Canadians take the quality of their entertainment seriously. More than half of Canadians attended a live concert in the past year, most own an HD television, and – as anyone on social media knows – Instagram is regularly flooded with perfect portraiture of high-end culinary experiences. Yet, when it comes to music, nearly all Canadians still access music exclusively from MP3 providers and streaming services, which offer lower listening quality than vinyl once did. In short, Canadians have traded music quality for convenience, because – until now – the two could not co-exist.
Introducing Technics Tracks (tracks.technics.com) – a new, hi-res audio download service that will have Canada’s largest collection of 24-bit FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) audio tracks. Music lovers can now select from hundreds of thousands of 24-bit/192kHz tracks and millions of 16 bit/44.1kHz songs with no compromises, and all the convenience of digital downloads. We no longer have to choose between quality and convenience. That era is over.
What is High-Resolution Audio?
Simply put, hi-res audio delivers clearer, more dynamic sound than other file formats, especially the MP3. The nuances and depth of sound available through hi-res audio is difficult to describe, but some in the industry have compared these two formats to listening to music underwater versus listening to it above water.
“I’ve spent a lot of time in recording studios with artists, and this is easily the closest I’ve experienced to actually being there – it’s incredible,” says Eric Alper, music authority and Sirius XM radio host. “You really don’t know what you’re missing until you hear it. I got goosebumps and teared up when I heard music in 24- bit FLAC hi-res format– including songs I’ve heard a thousand times.”
Technically speaking, the highest quality MP3 file has a bit rate – a measurement used to assess audio clarity – of 320kbps. Hi-res music files that Canadians can now download through Technics Tracks have a bit rate of 9216kbps, which is approximately 28 times that of an MP3.
“It’s a game changer,” says Alper. “Technics Tracks is bringing pure music into Canadian homes.”
Why Technics Tracks?
Technics Tracks offers consumers the ability to easily download over hundreds of thousands of songs, and albums, from artists that reflect all tastes. If classic rock is your go-to genre, download Neil Young’s 1972 classic Live at Massey Hall, or Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon; if beautiful jazz vocalists are your weakness, search for Diana Krall or Emilie-Claire Barlow; if instrumental solos please your ears, get lost in the piano of Keith Jarrett or the guitar of Jesse Cook; if you just want to dance, bust a move to Daft Punk or Ed Sheeran.
“Listening to music can be an intensely emotional experience,” says Peter Bolte, GM Marketing for Consumer Products, Panasonic Canada. “For the past two decades, consumers have been experiencing a muffled version of music, enjoyed in isolation, and predominately delivered through earbuds. Our vision for Technics Tracks is to bring high-quality audio back to the masses so that they can experience the depth of sound – and connection – that a person feels when they hear clear music, through speakers, in the company of others who share their love of a certain track, album or artist.”
Technics Tracks has been built in partnership with 7digital, a leading global digital music and radio platform operator, to ensure that the store carries tracks from the world’s largest and most important record companies, including all majors, high profile classical and jazz labels, as well as titles from an unprecedented number of independent labels. Technics Tracks is also a rich source of editorial and video content on hi-res audio releases. Hi-res Tracks start from $0.79 CAD and albums from $10.99 CAD.
Along with Technics Tracks, Technics also offers two hi-res stereo systems in the Canadian market: The Premium Class C700 series and the Reference Class R1 Series, which retail for approximately $6,000 and $70,000 respectively. Technics also plans to launch additional audio equipment in early 2016.
“It’s important for consumers to understand, however, that Technics Tracks files can be played on other systems outfitted for FLAC files,” says Bolte. “For example, the Panasonic PMX70, PMX9, and PMX100, which range in price from $350-$600, are equipped to play hi-res audio.”
To browse the catalogue of music available, visit tracks.technics.com.
Technics is the brand name of HiFi audio products owned by Panasonic Corporation. A subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation of North America, Panasonic Canada Inc. provides a broad line of digital and other electronics products and solutions to meet consumer, business and industrial needs. Consumers seeking more information on Technics’ products can visit technics.com.