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 Posted:   Jan 30, 2023 - 4:21 PM   
 By:   W. David Lichty [Lorien]   (Member)

...I see the fault with the labels rather than the retailers like HD Tracks or Tidal. For a number of reasons. First of all, the retailers sell you the FILES. They sell you 24bit/192kHz FLAC/ALAC files. It's the labels that pack the content into these files. And what's in there is up to the labels. Sure, retailers have also a responsibility, but I see them considerably smaller than the labels themselves here.

I'm glad you said that, at least. The fact is, anyone in the chain from production to sales is responsible. The difference is that the retailer might not also be culpable. If they cannot check what they sell - emphasis on can, because if they can, that they should is a given - only then they are not also culpable. If they could, but won't, then it's fully on them if they sell polished crap. If they are informed about the product and continue selling it, they are 100% as culpable as those who produced the inadequate audio files. Qobuz falls into that category, with Inchon at the very least. By their own actions, they have earned distrust, and they are now solely responsible for selling non hi-res audio in hi-res files, as the other party connected changed their messaging when they found out. It's actually solely on the seller there.

But culpability is not even required for responsibility. If I buy a properly labeled quart of milk which turns out to be sour, I don't return it to the farm. I take it back to the grocer, who still refunds me even though she didn't poison and milk the cow, or mis-date the carton. She is then responsible to stop selling those quarts. If Amazon learns that Mattel have misrepresented their Godzilla dolls, Amazon will arrange the return and refund, not Mattel (I'm not just saying that Amazon should, but that they actually do), and then it's on Amazon to pull or correct the listing.

Yes, whoever manufactures the file is the most responsible for doing good work, checking their work to see that it's good, and representing their work honestly. But the gap between most and also is an appropriately tiny one. Anyone in the chain from maker to buyer counts, and finger-pointing up the chain only means that one probably shouldn't be trusted.

We apply this very ethic here when we call Varese and BuySoundTrax to the carpet for their astonishingly poor shipping and service, even though they don't own the trucks and planes. Varese can sing "third party" until the moon howls right back at them - they take our money to ship a product, their third party shipper does not. We don't have a choice of shippers; they choose, so they own the responsibility for our getting us our stuff in good time and in good shape. That's their job. They just won't do it.

Meanwhile, Intrada, La-La Land, Quartet, Screen Archives and others persist in earning goodwill in these very areas. They make mistakes like anyone, but their reputation is ownership, making things right, and mysteriously not going bankrupt while doing so.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 30, 2023 - 9:18 PM   
 By:   jonathan_little   (Member)

The essential issue here is the many re-downloads that have to be performed on "digital" files because so many of them come through corrupted.

What.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 30, 2023 - 10:42 PM   
 By:   townerbarry   (Member)

...I see the fault with the labels rather than the retailers like HD Tracks or Tidal. For a number of reasons. First of all, the retailers sell you the FILES. They sell you 24bit/192kHz FLAC/ALAC files. It's the labels that pack the content into these files. And what's in there is up to the labels. Sure, retailers have also a responsibility, but I see them considerably smaller than the labels themselves here.

I'm glad you said that, at least. The fact is, anyone in the chain from production to sales is responsible. The difference is that the retailer might not also be culpable. If they cannot check what they sell - emphasis on can, because if they can, that they should is a given - only then they are not also culpable. If they could, but won't, then it's fully on them if they sell polished crap. If they are informed about the product and continue selling it, they are 100% as culpable as those who produced the inadequate audio files. Qobuz falls into that category, with Inchon at the very least. By their own actions, they have earned distrust, and they are now solely responsible for selling non hi-res audio in hi-res files, as the other party connected changed their messaging when they found out. It's actually solely on the seller there.

But culpability is not even required for responsibility. If I buy a properly labeled quart of milk which turns out to be sour, I don't return it to the farm. I take it back to the grocer, who still refunds me even though she didn't poison and milk the cow, or mis-date the carton. She is then responsible to stop selling those quarts. If Amazon learns that Mattel have misrepresented their Godzilla dolls, Amazon will arrange the return and refund, not Mattel (I'm not just saying that Amazon should, but that they actually do), and then it's on Amazon to pull or correct the listing.

