HDtracks and Sprint team up to bring high-resolution audio to smartphones

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HDtracks is kicking off a new collaboration with Sprint by offering a free high-resolution music sampler to its customers with either the HTC One (M8) Harman Kardon edition or LG G2 smartphone. Here are the hi-def sampler’s eight featured tracks:

  • “Truckin'” – The Grateful Dead 
  • “Queenie Eye” – Paul McCartney
  • “Let’s Get It On” – Marvin Gaye
  • “Trouble’s Lament” – Tori Amos
  • “Always with Me, Always with You” – Joe Satriani
  • “Gimme Three Steps” – Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • “A House Is A Home” – Ben Harper & Ellen Harper
  • “St. Thomas” – Sonny Rollins

It’s unclear what HDtracks and Sprint aim to do with their supposed alliance outside of this sampler offering. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse says in the release, “HDtracks has been an innovative leader in dramatically improving the sound quality of digitally downloaded music, but these breakthroughs were not available on mobile devices. We decided to change that.” 

But while Hesse makes it sound as if Sprint did something special to bring high-resolution audio playback to the masses via mobile devices, that isn’t actually the case. Several smartphones already on the market through various other carriers, including the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Note 2, already play several high-resolution audio formats. Perhaps this effort is really centered around making the masses aware that their phones can play files that sound significantly better than lossy MP3 files by offering some of the excellent-sounding tracks up for free. 

Regardless, the hi-resolution audio train has been rolling in to town for a number of years now, though recent advances in the field – such as the Neil Young’s stunningly successful Pono – have made it even more accessible, understandable, and downright desirable to the masses. Now we’ll just have to see if the average Joe is impressed enough to warrant the standardization of higher sample rates and bit depth.

[image: LDprod/Shutterstock]