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Music Downloading 101

A complete guide on how to download High-Res Audio and upgrade your music library

Diving into the world of High-Resolution Audio can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. There is so much information to grasp before you can become a master audiophile. So how do you start downloading High-Resolution Audio? What are the top High-Res Music downloading sites to look into? What are the audiophile buzzwords you should be aware of? A wealth of information awaits you, and we’re here to walk you through it.

We’ve gathered all the resources you need to help you download music from your favorite artists. Read on to learn how to quickly grow your High-Res Music library — we’ll have you speaking audiophile jargon in no time!

The Basics of Downloading Music

Start by familiarizing yourself with the lingo of High-Resolution Audio. Understanding the definitions of certain key terms will help you identify which songs are High-Resolution Audio quality and recognize which file formats are best for your music download needs. Here are a few examples of words you need to know:

High-Res Audio

Audio that utilizes a higher sampling rate than CDs and MP3 files for the encoding and playback of music. High-Resolution Audio preserves all of the details of your favorite tunes by retaining more data in the conversion process than original recorded music to MP3 files. Hi-Resolution Audio file formats include WAV, DSD, ALAC, FLAC and AIFF.


Lossy file compression results in lost data and quality from the original version and is associated with MP3s and AAC files. The resulting file takes up much less space than the original version, but much of the quality is sacrificed.

Lossless Compression

Allows original data from the recording studio to be reconstructed almost perfectly from compressed data via algorithms. This increases the sound quality and size of the file. Some file formats that match this description are FLAC and Apple Lossless.

To further your understanding of High-Res Music, you also need to know exactly how it compares to CDs and MP3s. High-Resolution Audio’s bitrate, or the amount of data transferred per second, is almost seven times higher than that of CDs.

This directly affects the music you listen to because lower quality music files (like MP3s) have the tendency to weaken the sound of drum cymbals, soften the bass response and blur the attack and decay of a plucked guitar string. You will definitely be able to hear the difference between MP3s and the High-Res Music you download.

Now you are almost ready to download! All you need to do is determine which format of High-Resolution Audio is right for you. High-Res Music downloading sites offer several different file format options for your convenience. These formats are categorized into two major groups: uncompressed files and lossless compression.

Uncompressed files take up more storage space on your device, but contain the most detail. Both uncompressed and lossless compressed files offer great sound quality, and you can always download test files to see which format sounds best on your playback device.

Where to Search for Music and What to Download

With all of that information in hand, you’re ready for the most fun part of the process — selecting your favorite songs to download into your music library. Now that High-Resolution Audio is gaining more traction, there are many different music downloading websites to choose from. You’ll be able to download your beloved artist albums in several different formats, including FLAC, DSD, AIFF and more!

The Right Downloading Sites for You

No matter what genre of music you prefer, you will be sure to find it on our favorite music downloading websites. Check out this list of our five recommended websites that includes a short description of the site, their available file formats and current music genres.

Whether it’s the all-original recordings of Blue Coast Records or wide-ranging collection of HDtracks, you will find the downloading website that will make your heart (and Walkman®) sing.

The Perfect Hits for Your Music Taste

If you’re unsure what music you’re in the mood for, don’t fear! We’ve listed some of the most popular album downloads of the year from Sony’s favorite High-Res Music downloading websites, so that you can stay on top of the latest music trends.

The Technology Behind the Music Experience

There are tons of cutting-edge new technologies that can help you experience your current music library in new ways. Get ready to hear your music like never before!

Tutorial: Turn CDs into Digital Music

If your CDs are gathering dust on your shelf, this tutorial is for you. Learning how to rip all of your CDs into a lossless digital music collection saves space and makes it easier for you to find that one song you’ve been pining for. This how-to guide will show you several music ripping software options. Latest hits meet old favorites, with one swift click of a button.

Upscale Your Downloaded MP3s

If your music downloads are already in MP3 or AAC format, consider using a Sony device with the new DSEE HX™ technology pre-installed. Sony DSEE HX™ software upscales your lossy music files to near high-resolution sound quality. The technology restores the details of the original recording and simulates the sound of a live performance.

Wirelessly Stream Your Tunes

If you like to stream your music library without any cords getting in the way, take a look at Sony’s LDAC™ technology. This Bluetooth®-compatible coding technology allows you to wirelessly stream High-Res Music downloads by transmitting at the maximum transfer rate of 990 kbps. That’s over three times more data than the conventional Bluetooth®-compatible audio technology. Lose the wires, and keep the exceptional sound quality!

Now that you’re armed with High-Resolution Audio knowledge, here are some recommended downloading websites and technology to help you properly enjoy your newly downloaded High-Res Music.

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