Audiophile alert. Also, classic rock alert. Oh, and vinyl bandwagon alert. VinylEars asserts to be the first all-vinyl online radio station, and that claim gets no contradiction from us. In support of that audiophilic priority, the station offers a 128k streaming bitrate … at the low end. We are tapping our feet to the 320k stream, and if your bandwidth is tight you can push it down a notch to 256k, which is higher-end than most pureplay radio.
Our morning has been soundtracked by Elton John, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Yes, Steely Dan, Joan Armatrading, The Beatles, John Cougar Mellencamp, CSN&Y, Billy Joel, Jackson Browne, and other retro tracks. The VinyEars site does not explain whether there is an oldies programming agenda at work, or merely an oldies vinyl collection at hand. No matter — the result is enduring music streamed with extraordinary fidelity.
The site’s goal is to accomplish a lossless stream — no compression, as sensitive ears would hear directly from the record. That goal is probably at the mercy on the back end by bandwidth cost, and on the front end by consumer bandwidth capacity.