How to get the most out of the music you download

The goal of the Linn Records download service is quite different from other music download services. We want to use download technology to bring interesting, high quality, well recorded music to your home, with a technical quality equalling or exceeding CD.

Customer comment...

"I am very impressed. I have been looking for a system like this for ages." A. Mackay

The best way to listen to Studio Master music is through a Linn system
How to play downloads on your computer  
How to play downloads through your hifi  
Burning downloaded music onto CD 
Burning downloaded music onto DVD-A


Our first music was recorded on analogue tape recorders and released on vinyl, which we mastered on a cutting lathe we built ourselves. We started to use digital recording only after we had reduced the problems of the format down to a level where the benefits appeared. Our first digital recordings were made using an A/D and D/A converter system we developed as an add-on for a Sony digital recorder.

We started to release music on CD when we understood what was wrong with it and how to make it sound good. We were early adopters of HDCD, a fully compatible enhancement to standard CDs which gave substantially better performance. From early in the evolution of the SACD format we worked closely with Sony. Linn were the first company to bring a 'Universal' disc player to market which truly delivered the capability of all formats, including the high resolution DVD-Audio format.

So our move into music downloads may seem to be a backwards step because downloads are associated more with low fidelity, highly compressed pop music than with the music and sound quality on which we have built our business. However, it's important to separate the technology of downloads from its application. We have found a way to benefit from download technology to bring you better music at higher quality than CD.

At Linn Records our 'standard' (CD quality) download quality will result in music files on your computer which are identical to those you would have, had you bought the CD and ripped it into your computer. In addition we also provide a moderately compressed MP3 version suitable for easily loading in to any portable music player. Our real interest however is in using download technology to provide music in formats which are many times better than CD (studio master quality).

Our goal is to let you have the music exactly as it was produced in the studio or live performance, before it was reduced to fit on to a CD. The common digital audio formats used in a recording studio convert the analogue microphone signals into about 16 million digital levels. The CD format contains a maximum of about 65000 digital levels. The analogue microphone signals are sampled at least 88200 times per second, often faster. The CD format can only operate at 44100 samples per second. This is an enormous increase in the quantity of audio information over a CD, despite the files being only 3 times the size of a CD format file. With fast internet connections it is technically and commercially viable to deliver this quality to your home. 

You can now listen to the best quality downloads on the best quality digital music player.  The Linn DS digital stream player is the new reference-standard source component from Linn and the first authentic hi-fi product to stream digital music over a standard home network. In true Linn ‘the source comes first' tradition, the Linn DS digital stream player improves the performance of any hi-fi system.  A breakthrough product and original Linn design, the Linn DS digital stream player is also completely open in terms of digital music formats and control. The Linn DS digital stream player supports the highest quality open formats (including FLAC and WAV) and plays all high quality audio sample rates and bit depths natively.