Music Streaming Services

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

  1. allegro

    allegro Almost "Made"

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    I think you may be out of luck Uri ... I just logged into Facebook and tried signing up and today they are saying you need to be invited to the beta test looks like they found and closed the loophole dangit. It was working yesterday:( Sorry for the false alarm.
     
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  2. Uri Cohen

    Uri Cohen Friend

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    It could be worse. Thanks!
     
  3. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    Qobus idiots change their mind every day where they are available, I om on the free trial but in terms of any reliability I gave up on Qobuz. Their quality may be good but their business sucks. It is a mystery to me that Roon is working on full integration with Qobuz. But they invested a lot of development years in MQA, no one knows why.
    IDAGIO, yes its is only for classical music, is streaming in CD quality probably the largest and the best curated catalog. I got on free trial, the price is $9.99 CAD, like $7 US. The problem is they only support Sonos and Chromcast.
     
  4. allegro

    allegro Almost "Made"

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    Can someone recommend a couple of specific tracks on Tidal where the "watermarks" are able to easily be heard so I could (hopefully) compare the same tracks on Tidal vs Qobuz to really appreciate the difference?
     
  5. Metro

    Metro Almost "Made"

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    I find the watermark distortion to be most obvious in solo piano, especially in sustained notes where it has a fluttering tremolo effect, and as notes decay they sound like an artificial reverb.

    The watermark distortion is especially bad on Yuja Wang's Sonatas & Etudes album, and I find it unlistenable on Tidal or Spotify (the sound is fine on Qobuz). The distortion is easily heard starting from the very first notes and continues throughout the album. On track #3 (Chopin's famous Funeral March) the long slow notes especially highlight the distortion.
    https://listen.tidal.com/album/5387443
    https://open.spotify.com/album/7LnbDcqUlWJaBtYaP08qDy
    https://play.qobuz.com/album/0002894778264

    [​IMG]

    Another example, Hélène Grimaud's Bach album. Sounds fine on Qobuz, distorted on Tidal/Spotify (e.g. listen to the sustained notes as they decay on track #1 at 1:01).
    https://listen.tidal.com/album/35911902
    https://open.spotify.com/album/1ZlzyBCwMuZJKcEOfK9fW6
    https://play.qobuz.com/album/0002894776248

    [​IMG]

    I believe that people have created Spotify and Tidal playlists that illustrate examples of the UMG watermark. You can try Googling for those.

    One note — I find that MQA albums on Tidal do not appear have the UMG watermark. I'm not a fan of MQA, but this is an actual benefit. This should be expected since MQA claims fidelity to the original master without alteration. I feel that when some people say that the MQA version of an album sounds better, it may be due to lack of watermark rather than MQA technology itself.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  6. Ash1412

    Ash1412 Friend

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    Somebody posted in a profile post (its deleted?) that Tidal sounded better all of a sudden. I use Tidal on a daily basis but right now I'm just using a pair of Porta Pros off my phone since I'm on vacation. I'll say this: Tidal suddenly sounded quite a bit warmer and less sharp starting a few days ago. Its quite noticeable to me, since it threw the Porta Pros from sounding quite balanced to a bit warm and bloomy. Haven't done comparison with CDs. Might be removal of the watermark to compete with Qobuz? I remember it had a "sharpening" effect.

    EDIT: Just listened to the songs in the above post. Watermark is still audible. Guess thats not it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  7. Metro

    Metro Almost "Made"

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    My free Qobuz preview subscription just ended. I liked the sound but their software is more buggy than the others. I'll decide whether to drop Tidal and subscribe to Qobuz when they officially launch in the US,. Their lossless CD quality streaming will be $20/month (same as Tidal HiFI). Their hi-res tier (up to 24/192 streaming) will be $25/month. They will also offer 1 year subscription plans for 15% less than monthly.

    I am now trying out Deezer HiFi (lossless CD quality) on a 1 month free trial. Deezer doesn't seem to be targeting the audiophile market as much as Tidal and Qobuz. The Deezer Mac and PC apps don't have audio output settings such as selecting the output (e.g. USB Audio) or exclusive mode, or to force player volume to max. If you want to stream from the computer to a USB DAC, you have to use it as the computer's systemwide audio output, and manually set the player volume to max. Their mobile apps top out at 320kbps MP3, pretty lame. On the computer, lossless streaming sounds good, maybe the same as Tidal HiFi but I haven't done a close comparison.

    There is a super annoying behavior in the Deezer desktop apps and web player. On any other streaming service, when you quit the player and come back later, it brings you back to where you left off — the play queue is restored and the current track might even be queued up at exactly the same point as before. However when you start up the Deezer desktop or web player, your previous play queue is gone and it resets to a default list of featured pop songs. Every time I start the app or web player, the play queue keeps getting reinitialized with the same stupid list of songs.

    I saw that Deezer will be supporting MQA (announced in September but not currently in the product):
    https://www.audioxpress.com/news/mqa-streaming-expands-globally-with-deezer-new-hifi-service

    I was looking into whether Universal Music Group albums are watermarked on Deezer, and found something very interesting. I came across a number of albums (including the two albums I posted earlier) where Deezer has two versions of the same album with different release dates, and one is watermarked and the other not.

    For example, in the list of albums by Martha Argerich, the 1st and 4th in this row are the same album with slightly different release dates.
    [​IMG]
    The 03/12/2002 release is watermarked; the 01/01/2002 release is not watermarked. I have no idea what's going on here. I suspect that either the record label or Deezer goofed, and only the watermarked version was supposed to be available on Deezer.
     
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  8. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    Tidal is becoming worse. The random shuffle of tracks even sometimes in album cued tracks is a minor issue.

    Thing is, it annoys me so much I cannot stand it. I will keep Tidal for new releases. Everything I want I get the FLAC-version.

    Is Spotify still decent? In my experience Spotify never really disappointed.
     
  9. Metro

    Metro Almost "Made"

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    I won't continue with Deezer after the end of my free trial. As a lossless streaming service, I would prefer to stay with Tidal rather than switch over. I'll decide about Qobuz when it officially launches in the US.

    Deezer has too many annoying or missing things that count against it.
    • Lossless is only supported on the desktop apps — mobile tops out at 320 kbps MP3.
    • The desktop apps don't save the play queue across sessions.
    • Instead of saving the play queue, every time the desktop apps start up, they preload the play queue with a selection of featured pop tunes. There should be nothing going into my play queue unless I put it there!
    • No detailed album information available, as on Tidal and Qobuz.
    • In the short two weeks that I've used it, the player stopped and froze in the desktop app several times. Recovery by starting a different track and coming back, then it plays fine.
    • On many classical albums, the track information is practically useless — you have to find what you want to hear by trial and error (example below)
    • Various annoying UI behavior. For example, in a list of albums, if you open one to look at it and return to the list, the list scrolls back to the top instead of leaving where it was.
    Deezer's lossless sound is good but no better than Tidal. One good thing I'll say about Deezer is that it has the Chesky Records catalog. I enjoy many of Chesky's Brazilian jazz and bossa nova albums. Chesky pulled their catalog from Tidal a year ago (but they stayed on Spotify, Google and others). I think Deezer is the only service that has lossless streaming for Chesky Records.

    Here's an example of useless classical track info on Deezer. This is an album of Mozart on Sony Classical by George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra.

    Here is the track list on Spotify:
    [​IMG]

    Pretty similar on Tidal:
    [​IMG]

    On Deezer, guess which track is the one you want and hope you picked the right one:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019 at 11:45 AM

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