FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Buying Linn Records music
How do I buy music from Linn Records ("Linn")?
What are online sales?
Which online sales method would be best for me?
Download Music Formats
I only have a dial up connection, what should I do?
How do I know how long the download will take?
What type of computer will I need?
How do I download the music?
How long is my download available to me?
Can I buy individual tracks as well as albums?
What happens if I purchased a combination of CDs and downloads?
I have filled up my hard drive. What do I do?
How do I ensure that I don't lose all my music if my computer fails?
What are cookies?
Why are downloaded music files often poor quality?
So, what download formats do you actually offer?
What does compressed mean?
What does Lossless mean?
What does Studio Master Quality (BEST) mean and how do I play it?
My downloads are very slow / keep failing. Why is this?
Playing your downloaded music
How to access your download
How to download track information
Once I have downloaded music where and how can I use it?
How do I play back downloaded music through my hifi system?
How many discs am I allowed to burn?
Which types of portable media player can I use?
I have an iPod. How do I get my music on to it?
Can I play studio master files on a Unidisk player if burned onto a DVD and what kind of hardware is needed to use the high definition downloads?
Can we recommend a digital media receiver?
Which payment methods do you accept?
What happens to my credit card data once a transaction is completed?
Is this an international site or do I need to be resident in a particular country?
Can I convert downloaded files to another format?
What type of CDs do I use if I want to burn a disc?
I have burned a CD that sounds great now but how do I make it look like a professionally produced disc?
I have burned a disc and it does not sound very good. What could be wrong?
Is this all legal?
Terms and conditions
Where can I find a full set of your terms and conditions?
Buying Linn Records music
- How do I buy music from Linn Records ("Linn")?
There are two main methods of music delivery. We sell discs through all the major retailers and distributors worldwide and we also sell directly to customers online from www.linnrecords.com.
We sell music from this site in two ways. One method is for you to buy the CD/SACD disc or vinyl and we will post it to you anywhere in the world. This will take a few days but you will get the original disc in its high quality packing as normal. The other method available is a digital download. This lets you download the music files for play back or burning for personal use.
- Which online sales method would be best for me?
We offer both methods because we know that customers have different needs. Some customers may want to own the original CD packed in the normal case for playing through a CD/SACD player. Some will want the music now for playing through a computer based music system. We have decided to offer mail order discs or download options, but without the normal compromises that downloads bring.
Download Music Formats
- Why are downloaded music files often poor quality?
Music downloads are normally offered in a compressed format. This is done to save storage space on the service provider's computer and also cuts the download time. However, as computer storage space has increased over the years and many users now have fast broadband connections the time has come to offer full bandwidth downloads. This allows us to offer superior quality downloads.
- So, what download formats do you actually offer?
We offer five types of file. Four types of lossless file - Studio Master (24-bit) in FLAC or ALAC, CD quality (16-bit) in FLAC or ALAC and one type of compressed file - MP3. For more information click here.
When choosing the type of file you should consider the size of the file, speed of connection that you have and the final sound quality that you want. The biggest file sounds the best and is also the most expensive so it should be easy for you to decide.
- What does compressed mean?
A compressed music file has been squeezed to be as small as possible whilst still sounding OK. Many download sites go too far when compressing the music and the resulting sound quality is poorer than Linn would want you to experience. We compress the music only as much as is required to make the music file small enough to download over a dial up connection in a reasonable time. The result is a good sounding file.
The lossless encoded music files we supply are encoded into two formats; ALAC and FLAC. This process produces a file which is smaller than the original and has been reduced in size in a lossless manner. This is a bit like using a zip utility on your computer. The music file is "zipped up" which reduces its size but once un-zipped it is identical to the original. This method reduces the file size, which speeds the download, but does not reduce the original sound quality in any way. The files you download will deliver a sound quality that is identical to the original CD. By definition all lossless formats are lossless and allow a lossless compressed file to be played with complete accuracy, so there are no performance differences between them. You may find one format is more suitable for you and your computer so select the most suitable lossless format before downloading.
