Please report "faux" hirez (sourced from regular 16/44) files here

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ted_b

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A recent thread question got me thinking that it might make sense to start a sticky thread repository where we AC'ers can report any download sites or sources that purport to have HiRez files but are actually just upconverted 16/44 (found out through sneaker net, web info, etc.).  If you have any potentials, feel free to list them here and I will go to the website/source and inquire for us.

Don't get me wrong, most sites like HDtracks, Linn, Naim, HDTT, etc are quite up front about their sources, or are easy to find out...and most end up being sourced from high resolution sources (24/48 and above) or are mastered high rez from high quality analog tapes...without first going to the redbook dumb down.

I will start, although it's not exactly on target.  Rhino has started a download service and they call their 16/44 FLAC files "high definition" to differentiate them from the other option...MP3.  That doesn't cut it in my (or anyone else's) book!  Too confusing.  Like calling standard DVD's HighDef cuz it's in comparison to VHS. ?

Mike Nomad

Are you interested in downloads only, or do you want to know about DVD-A & SACD as well?

ted_b

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Are you interested in downloads only, or do you want to know about DVD-A & SACD as well?
Sure.  Let's add Norah Jones Come Away With Me 2 channel SACD layer....accidentally sourced from redbook (mch layer is ok).

Mike Nomad

Rhino is engaged in similar "High Definition" shenanigans in their set up for Grateful Dead downloads. They offer AAC, FLAC, MP3, and WMA versions at various price points, but there is no indication of bit rate, etc. The web site is glaringly incomplete on the point. I planned on contacting their customer service people anyway, so, I'll report back.

The reason I asked about the inclusions of disc based material is, I think the 24/192 stereo track on the Doobie Brothers "Captain & Me" DVD-A is actually 24/96. Yes, either way it's Hi-Rez, but that is still a big difference.

ted_b

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Rhino is engaged in similar "High Definition" shenanigans in their set up for Grateful Dead downloads. They offer AAC, FLAC, MP3, and WMA versions at various price points, but there is no indication of bit rate, etc. The web site is glaringly incomplete on the point. I planned on contacting their customer service people anyway, so, I'll report back.

The reason I asked about the inclusions of disc based material is, I think the 24/192 stereo track on the Doobie Brothers "Captain & Me" DVD-A is actually 24/96. Yes, either way it's Hi-Rez, but that is still a big difference.

Yes, the Rhino site is quite ironic, cuz they spend a good amount of time educating folks on the differences between MP3 and lossless FLAC, then go and leave gaping holes in their actual content, with many files having missing metadata, etc.....with redbook being called HiDef the ultimate irony.

Mike Nomad

Yes, the Rhino site is quite ironic, cuz they spend a good amount of time educating folks on the differences between MP3 and lossless FLAC, then go and leave gaping holes in their actual content, with many files having missing metadata, etc.....with redbook being called HiDef the ultimate irony.

Lord... I didn't know about the metadata issues. I remember when Rhino used to be a really cool record label. Where Have All The Good Times Gone? Indeed.

As I write this, I am doing the impossible: My Pioneer is passing a 24/192 signal through its S/PDIF jack. The track is identified as 24/192 not just on the tray insert, but on the information display while the tracks are running as well.

Mike Nomad

Round One Report: Rhino Customer Service does not have the capacity to handle technical questions. So, I was given a different 800 number, and bounced to Someone At Rhino, Where I had to leave a message. Sigh...

Mike Nomad

Round Two Report:

Still no reply to the voice mail message I left w/ Mack (?sp) @ Rhino Customer Service.

No response from the 1st Tier Rhino Customer Service inquiry that (allegedly) was escalated.

I contacted one of the wranglers at Dead.net, and gave them the rundown. They said they would try to get someone at Rhino to answer the question (for the record, I believe they will actually try to get an answer). Nothing yet.

I think I see a pattern beginning to emerge...

Mike Nomad

Round Three Report:

After a few e-mails, I found out, definitively, that the "Lossless" files used for the Grateful Dead downloads are indeed sourced from the 16-bit files found on the CDs. I then suggested that Rhino should change the wording on the downloads FAQ to better reflect reality. As of now, they haven't.

It looks to me like it's actually cheaper to get titles on physical media.

wilsynet

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They're selling lossless, 16/44.1 sourced material.  In a world dominated by iTunes, the Amazon music store, etc, and 128K and 256K lossy music files, it may very well be true that lossless is indeed high resolution.

I'm not offended and I wasn't deceived.  Anyone who's doing 24/88.2, 24/96, 24/192, etc. advertises this up front.


bdiament

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I would hope we don't confuse "less low" with "high".

In my view, it is misleading at best, to suggest something that is not higher in resolution than CD is in fact, "high resolution".   (Just as it would be to suggest a car that is faster than a broken Geo with a flat tire and a missing spark plug is in fact a "high performance" automobile.  It isn't.  It is simply not as debilitated.)

