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Now that I have upgraded my entire desktop and headphone audio setup to include externals DAC/Amp I decided to get serious about the source music itself.  I have always just listened to my 44/16 CD rips and iTunes matched files up until today.  I just purchased my first 96/24 tunes: the entire remastered Rush collection off HDtracks.

 

Ok, so first question.  AIFF or ALAC?  I got AIFF and locally converted to ALAC for better storage space but should I be downloading ALAC directly? It took forever and I fear I may be missing meta-data in the local conversion using XLD on my Mac.

 

Also when I import into iTunes it does not seem to want to upload these tracks to the iMatch/iCloud service.  I would like my hd music also in iMatch so I can download it from anywhere.  Does AIFF upload rather then ALAC perhaps?  Anyone have any experience with 96/24 songs through iTunes or iMatch or trouble uploading ?

 

Anyway, my first impression is WOW!  The music is so much brighter and more impactful.  It sounds sharp meaning much more highs, not sure if this is normal but it might even sound a bit unnaturally sharp.  Is this just me getting used to a higher quality of source?  Really sounds clear even through my HeadRoom Ultra Desktop DAC/Amp which is limited to 48/16.  Maybe I need to upgrade that?  I have a WA7 at work which goes up to 32 bit and some absurd sample rates but unfortunately I am relying on iMatch to download those tunes at work since it isn't my computer and I need the HD space for work.

 

Also wondering if HDtracks quality is better then the 'Remastered' Rush tracks being offered directly by Apple.  Perhaps that would be an easier solution to getting quality since the download from HDtracks took forever and iTunes doesn't seem to play entirely nicely with these files into and out of the cloud.


Edited by groovyd - 8/25/13 at 2:00pm