- What does Studio Master Quality (24-bit) mean and how do I play it?
These files are the actual Studio Master Quality files that we normally use to produce the CD. Over the years we have recorded music using various types of recording equipment and the Studio Master Quality series of downloads reflects the development of our recording methods. There is no absolute "best" recording format. In fact there are greater differences between types and makes of recording equipment than there are between formats. We used the best equipment available at the time which means that different recording formats were used. We have not converted these files in any way. If we had converted them to a common format it is possible that some losses or imperfections would be introduced so we decided against doing this.
The files we offer give you access to the highest sound quality possible; the Studio Master Quality recording. This brings greater sound clarity and lower background noise than any commercially available CD. The penalty is that the files are even larger than those of a CD so please check the following before you download the file:
- You have a connection speed capable of delivering the large files in question. Details of each file size are noted beside each download.
- You have enough space on your computer's hard drive to store the large files.
- Your media player of choice is capable of playing the particular file format offered. The files are either 44.1 kHz 24-bit, 48 kHz 24-bit, 88.2 kHz 24-bit , 96 kHz 24-bit or 192kHz 24-bit. Please download the test files offered to check that your playback software and sound card are capable of decoding the files you wish to purchase.
- If you are using a Linn DS digital stream player you can choose any of the files on offer.
- I only have a dial up connection, what should I do?
There are a couple of options open to you. The first is that you order the CD or LP. This will sound great and brings you the full package including the case, cover and booklet. The second option available is a "compressed" service. See "what does compressed mean?"
- How do I know how long the download will take?
We detail some typical download times beside each music file. This will give you an idea of what is likely to happen, but the final time taken will depend on the actual connection speed that you have.
- What type of computer will I need?
You can use a PC running Windows or Linux or a Mac running OSX with an internet connection and the latest version of any of the following browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari or Opera. We do our best to ensure that our site operates with every major browser but occasionally browsers are updated in a way that stops then working with some websites. If you experience any problems please let us know and we will try to rectify the problem. You should also consider contacting the browser developer.
- How do I download the music?
Once you have purchased your music you will be presented with a download button. Clicking the button will start the download and you will be asked where you want the music to be saved. The download may take a considerable time depending on the size of file(s) you have ordered. When downloading a full album or several tracks we recommend you use the bespoke Linn Download Manager (there are many other free versions available - put "download manager" into your search engine for some suggestions). A download manager enables you to download all the tracks in one go without having to download each individual track.
- How long is my download available to me?
Your download files are available indefinitely. Once you download a track, however, it will only be available for another 24 hours. This should give you a chance to ensure there are no problems and will enable you to download the track again should the download fail for any reason. We recommend that you save your downloaded music to your hard drive so you can access the files at any time.
- Can I buy individual tracks as well as albums?
You can purchase individual songs by clicking the track name and selecting "Buy" in the 'Tracks: Listen and Download' Box. To purchase an album, click on the "Buy" link next to the album description on the 'Buy Banner'.
- What happens if I purchased a combination of CDs and downloads?
Once the card transaction is complete you will be emailed an order confirmation that details those items that are being shipped to you and those being delivered as a download. Clicking the download option will commence the download.
- I have filled up my hard drive. What do I do?
There are several options open to you depending on your technical ability. The simplest method is to plug in external hard drives which are available in many different sizes from most high street retailers. More complex solutions involve adding new internal hard drives. Your computer vendor will be able to assist you in making the correct choice.
- How do I ensure that I don't lose all my music if my computer fails?
You can burn a copy of every album you download for your personal use only. This will give you a backup disc that you can store or use in you domestic CD player. Make sure that the disc you burn is in a format that your domestic CD player can recognise and play. This is typically referred to as "red book".
Cookies are used for authenticating, tracking, and maintaining specific information about the way you use our website. They are neither spyware nor viruses, they are simple pieces of text to enable our system to recognise you whenever you return. You should ensure that cookies are accepted and enabled as we use them to allow you to make a purchase and check that our system is working correctly.
