Table of contents

German translation available here

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Ordering your music

Downloading your music

Playing your music

What are DSD files?

Order your music.

What are the differences between HDtracks and other digital-music services?

HDtracks offers music lovers the highest-quality downloads available anywhere on the web. Many digital music stores only offer heavily compressed MP3 files. When you purchase an HDtracks file, it is the same quality as a store-purchased CD. HDtracks downloads will play with no DRM on any device. In addition, HDtracks is the only site to offer full cover art and liner notes in pdf format.

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What are AIFF, ALAC, FLAC, WAV, and DSD files? Which one should I choose?

AIFF is a studio-quality digital-audio format. It is an uncompressed studio-quality file that is compatible with several players, including iTunes.

WAV is also an uncompressed studio-quality file, compatible with different players like Windows Media Player and Winamp. WAV, however, does not contain metadata like album art or artist information.

ALAC and FLAC are studio-quality lossless digital-audio format. This means that they does not lose data like other types of compressed audio files. Lossless compression still retains low-level resolution of a standard CD. The advantage of ALAC and FLAC is that it takes up less room on your computer than an AIFF or WAV. Additionally, FLAC will play gapless audio, an advantage for albums and playlists which feature segueing between tracks. Several players are compatible with FLAC, including Winamp, Media Monkey and Songbird. ALAC is compatible with iTunes, Amarra, and other players, and is the recommended lossless format for iTunes.

DSD (Direct Stream Digital) is a 1-bit oversampled pulse density modulation format used to record music.

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Will I really hear the difference between the various formats?

You should hear a substantial difference when listening to the music on a home stereo. The music will sound cleaner, the bass will be tighter and you will notice a higher definition in all the instruments. If you are going to pay for digital music, you might as well own it in the highest-quality format available.

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Do I need special equipment to play HDtracks files?

No, you can play these through iTunes (iTunes is not compatible with FLAC format files without a third party plugin), Media Monkey (MediaMonkey is not compatible with AIFF files without an addon) or Winamp on your home computer just like you would play an MP3 file. The only difference will be that the sound will be a lot clearer with the HDtracks file. To really get the most benefit of an HDtracks music file you could burn a CD-R and play it on your home Hi-Fi system. Another thing to try is to hook your computer up to a good digital to analog converter and plug that into your home Hi-Fi system.

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What do I need to play 88/24, 96/24, 176/24, or 192/24 FLAC files?

Please keep in mind that you will need a media player that is compatible with both the FLAC format and 88/24 or 96/24 resolution files. We suggest a media player such as MediaMonkey (PC), Songbird (Mac/PC), or JRiver. In addition, you will also need a D/A converter that supports 88/24, 96/24, 176/24, or 192/24 audio.

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I live in a country outside of the United States. Are there territory restrictions?

Due to agreements with our member labels, there are certain restrictions on which territories we are allowed to sell certain content to. However, every day we are adding more territories to our agreements, so if you are able to see and order our content, then you may download it!

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What are you doing with my e-mail address?

Nothing. Your e-mail address is stored in our database and only used to contact you to confirm the purchases you have made at HDtracks.

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Which payment methods does HDtracks accept?

HDtracks accepts Visa, American Express, Mastercard and PayPal.

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Why do you charge more for certain tracks?

A: Many web-based music downloading sites sell tracks for $0.99. However, they are selling you low-quality MP3-compressed files. Full CD-quality files use more bandwidth and storage space so our costs are higher. In addition, we use specialized audiophile encoding processes to get the best sound. With HDtracks you might pay more per download, but you are getting a much higher-quality product.

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Why do HDtracks files take longer to download than files from other digital music stores?

AIFF is CD quality that is the same file size as a normal CD. It is about 10 times larger than a standard 128 kbps MP3 file.

FLAC is a CD quality lossless compression file that is about 6 times as large as a normal 128kbps MP3 file.

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What is DRM and why should I care that HDtracks offers DRM-free music?

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. It is a system that restricts people from using their music in a variety of ways and is generally frowned upon by music fans. DRM locks you into a certain hardware brand for the life of the music file. By cutting DRM out of the equation, we have enabled HDtracks users to play their files on any portable player system they wish.

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What is the user agreement?

The user agreement helps to protect the rights of HDtracks, participating labels, the musicians, and the composers (songwriters, etc.) Please contact us if you have further questions about this. You can read all terms and conditions here:

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I forgot my password

Please email HDtracks customer support at

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There was an error in payment when trying to check out

The name and billing address that you have entered in your My Account page must match the address that is on file with your credit card company. If you get this error message, please go back and make sure that you have entered your billing address correctly.

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I lost my Internet connection before the Download Manager launched but I still got a receipt. Now what?

