But this is no longer the case, with the emergence of the first cluster of online services that provide lossless streaming/downloads – including Primephonic, one of the latest additions to the market.
Primephonic is the high-resolution classical music download store that had a soft launch at the end of last year, but is truly up and running now, offering albums in WAV, FLAC and DSD formats (the latter two in both stereo and multi-channel files).
According to a Primephonic spokesperson, the aim of the service is to offer a "dedicated classical music platform, with a large catalogue that covers every genre and period".
The library contains music from both major labels and small independent labels, while "extensive background information, covering every classical music topic" will also be provided.
"Taking it even further," added the spokesperson, "Primephonic is going to be an interactive meeting place, with a full blown user profile system and an interactive platform interface."