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List of lossless and high-res music (FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, DSD, DXD etc.) download sites

People regularly ask about where to buy CD quality or hi-res downloads (legitimately!) so here is a list of sites I know of. Please post a comment if there are any I've missed. Note that they must have music available in a lossless or high-res format available.

 

Format guide:

  • CD Quality = 16 bit, 44.1 kHz PCM.
  • Hi-res = Any of 24 bit; 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 or 192 kHz PCM.
  • DSD = Direct Stream Digital ie: SACD-type files that requires special playback software that can convert the files to PCM on playback or a DAC that can receive the DSD data unchanged.
  • DXD = Digital eXtreme Definition - 24 bit 352.8 kHz PCM. Only a few DACs can play back these files over USB though many computer players can re-sample the files on playback.
  • 5.1 = Dolby Surround Sound multi-channel.

 

Commercial sites:

 
Genres: Blues, Country & Bluegrass, R&B, Gospel & Religious, Classical, Pop, Electronic, New Age, Soundtrack, Historical, Industrial, Contemporary Cristian, World, Rock, Jazz, Holiday, Latin, Reggae, Hip Hop/Rap, Folk, Children's, Indie, Fusion and others.
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res.
Notes: One of the most well-known sites for hi-res downloads. Has a lot of re-mastered popular artists and famous albums.
 
Genres: Classical, Vocal.
Formats:  Hi-res, HQCD (High Quality CD physical media), DXD (in the future).
 
Genres: Acoustic, blues, rock, jazz, classical, country/folk, electric/instrumental, vocal, world, crossover, R&B.
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res, 5.1
Notes
 
Genres: Classical, jazz
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res.
Notes: Huge collection as well as physical media.
 
Genres: Asian artists mostly.
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res.
 
Genres: Various
Formats: DVD-A remasters (physical media only).
 
(See menu top-right for the listings on Klicktrack.com)
Genres: Classical (Norwegian artists)
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res.
 
Genres: Classical, New Age, Electronica, World, Ambient, Jazz, Hip Hop, Alt Rock, Electro Rock, Hard Rock.
Formats: CD Quality 
Notes: Unlimited download subscription service.
 
Genres: Classical, Rock, Pop.
Formats: Hi-res, CD Quality
Notes: Subscription service offers 2 albums a month. Product registrants get 3 months free. Trial available.
 
Genres: Jazz, vocals and others.
Formats: Hi-res
Notes: Most are on CDs or thumb drives. Does not sell direct.
 
Genres: Various
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res, DSD
Notes: Consists of a number of "micro stores" from various artists.
 
Genres:
Formats: Hi-res
Notes: Site only sells physical media (including hi-res files). See Linn Records or HIGHRESAUDIO for their download catalogue.
 
Genres: Classical, jazz, vocals.
Formats: CD Quality
Notes: $10 Annual subscription service. Members' area is not updated regularly and many files are WMV movies, but worth it for their direct-from-tape recordings. 
 
Genres: Classical, jazz, contemporary.
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res.
Notes
 
Genres: Classical, jazz, vocals, test disks.
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res 
Notes: No downloads. Audio CDs and DVDs with hi-res files only.
 
Genres: Classical, Vocals, contemporary.
Formats: Hi-res.
Notes: CD Quality only available as MP3.
 
Genres: Classical and country-specific.
Formats: Hi-res.
Notes: DVDs with hi-res audio files only.
 
Genres: Classical, jazz, country, pop, rock, French music, soul, funk, rap, electro, world, soundtrack, children, diction.
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res.
Notes: French site. Does not currently allow sales to US geo-identified IP addresses.
 
Genres: Not listed.
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res, DSD.
Notes: Hi-res up to DXD. May not work in all countries.
 
Genres: 
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res, DSD
Notes: Sister site of Downloads Now!  Blue Coast also has a free download section that can be accessed here
 
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classical, Jazz, J-Pop
Formats: Hi-res, DSD, DXD
Notes: Japanese language-only site. May not sell outside of Japan geo-identified IP addresses. Nice selection of 192/24 hi-res rock and pop titles not yet available in the US.
 
Genres: wide variety of self-publishing musicians
Formats: Bandcamp.com supports almost all digital formats, ranging from CD-quality and hi-res lossless FLAC, ALAC, WAV, and AIFF to lossy MP3, OGG, and WMA. Limitations may depend on the particular artist selling through the site.
 
Genres: eclectic
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res
 
Genres: various
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res
This is a search engine that will point you at a source of hi-res downloads if available
 
Classical music only:
 
Tallis Scholars' Renaissance music.
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res.
Notes: Also available from Linn Records. Their reproductions of Renaissance music are thoroughly researched and excellent.
 