Yes, whoever manufactures the file is the most responsible for doing good work, checking their work to see that it's good, and representing their work honestly. But the gap between most and also is an appropriately tiny one. Anyone in the chain from maker to buyer counts, and finger-pointing up the chain only means that one probably shouldn't be trusted.

We apply this very ethic here when we call Varese and BuySoundTrax to the carpet for their astonishingly poor shipping and service, even though they don't own the trucks and planes. Varese can sing "third party" until the moon howls right back at them - they take our money to ship a product, their third party shipper does not. We don't have a choice of shippers; they choose, so they own the responsibility for our getting us our stuff in good time and in good shape. That's their job. They just won't do it.

Meanwhile, Intrada, La-La Land, Quartet, Screen Archives and others persist in earning goodwill in these very areas. They make mistakes like anyone, but their reputation is ownership, making things right, and mysteriously not going bankrupt while doing so.



I have for years suggested to them exact companies… to start offering downloads of their physical CDs! Like Apple, Amazon, and so on do. Give us all an option. I will not ever buy a cd, dvd, Blu-ray, or anything like that. It is a big ass clutter, waste of trees, to produce them booklets. And I truly want..what is truly Easy and Convenient for Me! If LalaLand Records and Intrada started offering Flac Downloads …I would Buy From Them! Period. Right Now in my Pro IPad and ICloud Storage I have Around 500GB of Soundtrack Music..I don’t use Apple, because they are on the low end of Sound Quality. I hunted for a perfect app so that I can take full advantage of a higher quality sound. This is Just Me.

 
 Posted:   Jan 31, 2023 - 1:39 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

...I see the fault with the labels rather than the retailers like HD Tracks or Tidal. For a number of reasons. First of all, the retailers sell you the FILES. They sell you 24bit/192kHz FLAC/ALAC files. It's the labels that pack the content into these files. And what's in there is up to the labels. Sure, retailers have also a responsibility, but I see them considerably smaller than the labels themselves here.

I'm glad you said that, at least. The fact is, anyone in the chain from production to sales is responsible. The difference is that the retailer might not also be culpable. If they cannot check what they sell - emphasis on can, because if they can, that they should is a given - only then they are not also culpable. If they could, but won't, then it's fully on them if they sell polished crap. If they are informed about the product and continue selling it, they are 100% as culpable as those who produced the inadequate audio files. Qobuz falls into that category, with Inchon at the very least. By their own actions, they have earned distrust, and they are now solely responsible for selling non hi-res audio in hi-res files, as the other party connected changed their messaging when they found out. It's actually solely on the seller there.

But culpability is not even required for responsibility. If I buy a properly labeled quart of milk which turns out to be sour, I don't return it to the farm. I take it back to the grocer, who still refunds me even though she didn't poison and milk the cow, or mis-date the carton. She is then responsible to stop selling those quarts. If Amazon learns that Mattel have misrepresented their Godzilla dolls, Amazon will arrange the return and refund, not Mattel (I'm not just saying that Amazon should, but that they actually do), and then it's on Amazon to pull or correct the listing.


When it comes to music files, I think it is on the manufacturer (label) to provide the proper products, I would not even want retailers to interfere too much there. If a boutique label offers a score in artificial stereo (say, an old Furtwängler recording), I would not want the retailer decide we throw out your product because it's not "real" stereo. If you buy a quart of milk which turns out to be sour, you bought a defective product, and you can return it. If a label releases a 4k bluray that was upsampled from a DVD, some may be disappointed that the movie has such a poor picture, while others may be happy that it is finally released on bluray. I agree with you that it is imperative that people should KNOW what it is they are getting. That's why it should be on the product description, and those come from the manufacturer (label).

I have a set where Deutsche Grammophon released a newly mastered version of Karajan's Bruckner recordings, all in high-res. Now some of the recordings are early digital recordings. DG was upfront about that and stated: "Symphonies Nos. 1-3 were originally recorded in 16 bit/44.1kHz and have been upsamled" to 24bit/192kHz. It says so "right on the box" (and not even in too small fine print, but prominently). I guess they wanted the entire set of 9 to have the same resolution, hence the upsampling of some of the earlier digital recordings. It's not a true 24bit/192kHz recording/master, but these are still "real" 24bit/192kHz files. It's important though to be upfront with what it is. Deutsche Grammophon obviously is in this case.

