Downloading: A Beginner's Guide

This short guide aims to offer a straightforward introduction to downloading music at Pristine Classical. More information can be found elsewhere on this site and on the web, but if you follow these instructions you should be able to take the first steps to downloading and enjoying music in great sound quality in a few mouse clicks.

NB. This guide is designed for users of PCs and Macs only - everything within the guide can be achieved using iOS and Android tablets and phones to some degree or another, but you may find it easier to use a full computer to begin with.



1. A free download to get you started:

Click here to get a 100% discount on all versions of PASC541 STOKOWSKI/NBC SO Beethoven: Symphony No. 9

The discount will be applied at the checkout. Alternatively use the discount code DownloadTest at the checkout to get your 100% reduction for this recording only in any downloadable format. Try the different formats - you can download as often as you like and order all three formats. 


2. Unzip the download making sure you make a note of where you're unzipping the files to. You'll find audio files, the score, artwork and printable covers included in the ZIP download. Most operating systems include built-in unzipping. In addition software such as WinZip, WinRAR and others can help you to do this.

NB. There is a bug in Mac OS Catalina which fails to unzip valid files - you'll need to install a third-party ZIP app from the App Store to do this. We're reliably informed that an app called “The Unarchiver” does the trick. Better still, it’s free!


3. Listen to the download using your built-in player. Windows 10 includes a music player, Groove Music, which will play all FLAC and MP3 files, the two formats we use. Mac OSX and iTunes supports MP3 but does not support FLAC playback directly - if you wish to use these downloads you'll need to either convert the files or use an alternative player from the App Store that is FLAC-compatible.


4. File format converters can help playback on older Windows systems or where a player like iTunes fails to support FLAC playback. A simple and reliable audio converter, used by Pristine, comes from - click on the links to the Audio File Converter for Windows or Mac OS.


5. Burn an Audio CD using third party software such as Roxio or Nero directly from our 16-bit FLAC files or MP3s, or use a file converter to create WAV (PC) or AIFF (Mac) to use with the more basic CD burning software included with your computer's operating system. Note that audio CDs are 16-bit only. Don't try to make a CD from our 24-bit downloads.


About download formats, CDs, iTunes & playback

24-bit FLAC downloads offer optimal studio-quality sound quality. They are not generally suitable for burning to audio CD and are designed for direct listening. They need converting to ALAC for playing in iTunes.

16-bit FLAC downloads offer CD-identical quality sound and can be used to make Audio CDs or can be listened to directly. They need converting to ALAC for playing in iTunes.

MP3 downloads offer very high quality sound, slightly below CD quality, which can be burned to CD or listened to directly. They can be imported directly into iTunes.


Audio Streaming

An alternative to downloading is to subscribe to our Pristine Streaming service. You can try this out with six free listens here. Thereafter for just €10/month you have unlimited access to high quality recordings from our full catalogue. There is also an app for Android devices to access the service directly, available from the Google Play Store here. At present we are unable to offer an app for iOS devices from Apple.