For years now audiophiles have been fighting against the wholesale movement towards digitizing music because of the poor audio quality given by compressed files. Now 7digital seems to be a taking a step in the opposite direction by offering the new Radiohead album as a 24-bit FLAC download.
With storage capacities of home and mobile systems growing exponentially these days, there is going to be more and more room for these high quality audio files and the move by 7digital could signal the first steps in a move towards HD digital music. This is the first release in the 24-bit format and 7digital has announced that it will also be making future release available in this format. “The overall aim is to pioneer the move to a higher quality digital format, ahead of competing digital music services, and encourage the music industry to adopt new, higher quality formats,” a statement said.
The album, The King of Limbs, is available exclusively as a digital download from 7digital costing £8.99 and will include a 16-bit FLAC and AAC 320kbps version of the album. This will allows listeners to easily sync and playback on music devices that do not support FLAC format, such as Apple's devices. Currently only a limited range of devices support FLAC including the PSP, Samsung Galaxy S, SanDisk PMPs, BlackBerrys and Logitech’s Squeezebox. Recent reports suggest that Apple is in talks with major record labels to distribute FLAC downloads which would probably fast-track the popularity of the HD format.
Ben Drury, CEO 7digital said: “We support listener choice and strive to offer our customers the highest quality music downloads possible. That’s why we’re pioneering the move towards higher quality audio formats that offer higher quality music than the CD equivalents.” As television and video has moved in recent years towards HD, it seems only a matter of time before the audio world does the same and the better-than-CD quality of FLAC looks like being the format of choice.
The Kings of Limbs by Radiohead is now available as an FLAC download in 32 territories including the UK and US. You can download it from here
Source: 7digital Blog