you 2 albums in WAV format from the Domino/Weird World/Double Six/Ribbon family of labels for $9.99/month. Now that's a price I can sink my wallet into. Thanks to reader Martin O. for pointing me/us to this Domino delivery deal.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 14, 2012
If you've read my review of the Halide DAC HD, you'll know I liked it. And I liked it a lot. I still wonder if I communicated the degree to which I enjoyed listening to music through the Halide DAC HD clearly enough. Sometimes I think I played it a bit too safe and tempered my enthusiasm for it a bit too much. At $550 (when reviewed) including cables on both ends, USB and RCAs, the DAC HD, which is an asynchronous USB DAC that uses Gordon Rankin's Streamlength™ technology and supports up to 24/96, is another entry in my virtual Recommended Components or Things I Really Really Like List.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 12, 2012
I recently highlighted the new Neil Young & Crazy Horse record Americana which is available as a FLAC download from Neil Young's website. I also referred to Mr. Young as a hero of sorts and perhaps a better word would be Spokesman seeing as he's spoken out for better sound quality and what I like to think of as the death of the paid MP3. But after downloading Americana, I see we still have a way to go and our spokesman needs to speak to his people.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 12, 2012
Fresh off the production line, the AudioQuest DragonFly USB DAC just landed here at AudioStream HQ. No, its not shy its blushing magenta indicates that I'm listening to a 24/96 file and it may be blushing a brighter shade since that file happens to be from Isaac Hayes Hot Buttered Soul and we all know this music is about more than music. Just in case you're curious, it'll glow green for 44.1kHz, blue for 48kHz, and amber for 88.2kHz.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 10, 2012
From the Press Release:
For the first time in Europe legends of rock, pop, soul, funk, jazz a selection of classical music and new releases will be available as high-resolution music download from Warner Music.

Berlin, 08. June 2012 - HIGHRESAUDIO wins Warner Music Group as third major record label for the distribution of high-resolution music downloads. Warner Music now offers international and local releases in 24-bit, 96kHz and 192kHz studio master-quality for download via Aimed at the quality

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 08, 2012
It’s an app, its an album, its a playlist, its music, and its free (until December 2012). If you own an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad (requires iOS 4.2 or later) run don't walk to the iTunes Store and download the free OraStream DLP app. Once you do you'll be streaming from a very cool selection of tunes courtesy of Concord Music Group from artists including Miles Davis, Derrick Morgan, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, The Smokin' Joe Kubek Band Featuring Bnois King, Bill Evans and more. Better yet, you'll be streaming in near-CD-quality (I'm streaming at 510 kbps right now ymmv).
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 08, 2012
Do you remember OraStream? In brief, I got to demo a "proof-of-concept" online service that provided 24/96 streaming rates (>2000 kbps according to the OraStream player). You can read more about that here. Since then Orastream has been busy working toward the launch of their forthcoming lossless music locker service. What's that? Frankie Tan, CEO of mp4sls the developer of OraStream, gave us hint in his comments to my last post, "We'll launch a web-service next for content owners to get their music into Orastream and stream-able on mobile devices and web browsers." For the past few weeks, I've been uploading, storing and streaming back my CD-quality music through OraStream's beta site.
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 31, 2012
I recently received an email from Brett Rudd, the man behind the Find HD Music search engine and thought it well worth sharing. Here's the important part:
I was reading with interest your article about 'Geographic Restrictions' on music downloads. I thought you and your readers might be interested in a feature on the FindHDMusic ( search engine that tries to partially address the problem.

While it doesn't overcome the geographic restrictions, the FindHDMusic site will indicate if the album can be purchased from your country and hopefully this will help eliminate the frustration of searching for an album and then going though the purchasing process only to be told that you can't buy the album.

Excellent, no?
Jon Iverson  |  May 30, 2012
Keith Pray, Publisher of the Source Interlink Home Tech Network, is delighted to announce the launch of the newest Home Tech Group website, edited by the world’s foremost proponent of analog technology, Michael Fremer.
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 24, 2012
Thanks go to Vincent Kars for pointing out the similarities between the proposed playGo AP1 and a unicorn. From playGo:
The playGo AP1 is an Airplay®-enabled receiver that wirelessly streams audio from iOS devices to speaker systems through WiFi or Ethernet. The audio output circuitry used in the playGo AP1 can traditionally be found only in audio equipment that is priced at $1,000 and higher. In addition to providing true Hi-Fi quality and plug and play usability, the playGo AP1 is a fully featured audio player platform that supports audio streaming from almost all your media sources by combining DLNA support with AirPlay technology in one elegant package.
And like a unicorn, the AP1 doesn't exist just yet...
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 23, 2012
M. C. Escher Relativity (1953)

From Ars Technica:

May 23 2012, 9:15am EDT: Op-ed: New digital music licenses good for fans, entrepreneurs, Five new licenses could make it easier to launch online music companies by Cary Sherman (RIAA), David Israelite (National Music Publishers Association), Lee Knife (Digital Media Association)
What have we here? An answer to our digital music distribution needs? Will people be able to buy that HD download from whomever they want no matter where they live? Not so fast cowboy:
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 10, 2012
Thanks to John Atkinson yet again for giving us the heads up (I'll let the Press Release handle the heavy lifting):
San Francisco, May 10, 2012—Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: DLB) announced today that e-onkyo music, the high-quality music distribution service managed by Onkyo Entertainment Technology Corporation, a subsidiary of Onkyo Corporation, will be the first online music distribution service to feature Dolby® TrueHD 5.1-channel surround sound. Expected to launch on May 30, 2012, in Japan and in fall 2012 elsewhere in the world, this service will enable users to download music from 100 album titles (about 1,000 tracks) in Dolby TrueHD 5.1-channel surround sound. The new Onkyo® A/V receivers (AVR) TX-NR818 and TX-NR717 will support the service.
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 05, 2012
The DSD bus keeps rolling along this time with a new asynchronous USB to S/PDIF converter from Simple Design makers of the Sonore line of music servers and DACs. From the Sonore website:
The Signature Series Sonore DSD Converter is an asynchronous USB converter with SPDIF BCN output. The converter can output regular PCM up to 192 sample rate and convert DSD2PCM at 88.2 or 176.4 sample rate. The DSD2PCM conversion is done on board to eliminate computer CPU load and is compliant with the DSD over PCM (DoP) v1 specification. The DSD2PCM conversion incorporates proprietary filters. The converter does not use USB power and is instead powered by a low noise linear power supply. HDMI I2S output compatible with the PS Audio specification is available as an optional upgrade.
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 04, 2012
Sonic Studio has rejigged its product line and pricing by eliminating the "Junior" and "Mini" versions and introducing Amarra Hifi ($49), and their flagship audiophile product Amarra (v2.4) drops from $695 to $189 with some minor changes in functionality. Amarra Hifi works with iTunes and supports sample rates up to 192kHz while Amarra can run solo and reaches out to 384kHz. Unfortunately there's no "cache play" with the Hifi version.