When you’re just getting into high-resolution music file playback, you may encounter a problem I had: Where can I find high-resolution music files to listen to? Except for Reference Recordings’ HRx discs, which are high-resolution files copied to a DVD disc, the primary way to obtain hi-res computer audio files is by downloading them. So where on the Internet do you go to locate such files?
Several websites have lists of download sites, but they don’t tell you if the specific album or piece you want to download is available there. Fortunately, there is a way to search the Internet for a specific piece or song: the Find High Definition Audio website. I think of it as the Google of high-resolution music—and it’s almost as easy to use as Google. Here’s the top of the opening screen:
As you can see, right under the page title, there’s a long field where you can enter search criteria, such as album title, song, artist, composer, and/or genre, followed by a typical Search button. All you have to do is enter what you’re looking for—whatever you know about the piece—and Find High Definition Audio will show a series of albums that contain recordings of the work you’re looking for, along with a list of websites where you can find a high-resolution version of the piece to download. You can then click on a particular website to purchase, then download the file. Simple, huh? You can also set filters to narrow down the site’s search returns; for example, you can have it return only FLAC files, or DXD files, or multichannel files.
Note that some of the websites could be in countries that don’t permit downloads from the U.S. Find High Definition Audio shows for what countries a website permits downloads. (An example of such a website is Qobuz, which only permits downloads in certain European countries.)
Cheapskate that I am, I sometimes use Find High Definition Audio to search for the cheapest price for a given piece of music. Recently, after reading Andrew Quint’s enticing review of Rachel Barton Pine performing Vivaldi’s The Complete Viola d’amore Concertos, and listening to it on Tidal, I wanted a high-resolution copy for my collection. When I checked Find High Definition Audio for a source, I found three websites from which I could download the album. I scanned the prices, and found they varied by three dollars among the sites for the identical album.
In addition to high-resolution versions of musical works, Find High Definition Audio also lists normal resolution versions available for download, which may be a faster and easier way to obtain an album than buying and ripping a CD.
Find High Definition Audio can also provide a list of ongoing sales of hi-res albums, a list of sites where you can find available high-resolution downloads so you can browse their catalogs, a list of sites with free music, a list of newly released albums in high-resolution sound, and if you register, it will send you an alert when new high-resolution albums become available.
Did I mention that Find High Definition Audio is free? Give it a try and you may become as addicted to it as I have become. Check out http://www.findhdmusic.com/.