HDTracks 'Quietly' Remove Previously Sold 'HD' Music!

As a result of my preparation for Cyrus Stream X testing, I decided to do a little research in the resolution quality of some 'HD' music I downloaded last year. When I pay for a 24bit/96KHz album, I expect it to be a 24bit/96KHz album, somewhat stupidly perhaps. 

The album in question is
HDTracks' Albert King & Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'In Session' 2009 Stax Records re-master. It's described as a 24bit/96KHz HD album in FLAC format. It really is a great album & I've loved listening to it since buying it last April. However, having read a few online articles concerning problems with CD-upsampled albums being sold, perhaps unknowingly, as 24bit/96KHz, curiosity got the better of me & I thought I'd perhaps scrutinise 'In Session'.
The aforementioned articles include:
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/Look-what-Linn-sold-2496
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/2488-Mutter-Carmen-Fastasy-Native-or-Upsampled
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/Many-ECM-hi-res-titles-have-been-pulled-line
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/Some-more-crap-HDTracks

I used the latest & free, open source
Audacity audio editing program on the Mac to investigate the FLAC files in the 'In Session' album. It's able to produce a frequency spectrograph of the data & a frequency plot of the data. I know that earlier versions of the software had issues with these abilities, but this isn't case with the latest version. I've used the software to investigate a large number of HD albums recently. The variation in audio frequency between the albums is easy to see with the software.

Having spoken to Steve (SteveC) about these issues on the
CyrusUnofficial forum & based on the results of the plots, I decided to send HDTracks an email. I was going to say more, but I didn't, well, not yet anyway.
Track 11 on the album is called 'Don't Lie to Me'. How very b****y fitting, I thought. 


Below is the content of the email I sent to HDTracks on May 28th.
As a result of my ‘hounding’, they finally removed the album from sale on June 15th.
However, they’ve given no reason for its removal, nor have they made any attempt to let other previous buyers know about this & provide them with refunds.

If you're as an untrusting individual as I, then I suspect you may check your downloads as well. 


Further information & an update of all communication with HDTracks is available on the
CyrusUnofficial forum.
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Hi Scott.

I'd like to let you know of a problem I seem to have.
I paid for (order number HDxxxxx - account: xxx@xxxxx.com) & downloaded Albert King & Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'In Session' album on 9th April 2010 from HDTracks, expecting it to be a 24bit/96KHz download.

Although I think it's still a great album, curiosity got the better of me & I decided to check for the possibility of frequency cut-off, which is quite usual for tracks which have passed through some form of frequency capping, either intentional or not.


Below are the Audacity frequency spectrographs & FFR plots for two of the tracks which I downloaded:

a Track 01 - Call it Stormy Monday:





b Track 11 - Don't Lie to Me:





The same situation is quite apparent for all of the tracks which I downloaded on the 'In Session' album, namely that they have been upsampled from a CD-quality source, with a high-frequency cut-off at around 22.05KHz.
A true 96KHz recording would certainly include data from 22.05KHz up to its 48KHz maximum. To say that these recordings 'just don't go that high' will give me greater cause for concern at your lack of understanding of this information.
The software I have used to produce the data above has been used to identify upsampled tracks from both yourselves & also other HD audio sellers with great success, so please bear this in mind, should you want to blame the problem as a software discrepancy.


I wouldn't have minded if HDTracks knew about this & took the subsequent opportunity to let me know of this. This has not happened, unfortunately.
I also do not know if this is a problem which has since been rectified. ie Have you now changed the tracks, so they are now 'true' 24bit/96KHz recordings?
If no changes have been made to the downloadable tracks, then this situation is even worse than I first thought, so please enlighten me.

As a result of this, I am somewhat annoyed & will expect a Paypal refund of $17.98. I will also expect some form of gratuity, based on the time wasted in sorting this problem out.
I also expect you to let me know precisely how HDTracks will now let other customers know of the possibility that they may too have downloaded incorrectly-described CD-upsampled music from your site.

If I do not here from you soon, Scott, then please be aware that I will take every opportunity I have as a UK audiophile to let other potential purchasers know of the reason for my annoyance with your company.


Best wishes.

Mr Viv
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