Your order has been processed and is now in the system. Go to your account page and then click on the red Resume Download link in your order history to automatically launch the Download Manager and resume your download. A message will also appear at the top of the page that says "You have an order that is not completely downloaded. Click here to go to your account page to download your tracks." the next time you logon if you still have not completed download of your order.

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How do I update my account information?

If any of your personal information has changed, you can go to your account page, correct the relevant information and click on the red "Update" button at the bottom of the page.

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How do I add to my list of safe sites?

Hotmail users will have to add "" to their safe list of domains in order to ensure you receive email from us. In order to do this, first login to your Hotmail account. On the top right, click on the link that says "Options". On the next page, under "Junk e-mail", click on "Safe and blocked Senders". Then, on the next page, click on "Safe senders". In the box under "Sender or domain to mark as safe:" enter: Click on "Add to list >>" and you're done!

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Download your music.

How do I install the download manager?

Mac: OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and later
Windows: Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP
The HDtracks Downloader is not compatible with Linux operating systems (as an alternative, we recommend using Wine to access the download manager and receive purchases) or any mobile device (iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, etc.).

On Windows:
Windows Download Linka>

To download the file from Dropbox, click the blue "download" button at the top of the page. Then double- click the downloaded .exe file to begin the installation.

1. When the "Opening" dialog box appears, click "Save File"
2. When the "Downloads" window appears, double-click on the file. Alternatively, locate the file on your computer and double-click it.
3. When the "Security Warning" dialog box appears, click "Run".

IMPORTANT: If the download manager never seems to open, you may have anti-virus program on your computer that is blocking it from installing. This is common when a system is not recognized by the program when downloading it for the first time. You may need to turn off the anti-virus program and then install the download manager. Once it is installed you can turn the anti virus program back on. You will not have to repeat this again.

On Mac
Mac Download Link

To download the file from Dropbox, click the blue "download" button at the top of the page. Then double-click the downloaded .dmg file to begin the installation.

Please be sure to delete any previous instance of the download manager from your Applications folder before re-installing the software using the manual link below. The next time you order music from HDtracks, do not click the resume download button. Just open the "HDtracks Downloader" application stored on your computer.

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Why do I need the Download Manager?

The HDtracks Download Manager is the best way to download and sort your hi-res music library. The free application downloads and stores all your hi-res music in one, clean interface. Downloaded music is placed in the “HDtracks” folder within your computer’s “Music” folder

The Download Manger also allows HDtracks Support to communicate directly with your computer to start downloads, recreate orders, or fix albums. It is the quickest and most efficient way to receive HDtracks customer support.

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How do I launch the Download Manager?

You will need to install this program and run it on your computer in order to download your first purchase. It will then launch automatically on each subsequent purchase. Alternatively, you can launch the application from your Applications folder.

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Where do my files go once the download is complete?

By default, your files download to a folder called “HDtracks” within your computer’s “Music” folder. Press the “Show Downloads” button in the Download Manager to be brought to this location. You can change the download location under Settings.

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I clicked “Launch Download Manager” and all I get is a blank page with the URL “hdtracks://run/“

If you get this page, that means you need to install the download manager. Instructions for downloading are at the top of this page.

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My username and password seem to be correct, but the download manager will not let me log in.

First make sure that you are logging in under the correct username, which is the email address you used to sign up with HDtracks, and what you use to log into your HDtracks account. Your HDtracks Downloader username should look something like this:

Your password for the downloader will be the same as the password you use to log into

If you are entering your username and password correctly and the download manager still will not let you in, sometimes just closing and re-launching the download manager will solve the problem and allow you to log in. If that does not work, completely uninstall and reinstall the download manager. If your issues persists, please contact HDtracks support.

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Why isn't my Download Manager working?

If your Download Manager does not automatically launch and start downloading your order, please check your computer for the following:
- You have sufficient rights to write to the target directory
- You have enough free space on your hard drive
- You have not changed the name of the target directory (it is named My HDtracks Music by default).
- Your Internet connection is active and working
- Your firewall is not blocking our servers (particularly if you are in an office environment).
- Your antivirus or Internet security program (such as Norton) is not blocking outgoing Internet connections.
If you still experience problems, feel free to contact us.

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One of my songs “failed” in the Download Manager. How do I get that track?

Just close the download manager and re-launch it. Any failed files will download successfully. If not, please contact HDtracks support.

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I accidentally selected the wrong file format. Can I change it?

If you selected the wrong format, contact within 48 hours of the original purchase date. We will change the format in your account and make it available for you to download.
In your email please include your email receipt, HDtracks username (email), and the format you would like your music changed to.
*If you have not done so already, set your preferred file format in your HDtracks account. Once you have set your preferred format, make sure to log into your HDtracks account before adding items to your cart. Otherwise the item will default to AIFF.

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How do I get the audio files from the Downloader into my media player?

