Anyone with HD Tracks download experience to share

I recently took the plunge into computer based music. I set up a system consisting of an Ayre QB-9 feeding into a Jeff Rowland integrated and, in turn being fed by a new Apple mac-mini with a 6 terabite Drobo hard disk. One thing motivating me was the possibility of higher rez downloads. The Ayre will process 24/96 downloaded material. I tried the two sources I knew of: Linn Records based in Scotland, and HD Tracks thru Chesky records. The Linn experience could not have been better. Unfortunately, the catalog is mostly classical and obscure jazz artists. The Linn service was easy to sign up on and included test tones and a free sample; the better to test system compatibility before forking over real dollars. I downloaded an album of 24/96 material in fifteen minutes. The HD tracks experience was a nightmare in comparison.
First, I made the mistake of paying with Paypal which HDT offered as an alternative. After paying, I carefully followed directions to perform the download. After hitting download, the process mysteriously froze in place. I backed out 3 times and signed back in. I confirmed that Paypal had sent the funds. Finally, some 18 hours passed and, unexpectedly the downloading commenced.
The conversion of the FLAC files to Apple MPEG 4 thru Max worked like a charm and I was soon enjoying 24/96 downloaded songs (The Persuasions) thru the Ayre. I quickly ordered 3 albums of music and began downloading songs about 27 hours ago. When i checked the progress of the downloads, I was about 66% thru the second album. I could not believe the glacial pace of the download! I closed HDT Download Manager, reopened, and signed back in. I then discovered that HDT had wiped out all the previously downloaded songs and began again with the first album. In a word. "HD TRACKS" IS NOT READY FOR PRIMETIME! The help and instructions are very spotty at best. They have an extensive catalog but I caution any audiogoners to wait for a months before looking to buy high rez download from HDT.
One other note: IS CHESKY RECORDS OUT OF BUSINESS? I tried numerous times during the past days. All calls were made duing their stated work hours. The voice mailbox was full and not taking new messages. It seemed a strange way to communicate with the public for a healthy ongoing concern. My experience with HD Tracks and the inability to call or even leave a message for Chesky Records makes me think that not all is well with that organization.
I have not downloaded hi-res (24/96) from HD Tracks, but I have downloaded a number of 16/44 albums from them with no issue whatsoever. I'll admit their download app is unusual, but the speed has been good for me (I do have an extremely high speed internet connection at home).

I guess, as with all things audio, YMMV.


Owning JR MC for some time now, an offer from J River came to me via email recently indicating a free download from HD Tracks was available to all currently registered MC owners. The sampler download was in 24/96 pick the format of your choice, FLAC, AIF, WAV.

SUITS ME… if it’s free it’s for me…. Yadayada… I refused to input my CC info when requested as it was a FREE download. I had to do the wash rinse repeat thingy too… several times. OK their download manager in my firewall, etc… Ultimately, I got all the tracks involved. Although at the time, the download mgr. was working unbeknownst to me as it ran in the background.

I sent along an email about the whole affair and the issues I encountered along the way… I’ve not received a response yet. It’s been a couple weeks now. I don’t expect one. I don’t expect I’ll return to HD TRACKS for a while yet either.

A large number of the albums I was interested in proved to be unavailable for HD file purchase too, even though it was indicated previously as available… the following page said otherwise.

HD Tracks dot com had some issues then and might still it seems. I’m not keen on spending $$$ where I can’t reach out and touch someone there in some format…. Especially if the process has any noticeable shortcomnigws during the process.

I think it’ll be quite some time before these HD TRACK SITES get as smooth as the itunes store process, or have anything like the variety itunes offers…. When they do however… Glory!

At $2.50 @, things should be quick and easy and smoothly done… and intuitively simple for the end user things shouldn’t make sense to only the folks who made the site.

BTW…. Rhino is even worse to navigate… so I never even got around to joining up or buying any of their stuff.
Further update. As with the first download; the three album downloads suddenly began without a hitch and went thru to completion; more than 24 hours after the first attempt. In honesty, I can't say whether the problem lies with HDT or my apple system or the internet. I will continue to download from HDT but no more than an album at a time. I like their catalog but the process is spooky. I've continued trying to call Chesky Records but no answer. On a positive note, someone there emptied their voice mail box so I've left another message. Maybe they are just really busy.
I've had a relatively easy time downloading from HDTracks as well. As John says, their download app is odd, but speed has been excellent. I was especially impressed with the speed on hi-rez when I downloaded at work.
I have downloaded over 40 albums from them without a hitch.

24/96, 24/88, 24/192

alternating internet connection speeds sometimes effect download time, but that's about it.

Nobody else out here is offering this service (high-res.) with this large a selection.
UPDATE; I did get a response back for HDT. One suggestion they had which I will try is to use a direct wired connection to my cable modem and avoid the wireless setup I have within my house. I only use one computer at a time, but the wireless feature may disrupt the download in some other fashion.
They finally got my attention when they started puting on Acoustic Disc labels content.

FWIW- My experience with HD Tracks was similar to Ce511's.
Always hardwire when downloading files of this magnitude. Wireless conections can be unreliable .
I got the good results I mentioned above using hardwired connections.
I have been using HD Tracks since they started offering HiRez downloads and I have never experienced a problem with them or their download service. I am completely happy and I have recommened them to others who are also without complaints. I use them wirelessly also without a hitch.
works fine for me!!!
OK, I wasn't around a year ago, but my HD Tracks experience has been wonderful...the selection of rock and jazz has greatly improved and the download is a breeze...I love HD Tracks.