Apple Music Announces Lossless - MQA is Toast

Discussion in 'Tales from the Bully Pulpit' started by purr1n, May 17, 2021.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

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    Last edited: May 17, 2021
  2. bboris77

    bboris77 Friend

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    And Amazon Music Unlimited counterpunched by merging its HD tier into Unlimited at no extra charge. I am already a Prime subscriber which means that I get HD streaming for $79 CDN a year. If only they could fix their damn app so it can change the DAC output to match the sample rate of the content.

    I wonder if Apple will allow us to download lossless ALACs of our previously purchased AAC songs.
     
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  3. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    Good for Apple users...but not for me since I'm on Android and I don't like Apple products.

    I don't expect Apple Music to allow their API to be accessed by Third-Party Apps, so I don't expect this to be available on Roon/BubbleUPnP/USB Audio Player Pro/etc. Those apps for example allow you to access your Tidal and Qobuz library with bit-perfect streaming on so many different devices and setups. That right there is my third biggest reason why I'm on Qobuz (one is lossless streaming, two is no DRM).
     
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  4. bboris77

    bboris77 Friend

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    Boo..

    "Apple has confirmed to The Verge that lossless audio is exclusive to Apple Music and thus subscription-only. The company won’t offer music purchases in lossless quality, nor will there be any way to upgrade owned tracks to lossless with the paid iTunes Match service."
     
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  5. bengo

    bengo Friend

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    I don't give a toss about MQA. Would be great to have the option to purchase lossless downloads from the iTunes store (which has in my experience a bigger catalog and often better pricing than Qobuz, 7digital, etc).

    But I think it's unlikely. Apple [and others] are trying to force consumers from "pay once, listen forever" model - like we have with CDs and vinyl - to "pay monthly, forever" model. You can also see this with gaming (especially mobile, but also on PC) - most games are "free to play" with subscription to remove ads etc.
     
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  6. Beefy

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    Shots fired.

    Not an Apple man, but the fact that lossless is available at no additional cost is great for everyone. It will hopefully put some pressure on Spotify to keep the cost of their upcoming HD tier nice and low.
     
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  7. scblock

    scblock Friend

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    Your reasons are all sound. To clarify for others, Apple does offer Apple Music on Android, and I would hope the update applies to that app as well, but if you're already on another service like Qobuz this probably wouldn't get you to switch.
     
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  8. Philimon

    Philimon Friend

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    Apple Music library messes up and disorganizes my albums, splitting up tracks and changing cover art. Doesnt matter if it was ripped from CD or downloaded from Apple.

    I switched to Amazon music for streaming after they added lossless. Far less buggy. Not everything is lossless though (UHD in amazon parlance). Library comparable enough so far. Amazon will often have mutilple versions of the same album so you can choose for better mastering. But sometimes all they have is the newest remaster compressed version and Apple will weirdly have the one good version available.

    @bengo Your avatar from Untitled Goose Game?
     
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  9. Ksaurav402

    Ksaurav402 Friend

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    Interested to see if I will get my favorite Bollywood songs in CD quality, not that it matters a lot as mastering for most are not great to begin with. Qobuz and Tidal have limited Bollywood catalogue so nice to see Apple coming in picture
     
  10. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

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    Probably doesn't affect us since we could care less (or actively avoid MQA). But for normal people, it will make a difference. Amazon Music just announced that it will offer hires for no extra cost. Now we have Qobuz, Apple, and Amazon offering hires streaming. Only Spotify is behind with only CD lossless, but it's probably only a matter of time before they too offer hires. These are big players in streaming and with them on board, there is no need for lossy Tidal MQA hires which requires unfolding in software and yet another unfolding in hardware to reach its potential.

    MQA is dead meat.

    I'm sure Apple knows what they are doing. The last thing they would want is having to pay MQA a playback license for every copy of Apple Music / iTunes.
     
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  11. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    This is great news--I like additional options for non-lossy-hiding-in-lossless maybe-kinda-sorta-music-industry-takeover-DRM-ish music!

    Now we have Apple, Amazon, Qobuz, and, soon, Spotify.

    (And yeah, I still need to re-try Amazon, their player wasn't the greatest or the masters were weird, because early on it sounded a bit off.)

    But. Plenty of options. No need for fake-bake.
     
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  12. Ksaurav402

    Ksaurav402 Friend

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    Are they also coming up with some Bluetooth codec like LDAC to support CD quality music over AirPods ?
     
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  13. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    I have Qobuz currently, and subscribe to Apple One which includes Apple Music. I will be canceling Qobuz. This move is a serious body blow to Tidal and Qobuz, and will likely force Spotify’s hand when they release their lossless tier to keep the pricing low, which will hurt Spotify’s bottom line. Apple can absorb the losses because Apple Music, like all their services, is there to get people to buy and upgrade their hardware.
     
  14. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    That was actually pay twice, which was bad enough. But at least, yes, we got listen for ever. The music industry was always going to get us to buy the next best format: streaming has given them the possibility of the subscription model, I suppose, and they are not going to turn that down!
     
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  15. Ksaurav402

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  16. bixby

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    Let's not get too excited. Lossless does not necessarily mean that what you listen to will sound great.

    In my experience there are/were differences in compressed music offered by Amazon and Apple, for example, with some albums sounding quite different. With lossless, I expected things to sound the same, yet Tidal and Qobuz on a non MQA altered album sounded different yet not so drastically as in the lossy example above.

    Could it come down to what original files they started with? Perhaps. Assuming a lossless file of the same origin, what effect can adding spatial and atmos encoding to this file have on the end result?

    We will have to hear. It could be like MQA and to my ears that is not good. Just because it is lossless does not mean it will be great.

    I will be trialing it though, I still have about $20 sitting in Apple's vault from the days when I owned some Apple gear. Still there after more than 10 years.
     
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    Last edited: May 17, 2021
  17. supertransformingdhruv

    supertransformingdhruv Almost "Made"

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    I'm pretty willing to try out whatever... as long as there's a straightforward way to get it to the raspberry pi. Something tells me that's unlikely to be an option with Apple or Spotify. Turns out I'm willing to put up with a lot of bullshit from Tidal or Qobuz as long as I get to lean on Roon to hook everything together in a pretty package for me.

    I'd love to see this drive prices down, but I can't help worry that competition from the bigger players is an existential threat for Qobuz.
     
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  18. Pancakes

    Pancakes Almost "Made"

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    The Tidal version has been MQA basterdized even if not streaming the MQA format.
     
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  19. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    I was not aware of that.

    Some recent tests involved MQA albums vs deluxe (ones with a few extra tracks) which are not labeled as MQA and there are slight differences between the two on Tidal to my ears. This is small though audible, says my brain, yet I could not survive an ABX test of them.
     
  20. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

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    Added my political cartoon drawering to the first post.
     
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