Berlin isn’t only techno techno techno. Just north of the River Spree in Moabit sits the headquarters of online music download store HighResAudio.com whose focus is jazz, classical and opera plus a smattering of music from the (mostly) more tasteful corners of rock and pop. Store owner Lothar Kerestedjian reports that the website has attracted 200,000 registered users since its inception in 2010 and new users are coming aboard at a rate of approximately 20,000/year.
HighResAudio.com is where Europeans can pick up 24bit/96kHz downloads of Tom Waits’ recently remastered Epitaph catalogue (€17.50/album), that includes stone cold classics Blue Valentine and Small Change, before moving on to Patti Smith’s Peace & Noise and Gone Again (€15 apiece). It’s easy to seeo how the bit/sample-rate-focussed audiophile could easily drop €200 without trying too hard.
For those whose pockets don’t run so deep for so few albums, HighResAudio.com will next month launch the HRA Streaming service that will allow for streaming of 35,000 ‘hand-picked’ titles from the company’s existing catalogue (fingers crossed for Smith and Waits) with 100 more albums to be added each week thereafter.
All content will be streamed in FLAC per the digital master’s native bit/sample-rate (no MQA) which means care must be taken when streaming via HRA Streaming’s dedicated smartphone apps (iOS/Android – due Q4 2018) over LTE/4G connections. On this HRA Streaming recommend Offline Mode to avoid buffering issues or burning through the mobile device’s data allowance.
Back at home, with in-wall Internet connections where data caps tend to be more generous, HighResAudio will offer dedicated apps for Windows and MacOS and compatibility with third-party hi-fi devices supporting TuneIn or Airable. That means boxes from: Arcam, Cambridge Audio, Cocktail Audio, AudioNet, T + A, Simaudio, AVM, Cyrus, CH Precision, Harman Kardon, Mark Levinson, Panasonic, Quadral, Yamaha, Primare, Revox, Russound, TechniSat, TeleStar and Lindemann Audio. HRA Streaming support will also be added to Audirvana+’s existing integration of HighResAudio.com’s Virtual Vault.
HRA Streaming will be priced at €200/year with an extra €50/year netting a 30% discount on all downloads. A 7-day obligation free trial will also be available.
Not atypically for services that must navigate international licensing deals, HRA Streaming’s availability at launch will be a strictly European affair: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Great Britain, Netherlands, Italy, Ireland, Croatia, Luxembourg, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Czech Republic, Norway and Switzerland.
Further information: HighResAudio.com