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Great Music in FLAC/WAV and where to buy!

Discussion in 'Music Forum' started by Maxson, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. Maxson

    Maxson Member

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    Inspired by this useful thread about http://www.avforums.com/forums/hi-fi-systems-separates/1429312-cds-make-your-system-sing.html I wanted to make a similar thread for high quality downloads, as that is more relevant since I listen to music using my squeezebox, a streaming device. Why buy a CD and rip it and be left with this CD you don't need. It can be hard to find music you like in FLAC, specially Dance/Pop/Electronic/Chart. Even harder to find high bitrate files.

    Like the other thread I will make a list and keep it updated. Please vote for music that sounds good to you and I will add the number of votes to the list.

    I would like to add a link to the best place to buy as well as the price, the bit-rate info such as CD 44.1khz/16bit or HD 96/24 and genre, i.e. Tance/Rock/Pop/etc.. FLAC and WAV, but prefer FLAC as it's more convenient. No mp3 as I think that is already easy to find.

    This could be a good in a small way to encourage artists and labels to make their music available to buy in FLAC by buying music from those that do and shunning the likes of itunes, amazon etc that don't. And high quality, reasonably priced downloads is what Hi-Fi lovers like me want. :D

    I'll start off with an Album I like the sound of and have searched many sites to find the best place to buy.

    Nero - Welcome Reality - Dubstep/Grime - CD quality FLAC 44.1/16 £10.99 Juno Download

    Recommended in Dazzor's thread:
    Way out West - Love Your Machine - Electronica - FLAC 44/16 http://www.wayoutwest.mu/way-out-west-love-machine-buy-album/

    Some Dubstep I bought earlier in the year:
    Xilent - Choose Me Ep - Dubstep/DnB - FLAC 44.1/16 £5 https://audiopornrecords.databeats.com/download/aporn012

    This is nice and relaxing:
    Laki Mera - The Proximity Effect - Pop/Ambient/Folk- FLAC 44/16 £10 and 44/24 £18 http://www.linnrecords.com/recording-the-proximity-effect.aspx
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011
  2. Maxson

    Maxson Member

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    Reserved for the list to be updated here on page 1.
  3. Maxson

    Maxson Member

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    Reserved in hope the list grows long... Please recommend some music. Also if you find a better place to buy an album or artist please let me know.. and please vote for stuff you like if it's already here.

    Update:
    I'd also like to commend 7digital for having a few albums available in FLAC. Please visit there and spend money. http://www.7digital.com/find-music/7digital-recommends/flac

    Out of those I did buy the Radiohead album king of limbs, but I would more recommend the Prodigy if you like that ravey sort of thing. I know I do.

    The Prodigy - Invaders Must Die - FLAC 44/16 £9.99 The Prodigy - Invaders Must Die MP3 Downloads - 7digital
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2012
  4. HMHB

    HMHB Well-Known Member

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    I've yet to find anywhere to download the music I like in FLAC format, therefore I always buy the CD and rip to FLAC myself.
  5. Maxson

    Maxson Member

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    That's what this thread is for! I've been doing just that and then the temptation is to sell the CD on as it's no longer needed. Seems wasteful plus it doesn't benefit the artists as they get nothing from second hand CD sales. It would be so much better to just pay for and download the music direct from the artist. In FLAC. Even better in HD.
  6. Maxson

    Maxson Member

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    I've got two more albums both from Hope & Social for this list, both priced from £free as in you pay what you want when you download, in FLAC of course:

    Here: April | Hope and Social

    and here: Sleep Sound | Hope and Social

    Of the two I think I prefer April.
  7. HMHB

    HMHB Well-Known Member

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    You see this is the problem as far as I'm concerned. I'm not prepared to listen to music I don't like just because it sounds good :)
  8. Maxson

    Maxson Member

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  9. Maxson

    Maxson Member

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    I agree. This thread is more about if it sounds good to you. As in the sound quality is good and you like the music.

    I've got another for you. Anna Calvi. I really like her stuff: Domino: Anna Calvi £7.99 in WAV.
  10. zantarous

    zantarous Member

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    I have just started looking into this and too want to buy FLAC where possible. Hybrid who do beautiful trance, electronica type music and have set up their on liable have their last album and last single on their site in both FLAC and Apple lossless Hybrid
  11. Maxson

    Maxson Member

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    Thanks I'll check it out when I'm at home. :)
  12. zantarous

    zantarous Member

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    I just checked out Juno Download and that seems like heaven and they take paypal, I think my account is about to take some battering.

