HDtracks.com Offers Discerning Music Fans DRM-Free* CD-quality Downloads from Leading Independent Labels

HDtracks, founded by David and Norman Chesky of the audiophile record label Chesky Records, today announces the launch of its ambitious audiophile-quality music download Web site (www.hdtracks.com) that offers music enthusiasts high-resolution recordings from a distinguished and diverse stable of thousands of  artists, including Smokey Robinson, Joe Jackson, Bob James, Buddy Guy, Nina Simone, Earl Wild, Zubin Mehta, The Kinks, Of Montreal, Yo La Tengo and Jerry Garcia, from 60 independent labels around the world. Music can be downloaded in high definition uncompressed AIFF or lossless FLAC format files for playback on home audio systems, including PCs, Macs or music servers, or as 320kbps mp3 files that far exceed the quality of standard mp3 files for playback on iPods and other portables.

HDtracks offers an intriguing alternative for the current “iTunes” music buyer. In addition to offering consumers entire albums at value-pricing ($11.98), complete with PDF-file downloads of album cover art and full liner notes, it is the first site to provide nothing but high-definition, DRM-free downloads for both PCs and Macs playable on any home or portable device. The site also offers thousands of music titles from diverse genres (including blues, classical, country, folk, gospel, jazz, latin, new age, pop, R&B, rock, soundtracks and world music) that are often overlooked by music sites designed to be “everything for everybody.” (Editor’s Note: A complete list of independent record labels associated with HDtracks is attached.)

“HDtracks is like the cool Greenwich Village record store of yesteryear, where you can always discover something different and worthwhile that you’d never find anywhere else,” said site co-founder Norman Chesky. “And by focusing on the sale of complete albums and giving music enthusiasts the ability to download cover art and liner notes, we’re also restoring key components of the music experience not enjoyed since the days of vinyl, and not offered by any other music site.”

High definition music files deliver greater audio detail and realism than the standard compressed 128 kbps mp3 files commonly heard by the average iPod and mp3 player user. By preserving more of the original digital information in the recording, the AIFF, FLAC and 320 kbps mp3 files offered by HDtracks retain more of the original audio performance. In offering all three of these formats as an option for any download, HDtracks gives buyers the ultimate flexibility for playback:

· AIFF format files deliver uncompressed CD-quality music that is compatible with iTunes, iPods and Winamp

· FLAC format files deliver CD-quality lossless compression music files that allows audio to be downloaded at a faster rate than AIFF and is compatible with Media Monkey, VLC, Songbird, Mac Flac, Toast and Winamp

· 320 kbps mp3 format files enable quick download times and universal compatibility for all portable mp3 media players

Furthermore, in the coming months HDtracks will offer select titles in ultra-high resolution 96kHz/24-bit files that provide DVD-Audio sound quality for music enthusiasts who seek the very finest audio quality available.

“Serious efforts have been made throughout history to deliver a pristine live-music experience, from the design of concert halls with perfect acoustics to the building of precious hand-made instruments, to the years of work put in by performers to perfect their craft,” said site co-founder David Chesky. “We offer the best alternative to those music enthusiasts who will not compromise and accept recorded music that is compressed, flat, lifeless, and represents a mere fraction of the original performance.”

Not surprisingly, accomplished musicians frustrated by how typical downloads diminish the quality of their work have responded favorably to HDtracks. “At last!,” declared nine-time Grammy winner Paquito D’Rivera. “With the invention of HDtracks, music lovers can not only enjoy CD quality, but also liner notes and photographs of their favorite artists. The future is here!” Legendary concert pianist Earl Wild noted that HDtracks “is the only music download site that retains the exact experience of my audiophile-recording CDs. Anyone particular about sound quality should feel comfortable using this site exclusively.” Renown flugelhorn master Chuck Mangione simply said, “I love the way my recordings sound!”

HDtracks features music from the following independent labels:

Acoustic Disc

Alligator Records

Appleseed Recordings


Audium Records

Bar None Records

BHM Records/ZYX

Black Box

Blind Pig Records

Blue Jackal Entertainment

Brodsky Records

Calvin Records

Chesky Records

COE Records

Collegium Records


Daemon Records



Evidence Records

Fatboy Records


HipBop Records

Hyena Records

Imago Recording Company

Ivory Classics

KOCH Records

Liquid 8 Records

Luaka Bop

Marquis Classics


MDG Records

Miles High Records

Mode Records

Musical Concepts

New Albion Records

New World Records

OhBoy Records


Pachyderm Records

Penitentiary Records

Reader’s Digest

Reference Recordings

Renaissance Entertainment


Revenant Records


Signature Sound Recordings

Silva Screen Records

Sundazed Music

Sunnyside Records

Taang! Records

Taxi Records

The Children’s Group


Vanguard Classics

White Line

Wigmore Hall Live