The hype surrounding hi-res music downloads in certain circles amounts to nothing but yet another scam designed to milk collectors for money they have already spent three times over … at least. Surprisingly enough, not only the “golden ears” are falling for this new money-making machine, many average consumers are as well, probably because they are hoping for better releases that they have not been and are not getting.
Mind you, I have – very, very selectively – gotten with the program already, and I have had one or two enlightening experiences. Still, just because, for example, the Van Halen high resolution files at 24/192 (finally) sound better than any of their material available digitally, does not mean that buying into other (actually rather damn expensive) downloads indiscriminately is the way to go.
- Read this (https://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html). It’s long but, from mostly a technical point of view, it sums up what the consensus in the circles I frequent seems to be.
- It’s the mastering that makes the sound quality, not the resolution. Just because some downloads sound better, it more often than not isn’t attributable to the resolution used.
- If you don’t have the equipment, you won’t hear a difference anyway. In fact, most people I know who rant about the superior quality of hi-res downloads aren’t even close to owning systems that could, perhaps, reveal the difference in any meaningful way.
- Psychoacoustics are a bitch.
- Read. Read. Read. Check reviews before you buy … anything.
- Do not (never, ever) trust any download to be what you think it is/might be. Many download portals are taking advantage of unsuspecting customers by simply not revealing the source their downloads originate(d) from … and affixing a premium price tag to them
So, Just don’t.
Well, mostly … don’t.