HDtracks Esoteric Catalog

If you are at all familiar with "audiophile music," then you've heard of Chesky Records, which was founded by David and Norman Chesky all the way back in the last century. Their philosophy was to capture the spaciousness of "live music" in their recordings. If you want to know more about their history, go to Chesky Records, which is still alive and well.

While the Cheskys still pursue less traditional artists to fill their catalog, they have fully embraced the technology of this century with their latest endeavor, HDtracks. This music-download service offers a diverse catalog of independent musical artists from around the world. All tracks are DRM-free and available in two lossless-audio formats—AIFF and FLAC. HDtracks has announced 24-bit/96kHz FLAC files will be available soon, though an actual launch date was not verified. For portable devices, they also provide the best quality MP3s possible, compressed at the high data rate of 320kbps.

You may not recognize many of the artists in their catalog, but you will be intrigued by some of the interesting names that crop up in your searches, such as David Knopfler (the younger sibling of Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler), Neil Schon (the ex-guitarist for Journey), Judas Priest, Johnny Winter, and The Kinks. You'll also come across some pretty old recordings from legends such as Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Billi Holiday, and Django Rienhardt. Overall, the selection is diverse and eclectic, covering rock, pop, jazz, world, new age, country, and classical. You could definitely spend a good amount of time searching this library and come up with some stellar discoveries.

When you purchase a complete album from HDtracks, you receive a pdf file containing the cover art and liner notes. The embedded download manager works on both PCs and Macs and launches automatically without the need to download any special software, guaranteeing universal compatibility.

Tell me if you find a killer recording. Perhaps, something you've been searching for, or maybe a golden nugget you just stumbled upon as you were checking out the site's abundant inventory of titles.