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  1. #1
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    Cool Rick James' "Street Songs" is on HD Tracks at 96k/24-bit!

    For $17.98 for lossless, hi-resolution FLAC, you can't go wrong! Finally, we get the master tape sound for this classic album! Slick Rick never sounded so real, in the room! The bass is strong and defined. I heard things I never heard before, especially on songs like "Ghetto Life". The reverb decay on "Mr. Policeman" brings the song to life, and I finally like "Super Freak Now".

    I urge you to get this one!

    https://www.hdtracks.com/index.php?f...00602527994123
    Last edited by soulster; 03-16-2012 at 10:18 AM.

  2. #2
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    "Street Songs" was Rick James' masterpiece in my opinion as "What's Goin' On?" was Marvin Gayes'.

  3. #3
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    You can't even find this level of sound quality on the vinyl or on the deluxe CD!

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    Here's a simple [[too simple?) question - what are the limitations for Hi-Res/96k/24-bit files? How/where can you play them? It says you can't play them in iTunes but can you still put them on your ipod and play them through your home system? Can you burn them onto a CD and not lose any quality? Thanks in advance...
    https://www.hdtracks.com/index.php?f...=highdef_music

    ADDED: I suppose I can find some answers here but am still curious as to how actual users play/use the tracks:
    https://www.hdtracks.com/index.php?file=tutorial
    Last edited by ejluther; 03-16-2012 at 10:34 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejluther View Post
    Here's a simple [[too simple?) question - what are the limitations for Hi-Res/96k/24-bit files?
    There are no limitations! You can play them on any device or software that supports high sampling rates and bit-depths beyond the CD's 16-bit.

    How/where can you play them?
    You can play them on any device that supports high sampling and bit-depths. You can create a DVD out of it to play on your DVD/blu-ray player to keep the high quality sound. You can even convert them and burn them onto a CD-R, but that would defeat the purpose of the sound quality you get. But, you can still make a better quality CD or mp3 from it than what you can buy in the store or on iTunes!

    It says you can't play them in iTunes but can you still put them on your ipod and play them through your home system?
    I cannot answer to that as I don't use iTunes to play my music files. I use Foobar 2000.

    Can you burn them onto a CD and not lose any quality?
    No. The CD cannot hold high-resolution sound. You are limited to 16-bit, 44.1, and that defeats the purpose of hi-rez. This is why a lot of people do not like the CD.

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    Thanks for all the info!

    PS:
    You can create a DVD out of it to play on your DVD/blu-ray player to keep the high quality sound.
    What program do you use to do this?
    Last edited by ejluther; 03-16-2012 at 09:17 PM.

  7. #7
    I'm curious what they used as the original source? I'm guessing it would have to be the original master tapes, but I don't see anything on the website that says that these mp3 files were transferred from an original source??

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    Everything on HDtracks.com that is at 192 or 96khz is from an original master tape and transferred digitally at that resolution. There is no up-sampling at all.

    I oversaw the Rick James transfer, which was done from the original half-inch stereo master - most albums from the 1950s-70s-80s are on a 1/4-inch tape; a 1/2-inch tape allows for much more depth and fidelity, especially for bass response and the stereo field. That's not to say something from the 1960s from 1/4-inch won't sound great - it will if you have a good source. But the original engineers got this one right to begin with, as did Kevin Reeves, who mastered it for HDtracks.com by doing very little to it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwume View Post
    Everything on HDtracks.com that is at 192 or 96khz is from an original master tape and transferred digitally at that resolution. There is no up-sampling at all.

    I oversaw the Rick James transfer, which was done from the original half-inch stereo master - most albums from the 1950s-70s-80s are on a 1/4-inch tape; a 1/2-inch tape allows for much more depth and fidelity, especially for bass response and the stereo field. That's not to say something from the 1960s from 1/4-inch won't sound great - it will if you have a good source. But the original engineers got this one right to begin with, as did Kevin Reeves, who mastered it for HDtracks.com by doing very little to it.

    It's a fine job, Harry and Kevin, and I thank you! I hope you will get more opportunities to issue more classic soul/funk titles in hi-rez. I do wonder what made the original engineer use 1/2 inch. Bass?

    Quote Originally Posted by carlo View Post
    I'm curious what they used as the original source? I'm guessing it would have to be the original master tapes, but I don't see anything on the website that says that these mp3 files were transferred from an original source??
    They aren't mp3s, Carlo. They are in a lossless format called FLAC, and it means there is NO loss due to any data compression that would happen if you converted the music to mp3 or AAC.

