4 LOSSLESS AUDIO MUSIC SITES FOR AUDIOPHILES
Back when music began to go digital none of us ever would have imagined we’d find ourselves in the middle of so many different ways to conveniently listen to music that would actually be lower in quality than the original source. But that’s exactly where we are today. Some of the most popular streaming music services give us compressed audio files that remove frequencies and depth you would otherwise hear in the original mastered recordings. It’s so much of a difference in sound that many artists and labels are remastering their recordings specifically for playback on compressed audio streaming sites.
But even with so much technology available at our fingertips the limitations of our devices, data plans and hard drives is keeping many of us stuck with the compressed audio sites. There are some websites however, that offer streaming and/or downloadable lossless and lossy audio files for those of us with the time and money to get the high-quality music fix we crave. So I decided to create a short list of 4 Lossless Audio Music Sites for audiophiles and discerning music listeners so you can have more time to enjoy your tunes.
Bandcamp is an amazing music site that has been operating since 2007. They’re one of the only sites that puts the power to sell music directly into the hands of the artists themselves. There’s no middleman or distributor. Bandcamp does collect fees based on sales and downloads but it’s one of the most fair music models around. You’ll find an incredible selection of music from indie and mainstream artists. The download file formats available through Bandcamp are FLAC, ALAC, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, WAV and AIFF as well as MP3.
Bandcamp has no monthly fees for fan accounts. All available streaming music is in compressed format but when you purchase you have the many lossless and uncompressed audio format options previously listed.
Beatport specializes in electronic music and all its’ various sub-genres. They’re pretty much the go-to site for everything from EDM to Ambient electronic music downloads. It’s an excellent source for DJ’s and electronic fans alike. They sell single tracks, albums, DJ mixes and they have even their own custom software called Beatport Pro for Desktop. Currently Beatport offers WAV, AIFF and MP3 files.
Everybody seems to be talking about HDtracks these days. I checked them out and they have an incredible catalog of high-quality recordings available from some of the top names in music today. From John Lennon and The Stones to Miles Davis and Daft Punk, HDtracks has tons of music for the masses. HDtracks offers WAV, AIFF, ALAC and FLAC file formats. They also offer full album artwork and liner notes in PDF format for hardcore fans which is one of those things we seem to have lost in the digital age. As with most of the high-quality audio format sites, HDtracks only offers music download purchases. Definitely worth checking out.
Tidal is a very unique site in the fact that they are a streaming service and download store offering high-quality audio to over 52 countries. Their catalog includes over 40 million songs from artists and offer both lossless and lossy file format options. The catalog includes music from a wide range of top billing musicians and even invite indie musicians to join the business in selling their music through their site. Tidal offers two streaming options $9.99/month for Premium (AAC 320kHz) and $19.99 for Hi-Fi (Lossless CD quality).