If you buy a Godzilla toy that's too small for a package that is too large, you can return it to Amazon and get a refund, because, well, that's what Amazon does. But it is unlikely that the product is then going to be withdrawn from Amazon (let alone all other retailers) just because you feel deceived. (There is a lot of crap that is sold on Amazon.) Especially not if Mattel (sorry Mattel.. I invented you making up a small Godzilla toy in a big box, no harm intended) just sells this thing everywhere else too.

In the case of Extreme Prejudice, it is Intrada who is offering the score as 24bit/96kHz download, not just on Qobuz, but also HD Tracks and wherever. If one retailer withdraws it, people just buy it at the next one.

I just upsampled the original 16bit/44.1 track "Arrivals" (which I have) to 24bit/96kHz and compared it to the Intrada download; they are not the same. My upsampled file is mostly "blank" beyond the 22.5 frequency range (as can be expected), it doesn't have any data beyond the original CD track data. The Intrada download file, however, contains data beyond that point. Sure, it may be padded out, may be upscaled or upsampled or filled with random noise, I am not saying all is well and good, but the quality of the data contained within the file is within the sovereignty of the labels, not the retailer. If the retailer would upsample the files or falsely label them, they should have the responsibility, but if they are actually selling the product provided by the labels, it is the labels where I see full responsibility. Especially if there are many retailers selling the exact same product, but only one label that provides the files.

We are most certainly in full agreement about more quality control when it comes to high-res files though.

 
 Posted:   Jan 31, 2023 - 1:43 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)



I have for years suggested to them exact companies… to start offering downloads of their physical CDs!


That is only occasionally an option, as most of the time, the studios won't give digital download rights to boutique labels such as Intrada or Lalaland.
Some of these releases are available as digital downloads, but many are not.

I don’t use Apple, because they are on the low end of Sound Quality. I hunted for a perfect app so that I can take full advantage of a higher quality sound. This is Just Me.

I don't use Apple either (well, yes, I still use iTunes, but only for curation; Apple only sells lossy music), though I have no idea what an app has to do with it or what perfect app you are talking about?

 
 Posted:   Jan 31, 2023 - 3:52 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)


Of course I get your point about a piano concerto, but then again, in a typical concert hall only about 30% of what you hear is direct sound coming from the stage. Most of what you hear is the sound of the room, which multi-channel can more realistically reproduce.

Of course, close mic'd recordings violate this rule, which is often the case with solo instruments.


Nice comparison of things to consider when mixing a piano recording in stereo and in Dolby Atmos.

https://www.pro-tools-expert.com/production-expert-1/mixing-a-piano-recording-in-stereo-and-in-atmos

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 31, 2023 - 6:55 AM   
 By:   townerbarry   (Member)



I have for years suggested to them exact companies… to start offering downloads of their physical CDs!


That is only occasionally an option, as most of the time, the studios won't give digital download rights to boutique labels such as Intrada or Lalaland.
Some of these releases are available as digital downloads, but many are not.


I don’t use Apple, because they are on the low end of Sound Quality. I hunted for a perfect app so that I can take full advantage of a higher quality sound. This is Just Me.

I don't use Apple either (well, yes, I still use iTunes, but only for curation; Apple only sells lossy music), though I have no idea what an app has to do with it or what perfect app you are talking about?

There are Google Apps, and others …since years ago..I don’t want to use ITunes..I have found a better way to collect and store my Music..without the low quality of ITunes.

 
 Posted:   Jan 31, 2023 - 7:04 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)


There are Google Apps, and others …since years ago..I don’t want to use ITunes..I have found a better way to collect and store my Music..without the low quality of ITunes.


Apple Music store only sells lossy downloads, but iTunes itself has no problem handling 24bit/192kHz high-res files.

 
 Posted:   Jan 31, 2023 - 7:24 AM   
 By:   EdG   (Member)

The files Apple Music sells now are all AAC files and while "lossy" the compression quality is excellent. I don't believe they even sell mp3s and haven't for a while. towerbarry might be referring to the limitation in Apple Airplay hardware that caps reproduction at essentially CD resolution. iTunes is great for organization (for the most part) and plays back hi res ALAC files without any problems, but unless you're hardwired to your amp via USB you'll be hearing CD spec sound.

