Hi-Res Music Logo Beats a Path to an Uncompressed Future

RIAA logo and format enforces standards for high-resolution audio.

It's been a pet peeve of ours for a while that if a person would like to locate and purchase hi-res digital audio files of popular music, such files are nearly impossible to purchase and legally download online. Hopefully this frustrating situation will begin to subside, as the big labels and industry groups work to establish a foothold for uncompressed music online.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has announced the rapid adoption of the Hi-Res Music logo that is rolling out to digital music retailers in the US, Canada and Europe to distinguish high-resolution commercial audio downloads and streaming music. Last year, the RIAA and its partners—the Consumer Electronics Association, the Digital Entertainment Group and the Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing—officially defined Hi-Res Music as “lossless audio capable of reproducing the full spectrum of sound from recordings which have been mastered from better-than-CD quality (48kHz/20-bit or higher) music sources….” And in June, to satisfy the major labels' (Sony, Universal and Warner) request to distinguish high-resolution recordings, they debuted the Hi-Res Music logo seen here.

Now as of mid-November, quite a few digital music retailers have adopted the Hi-Res Music licensing agreement and begun to integrate the logo into websites and other branded materials. These retailers so far include Acoustic Sounds Super HiRez, Blue Coast Music, HDtracks, IsoMike Recordings, ClassicsOnline HD*LL (operated by the Naxos Group of Companies), PonoMusic and ProStudioMasters.

The Hi-Res MUSIC logo is available to digital retailers and both major and independent record labels. So if you sell your music on your own label, inquire with Cara Duckworth Weiblinger or Marc Finer to see if you can distribute your music with the official Hi-Res Music logo.