    What you are going to get with high-resolution music is that the soundstage will be wider, meaning the sound will spread across the speakers and fill the room. The vocals, depending on the quality of the recording and mix, will sound more present. One will be able to place various instruments and singers in the sound space. There will be more front-to-back dept in the sound. In other words, there will be better imaging. And, the sound will be more relaxed. The music will sound effortless. The bass will be richer and deeper, and more defined. the highs will sound smoother and extended. Three-dimensional sound!

    Now, if you take that sound and squeeze it onto a CD, you will get the sound, but the stage will shrink somewhat, and you will lose some of the imaging. Two dimensional sound. Today's converters and dither schemes do a much better job of preserving the sound of the master, but you still lose something in the dither process that is required to get the music on your CD.

    Now, take that same sound and make an mp3 out of it. Now, everything sounds one-dimensional, pinched, and the frequency response is thrown off. You even get some low-level artifacts. Sadly, most people are happy with this. They either can't hear the difference, don't know what to listen for, or don't care.
    Last edited by soulster; 03-17-2012 at 04:30 PM.

  10. #10
    My mistake. I didn't realize they were offering FLAC files.

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    Typical MP3s are the perfect example of sacrificing quality for convenience...

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    HD Tracks does not sell mp3s.

    Everyone from the artist to the mastering engineers put a lot of work into making the best possible recordings only to have them downloaded on the internet as data-compressed files that bear little resemblance of what they intended. That does not make them happy. Many weren't even very happy about CDs. Now, with hi-rez, through DVD and downloads, they can finally give the customer what they wanted us to hear. One variable has been removed. Now, the only holding back the sound is the listener's playback system, and, unfortunately, too many people are content playing those awful mp3s and AAC files on their little iPods and cell phones with those god-forsaken earbuds. I have been to parties where someone actually played the music on a cell phone speaker, tinny sound and all. What has this world come to? And, you wonder why i'm an audiophile! I'm not a pesky snob, I just care about the sound, like back in the good old days!
    Last edited by soulster; 03-18-2012 at 12:54 AM.

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    I'm not a peskyy snob, I just care about the sound, like back in the good old days!
    Amen!
    [[and not to quibble, but HDtracks does sell MP3s as an option for some of the music on the site:
    320 kbps MP3: Small, compressed music files offering the fastest download times and universal compatibility with all MP3 players.
    https://www.hdtracks.com/index.php?f...=highdef_music

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    Quote Originally Posted by ejluther View Post
    Amen!
    [[and not to quibble, but HDtracks does sell MP3s as an option for some of the music on the site:

    https://www.hdtracks.com/index.php?f...=highdef_music
    Oh, yeah. I never bother. I doubt anyone downloads them, and I have not seen any other option except FLAC of late.

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    It does seem to defeat the purposed of "HDTracks", doesn't it? Regardless, I suppose they figure some people just want the best MP3 they can buy. I'm just getting into the world of High Definition Music myself and, if you want to play it on your home stereo and not your computer, it can be a little confusing/frustrating, especially if your player can't play DVD-audio discs. After quite a bit of trial and error I'm currently using this program to make DVD video discs that retain the quality of the HDTracks by making DVD-Video compliant discs:

    http://www.audio-dvd-creator.com/

  16. #16
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    One thing to remember about Rick James is that he was a bass player. So, what should be the main focus of his music? The bass! That's exactly what you'll get with this HD album. That is also why I really hope Harry and Kevin can master "Bustin' Out of L7" and "You And I" for HD tracks too. I would love to hear the Santana-like Latin groove in "Fool On The Street" the way it should be heard.

    Another thing I noticed with this album are the little details that were totally lost on even the original vinyl. The brass is a lot more recessed than it is on vinyl, too. I could go on and on about the cool things.

    One thing that annoyed me about this album from hearing it in high resolution is it made me notice how Rick edited "Ghetto Life" and "Mr. Policeman" down just to make the songs tighter. Mr. Johnson is no longer around to give us any answers, but those two songs should be longer.

  17. #17
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    I would LOVE an HD version of Bustin' Out of L7. HD versions of The Commodores, Looking Through The Windows and Songs In The Key of Life would all be welcome.

    Thanks Mr. Weinger and Mr. Reeves for all that you've done so far.

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