7 sites to buy and download FLAC music

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Audiophiles hoping for more hi-res audio after the phenomenal success of music streaming services have been disappointed. Even though there are dedicated services, with Tidal leading the way, the hi-res audio market is still a niche market. In addition, although it is becoming easier to find the track in its original form, the choice is still rather scarce and in most cases, a lot of money will be requested for the purchase.

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Despite the fact that there are more and more high-end receivers and even smartphones with built-in top-class DACs, many still find it difficult to find hi-res music in order to experience the full beauty of high technology. Digital recordings with the high sample rate and bit depth (24-bit / 48 kHz and up) required for crystal clear sound are hard to find. Therefore, I have prepared a list of sites on which this can be done (first buy and only then download). These are not torrent trackers!

HDtracks

hdtracks

  • File formats: WMA / WAV, AIFF, FLAC, ALAC
  • Highest resolution: 24 bit / 192 kHz

IN HDtracks one of the largest collections of high definition pop, rock, classical and jazz music on the Internet. Renowned composer, musician and producer David Chesky, co-founder and head of the service, is constantly updating the catalog.

Almost all files are available in several formats that meet the highest industry standards, although a lot is only available in cd quality. From Bob Dylan to Bob Marley, from Rush to Marvin Gaye, you’ll find plenty of your favorite artists here, but you don’t have to look for Beatles music. If you want to quickly assemble an impressive collection of hi-res audio, then the best place to start is here.

Qobuz

qobuz

  • File formats: WAV, WMA, AIFF, ALAC, FLAC, MP3, WMA, AAC
  • Highest resolution: 24 bit / 192 kHz

Qobuz – one of the options for streaming music in hi-res. You can also buy and download. Qobuz has its own store, with a wide range of genres, from popular music to classical, with all stops in between. Although there are not as many hi-res formats as in other stores, those with a Qobuz Sublime Plus subscription will naturally buy here.

With a membership (which charges $ 250 a year), you get access to over 50 million tracks in cd quality (16 bit / 44.1 kHz) with a touch of hi-res. Just in case: Choosing the much more affordable Studio Premier plan for $ 15 a month (the first one is free), you get pretty much the same thing. But Sublime Plus offers discounts on purchase, sometimes saving up to $ 5 per album.

Chandos

chandos

  • File formats: WMA, WAV, AIFF, ALAC, FLAC, FLAC Studio surround 5.1
  • Highest resolution: 24 bit / 96 kHz

The store formerly known as The Classical Shop, now taken over by the label Chandos… Offers music from over 200 labels and boasts a huge collection of classics and jazz with over a million tracks. In addition, the creators claim to add 80,000 new songs from other genres every month. Although many of them are only available in cd quality. And also there are many compositions in various subgenres of classical and jazz, with a quality close to the sound of a master recording.

Unfortunately, since Chandos owns the store, the ability to filter search results by format has disappeared. Nonetheless, it is still an impressive selection of instrumental masterpieces at very reasonable prices.

ATMA Classic

atma-classic

  • File formats: FLAC, CD
  • Highest resolution: 24 bit / 96 kHz

Although the selection on this French-Canadian site, founded 15 years ago, is not as rich as on The Classical Shop, the collection on ATMA Classic excellent, everything is well organized, and the catalog is interestingly designed – the pages turn like in a book. With hundreds of albums available, it’s easy to navigate by composers, performers or genres. It is easy, for example, to find a complete list of piano music albums. There are even a number of exclusive releases that cannot be found anywhere else. And the most, perhaps, the main thing – the prices are extremely democratic, 13-15 dollars per album.

Blue Coast Music/Downloads NOW!

  • File formats: WAV, DSD, FLAC
  • Highest resolution: 24 bit / 192 kHz

blue-coast-music

Those looking for something more non-standard and underground will find on Blue Coast Records a good collection of indie rock and indie pop hits, many of which were recorded on this label. After registration, the user can download several tracks for free, and on the subsidiary site with an interesting name Downloads NOW the choice is even wider. The artwork is not the nicest, but you can find some awesome live performances here that are not available anywhere else. The annual subscription costs $ 50 and gives you a 15 percent discount on any purchase and a few PRIME tracks recorded directly in DSD256 format by Grammy-nominated sound engineer and Blue Coast founder Kuki Marenko.

Pristine Classical

pristine-classical

  • File formats: FLAC, CD
  • Highest resolution: 24 bit / 48 kHz

On Pristine Classical huge collection of vintage music. Many works were recorded in the early 1940s, and some even at the dawn of jazz and blues. All tracks have been thoroughly remastered, so some will cost a pretty penny.

By the way, Pristine has its own streaming service with over 10,000 tracks (1000 of which are exclusive), created by thousands of artists and composers. The site may also be of interest to collectors and connoisseurs. The company offers home delivery of a 2TB hard drive completely crammed with Pristine music. At the moment, it costs $ 1,300, which means it is intended mainly for wealthy connoisseurs. Alas, the best resolution available is at the lower end of the spectrum, 24 bit / 48 kHz.