Riding the music revolution

STACEY KNOTT
Last updated 13:00 21/01/2014
Jordan
ALDEN WILLIAMS/Fairfax NZ
PREPARED: Living Sound and HD Music co-owners Phil Jordan and Ricky Dasler.

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A pair of Nelson retailers are jumping on a technological revolution they hope will change the way Kiwis listen to music.

Living Sound co-owners Phil Jordan and Ricky Dasler have created an online music store which sells high-definition (HD) music to download.

They are the only company in New Zealand offering this service, and theirs is one of a handful worldwide selling downloadable HD music.

Mr Dasler and Mr Jordan launched HDmusic.co.nz in September last year and run it from Living Sound, a high-quality stereo equipment store in Morrison Square.

The pair said HD music was the next step in recorded music formatting. They said HD music was gaining ground because music playback quality had suffered in recent years with the mp3 formats - where audio files were compressed to fit on portable music players or computers. When this music was compressed from its original recording it's quality suffered "so you are getting less music", Mr Dasler said.

While mp3 music files took up less room on a hard drive, that meant that they only contained between 10 and 20 per cent on the original recording's data. The HD music would be at least the same quality as a CD, or where possible the full studio master quality files, as used by the recording engineer.

Over the past 50 years, the way people listen to recorded music has moved from records, to cassettes, to CDs, and most recently mp3s, which Mr Dasler said is the only way some people have heard music.

"MP3s are a grainy photo of the original," he said.

He thought the difference between mp3s and HD music was "mind blowing".

"I was listening to an HD version of Fleetwood Mac Rumours with my wife, and she had a moment. When the drums came in, she said ‘I finally get it'," he joked.

Mr Jordan said many would find this access to better quality music a "breath of fresh air", especially for those who had high fidelity stereo equipment.

They would also be launching Australia's only online high-definition music store this year as well.

While they were currently selling music from smaller, independent music labels, Mr Dasler said they were in talks with companies about selling music from the major labels who well-known acts were signed to.

Mr Jordan said the website will be great for local artists who can sell their music directly through it.

New Zealand label Rattle which released local musician Richard Nunn's albums can be bought on the website, as well as New Zealand Symphony Orchestra albums.

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Mr Dasler said when there is more demand of HD music, he expected more labels to make theirs available.

"We want more content to cover as many people's interests as possible. When CDs came out there was a real shortage of artists then a flood of music came, once we have one major label come on board, there will be a domino effect with the rest of them."

- The Nelson Mail

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