Chihaya Idolmaster

Are There Any Anime Music Fans Out There (That Hate Lossy Music)?

For starters, if you are reading this blog, the high chance you are an anime and/or video game music fan. Now, many otaku and gamers can say they like the soundtracks, vocal songs, and music from their favorite shows or games, but thanks to scouring the internet you can find the soundtracks to your stuff rather easily. If you wanted to legitimately buy the music, one would just need to hop over to iTunes and get your soundtrack. Simple right?

But what if you just did not want your music in lossy mp3 or aac formats? What if you want the CDs, but maybe one or two tracks, or not bother importing a CD and keeping it pristine somewhere? What if you just wanted that particular song or track in your hard drive, and it was legitimate?

In a previous article where I debated Digital or Physical media, I certainly did not want to get my music on a CD all the time, as I moved around and did not want extra luggage for things that I did not absolutely love, but was willing to spend a bit for a track or two.

As my first post reasoning why to get Hi-Res Audio, I would want to get the best version of the songs I love hearing as much as possible, even if the best thing available is only on a CD. The reason why mp3s and such formats are called “lossy” is because there is a loss of information from the original files from the studio in order to make the size conveniently small.

Back in the 90’s and early 2000’s when internet speeds were slower and hard drives were smaller, this was a legitimate reason to have smaller files that did not hog up your hard drive space. But now its 2016, hard drives are way bigger, internet speeds are much faster, so why can’t I get my files at lossless?

 

Memories of Scouring Conventions for Rare Anime & Video Game Soundtracks

I remember my earlier Anime convention runs, when there were some stores selling anime music CDs and video game soundtracks, most particularly a store chain called Kinokuniya. Maybe around 2008 the number of stores that sold CDs at conventions (and I mean bigger conventions such as Anime Expo and Fanimecon) started to decrease that you could count them with one hand.

In the last years, I would see almost zero stores, as even Kinokuniya would not stock up at all (Heck their retail stores all over California have either a small or non-existent music sections). Really, I cannot even buy the CDs when just browsing like most people browsed record stores before! (Yes you can always buy CDs from sites like CDJapan, but sometimes you just want to window shop).

Anyone else noticed this during their convention runs? Is there even fans of anime music that listen not to lossy audio online somewhere? Just do a google search and you might find some outdated blogs, or blogs with illegal mp3 downloads.

But what about sites concerning lossless audio with anime and video games? Is it too niche, that this particular fanbase is too small or too quiet? I would want my site to be it, but also not only about lossless anime and video game audio.

I get that not every fan would want to collect the soundtracks and are happy with streaming, Youtube playlists, and iTunes purchases. But like anime and video games in general, there are so many factions of fans, that you would just want to find those that like something very particular, and in my case anime and video game soundtrack fans who like lossless and possibly Hi-Res.

 

Big Companies Can Change the Audio Distribution Game Overnight

If overnight the reigning emperor of digital file distribution (Apple iTunes) and its main rival (Amazon) made CD quality FLAC the standard format for distribution and ceased mp3s for sale, maybe that would be the hope for Lossless distribution in the future.

But other sites are changing that, from Bandcamp and Loudr distributing CD-quality (or better) music, Tidal streaming CD-quality music, and Hi-Res sites like Ototoy, mora, e-onkyo, and Qobuz for those that love their music and want it as best as possible. Maybe then more anime & video game music fans would appreciate lossless and transition to Hi-Res, but I digress.

If you are an Anime, Video Game, Doujin, and/or Vocaloid fan that want their music in the best quality as digitally possible, respond below or click the Email icon on the top right to send me a message! Or if you know any good anime music fans sites (that do not host illegal downloads)!

  • yizhan123

    Really great blog entry! I am also an anime fan as well as an audio enthusiast, and we share the same concern for the hi-res industry ~

    However, I have another concern about hi-res music ~ While the growing number of music being released in hi-res (new & old) is a good sign, one problem that still remains is dynamic range compression. For example, I just bought ‘Tokyo Audio Waffle – Sweet Electronic Compilation’ recently, and despite it being in hi-res 96/24, its dynamic range was reduced like any modern electronic music nowadays (evident when analyzing its waveform). While I’m certain that the 96/24 resolution does have benefits over the 44.1/16, I think it would be much better if they returned to the source and gave us a version without dynamic range compression. I mean, we audio enthusiasts have our own amplifiers. If we want it louder, we can just crank up the volume and we get to savor every last detail of the music. As I am also an audio engineer and music composer, I have heard the drastic effects of compressing the dynamic range of my own music.

    As I am the kind who always purchases CDs, hi-res audio is a double dip for me. Hence, I become afraid to spend on hi-res when I already have the CD for it unless I can confirm that it has a significant difference to the CD master (e.g. no dynamic range compression). Eventually, I would still purchase the hi-res even if the difference is not significant because an upgrade over 44.1/16 is still better.

    And also, I’d like to thank you for your page http://animehdaudiolist.info/ as it really helps me to find my favourite anime music on hi-res as well as information on whether they are upsampled or not ~

    • Thank you so much for your comment yizhan123! I also have that concern, in that Hi-Res released much may not be better, especially if the master is compressed and made “louder” for radio play and such.

      But sometimes the super-compressed version is the only one that is kept, getting a more dynamic range for the songs is near impossible. What I would wish is that record companies would disclose information whether their albums were made for dynamic range or brickwalled compressed for loudness. But for us enthusiasts the only way to tell is to purchase before checking the waveforms.

      As you may already know, even for the high compression of songs, many of those decisions are made by the record label, producer, or artists involved to get it to be on the radio and streaming.

      I wish I had a lot of money to buy every single or album and then check if they are compressed or not, and whether the Hi-Res version is worth the buy. I still buy CDs usually if that is the only one available or heard somewhere else that it is not worth the buy (or came with extra goodies). I also have an aversion for re-buying music that I already have on CD.

      Thanks again for your words of encouragement, and will continue to update this site and AnimeHDAudioList!

  • Brandon Lol

    Yea I agree its super hard unless u can get the CD right