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Michael Lavorgna  |  Sep 11, 2012
Animal Collective Centipede Hz

I was led to the Domino website by Stephen Mejias' post about Dan Deacon's America. Of course I wandered, clicked, and listened to lots of other music and then I landed on the page for Animal Collective's latest (which sounds amazing) Centipede Hz. In addition to the usual format offers including CD, double LP, and deluxe double LP (already sold out) I noticed this:

Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 27, 2012
We were inspired to launch the new site at the end of January when Neil Young came out with a bold statement. Neil wanted to hear and sell his songs as full size high resolution files, but didn't know how he could do that. The next day we were contacted by a writer from Wired.com magazine to provide source information for his article. The day after that came this article and several of our sites were highlighted.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 10, 2015
photo credit: Emotiva

Emotiva has announced two new portable DAC/Headphone Amps—the Big Ego ($229) and the Little Ego ($169) both capable of playing back up to 32/384 PCM data. Each DAC offers three digital filters for tailoring the Ego to your liking; the Symmetrical filter offering equal amounts of pre- and post-ringing, the Asymmetrical Low Damping filter which essentially does away with pre-ringing coupled with several cycles of post-ringing, and the Asymmetrical High Damping filter that reportedly preserves tonal qualities "like resonance and warmth".

Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 01, 2012
Sharon Van Etten

While Neil Young rightfully rails against the poor sound quality of the MP3, I still feel MP3 and other lossy formats have a use. And the best use is free access to music. Ya know, discovery. The wonderful "First Listen" series on NPR is currently streaming (at 128 kbps) the complete yet-to-be-released record Tramp from Sharon Van Etten. For free. The entire record. The idea is if you like it, you'll buy a real copy (and no, I do not mean the crappy iTunes or Amazon lossy download version—remember, do not pay for crappy quality lossy music). I've pre-ordered the Deluxe Bundle (LP + CD + more) from Jagjaguwar (official release date 02/07/12). See, it worked.

You can listen to Sharon Van Etten's "Tramp" in its entirety too. For free. You just have to click and listen before the release date (after that, NPR removes the music).

Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 18, 2013
A day after posting, "Now we need more content providers to step up to the plate giving us access to a wider selection of DSD downloads. I'd say it's only a matter of time.", this message greeted me in my Inbox:
We would like to welcome Fidelio Recordings to DSDFile.

First release is the classical master piece From The New World.

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 (www.findhdmusic.com) 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?
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 03, 2017
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, ...
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 02, 2012
If we put all of the pieces of this unfolding Pono puzzle together—24/192 source files, portable proprietary Pono players, and from the mypono.com site's About page (although this text has since been deleted), "Large home systems and other configurations of Pono are currently being presented by Meridian Audio, among others to be announced"—what does it add up to? My guess after speaking to a number of people about this including Jon Iverson is that Meridian is most likely providing some variation of their MLP (Meridian Lossless Packing) technology so that Pono's HD downloads don't take longer than anxious downloaders can wait.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 08, 2011
OK here's a more realistic music-sized piece of storage from G-Technology by Hitachi.
At CES, we will launch the new G-RAID with Thunderbolt. At 8TB it is the highest capacity, two-drive, RAID 0 external storage device in the world and has the fastest interface you can find with data transfer rates up to 10 Gbps. This drive has set a new standard for storage speed, backed by Intel and already named a 2012 CES Innovations Award Honoree. Thunderbolt is going to be everyone soon and G-Technology by Hitachi is leading the charge.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 12, 2012
"Triode", a very dedicated and generous SBT user and developer, has made his 3rd party app Enhanced Digital Output available for free. Here are the pertinent details:
The app should add support of the following to your Squeezebox Touch:

- External USB dacs using either USB audio class 1 or 2 protocols [USB 1 dacs normally state they support up to 96k sample rates, USB 2 dacs normally state up to 192k]
- Support of 176 and 192k playback via the standard digital output

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 23, 2014
What's the bad news? As I see it, the bad news about the fact that Mogwai's new album Rave Tapes is available as a 24/96 download from HDtracks (get it here) is the fact that Mogwai and Sub Pop don't tell anyone about it on their respective websites. What better way to promote the availability of higher quality versions of your music than to promote the higher quality versions of your music?
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 10, 2015
Thanks to reader Stephen D. for the heads up on this oh-so-interesting news:
Introducing Hi-Res audio support
Close your eyes and imagine the musician is playing in the room. Today we’re rolling out high-resolution audio support, which gives you even higher quality music playback using Chromecast Audio. With support of up to 96KHz/24bit lossless audio playback, you can enjoy higher-than-CD-quality audio on your existing high fidelity audio equipment.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 29, 2012
Google's Nexus Q. It's a small world after all.

What exactly is Google's new Nexus Q? According to Google its the "world's first social media player". But what exactly does it do?

The short answer is the Q lets you stream music or movies from the cloud using the Google Play Music app on your Android phone or tablet (running Android 2.3/Gingerbread or higher with access to Google Play). The longer answer is the music and movies have to be streamed from Google Play (Google's Cloud/locker service which restricts your music files to 320kbps MP3s) or YouTube and you have to have an Android phone or tablet to set up and operate the Q since it doesn't offer a remote or on-board controls besides volume.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Sep 29, 2015
image credits: Google

Cheap and easy2 (easy to get and easy to use). Google's new Chromecast Audio disc-shaped streamer ($35) connects to your WiFi network (802.11ac 2.4GHz/5Ghz) which allows you to remote control it from your iOS or Android device, Chromebook, Mac, or Windows laptop, while offering a 3.5mm analog out and optical digital out to connect to your DAC of choice. Google has teamed up with Spotify and Deezer so you can stream their streams through your un-smart hi-fi along with content from Google Play Music.

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