And that's all anyone would need in my opinion. A hi res file and a CD made from the same mastering are audibly identical. There's just no data out there to indicate anyone can hear a difference. It's an upsell with no benefit, like so many things in the audiophile world.

https://www.mojo-audio.com/blog/the-24bit-delusion/

 
 Posted:   Jan 31, 2023 - 7:38 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

The files Apple Music sells now are all AAC files and while "lossy" the compression quality is excellent. I don't believe they even sell mp3s and haven't for a while. towerbarry might be referring to the limitation in Apple Airplay hardware that caps reproduction at essentially CD resolution. iTunes is great for organization (for the most part) and plays back hi res ALAC files without any problems, but unless you're hardwired to your amp via USB you'll be hearing CD spec sound.


I don't use iTunes to actually listen to the music, just to administer the collection. My Laptop isn't even hooked up to external speakers, so that wouldn't be of much use.

And that's all anyone would need in my opinion.

So if it's good enough for you, it must be good enough for everybody else?


A hi res file and a CD made from the same mastering are audibly identical. There's just no data out there to indicate anyone can hear a difference.


That's not necessarily so. However, the key here is "from the same mastering", which already isn't often the case, as some remasters are done exclusively for high-res releases.

There are actually (and amazingly) not that many representative studies about high-res music out there. The most comprehensive overview (https://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=18296) comes interestingly enough to the conclusion that the difference between high-res and lossless may indeed be perceived.


It's an upsell with no benefit, like so many things in the audiophile world.

https://www.mojo-audio.com/blog/the-24bit-delusion/


Well, regardless of what what some claim is or isn't audible (or even perceivable, though these are not identical) in differences concerning high-res from a technical point of view, there is no question that there is considerable gain in certain high-res masters that just are not available on CD sound. So there is a real benefit in high-res music, and one that's not even in dispute.

 
 Posted:   Jan 31, 2023 - 9:44 AM   
 By:   EdG   (Member)

I made a statement of opinion, not of absolute fact, and said so. No need to exaggerate beyond what I wrote. Many reasons for that opinion are summarized in the article I linked to which is a science-based description of the reasons why human ears (and all audio reproducing equipment) cannot resolve the added information in hi res files over CD files.

There are many good reasons why 24bit audio and higher sampling rates are useful in the recording, mixing, and mastering of digital music. None of them are relevant to listening to the music at home.

It is true that newer masterings often sound much better than older ones but in those cases it's due to the improvements in the entire chain of equipment used to create the new master and not to the bit depth and resolution of the files delivered to the customer. Again this is comparing CD spec audio to anything higher than that.

If the newer master is ONLY available on hi res, then by all means go for that. But I'm not willing to take anecdotal reports seriously without some kind of evidence to back it up if both are available. If the master is identical then the hi res files will be indistinguishable from CD.

 
 Posted:   Jan 31, 2023 - 9:58 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

I made a statement of opinion, not of absolute fact, and said so. No need to exaggerate beyond what I wrote.

Well, it's you who said "anyone".


If the newer master is ONLY available on hi res, then by all means go for that.


Well, if a new master is available as BOTH high-res and lossless CD sound, I would usually go for the high-res release, as that would (usually) be the cheaper option for me.


But I'm not willing to take anecdotal reports seriously without some kind of evidence to back it up if both are available. If the master is identical then the hi res files will be indistinguishable from CD.


The study I linked to -- which is by no means perfect but more exhaustive than most -- indicates otherwise.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 1, 2023 - 8:10 PM   
 By:   jmarc   (Member)

Well I recently purchased a car & it doesn’t have a cd player. My last one did and before that, I had a cassette deck! I’m actually going to copy some of my cds onto a usb flash drive so I have some music on the car. I’ll still keep my cds for pkk look suing at home but this is a step for me.

 
 Posted:   Feb 3, 2023 - 3:56 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Well I recently purchased a car & it doesn’t have a cd player. My last one did and before that, I had a cassette deck! I’m actually going to copy some of my cds onto a usb flash drive so I have some music on the car. I’ll still keep my cds for pkk look suing at home but this is a step for me.