    Edit:

    Although they do appear to be very expensive when buying WAV.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012
  13. english_bob

    english_bob Member

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    FLAC is not really supported outside of the PC world. Not even the PS3 or 360 can decode it (bar any solutions with streaming, which of course uses a PC).

    Until FLAC is more widely adopted outside of PC hardware, its a bit of a dead donkey IMO. My Marantz CD player has a USB slot but will not read FLAC files.

    Of course I am still fighting against hooking my laptop up to my stereo.
  14. zantarous

    zantarous Member

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    FLAC is future proofing yourself, I have bought music form both Amazon and iTunes and some of the quality has been horrendous. With buy Flac or WAV you can then convert to mp3 with your own settings which will be vastly superior then what you are being sold.

    With Flac you also have the option of converting the track back into a uncompressed file to burn to a CD without any loss of quality, to me that seems like a no brainer and when people such large HDDs there is no problem with having both a Flac and mp3 library.

    I only wished I knew all this when I originally ripped all my CDs years ago not looking for ward to having to do that again.

    Although mp3HD may be the one that gets mainstream attention due to the fact that it is one file that contains both the lossless and lossy version.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  15. Maxson

    Maxson Member

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    Music streamers are the future in my opinion and of course many already have them. FLAC is the best file type for hi-fi music streaming. So, for me FLAC is the future and the now.
  16. english_bob

    english_bob Member

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    True, but will only happen when it breaks free of PC hardware though.
  17. mossym

    mossym Member

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    both my marantz av7005 and my oppo bd96 play flac, so did my 5 year old denon 3808. that's support natively, no transcoding required. in fact the oppo will play back 192Khz 24 bit flac files.


    there are a huge range of non pc related devices out there that have no problem with flac
  18. mattclarkie

    mattclarkie Member

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    FLAC is still largely localised the the 'audiophile' equipment. Not many people have a Marantz AVR, they probably have a poo Samsung they got in Comet for £129.99 when they purchased a new TV.

    Although, there is no point using FLAC on such equipment, until it is available on these platforms FLAC will be a niche product that won't be available to the mainstream.
  19. mossym

    mossym Member

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    do we need it to go mainstream though? if it did, the average joe would complain that he needs his ipod or smartphone didn't support flac (and they likely ever will due to the limited storage space, or if they did there would be complaints about how little they could hold), so he needed to maintain two libraries of music.

    flac will be a niche market, supported by similar types of people who still value the beauty and sound of a turntable or DACD/DVD-Audio(may they RIP) , but more widely spread than those.
    for people into more than a tv + HTIB, i'd wager that at least 1 piece of equipment in their rack will support FLAC, given it is commonplace among even the cheapest networked avr, even the onkyo 509, at £279, supports it.
  20. english_bob

    english_bob Member

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    FLAC continues to confuse most at the moment though.

    FLAC's containing rips of existing CD's are, to my mind, pretty pointless. A cool feature being able to copy your CD with no loss, but its hardly a "step up" in the quality stakes.

    FLAC's containing hi-res audio are a step up, although they get confused with the latter.

    My main gripe with everything going "file based" is that you have to have some sort of screen / keyboard and mouse setup to play this stuff on your hifi. Call me old fashioned but with CD's and Vinyl you just took them off the shelf and played them.

    FLAC's success, to me, will be in the adoption and availablity of hi-resolution audio within them. Having them as merely copies of a standard CD though is of no interest.
  21. mossym

    mossym Member

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    the point of flac isn't to provide an improvement, it's to provide a lossless copy. (with the exception of the higher sample rate flac files available). for many(including myself) this allows them to have a their complete collection in lossless format available in every room in the house, and at work, or on their laptop for travel. your point is valid though if you do all your listening in one spot and your cd collection is right beside it, i can see flac being less attractive then

    and in most instances i've seen with people using flac, they're using a networked avr or music streamer to play their flac collections. neither of these cases require a keyboard, a screen, or a mouse. all are navigated by the built in display on the avr using the remote, or else smartphone apps which lets you browse and control from anywhere in the house. i would say the vast vast majority of users who use flac have nothing resembling a pc, keyboard or mouse in their system

    mattclarkies point about the "audiophile" nature of flac is true in that it's not supported by your el cheapo music player available in comet, but it definitely not the case that your only option for flac playback is a pc with keyboard and mouse.
  22. mossym

    mossym Member

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    and btw english_bob, i'm only pointing this out becuase if it is the thought of a keyboard/mouse is putting you off flac, i'm just highlighting there are lots of options out there that don't require either
  23. Maxson

