Actually, I missed the real anniversary. The Google analytics feed started exactly two years ago today but the first post was uploaded earlier in April. From the humble beginnings of RealHD.Audio.com when a few dozen readers would stop by, the daily post reaches over 4000 people every day. And that number grows by about 10-25 per day. And it’s all thanks to you…the readers of the site. Whether you agree with the things that I write about or not, there are regular visitors that want to hear what I have to share. Thanks for joining me in the exploration of high-resolution music and other aspects of the music business.
Deciding what to write about every day has not proven difficult. There are always things going on in the world of high-end music. I monitor a few key websites and every day I receive emails with links to interesting articles from readers. I’ve authored well over 750 posts and see no reason to stop now. The emergence of high-resolution audio has been happening…albeit slowly…since the arrival of the first high-resolution audio formats back in 2000…DVD-Audio and SACD discs. The record labels didn’t really get the importance of the high-res formats…and they still don’t. They’re content extracting a few more millions of dollars from uninformed music fans from the standard resolution tapes stashed in their vaults parading around in high-resolution bit buckets. We need to get them to produce new recordings to high fidelity standards.
I’ve been working on the design for the HRADB.com site since I returned from Chicago. The High Resolution Audio DataBase is intended to be a resource for any quality conscious audio consumer. My plan is to list and evaluate every high-resolution album or track available on any of the high-resolution digital music download sites. Clearly, I have to limit the number of albums that will be represented on the site. Without reasonable restrictions, I could fall into the “everything every recorded” is a high-resolution audio file. This is the model that PonoMusic and the CEA/DEG/NARAS organizations have opted to adopt. The 2 million tracks available on PonoMusic might be the “highest-resolution currently available”, because they haven’t yet been transferred or remastered from the source tapes, but they won’t be listed on the HRADB site if they came from a CD.
The HRADB site will include ALL of the albums and tracks that have been made available from the big three record labels to their licensees. That number is around 13,000. In reality, I shouldn’t list the 13,000 either because they were originally standard definition sources (analog tape) and remain SD when transferred to HD buckets. But I have decided to include them on the site and include as much provenance information as I can get my hands on. I will be listing the source format of every track in addition to the delivery format. It matters.
The HRADB site will allow visitors to “filter” the albums displayed on the main page by a variety of important parameters including, format, mix type, provenance, specifications, dynamic range, genre, site, best selling, highest rated, and my personal ranking. Users of the site will also have the ability to search for the best prices, leave comments, and rank their purchases. I want the HRADB.com site to become a community resource for high-end music lovers.
Building the website is the first challenge. Getting access to all of the available “high-resolution” recordings will be more difficult. However, I’m convinced that I can provide a useful site within several months. It will continue to grow and hopefully provide a service to customers being ripped off by HRA sites that misrepresent the content they’re selling.
We can impact the business by peeling back the curtain and seeing the sausage being produced.