Once you make the step, you will not want to go back. It's much more convenient to files in the car than CDs. I usually have about 400 albums on a USB stick the size of my thumb in my car. (I use AAC files for that.)

 
 Posted:   Feb 3, 2023 - 8:21 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

I said up there we are most certainly in full agreement about more quality control when it comes to high-res files, and we certainly are.

That's why I want to mention an interesting observation I just made while checking something completely unrelated.

On the Original Capitol Soundtrack release for RAIN MAN, some of the songs appear to have been upsampled. "Dry Bones", "At Last", and "Stardust". (For example, Lossless Audio Checker states they are "upsampled".)

Not sure why or when, these songs were maybe licensed for the album and while mastered, brought up to the same level as all the other songs. On the spectrogram you can see that on "Dry Bones", for example, actual music peters out at frequencies below 10kHz (it's a classic recording considerably older than the movie), while anything above seems to be mostly noise. (Not "nothing", just "noise"... there is obviously "nothing" from 20.05kHz on.) I don't know if the song actually was "upsampled", but the file is certainly flagged as "upsampled". (Could be a false positive; have no idea how accurate Lossless Audio Checker is, I just tried it out.)

But the interesting thing here is: I did not check a digital download, I checked a lossless rip of the original soundtrack CD (Capitol Records), and AccurateRip confirms these "upsampled" files as "accurate", which means that's exactly how they are on the original soundtrack CD.

While this exact soundtrack album is available for streaming and download, the files I checked are from an actual CD ripped in EAC. Presumably (have not checked) one would get the same "warnings" from the 16bit/44.1kHz soundtrack files available for download at various retailers, because I assume they use the same album master.

It's just an example why I believe the quality control for the content of high-res/lossless files is with the labels, not with the retailers. I don't think the onus is on Qobuz or HD Tracks or Tidal (or Amazon for that matter, they still sell the CD) to now just pull the Rain Man soundtrack album everywhere just because the original album master has some songs that (in some programs) gets flagged as "upsampled". To verify it is actually an "upsampled" version (and not just suspicious in the eyes of a program), you'd have to check the file in more detail, ideally comparing it with the original master that's the sources (as some types of music rely heavily on samples etc, some of which may even be upsampled when the music is originally created). That's just not something that I think should rest with the retailers. They just sell the box. What's in the box is up to the label.

 
 Posted:   Feb 3, 2023 - 8:48 AM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

Well I recently purchased a car & it doesn’t have a cd player. My last one did and before that, I had a cassette deck! I’m actually going to copy some of my cds onto a usb flash drive so I have some music on the car. I’ll still keep my cds for pkk look suing at home but this is a step for me.

Once you make the step, you will not want to go back. It's much more convenient to files in the car than CDs. I usually have about 400 albums on a USB stick the size of my thumb in my car. (I use AAC files for that.)



I have a small shipping box with about 30 CDs in them. Its very easy to switch them in and out of the CD player in the car. I can't imagine fumbling thru 100's of directories looking for the score I want to hear. It takes 20 seconds to find what I want, grab a CD from my box (which is arms length away) and pop it in. There all burnt backup copies in the car so I won't lose any originals.

 
 Posted:   Feb 3, 2023 - 9:04 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Well I recently purchased a car & it doesn’t have a cd player. My last one did and before that, I had a cassette deck! I’m actually going to copy some of my cds onto a usb flash drive so I have some music on the car. I’ll still keep my cds for pkk look suing at home but this is a step for me.

Once you make the step, you will not want to go back. It's much more convenient to files in the car than CDs. I usually have about 400 albums on a USB stick the size of my thumb in my car. (I use AAC files for that.)



I have a small shipping box with about 30 CDs in them. Its very easy to switch them in and out of the CD player in the car. I can't imagine fumbling thru 100's of directories looking for the score I want to hear. It takes 20 seconds to find what I want, grab a CD from my box (which is arms length away) and pop it in. There all burnt backup copies in the car so I won't lose any originals.


Well, I used to play CD-Rs in the car, but find it much more convenient to play files, both at home and in the car.
And if you have only 30 CDs in the car, you could of course also only have 30 directories. I would say you could switch among 30 directories much faster than among 30 CDs. :-)

 
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