Just my perspective, of course.

Best regards,
Barry
www.soundkeeperrecordings.com
www.barrydiamentaudio.com

werd

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Round Three Report:

After a few e-mails, I found out, definitively, that the "Lossless" files used for the Grateful Dead downloads are indeed sourced from the 16-bit files found on the CDs. I then suggested that Rhino should change the wording on the downloads FAQ to better reflect reality. As of now, they haven't.

It looks to me like it's actually cheaper to get titles on physical media.

Hello

I have always consider loss-less to be their delivery or storage medium (flac for eg) and not playback medium. May have made the wrong assumption on that ?

ted_b

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Werd,
FLAC is fine for direct playback in many software players.  Download sites use it cuz it's compressed (i.e smaller).  Feel free to convert it to any other lossless format (aif, wav, etc).  It's just a container.

My beef with sites like Rhino, as stated at the top, is that they have the balls to call 16/44 redbook "high def" and it's only because they compare it to MP3.  ??  Horrible logic, is if comparing Super VHS to VHS makes the former hidef!

jtwrace

comparing Super VHS to VHS makes the former hidef!

 :rotflmao:

Geardaddy

great idea Ted. 

Isn't it sad that the general public considers Redbook or FLAC as hi rez.  Gen Y and younger are all frying their eardrums with MP3 files via Ipods.  Studies have shown that the pods are more destructive to hearing to short bursts of high spls are a concert.  A grim future.   :?

eclein

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Ted--Great idea!! You got me thinking about this when I thought the new -Radiohead, "King Of Limbs" that the website mentioned as hi-rez was actually just a Redbook CD quality download and you were kind enough to point that out....its interesting and I will check back here frequently before jumping on an advertised hi-rez file. Ever since I grabbed the Steely Dan "Gaucho" offering and setup my equipment to play it back in all its glory I'm hooked, the sound is just broader, cleaner, clearer, all around betterer..LOL!!! :thumb:

Mike Nomad

Hello

I have always consider loss-less to be their delivery or storage medium (flac for eg) and not playback medium. May have made the wrong assumption on that ?

Hi werd,

What I'm getting hung up on is a record label using the term "lossless" in a way that is inconsistent with normal usage. If someone in The Biz is telling me they are selling a "lossless" version of a release, the expectation is (and I am _far_ from alone on this) that the new release is at least from a stereo pressing master tape.

Did Rhino go back to that master tape and make a new, higher resolution copy? No. They went back to the CD master, and by virtue of having higher resolution formats available, elected to make a lossless copy of a lossy file.

Rhino lies by omission. For me, it's that simple.

ted_b

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Hi werd,

What I'm getting hung up on is a record label using the term "lossless" in a way that is inconsistent with normal usage. If someone in The Biz is telling me they are selling a "lossless" version of a release, the expectation is (and I am _far_ from alone on this) that the new release is at least from a stereo pressing master tape.


Mike, No offense but that's not true, and not normal useage.  Your use of the terms lossless and lossy are incorrect. Lossless does NOT mean master tape quality.  It simply means those formats that do not lose resolution or musical information in their conversion.  They include wav, aiff, FLAC, Apple Lossless, monkeys audio, ogg vorbis to name a few.  They can be ANY sample rate, such as cd/redbook.  Lossy means lost musical information or resolution and includes the family of Mp3, Dolby digital, DTS core and AAC.

The issue with Rhino is NOT the term lossless, but the term hidef when all they are selling is lossless redbook.  Hidef infers higher than redbook.

werd

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Werd,
FLAC is fine for direct playback in many software players.  Download sites use it cuz it's compressed (i.e smaller).  Feel free to convert it to any other lossless format (aif, wav, etc).  It's just a container.

My beef with sites like Rhino, as stated at the top, is that they have the balls to call 16/44 redbook "high def" and it's only because they compare it to MP3.  ??  Horrible logic, is if comparing Super VHS to VHS makes the former hidef!

Hi Ted

So would you recommend converting all your stuff from flac to wave or just leave it in flac ?. Cuz right now i am all flaced up.

ted_b

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Hi Ted

So would you recommend converting all your stuff from flac to wave or just leave it in flac ?. Cuz right now i am all flaced up.

What player are you using, and in what system, the main rig or a desktop/portable or secondary system?  I would recommend keeping everything in FLAC for archiving/storage at least!  Why?  Smaller files and good tagging support.  But...I personally hear sonic differences between FLAC and wav, and it pisses me off...cuz there are supposed to be none (topic of another thread), they are the same at the receiving end once FLAC is decoded.  So, for me, the complete bs hassle of tagging in iTunes, etc for my main rig (I don't play in itunes, I just use it for library management, I play in Pure Music or Amarra, both of which use iTunes library) is somewhat worth it.  But if you don't hear the differences (and there should be none, and most folks don't hear a diff) then convert to any other lossless format that your player is comfortable with.  If the player is comfortable with FLAC, then keep it in FLAC.