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.

2019: Please note that MQA is NOT lossless, so it wont be included here.

Format guide:
  1. CD Quality = 16 bit, 44.1 kHz PCM.
  2. Hi-res = Any of 24 bit; 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 or 192 kHz PCM.
  3. 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. DSD64 = 2.8 MHz. Dual-rate DSD = DSD128 = 5.6 MHz. Quad-rate DSD = DSD256 = 11.2 Mhz.
  4. DXD = Digital eXtreme Definition - 24 bit 352.8 kHz PCM. Requires a DAC that can receive and decode 384 kHz PCM over USB. Usually only used in recording music that will be distributed as both DSD and Hi-res.
  5. 5.1 = Dolby Surround Sound multi-channel.

Commercial sites:

Acousense
Genres:
Formats: Hi-res
Notes: Site only sells physical media (including hi-res files). See Linn Records or HIGHRESAUDIO for their download catalogue.

bandcamp.com
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.

Blue Coast Records
Genres:
Formats:
CD Quality, Hi-res, DSD
Notes: Sister site of Downloads Now!

Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound
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.

Cardas
Genres
: Jazz, vocals and others.
Formats: Hi-res
Notes: Most are on CDs or thumb drives with a handful of downloads.

Cedille Records
Genres: Classical, Vocals, contemporary.
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res.
Notes: CD Quality only available as MP3.

Downloads NOW!
Genres: Various
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res, DSD
Notes: Consists of a number of "micro stores" from various artists.

e-onkyo music
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.

Flacme.com
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

gubemusic.com
Genres: eclectic
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res

Hifitrack
Genres: Asian artists mostly.
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res.

High Definition Tape Transfers
Genres: Classical, Vocal.
Formats: Hi-res, HQCD (High Quality CD physical media), DSD, DXD.

Hi-Res Music
Genres: Various
Formats: DVD-A remasters (physical media only).

HIGHRESAUDIO
Genres: Not listed.
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res, DSD.
Notes: Hi-res up to DXD. May not work in all countries.

HDTracks
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.

iTrax
Genres
: Acoustic, blues, rock, jazz, classical, country/folk, electric/instrumental, vocal, world, crossover, R&B.
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res, 5.1
Notes:

Linn Records
Genres: Classical, jazz
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res.
Notes: Huge collection as well as physical media.

Magnatune
Genres: Classical, New Age, Electronica, World, Ambient, Jazz, Hip Hop, Alt Rock, Electro Rock, Hard Rock.
Formats: CD Quality
Notes: Unlimited download subscription service.

MA Recordings
Genres
: Classical and country-specific.
Formats: Hi-res.
Notes: DVDs with hi-res audio files only.

Nativedsd.com
Genres: Jazz, Classical, New Age, Acoustic, Various others
Formats: DSD64/128/265 as well as DXD

Naim Label
Genres
: Classical, jazz, contemporary.
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res.
Notes:

Reel to Reel
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.

Reference Recordings
Genres: Classical, jazz, vocals, test disks.
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res
Notes: No downloads. Audio CDs and DVDs with hi-res files only.

Qobuz
Genres: Classical, jazz, country, pop, rock, French music, soul, funk, rap, electro, world, soundtrack, children, diction.
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res.
Notes: Limited to Europe and the USA.

Sound Liaison
Genres: Classical, vocals and other acoustic.
Formats: DXD, DSD and lower.
Notes: Free sample in all formats from CD Quality up to 256 DSD and DXD.

2L
(See menu top-right for the listings on Klicktrack.com)
Genres: Classical (Norwegian artists)
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res.

Classical music only:

Chandos Labels
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res.
Notes: The Chandos site sells physical media and downloads are available from The Classical Shop (see next link).

Channel Classics Records
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)

Dacapo Records
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res.

Deutsche Grammophon
Genres
: Mostly classical, with a some jazz and other recordings.
Formats: CD quality FLAC, 320kbit MP3, and a variety of physical media.

eClassical
Formats
: CD Quality, Hi-res.
Notes: Download, CD and SACD.

Gimell
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.

Hyperian Records
Formats
: CD quality, Hi-res.
Notes:

The Classical Shop
Formats
: CD Quality, Hi-res.
Notes:

Presto Classical
Genres
: Covers all classical genres including vocal/opera, baroque and chamber.
Notes: MP3s, FLACs (assorted quality), and CDs.

Pristine Classical
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.

The Philadelphia Orchestra
Notes: Available through HDTracks.

Free track downloads:

Archive.org
Genres
: Various
Formats: CD Quality
Notes: Has a huge live music archive that is very worth exploring.

Bravura Records
Genres
: Christmas (others later).
Formats: CD Quality (Hi-res in the future)
Notes: Direct studio recordings.

Blue Coast Records
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

LessLoss
Genres: Classical and percussion.
Formats: 24 bit 96 kHz or 16 bit 44.1 kHz (CD Quality).

2L
Genres
: Classical (Norwegian artists)
Formats: CD Quality, Hi-res, DSD, DXD




Credit to Jazzfan, ManAtWork, opus111 and Brooko who previously added info to other articles with some of these links.
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About author
Currawong
I started with headphone hi-fi back in the early '90s when my father got sick of hearing the modern pop music I liked through my hi-fi system. In 2007, when the earpads on my headphones became too flat, I joined Head-Fi where I began the search for a good pair of headphones, then a good system to enjoy music with.

Comments

calaf

1000+ Head-Fier
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
 

LarsHP

Headphoneus Supremus
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.
 

peterBj

Member of the Trade: Sound Liaison
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/
 

LarsHP

Headphoneus Supremus
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.
 

peterBj

Member of the Trade: Sound Liaison
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...."
 

ffivaz

Head-Fier
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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