You will not be able to access your audio files directly from the HDtracks Downloader. Your files will be located in the “HDtracks” folder within your computer’s “Music” folder. From there, you can drag and drop the files into your media player of choice.

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Will the Download Manager work on my smartphone?

Unfortunately the HDtracks download manager is not available as a mobile app. You need to install the download manager on your computer and then you can transfer the files to your device.
*Please note that iPads/iPhones/iPods and most other mobile devices were not designed to handle large hi-res file sizes. You would need to change the encoding in iTunes or in an audio conversion program to a lower resolution to sync the files to your device. For iTunes, the function is in the file menu ("create new version" --> "create AAC version") which will create a new version (AAC) for your Apple device(s). You will have two versions (one on iTunes and for your device). Many fellow customers have done this and it works great. Other good file converters are DBpoweramp (PC), Music Converter Pro (Mac), and Max (Mac).
*Most portable devices will not play audio at resolutions higher than 44/24.

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I want my music to be downloaded to a different location.

Open the download manager and click “settings.” In the settings window, click “browse” to select a new download destination. Once you have selected a location in the browse window, click “open”/”ok”. Your settings will be saved. If you open the download manager and receive this pop-up message:
“There is no new order to download. You will only be able to login if there is any open order to download.”
Just click “cancel” or the “x” in the pop-up window to close it.

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I lost my music! Can I re-download it?

Unfortunately HDtracks' policy does not allow for multiple downloads of the same order after 90 days. This is why we ask that our customers back up their files. Contact HDtracks customer support for details.

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How do I download an album in different sample rates?

To download an album in different sample rates (resolutions) you must place two separate orders and download one at a time. This can be a bit tricky because the Download Manager cannot overwrite existing files with the same name. Please contact HDtracks support for assistance.

You can also change the format of your files with publicly available software. Some options are dBpoweramp for Windows and Max for Mac OS.

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Can I download music files to another computer besides my own? And how do I do this?

Yes, you can download music files to another computer. Just make sure to close the download manager before it downloads your order, then log in to your account using the computer you want to download to and click on the "Resume Download" link to launch the download manager and start the download.

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Play your music.

How do I import the album into iTunes, or another music player?

On iTunes, for example, you go to the first column File. Then, you go to the import folder. This will let you import any folder on your computer. Last, you go to the HDtracks folder and open up the album you want to import. Please note that the FLAC format is not supported by iTunes. If you would like to play AIFF format files on MediaMonkey, you will need to download a plugin that is available on the MediaMonkey site.

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Why won't my music play in iTunes/Windows Media Player?

Please refer to this chart to match your media player with the recommended formats. If you need to change formats, please see the software links above.

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Can I play HDtracks on my iPod or other personal media player?

Most iPods (except the iPod Shuffle) will play HDtracks AIFF files. Please check to see if your portable player will play AIFF, ALAC, FLAC, or WAV.

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How can I play my HDtracks through my home system?

You can connect your computer directly to your home stereo just like you would a CD player. There are also several devices on the market, such as Squeezebox and Sonos that can create a wireless connection from your computer to your stereo system. Please look at our links for other devices which can hook up your computer to your home stereo system.

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How do I import my tracks into iTunes or Media Monkey?

To import your tracks into iTunes:
From the iTunes "File" menu select, "Add Folder to Library". Find your "My HDTracks Music" folder, it should be on your desktop. Select the folder you want to add and then click on "OK". You should be aware that if you move the "My HDTracks Music" folder from the desktop somewhere else after you've already added it to iTunes, you will have to repeat this process.

To import your tracks into Media Monkey:

From the "File" menu select, "Add/Rescan Tracks to Library". Find your "My HDTracks Music" folder. You will probably have to go to C: > Documents and Settings > (your user name on your computer) > Desktop Folder. Select the folder you want to import and click on "OK".

Alternately, for both players, you can drag the files into the Library window.

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How can I set up an HD music environment?

HD files are the same thing as purchasing a CD but without the disc. You can burn your file to a CD-R or use a home music server ( there are some on our cool links page). The better your Hi-FI system the better your HD files will sound. A good Hi-FI system will translate into a good HD music file system.

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What are DSD files?

What are DSD files?

DSD (Direct Steam Digital) is a 1 bit over-sampled pulse density modulation format used to record music

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What computer music player do I need to play back DSD?

There are several music playback software and hardware options available such as Foobar 2000, Amarra, Korg Audiogate, Jriver, Audirvana, Pure Music, and many others.

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What DACs support DSD?

There are many consumer offerings from Mytek, Korg, Teac, Ayre. Here is a partial list courtesy of Audio Stream.

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Does iTunes support DSD files?

No. As of this writing, iTunes is not compatible with DSD audio. Use one of the player programs listed here.

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