Dumb file size question.

I just downloaded my first album from HD Tracks and was a bit shocked at the file size. I downloaded it at 96/24 in ALAC format. It is 1.26 GB! When I rip my CDs in ALAC format they are around 300 MB. What's up here? Is the HD Tracks file just uncompressed? Will iTunes compress it? Sorry for the stupidity just wasn't expecting to have to store and deal with files that large.
Twice the rate and 50% more bits makes 3x more data.  3x300MB=900MB, not far off from 1.26GB 
A full CD at 16/44.1 is about 750 Mb so that sounds about right.
I'm not good with numbers, but yes, the downloaded file is uncompressed.

Depends on the CD, while a CD can hold 750 mb not all of it is used most times. Some uncompressed CD I ripped in Wav could be as little as 400mb or as much as 700mb and the 24/96 file will be a lot larger than the same recording in redbook.
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What does that mean? They sound good? So what if each Redbook file is a different size.
They aren’t different sizes because information is missing it has to do with number and/or lenght of songs.
Right, that's why a symphony that runs 70 min. is a larger file size than a 30 min. rock album,  for example.
I bought this album, Blak and Blu by Gary Clark, Jr.,  for two reasons. First, it is an incredible album. Style all over the place and amazing talent in every one of those places.

Second, the CD has severely depressed DR and the low res streaming version (iTunes and Amazon) sounds okay but not great. The vinyl for this album has exceptional DR but my phono setup is low end. No sense spending money on quality I cannot access. I was surprised to see that the download version has decent DR. Not as good as the vinyl but close. This is unusual since the DR on most new music is similar on the CD and the download.

I had a 15% discount at HD Tracks so I bought it for around $16.

It sounds good. But at $20 without the discount and 1.2 GB in size I will probably not be buying much from HD Tracks except when they are the only option (for me) for a quality recording that I really like.

@n80, DR numbers are very good for a vinyl release in these modern times.
We have to assume those terribly compressed tracks are for the Redbook CD, although the source is not indicated.
The difference in DR for the download is because it is hires, so it was mastered as such.

@lowrider57  Agree, but many hi res download files have similar DR compression to the CD so you can't just assume the hi-res file has been engineered differently. In the case of this album it clearly has though.
The recording at the studio was mastered at either 24/96 or more likely 192 kbps. The file was sent to the mastering studio where it was processed for CD, vinyl, and download. All started with a hires file.
As you say, in this case the download is vastly superior.

Nowadays iTunes or streaming services are all sent the hires file. They compress it at their end.

On that DR page, in the comments section, the files were FLAC. They either converted them in their computer for analysis or they were sent FLAC files.
I don't know if this affects the DR numbers, probably not, but I usually see wav files being analyzed by their software.
As stated before, the highly compressed results are not listed as CD, but listed as lossless, source unknown. But, odds are it's a Redbook CD.
  Just some additional info for you.

I think there are bar code and catalog numbers that coincide with the CD but I have not confirmed that.

As much as I hate that CDs are being engineered this way and as much as I hate buying what, to me, seems, like a bloated file at a bloated price......at least with this album there is a digital option with decent engineering.
The ratio of data is about 3.3.
(96 * 24 ) / (44  * 16) ~= 3.3
3.3 * 300 = 990

So 1.2 Gigs is actually a little on the high side. ALAC and FLAC are compressed, but with FLAC the compression is user selectable (somewhat).
It might be worth seeing if you can improve upon that.

Keep in mind that while FLAC (and maybe ALAC) let you select compression effort, but being both lossless, there's a limit to how compressed a file can be.


At some point, I read about differences about the source these high-resolution websites get their music from. I forgot the details but there was lots of discrepancy among them, at least at that point in time. Sort of "rip the CD into (let's say) DSD". I have no further knowledge about that, just a faded memory of an article.

For now, and for a quick info about other websites, this has a few mentioned...


Some time ago, you said that you had no interest in downloads and will go on with CDs. I abstained, forced myself to, from suggesting you consider CDs on a hard drive. You and I have, at this point, downloaded same number of albums (1) and I have no real intention to make it more common. Something will probably trickle over time, I know. I still buy CDs and, unfortunately, records (rarely). I even bought a CD player recently. However, the difference in convenience between CDs and those same CDs on a hard drive is ridiculous. I suggest you, gradually, consider that option. It is really much nicer way of dealing with your music collection. Depending on your car, you may even take the whole collection with you on a trip. It is really better than you might have thought. 
You are right. And I’ve already done it. I’ve got about 60 of my 150 or CDs on the hard drive of an old iMac via iTunes running into a Schiit Modi 2 Uber DAC via USB cable.

A very modest setup no doubt. But very convenient. Apple Remote works very well from my cell phone.

SQ? Well, not that bad really. When my Arcam CD92 was fully functional I felt like played CDs were a bit brighter through the CDP. My wife agreed but actually liked the warmer less strident SQ from the ripped CDs.

Now that the DAC in the Arcam is dead I’m using it as a transport running through the Schiit and there is very little difference in SQ between a played CD and the ripped CDs.

This suggests to me that a better DAC will yield some SQ improvement. I’m watching Bifrosts on eBay.

But to be completely honest, when I’m listening to a well produced high quality ripped CD through the DAC I don’t feel like anything is necessarily lacking.

Definitely not inclined to fill up my hard drive with massive HD Tracks files whenever I can get a used $6 CD that sounds just as good, ripped or played.

Have also been studying the BlueSound Vault 2i. Seems like a one component solution. But that's $1200. My current set up set me back $110.
Disk is cheap, well worth the extra space used. Hopefully you have a high speed internet connection with unlimited data.
You can buy a decent 2TB Seagate usb drive for about $80 on Amazon, etc. Someday you might upgrade your rig and you will be kicking yourself if you compressed files due to the cost of storage. Always go with the larger file sizes and best sound quality available. 

Unfortunately, SQ will depend on the provenance of the recording. If you read that the source of the hirez is an analog master, you will usually get good SQ. Too many labels and HD Tracks in particular often upsample from a CD quality original to sell hirez for more profit. Especially on newer releases. Read the details where possible before buying and be selective! Cheers,
n80, I have all my ripped CDs on HD in ALAC transmitted by WiFi to DAC.  Since transmission, similar to your Schiitt USB is asynchronous, nothing on the side of computer matters as long as the data has lossless compression (ALAC, FLAC etc).

CD DR can be poor since it is made for average person that plays it on the boombox or small system (that requires compression) but some of CDs are sounding incredible showing no limitation of the media (at least to me).  Limitations of the sampling rate should show at high frequency short bursts (like sound of cymbals) since Nyquist's 2x applies only to continuous waves, but I cannot hear that.  (at least I couldn't before, since recently I suffer hearing problems).

There is a chance that LPs today are mixed/intended for audiophiles since everybody else uses CD players at best.

As stated above, do not go for lower resolution just because of memory capacity. With a little luck, you can get 4TB for $100 at major stores. Higher resolution files are frequently worth it in the long run.

In case you are looking for a one-box solution, make sure you can attach it to a different DAC. You have already been playing with those things so you are more likely going to do it again at some point than not. It may not matter right now, but Bluesound Vault 2i does not seem to play DSD which is one of the high-resolution formats many people use. Check other brands, too.
You should be able to choose a compressed but lossless format if you use a pc to play the music. Then you can use FLAC or WMA Lossless and the files will be much smaller.