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res.
Notes: Download, CD and SACD.
 
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res.
Notes: The Chandos site sells physical media and downloads are available from The Classical Shop (see next link).
 
Formats
Notes: "Service unavailable" -- waiting for this to be fixed.
 
Formats: CD quality, Hi-res.
Notes
 
Notes: Available through HDTracks.
 
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res.
 
Genres: Mostly dedicated to out-of-print vinyl-to-digital classical remasters using XR Remastering; some jazz and blues titles following the same XR Remastering process.
Formats: High-quality MP3s, FLACs (mostly CD quality, some hi-res quality), and CDs.
 
Genres: Mostly classical, with a some jazz and other recordings.
Formats: CD quality FLAC, 320kbit MP3, and a variety of physical media.
 
Genres: Covers all classical genres including vocal/opera, baroque and chamber.
Formats: DSD, CD and higher res quality FLAC, MP3, and a variety of physical media including CD and SACD
Notes: Quality formats are in 4 main types - MP3, CD (44.1/16 or 44.1/24), Studio Master (96/24) and Studio Master HD (192/24)
 
Genres: Covers all classical genres including vocal/opera, baroque and chamber.
Notes: MP3s, FLACs (assorted quality), and CDs.
 

Free track downloads:

Genres: Classical, Jazz, Vocals.
Formats: CD Quality
 
Genres: Classical and percussion.
Formats: 24 bit 96 kHz or 16 bit 44.1 kHz (CD Quality).
 
Genres: Classical (Norwegian artists)
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res, DSD, DXD
 
Genres: Various
Formats: CD Quality
Notes: Has a huge live music archive that is very worth exploring.
 
Genres: Christmas (others later).
Formats: CD Quality (Hi-res in the future)
Notes: Direct studio recordings.
 
Genres: 
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res, DSD
Notes: Whilst primarily a commercial site,Blue Coast also has a free download section that can be accessed here
 
 

 

Credit to Jazzfan, ManAtWork, opus111 and Brooko who previously added info to other articles with some of these links.

Comments (32)

http://www.qobuz.com/ huge CD quality library available both as subscription and downloads, they have a smaller selection of HD ("Studio Masters") and 5.1 downloads
I do believe Beatport has lossless downloads too, .wav in CD quality IIRC.
Thanks for the links. :)
Thanks!
I "unfortunately" also found this article from one of the above links:
http://www.itrax.com/Pages/ArticleDetails.php?aID=32
It basically says that hi res files not always are what they are said to be - for instance CD quality upsampled to 96kHz/24-bit.
That's an old article (note that the date is today's date). The reference article was written in 2011. I know that HDTracks has fixed the issue and, if you pay for something which turns out to have been mis-labelled, they fix it then email you immediately to ask you to re-download it at the correct sample rate.
One of the other sites above though actually states that their DVD-A disks are up-sampled CD-quality material.
Sound Liaison is a small Amsterdam based company,with a small but excellent collection.
It's studio masters waw files only,and all tracks can be auditioned on the site.
In their blog they talk about some of the issues mentioned by Currawong.
http://www.soundliaison.com/
Thanks Currawong. Didn't notice that the original article was from 2011. However, I do have an album that I bought from HDtracks about a year ago in 88,2kHz which now is sold in 48kHz only, which could be such a "bad apple", and I didn't get a mail about this from HDtracks. I will contact them about it to see what they say.
this is from a blog on the Sound Liaison website.
..''if you download from Sound Liaison you are absolutely sure you get a one to one copy of the studio master,96kHz/24 bit,with no conversion of any kind.
What you are getting is what we, the technicians and the musicians,has created in close collaboration.
You are in other words hearing exactly what we are hearing here in the studio,
The sound of each project is made with the musicians approval.
No external mastering by people not involved in the project has taken place.
No unnecessary heavy "Radio ready" compression plug ins.

just pure sound made with the best possible equipment,by one of the best recording engineers in the business...."
http://bandcamp.com/discover has a lot of different independent artists of every genre of music out there.
Great article currawong, you hit it on the nail :)
Wow, incredibly helpful! Thanks Currawong!
Super helpful! Thanks :D
Thanks vicacid for the additions. :)
Free downloads:
Anadyomene' Secret Rec.
http://anadyomene-records.com/
Genres: Vocal, Mystic, Sacred, Atmospheric, Transcendental-ambient, Deep-listening-music, Experimental, Other.
Formats: 24/96 Hi-res FLAC, CD quality.
Sorry, I edited the wiki :) Added www.gubemusic.com, repository for ECM studio masters, and a lot of other music. Based in Norway I think.
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