This is interesting. 2L records are readying a high-resolution music download service, and have a page where you can download test samples of their recordings in PCM WAV, FLAC, WMA Pro, DTS, but get this - DSD
As for what consumer hardware and software on this planet can even play it back, well it's interesting...all Sony Vaio desktops and laptops as from 2005 come with Sony's "Sound Reality" chip which supports multichannel DSD and DXD. They come with Sony's "DSD Direct" player which I have not been able to get my hands on. Although I don't think it can play DXD WAVs. Also, newer versions of Sony's Sonic Stage Mastering Studio, which also comes with the Vaios I believe, can record, edit and playback DSD. Wish I had this software...and then of course all those uber-expensive SACD authoring and pre-authoring apps like nexStage SACD creator.
The most common file extension used for DSD64, which is the common 1-bit 2.8MHz format used on SACD discs, is .dff. DXD is mainly used for editing by the studio engineer, but DSD64 is the one of interest here. 2L do not have DSD128 on offer (5.6MHz standard), but they record in DXD so there's no point.
So that's all very fine, but what about everyone else who doesn't have a Sony Vaio? Well you need a sound card with a DAC that supports DSD input. For those of you with the Auzentech X-fi Prelude, it supports stereo DSD! (but not multichannel, and not DXD). Also, the Realtek ALC889 integrated audio chipset (used on boards like Gigabyte GA-X38T-DQ6) does, but probably not DXD.
At the moment, the only way I can play back the DFF files from 2L, is with a DSD plugin for WMP (again by Sony), which I HAVE
gotten a hold of. It's a DSD->PCM plugin. Obviously, it sounds quite nice! But pure actual DSD playback is what we're after, and I wanted to ask anyone, do you think the upcoming HDMI 1.3 cards by Asus and Auzentech are going to support DSD (i.e. bitstreaming DSD through HDMI on to a receiver)? Could it, hypothetically, with a driver hack? Any hardware device with HDMI 1.2 onwards has capability to pass DSD, encrypted or unencrypted. But I wonder if Asus and Auzentech will not supported it in the drivers.
I wonder if there are any other sound cards that support DSD? Given no SACD-capable drives have been allowed or intended by Sony, DSD support has been pointless. But with these downloads, we may not even need SACD for PC playback!