    Maxson Member

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    No mouse and keyboard required. I can control my squeezebox with my phone or with the controller (which looks a bit like an old ipod). Which is much more fun than hunting through boxes and boxes of physical CDs for the one song you want to hear. The small PC I store the music on looks like a tiny CD player and I use it 'headless' as in without using a screen, keyboard or mouse with it. When I need to do PC stuff with that I use the TV as screen and my phone as keyboard and mouse.

    Many android phones can play FLAC with an app that costs about £3. I got a 32gb card for mine that cost about £30 and means it can store lots of FLAC music. For me, mp3 is very much a thing of the past.

    I think in a few years high res FLAC might be the norm and we will look back on mp3 like we do 78s.
  24. unique

    unique Moderator

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    Apple (United Kingdom) - The new iPod shuffle with buttons, VoiceOver and playlists

    there are plenty of music players without a screen
  25. mattclarkie

    mattclarkie Member

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    Come the days when CD goes the way of the DoDo (there is a thread to talk about that, and this is not it), will FLAC be the format that replaces it?

    I don't think it will personally, can you even DRM a FLAC file?
  26. Steven

    Steven Senior Moderator

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    Think the likelihood is of a DRM-free future. So many have tried and they failed against MP3, though admittedly royalties have to be paid for using the MP3 format

    When infrastructure is finally built allowing for high speed internet and large data downloading to be the norm, I don't think the internet generation would allow DRM to become the de facto standard. Corporations may try to lobby those in power but then people remind them they are only safe for one term

    To answer the thread see also: http://www.avforums.com/forums/port...sites-commercial-free-updated-may-2011-a.html
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  27. Holowlegs

    Holowlegs Active Member

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  28. andy1249

    andy1249 Active Member

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    Regarding flac support outside of a PC , both Sonos and squeezbox support flac

    Logitech UK - Squeezebox

    Sonos Play:5 Wireless HiFi Player

    Pretty much every standalone streamer that Ive come across plays the format too , such as Popcorn hour , WDTV , ACryan , and so on.
    Some BD players also play the format.

    For Apple devices , Apple via itunes have ALAC or the Apple Lossless Audio Codec , so dont support flac natively , rather they support their own proprietary codec , however , there are plenty of third party apps for all the apple devices that will happily play flac material.

    I have an iphone 4 , an ipad , and a mac mini , all very capable of playing flac material through third party apps.

    HDtracks supply music in flac format , I mention this one because its currently my favourite site to buy from , but there are plenty of others.

    https://www.hdtracks.com/index.php?file=best_sellers

    The best thing about flac in my opinion is that it is open source , so its encoders and tools are free , and will most likely be available indefinitely , so for encoding your collection for a home streaming system , this is by far the best way to go as it wont tie you to any particular manufacturer.

    Once encoded in flac , the material is very flexible , in that in can be decompressed and re-compressed into any format you like. Flac is an excellent choice for your original material. As an Archive storage format , it is hard to beat.
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  29. Maxson

    Maxson Member

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    I think this sort of thing is a great way for artists to promote themselves.
    :thumbsup:


    Do you want DRM? I don't.

    Yes I do think FLAC will replace CD. CD is already 20+ years old, at 16bit 44khz it limits the fidelity of the recording. FLAC is my preferred way to buy music now and for the forseeable future.

    Anyway did anyone buy any music in FLAC today they care to share links to?
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012
  30. eyeballKid

    eyeballKid Member

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    Bought the Crosses (Chino from Deftones side project) EP in FLAC (and very nice it is too) direct from their website. It's nice that some bands do this. But really, the solution would be for Amazon, iTunes etc to offer lossless as an option. Perversely, Amazon in the states do a CD-on-demand service to replace small CD runs. A better-than-MP3 option, but an insane amount of effort (pressing and shipping a disc I'll then re-rip) just to pay and get an album at 1990s bitrates onto my hard drive.

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