flacit.com: "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is."

From the Flac It! "About Us" page:
"Flacit was founded in 2014 by Nelson Pass, Ph.D., an award-winning audio engineer and music producer, as an alternative to iTunes and other web sites that provide lots of tracks but at low fidelity. Even sites that feature so-called 'HD Downloads' are only providing the quality of the original older master, which is often an analog or standard definition digital recording."
Thanks to reader "tulysses", we have this response from (the real) Nelson Pass:
My attorney advises me to make a public announcement somewhere, and this looks like a perfectly good place.

Apparently there is a website called flacit offering music downloads and they have attached my name to it.

I am going on record that I am not associated with any such activity.

Sticking with old adages, If it looks like a duck, ...

The appeal of Flac It! over other download sites is about one thing—price. Here's one example:

Rage: The Devil Strikes Again
Flac It! sells the download for $2.95 (...swims like a duck, ...)

If we look at the Flac It! page for this album, we see this:

"Media: CD". So they are selling CD rips for under $3. (...and quacks like a duck, ...)

...Then it probably is a duck
No matter how you slice it, Flac It! is purposefully misleading with highly questionable business practices. And they want our credit card info? Quack!

This all adds up to a big AVOID recommendation from AudioStream.


I sent an email to Flac It! on 1/2/17 asking for more information. If I receive a reply I will post it here.

COMMENTS
deckeda's picture

... Flacid

jimx1169's picture

Thanks for doing a little research and posting the results. Many of us certainly like the pricing but something just really didn't seem right.

stevew's picture

I certainly agree this site is suspicious offering album downloads in the neighborhood of $3.00. I would not use this site.

On the other hand, record companies or other legitimate sites like HDTracks or Amazon should offer lossless (e.g. FLAC) and hi-res formats (e.g. 96/24) at CD prices. I have been buying CD's since 1985 and have never paid more than $13.99 for a standard single CD. Why would I go to HDTracks and pay $17.98. I am still stuck buying the physical CD from Amazon ($10 - $12) and ripping it to FLAC to my music server and storing the CD in a cardboard box. I've never listened to or bought an MP3 or iTunes download. I did have a Sony walkman back in the day but now I use a FLAC level player in my car and have an Auralic Mini connected to high quality gear for home use. I subscribe to the Tidal hi-fi service. Music is an emotional experience for me. My 58-year old ears have no use for hi-res downloads, but CD-quality is a requirement. It would be nice to have legitimate FLAC downloads at CD prices for music I want to own (if Tidal ever goes belly up). Downloads for music ownership should not cost more (HDTracks). Paying a premium for lossless files is just as much a scam as flacit.com. Again, this is just my opinion.

jimx1169's picture

There have been too many times to count where I've identified an album I'd like to own and started my search on HDTracks, checked the price, and ended up buying the CD from Amazon (or others) for much less than what HDTracks was offering.
For example, HDTracks has "The Musical Mojo of Dr.John" for $27.98 (48/24 FLAC), or I could (did) buy the CDs from Amazon for $16.57. So maybe the FLAC at 48/24 could sound slightly better than the 44/16 rip of the CD. But for a $10 savings the CD was a no-brainer.
Yeah, the business model is a little broken right now.

PAR's picture

I agree that some of the prices charged for hi-rez tracks are excessive. At least at first sight. However don't blame the distribution companies for this without further knowledge. What you and I do not know is how much the record companies and , most importantly, the music publishers are charging for royalties. Both have a reputation for seeking high rates for use of their copyrights in any new medium. Those high prices may represent the only way that the distribution company can remain viable. The alternative may result in no music at all being available in hi-rez.

tulysses's picture

Most HDTracks 16/44.1, CD quality, downloads I have seen are $11.98. You can pay more or less for any particular physical CD, but $11.98 is in the ballpark. Higher resolution files certainly do cost more than this.

markbrauer's picture

Why wouldn't a company like this just "up-convert" MP3s?

kerkula's picture

Nelson Pass is a great engineer and a hero to the DIY audio community. He doesn't deserve this. I hope the site fails soon.

NeilS's picture

I think it's a reasonable reader expectation that you or your staff first check any links before publishing a post rather than depending on readers to determine after the fact if they are to questionable or unsafe websites.

jimx1169's picture

You make a valid point, but the issue was addressed in less than 48 hours. Give credit where credit is due.
I fully expect that Michael will not let this happen going forward.

mlgrado's picture

a very large amount of their High-rez content is the stuff one can find floating around (most very very illegally) on the overseas torrent and 'blog' sites. Quite a few of the downloads with an .ISO SACD image file as the source, would almost certainly come from these illegal shares.

makes one wonder... hmmm

jtnt's picture

Ha: "Flacit is the world's only online retailer of CD quality, High definition, Super Audio CD music" WTF?

MG1214's picture

So first, I have ZERO affiliation with FLACIT or any such company anywhere on earth. I am not advocating for FLACIT, but I will recount my experience. I have been using FLACIT for about a year now and I have had no credit card or service issues. That doesn't mean that I am endorsing how they may or may not conduct their business. Frankly I lack the resources to evaluate if it is fully legal, but in this day and age I suspect if they were actually illegally operating they would have been nailed by now, but who knows. I do hope they are above board.

Regardless I felt at least one post from an actual FLACIT user was in order. Again, do what you are comfortable with on the Internet, but my experience with FLACIT to date has been flawless with the exception of encountering a few archives that required me to use CUE splitting software.

Thomas_64's picture

The Company FLAC IT LTD is dissolved on 10 Oct. 2017.

see https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08641511

But the website is allway up and running ;-)

Petr667's picture

Hi Thomas: this is not FLAC IT, but dissolved is FLACK IT...one little different.

Hi MG1214: I have the same seamless experience as you, no problem with payment no problem with quality streaming.

Sorry, but a common man does not recognize the difference between Bleep, Flac IT or other similar official streaming web-sites....this should be solved by other institutions ...

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