- My downloads are very slow / keep failing. Why is this?
It is rare that it is a problem with the Linn servers and more likely that there's something wrong at your end. Some things to check are:
Is anyone else using your network at the same time, downloading on other machines, thereby restricting your use?
Do you have anything running in the background on your PC when you are downloading, such as a virus check, or windows updates? This may be slowing your machine down.
Have you checked the speed of your router? Or has your router completely failed?
Is your modem connected via Ethernet rather than USB? This will affect the speed.
Is your telephone cable too long?
Have you downloaded from other websites in the mean time successfully?
If you can successfully answer all these questions and still have a problem then please contact us.
Playing your downloaded music
- How to access your download
When your download order is complete you will immediately see on the order confirmation page, the option to "Download Music". However, if you do not wish to download your purchase(s) straight away, you can access them at a later date. Your purchase(s) will remain accessible until you decide to begin the download. There is no time limit. Simply log in to "my account" and click "download music" and you will be able to access your download purchases.
- How to download track information
There is a simple way to download all the track information you require: track name, length, performers, writers etc. You can copy and paste track information into a word document by visiting the album page and highlighting the "Tracks: Listen and Download" section with your mouse. This will capture all the track information. When you have pasted it you will need to re-format it so it is readable but this is quite quick and easy to do. Obviously you can keep or discard as much information as you require.
- Once I have downloaded music where and how can I use it?
The files that you download are not protected using DRM so you can make a CD copy, play it using your media player or transfer it to your portable device. We ask that you use our music sensibly - please respect our artists by being responsible about copying the music for your friends.
- How do I play back downloaded music through my hifi system?
There are two general methods of doing this: through a computer media player software package or through a standalone ‘media receiver'.
If you want to use the media player software in your computer to organise, choose and play music directly from your computer you need to make a connection between your computer and your hifi system. The simplest way to do this is with a cable from the analogue output of your computer sound card to a pair of auxiliary line level inputs on the back of your amplifier. Unless you have upgraded the sound card in your computer this often sounds awful and is usually accompanied by buzzes, whistles and other noises!
A much better option is to connect your computer to your hifi using a digital connection. This can easily be done if your computer has a digital audio output and your amplifier has a digital audio input. It will be either a phono (RCA) shielded cable or a fibre optic cable. Either will give much better results than the analogue output from most sound cards. However not all hifi amplifiers have a digital input, and not all digital inputs are equal. Check what connections you have, your computer supplier will be able to help select the correct cables and connections.
If your hifi amplifier does not have a digital input the best solution is to use the highest quality of external USB sound card / DAC you can afford. Connect the analogue outputs of the USB sound card to your hifi amplifier auxiliary inputs.
Whichever way you connect your computer to your hifi, always set the volume level on the media player software to "unity gain" and use the volume control on your amplifier to adjust to your desired level. You can find out how to do this here. This is because digital volume controls used in a computer (and elsewhere) often reduce sound quality very rapidly at any setting below maximum. Using a computer to play your music directly is worthwhile if you also use the computer for other things, like Internet access. However, most computers are noisy enough to distract from the listening experience if placed in a domestic environment.
The other method of playing back music files stored in a computer is through a standalone 'media receiver'. There are many of these now available and their sound quality varies from poor to very good. The best sounding media receivers are made by companies who are more focussed on audio than on computer accessories. Some Google research will soon guide you to what is available. A media receiver is a separate box, with a self contained display and remote control. It sits beside your hifi system and connects into the back of your amplifier like a CD player or tuner. It accesses music (and sometimes video) files stored in a computer through a network. So to use a media receiver you have to install some form of network in your home. This can be wired or wireless but the scope of doing this is beyond this FAQ list. A media receiver has several advantages over using a computer to play your music; they are silent, with no discs or fans, simple to use and by accessing the stored music files directly can bypass some of the terrible things which get done to music when being played through a computer operating system and software! They do however still require a computer or 'Network Attached Storage' device to be running, on which the music is stored. This needs to be out of audible range. They also depend on a reliable network. Again, your local computer supplier is best placed to help you set up a system like this.
