Lossless music downloads all the way. Take note everyone else!
We mentioned when we reviewed the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin that, eminently good as even low-ish bit-rate MP3s sounded from the speaker dock, lossless music was preferable. Unless you rip from CDs, though, getting lossless tracks onto an iPod is nigh-on impossible through legal methods. To help combat that problem, B&W has created Music Club, a source of just this lossless content.
Actually Music Club is much more than that, B&W isn’t just offering lossless music, it’s offering specially recorded lossless music. Music Club provides music exclusively recorded in Peter Gabriel’s Real World recording studio from a range of artists both well-known and not. A subscription (about £5 a month, paid yearly or bi-annually) to the club entitles members to download one new album per month, which is available only for that month.
Albums are supplied in zip files containing Apple Lossless (ALC) tracks that can then be imported into iTunes, transferred onto an iPod or burned to a CD. Bowers & Wilkins recommendation is to listen to these tracks through a dedicated Hi-Fi system, as that will obviously give the optimum experience.
As well as members of Music Club getting their hands on great music, the subscription also helps artists to create music they might not usually be able to produce. While B&W pays for, and profits from, the production of the album, the company’s involvement is only for one month. After this the rights to the album are returned to the recording artist, allowing them to distribute it more conventionally should they so wish.
It’s an innovative and, frankly, inspired move that gets the full backing of us at TrustedReviews. We love our music and anything that can give us more of it and in great quality gets a thumbs-up.