EXACT links to said track please.
Just so you know, many free tracks are purposely mangled so one can decide if they like the tune and then to go buy it.
With what's in your post, no one can see if the track is indeed mangled or it's your issue.
I have dwnlded many trks from various sites : old mp3.com, ampcast,mp3.com.au (Austrailian), Download.com, and have gotten distortion on hi end or low end peaks occasionally. It is enough to ruin the trk as far as listening goes. mainly quiet space ambient where you can hear dist.Overall trk volume is not hot.
i am using Win 2000 pro, P II 266 ,DSL,SB Live sound card , Nero B rom. Frustrated to dwnld more trks until problem is solved. Any ideas?