Music Streaming Services

Discussion in 'Computer Audiophile: Software, Configs, Tools' started by rott, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. psuKinger

    psuKinger Acquaintance

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    I'm *mostly* excited about this news from Amazon, because I'm choosing to be glass-half-full and believing that they will:
    a) listen to their customer-base and the folks with genuine interest in high-bitrate HiRez audio, and begin to incorporate the kinds of things we want/need in order to get-and-stay in the boat with this.
    And/Or
    B) It'll drive more streaming services (Spotify, Apple, Google, etc) to join in and make more/better quality (lossless and 24-bit) options available.


    I'll echo what others have said. If I can't:
    1) Get bit-perfect output via USB, from either my phone (Android; UAPP support or other) or laptop (Win10; WASAPI support from a stand-alone desktop app)
    2) Integrate it with my current whole-home-audio solution Roon

    This specific option doesn't work well *for me*. But choose is a good thing. Having higher-bitrate better sounding audio available for more people is a good thing. I've already gotten texts from 2 friends wanting to talk to me about it and what they need to know/do in order to make this work for them... and that's a good thing!
     
  2. treboR

    treboR Friend

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    So I got Qobuz and it's pretty good. Not as hazy or muddy as Tidal.

    The problem I have is its not clear what masters either Tidal or Qobuz use.

    For example, take Natalie Merchant's "Tigerlily". With Tidal, it sounds remixed compared to my CD copy, even though the credits show a 1995 release date. The stage is more closed-in, the bass a tad more bloated. And then with Qoboz these tracks are "LP Versions" and the release date is 11/2/2009. Different sounding than the Tidal Masters and my CD.

    So what gives here? It's clear these don't come from the original CD pressings.
     
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  3. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    There’s something really strange with the “Masters” version of Tigerlily. It’s like a totally different album, with a crap ton of reverb added to some things, tempo differences, etc. There’s actually a non-masters version on Tidal that’s like the original, listed as 2007:

    https://tidal.com/album/3559570

    Really confusing I agree. Tidal has a lot of meta data issues especially with masters.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  4. treboR

    treboR Friend

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    Ok good, I'm glad someone else picked up on that. The strange thing is I prefer the Tidal Masters version over my CD copy. Yeah I know I'm weird.

    Oh and Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours". The Deluxe Edition, released in 2013, shows album tracks with (2004 Remaster). This is accurate as the Deluxe is the identical master as the 2004 release, however when you playback the album in "Hi-Fi" (there's no "Master") it sounds just like the 1987 CD pressing I have. But then when you turn to the "Master" version of the album in Tidal, with a release date of 1987, it sounds identical to the 2004 release. So WTF? Granted the DVD-A version of the album is probably the best sounding digital copy.

    You're right there's a lot of metadata issues that need sorted. But still I'm coming across quite a number of these "Masters" where the volume has been tipped up much higher than the "Hi-Fi" tracks or even sounds remixed.

    If you're a purist, stay far away from streaming. Although I like it out of convenience and I can explore tons of music I don't have. There's more clarity listening to ripped CDs in lossless format.
     
  5. Joshvar

    Joshvar Acquaintance

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    Looking from the opposite angle "I stream all day! What's the difference with this HD/Ultra HD thing?" - they've at least not screwed it up so badly as to turn off us wood ears. So far, it's a pretty obvious step up (even on a $200 stack or ES100 with LDAC) over the regular compressed stuff. On AirPods, who knows...but anyone who's stepped up to decent hardware but not their catalog will be getting a pretty good upgrade for $60/year or whatever it ends up being.

    If this unlocks even more accessible/broad/cheap set of streaming services for us desk jockeys, that's great news. Tidal's barrier to entry wasn't much price-wise, but Amazon dispenses with MQA and is one of the more mainstream services that managed not to screw things up so badly as to turn me off. Can I pick out differences vs my own rips via the RPi DDC? Probably. Do I give 2 shits on an album I am hearing for the first time? No, and now I can be pretty sure nothing's fucking with the master so badly that I question the purchase of said album (or my memory). Hopefully this ends up being a rising tide, not a tsunami that takes better options with it...

    My low expectations were relieved. I really was figuring this would be a "Wait, is this working?" but it's obvious on familiar tracks.
     
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  6. psuKinger

    psuKinger Acquaintance

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    I'm not a "huge" box set fan (this is my only one), and I wouldn't even necessarily self-identify as a "huge Natalie Merchant fan"... but I am a fan. And just as a fan of good music and good sound quality, the Natalie Merchant box set is worth the price of admission. Of the 10 discs, 9 of them measure at least 8 dB of dynamic range (Roon r128), and 6 of them are at least 9 dB (including Tigerlilly). The 10th one, Motherland, has 7 dB. I bought it even though I already had Tigerlilly, because it was still a good price for 9 other quality CDs, and I'm glad I did.


    Back to the bigger-picture topic, FWIW I think this is where Roon really excels. The ability to let my personal files co-exist side-by-side with Qobuz is like a best-of-all-worlds solution.
     
  7. treboR

    treboR Friend

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    Tidal has been all over the place for me lately in sound quality. Some days it is crystal clear and other days it sounds hazy, unfocused, blurry. When I switch over to foobar2000 and play the same tracks in lossless format thru WASAPI, the difference is obvious.

    Anyone else experiencing this? I don't get this kind of fuckery with Qobuz.

    I have a feeling Tidal is feeding the stream thru some kind of an audio processor.

    EDIT: I'm running Tidal with Exclusive Mode turned on
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019 at 8:42 AM
  8. gefski

    gefski Acquaintance

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    For me, Tidal is used almost daily, and is consistent. I use the Audirvana/Tidal player, not Tidal's desktop.
     
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  9. allegro

    allegro Friend

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    Audirvana is really worth trying. They have a free trial then you buy if you like it. When Qobuz first came out the Windows app was buggy: sound often distorted or the app just plain locked up. Audirvana streaming Qobuz has always been rock solid for me on Win 10 Pro, they are doing something right. It may work better for Tidal as well.

    Qobuz has since greatly improved the desktop app it seems fine now but I still use Audirvana+. I don't need the features Roon offers so have not tried it.

    Right now Amazon Music HD runs in Windows shared mode, the desktop app is a CPU hog and up or downsamples every file you play to your system setting. SQ is noticeably inferior to Qobuz. I have the 90 day free trial but can't stand to listen to it. Maybe sound quality will get better if they ever offer Wasapi exclusive mode in their app.

    Ideally they would charge Roon and Audirvana a reasonable fee to open their API so we could use the players we prefer.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019 at 4:24 PM
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