I read HDTrack's first few posts in real time, and yeah, they made some really bad mistakes in their response. Of interest to me personally, this came on the heals of a friend of mine talking about the difficulty of responding to criticism on the Internet. He claimed -- and I agree -- that we almost always end up looking like a butt! And it's not necessarily because we are a butt, it's just because the nature of criticism, and the nature of reacting to criticism. Combine the pressure to answer quickly with the emotional response to negative criticism, and we inevitably say stupid things. Sure, we can make an apology… but then we run the risk of being interpreted as insincere or patronizing, as well as actually being insincere and patronizing (case in point, AP Photographer Apologies for Editing Photo, stating "it happened to me.")
So I am willing to cut these guys a bit of slack in their responses. I also think we've been glossing over a couple of important facts that are to their credit!
First, and foremost, they actually stated on their site that the songs were CD Quality. We all know they make their livings from selling High Res music, so it's easy to see that stating certain tracks are not High Resolution would be detrimental to their bottom line. And it's not at all something they had to do.
Another thing to consider is that they revealed the CD Quality tracks based on their own testing. As if stating "The following tracks are CD Quality" isn't bad enough for sales, they actually legitimize that claim by revealing it was from their own tests. For comparison, consider that they could have watered it down, pointing to "a random blogger" as the source of concern. "Random Blogger" vs. "Our own testing" reveals… I don't think I have to ask which would hold more weight!
So in all honesty, I have a hard time seeing their actions as anything but them showing integrity!
Okay, sure I would have preferred they put resolution info on the main product page, And sure, they could have done a much better job of responding to criticism -- well, probably not (see above). But to me it really looks like they tried to do the right thing. Yes, I want them to continue with testing and revealing resolution, and would even prefer a greater level of disclosure. And I have other concerns similar to some already posted. But my concerns shouldn't stop me from recognizing the good things HDTracks has already done.