A New Native DSD Download Site
At a 9am press conference Saturday, October 12, whose attendance was curiously dominated by Stereophile and our sister computer audio online site, AudioStream.com, Jared Sacks of Channel Classics and Philip O’Hanlon of On A Higher Note announced the November 1 launch of nativedsd.com. A world-wide accessible, multi-label download site dedicated exclusively to native DSD recorded stereo and multi-channel studio masters, the site promises centralized shopping for native DSD recorded Edit Master files, along with information and discussion of both software and hardware. We are also assured of “extensive site-wide search capability through the use of ID3v2 compliant metadata across all labels.”
Holland-based Sacks, who was the first recording engineer to obtain Sony’s DSD editing equipment, and released his first commercial SACD in 2001, promises dedicated pages for each label, with management in the hands of the label. So far, that includes Channel Classics and Harmonia Mundi, with a total of 15 labels in the potential pool. “There are lots of small guys recording in DSD who currently have no place to put their stuff,” Sacks noted.
Labels cooperatively determine the price point, which currently rests at $30 for mother files of a native DSD recording. Sacks arrived at this price by assessing the cost of high-quality vinyl. “Come on, guys!” he declared to anyone who thought the price too high. “You buy two beers at this price and you’re pissing it out.”
The “& Beyond” in the site’s title refers to plans to eventually offer pristine DSD transfers of analog recordings from multiple genres. 96 pages of downloadable material have been designed so far, with downloads including cover art and liner notes. Hardware sites for the 60 DACs that currently decode DSD will also exist, as well as video instructions in multiple languages, starting with English. Sacks noted as well that at least three DACS, from Oppo, ExaSound, and Sony, currently decode multi-channel DSD.
“I want to stop pressing SACDs because there is no margin it,” Sacks told his captive audience. When concerns about piracy arosethese are master files, after allSacks noted downloads will be tagged with their place of origin, and notices posted throughout the site. He also emphasized the importance to understand the cooperative nature of the venture, and the goal: to make the highest quality digital music more commercially viable and available.
Sample pages from site included new releases, “Coming Soon,” “Special Offers,” “Hardware News,” “Top 5 Downloads,” and a generous section devoted to Help, Settings, Company Information, and Resources. One Channel Classics page lists album name, genre, subgenre, composer, artists, etc. There’s also a page for customer feedback concerning hardware. It looks really, really good, including the mock page filled with fake Latin. If all goes well, the next phase of native DSD downloads is about to begin.