- How many discs am I allowed to burn?
We recommend that you make one back-up copy of the files that you purchase. Click here for instructions.
- I have an iPod. How do I get my music on to it?
MP3 and ALAC files can be imported straight into iTunes. PLease note iPods are currently unable to play Studio Master files.
- Can I play Studio Master files on a Linn Unidisk player if burned onto a DVD?
Yes you can if you create a DVD Audio. Details on how to do this are available here.
- Can we recommend a digital media receiver?
Yes. We recommend the Linn DS digital stream 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, ALAC and WAV) and plays all high quality audio sample rates and bit depths natively. Visit http://www.linn.co.uk/systems/network-music-players for more information.
If you prefer to choose another player there are some general guidelines we can offer;
Select one that has a display you can read from across the room. No point in attempting to make life easy and then not being able to operate it.
Select a player that had a digital output as this can be connected direct to your favourite Linn Preamp. This is no guarantee of fantastic sound quality, the analogue output may sound better, it all depends on how clever the designer of the media receiver was, check analogue and digital output performance before deciding. The one that is best is the best!
The browse and search capability of each receiver can be very variable. Try to get a demonstration of how you find music. If it is quicker walking to the computer to choose a tune then it defeats the purpose! Similarly, if you have to rename every recording you have so that the receiver can put it in a sensible order then go elsewhere, life is too short.
Does it work by wire or wirelessly? Check you can run the wires you need or choose a wireless version.
Can it play the file types you have on your computer? Some play Windows DRM material, none play music bought from iTunes music store. None currently play Studio quality Linn downloads, you need a stand alone USB or Firewire DAC to be able to do this.
Do you want video as well? This is a whole new ball game and needs a website of its own to address the issue.
Type in "Media Receiver" to your favourite search engine for suitable links.
- Which payment methods do you accept?
We accept Mastercard, Visa Credit, Visa Debit, Visa Electron, Switch/Maestro (UK only) and Solo (UK only) online.
- What happens to my credit card data once a transaction is completed?
We do not store any of your credit card data and in fact have no access to this data. The card transaction is handled by our credit card service provider and no credit card data is held by Linn at any time.
- Is this an international site or do I need to be resident in a particular country?
We have done all we can to make the site as international as possible. Pricing is available in British Pounds, Euros and US Dollars and all Linn albums are available in all parts of the world with no territorial restrictions of any sort. Please note that there are territorial restrictions on music from some of our partner labels. You will clearly see on the album page if you are unable to purchase a particular title due to territorial restrictions. These restrictions are governed by contractual obligations of the label not Linn.
- Can I convert downloaded files to another format?
Yes. Once the files are downloaded to your media player you can convert them to your preferred format. However you should note that certain files types can only be played or converted on certain computers. More information is available here.
- What type of CDs do I use if I want to burn a disc?
You can use CD-R, CD-RW or CD-DA discs. Check that your computer is capable of burning these discs and that your CD player is capable of playing the chosen disc type.
- I have burned a CD that sounds great now but how do I make it look like a professionally produced disc?
Along with the music download you will find a set of JPEG files. These files represent the artwork of the disc you purchased. By using a CD label printing utility you should be able to import and print a suitable label. Note that some CD players have difficulty playing discs that have additional labels attached. Some printers are capable of printing directly onto a disc which avoids the problems associated with additional stick on labels. Check your player and printer for compatibility before proceeding. You can also print the case artwork and sleeve notes in a similar way. Note: All artwork provided is watermarked both electronically and visually and is subject to copyright restrictions subject to the aforesaid use.
- I have burned a disc and it does not sound very good. What could be wrong?
Windows Media Player has many options which can, in some cases, degrade the sound quality when a disc is burned. Click here for instructions to help you ensure that the highest quality burn method is selected.
All songs that you download from Linn Records are legal. Our songs and music are fully licensed.
Terms and Conditions
- Where can I find a full set of your terms and conditions?