Re: iTrax now online (Finally!)
As most of you know, I'm a huge proponent of REAL HD Surround Music...a market segment that is not at the front of the either the hardware or software agenda. I'm pushing several companies to build a dedicated music server that would be able to download (or stream) real HD Audio from a site like iTrax.com. The MCE edition computers with a great sound card can accomplish this task and I highly recommend the stuff that Niveus Media makes. I've used their servers at the EHX show and had their top of the line box in my studio for many months. It's likely that AIX Records, iTrax.com and Niveus will have a bundle deal for REAL HD Audio in 2008...meaning you'll get the box with our content and have a direct connection to our download site.
However, it's the dedicated media player with a seamless connection (without a traditional browser) that will dominate in this area IMHO. I was contacted by Olive recently with a request to supply some of our HD Audio in 2-channel 96/24 PCM. They downloaded a bunch of tracks from the iTrax.com website for the rollout of their newest piece...which is capable of 96 kHz/24-bits! I spoke at length with the CEO and lobbied for a 5.1 player.
The future of music is going will be surround, HD and delivered without small round pieces of plastic. The caveat is the production chain that is producing the tracks...
Virtually all of the existing tracks in the catalogs of the majors are not REAL HD Audio...because they were recorded before the existence of HD recording equipment. Analog tape and standard definition digital are not the same as "source recorded" 96/24 no matter what post recording processing you do with the tracks. Hopefully, the new tracks will avoid the over-processed, dynamically crushed, EQ'd and "auto-tuned" stuff that is heard on the airwaves...but I doubt that will happen.
The catalogs of the major labels are full of incredible recordings...the classic tracks that define the era and evoke vivid memories...but they are not REAL HD Audio despite the marketing hype that others may use to describe them. They are the quality of the original CDs and nothing more...laudable but nothing that will push the envelope of recording and reproduction.
iTrax.com will never contain music that has been upsampled from SD digital or transferred from analog sources...only tracks that have been recorded at HD when musicians were n front of microphones will qualify. And it will not be limited to the AIX Records catalog. We've already secured deals with a couple of other labels that have some REAL HD Audio sources. Not everything they have in their catalogs can make it to iTrax.com but many of the newer tracks will.
The automotive world has Chevys and Ferraris...but not on the same sales lot. iTrax.com is the high octane racing fuel for those who have high end systems and can tell the difference between standard definition tracks pretending to be HD and those that really are...and our tracks are a whole lot less expensive than 108 octane racing fuel!