Qobuz has launched a music download store to run alongside its CD-quality subscription streaming service, and claims to have "the largest catalogue of HD downloads in the world".

"You won't find MP3 files here!" is the claim from Qobuz, which now offers thousands of singles and albums in CD-quality and above, alongside its streaming music service (the first such service to deliver CD-quality FLAC files).

The new Qobuz downloads store - which launched in the company's native France and is now available in the UK and various other European countries - offers all tracks at a minimum 16-bit/44.1 kHz (lossless CD-quality), while many  'Studio Masters', delivered as 24-bit/192kHz high-resolution audio files. A quick look on the Qobuz site seems to indicate that there are the best part of 20,000 albums available in high-resolution formats.

Qobuz has beaten HD Tracks to the punch by launching in the UK, with the HD Tracks UK launch that was promised soon after CES yet to materialize.

In an effort to counter some of the accusations around HD music download sites, Qobuz has also made clear it will only be selling bona fide high-res files: "The albums sold by Qobuz in 'Qobuz Studio Master' quality are supplied to us directly by the labels. They are not re-encoded from SACDs and as such we guarantee their pedigree. We refuse to accept suspect offerings simply to enlarge our offering."

Album prices seem to vary from around £10 to £15 for high-res releases, with a few quid discount on the CD-quality downloads. The CD-quality, 'Qobuz Hi-Fi' music subscription service remains at £19.99 per month, or £9.99 per month for the 'Qobuz Premium', 320kbps MP3 version.

More after the break

The best news? If you are already using the Qobuz music service, some members appear to be receiving a 50 per cent discount voucher via email to use on the new download store, so check your inbox... 

MORE: Qobuz streaming review

MORE: Best music streaming services 2014

 

Comments

GrahamDB's picture

HD Tracks UK

I believe HD Tracks UK does exist - it looks very similar to the US version but the prices are in pounds and there is less choice.  A Google search will find the site. Talk about low key.

ikonos44's picture

Some teething probs, but good

Used this over the weekend and was pleased with what I got. The site has some real problems with language selection (if you find an album you like, 'favourite' it so you can find it again) and the downloader is slow, but its great to buy lossless CDs for the same price as iTunes.

Andy Clough's picture

Qobuz hi-res

I'm going to give it a go tonight, although one of the 'Studio Master' albums I'm looking at (24/192) is £24.

matthewricha's picture

Qobuz

I recently bought 5 hi-res albums on Qobuz Inc MJ Thriller, Daft Punk RAM, Aerosmith Pump, Maroon 5 V etc. Got 50% off as used trial streaming service in the past. Quality of Pump is sublime on the NW-ZX1 ! As others have mentioned a few niggles with language and also the fact I requested FLAC files and initially got WAV, but this was easily solved. Think it's fantastic news that high quality recordings are coming back!

Andy Clough's picture

Qobuz hi-res

Had no problems downloading a couple of albums in hi-res, including a superb two-disc 24/192 recording of Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Berlin Philharmonic playing Schumann's Symphonies Nos 1-4. Sounds fab.