in ,

Is HDTracks becoming more hip?

  • In recent months HDTracks has shown signs that it’s no longer just a repository for ‘that‘ audiophile music (and all of its negative connotations). No, HDTracks is slowly morphing into your cool uncle who still goes to gigs.  The one who wears Doc Martens and band t-shirts.

    First came Suede’s much touted reunion album Bloodsports. Here in 24/44.1 (US$18).  Only Americans call them The London Suede.  Then HDTracks dropped The National’s Trouble Will Find Me in 24/96 (US$18).   Oh, and then there’s Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories in 24/88.2 (US$18).  Make sure your DAC can play 88.2kHz sample rates before you take the plunge.


    There’s always been a healthy amount of hi-res R.E.M. on HDTracks but the 25th anniversary remaster/re-issue of 1988’s Green has seen this hi-res music store score quite the coup: the bonus cuts, a live show from the 1989 Green World tour, features not only the same tracks as the bonus CD of the physical release but also the limited edition ‘Live In Greensboro’ companion CD EP released for RSD 2013. Both the 24/96 (US$28) and 24/192 (US$39) merge the content from these two CDs to form a more coherent representation of a killer live show. There are far more cuts here than on the Tourfilm movie so if you loved that, you’re gonna lose your shit over this.


    This week’s HDTracks newsletter announced the availability of four albums by The Smiths. Their eponymous debut, Meat Is Murder and Strangeways Here We Come download direct to your hard drive at 24/96. The Queen Is Dead is the odd one out: it’s only available at 24/44.1. This four-album bundle is available for US$66. Presumably these are the digital (re)masters used for 2011’s vinyl re-issues?

    The hi-res collection is called ‘Complete’ but it isn’t as complete as the CD box sets of the same name – there’s no sign of (compilations) Hatful Of Hollow, The World Won’t Listen, Louder Than Bombs or (the live) Rank. If you don’t mind lossy files you can get a more complete ‘Completefrom iTunes for the same money.

    Further Information: HDTracks

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

    Digital vs. Vinyl (TONEAudio – Part 1)

    New from Audiolab: Q-DAC and M-PWR