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Confirmed Bit Perfect - Amazon Music HD

chchrlam

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This is a quick guide how to get bit perfect out of Amazon Music HD on Windows 10. HD 16 Bits @ 44100 Hz tested and confirmed.

Guide

Right click windows speaker icon > Open sound settings > Select output device > Device properties > Additional device properties > Advanced > Set default format to 16 bit @ 44100 Hz
Go back and select output device > some other device not the one you want to use with Amazon Music. Don't skip this step.
In Amazon Music desktop app:
Set Audio Quality to HD/Ultra HD
Set Loudness Normalisation to OFF
Set Allow Exlucisve Mode to ON
Play a HD(16 bit @ 44100 Hz) track
Cliick the speaker icon and select the output device and set the Exclusive mode slider to ON [<<Edit forgot this step]
Click on the [HD] icon beside the track controls. Notice how Quality, Capability and Playing are all 16 bit / 44.1 kHz

Confirming

I confirmed by comparing the bytes (samples) in a known good WAV rip from my CD collection and the WAV ripped from some tracks from Amazon music.
I used two different devices to confirm. A miniDSP miniStreamer (USB board with SPDIF output and input) with a input and output connected with a cable. The other device being free VB-Audio Virtual Cable which provides bit perfect virtual input and output devices joined together.
I also used some free tools from yamamoto2002 - WasapiBitmatchChecker 1.0.8.0, PlayPCMWin 5.0.84.0 and RecPCMWin 1.0.35.3(included with PlayPCMWin program folder)

First step is to test if your Output and Input (Virtual Cable or miniStreamer) are bitperfect. Use WasapiBitmatchChecker to send 1 million PCM frames between your input and output devices, setting the dwChannelMask if you get a "recording setup error"

If the test is sucessful then you should get bit perfect from Amazon Music HD

Configure the Input and Output devices as in the guide above.
If using the Virtual Cable then set the internal sampling rate to 44100 with the VBCABLE_ControlPanel(Not sure if this is needed)
Start RecPCM Win and select the Input device, setting dwChannelMask if it complains with an error.
Hit Record then play the track in Amazon Music.
Compare the known Wav file to the ripped one with a hex editor - Frhed (FRee Hex EDitor). I used Frhed to mark a few hundred bytes in the middle of the track, CTRL + F, copy the marked bytes. Then open the ripped file in Frhed and press CTRL + F, paste in the bytes and click search.

If Frhed finds a match then the track Amazon played is an exact copy of your original ripped one and the complete path from Amazon to your Audio Input device is bit perfect.
You can convert existing FLACs to Wav with Foobar2000 with a right click(Check option Dither=Never)

Note that I had to try three different tracks to get a match. Compilation CDs, EPs and Albums and the multiple release versions of tracks make it diffcult to find the right one to compare to.
I did not test any ULTRA HD (24 96+) tracks.


I hope this helps somebody. It was a PITA checking and re checking every tool and questioning every step of the way.
 
Last edited:

Jimbob54

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This is a quick guide how to get bit perfect out of Amazon Music HD on Windows 10. HD 16 Bits @ 44100 Hz tested and confirmed.

Guide

Right click windows speaker icon > Open sound settings > Select output device > Device properties > Additional device properties > Advanced > Set default format to 16 bit @ 44100 Hz
Go back and select output device > some other device not the one you want to use with Amazon Music. Don't skip this step.
In Amazon Music desktop app:
Set Audio Quality to HD/Ultra HD
Set Loudness Normalisation to OFF
Set Allow Exlucisve Mode to ON
Play a HD(16 bit @ 44100 Hz) track
Click on the [HD] icon beside the track controls. Notice how Quality, Capability and Playing are all 16 bit / 44.1 kHz

Confirming

I confirmed by comparing the bytes (samples) in a known good WAV rip from my CD collection and the WAV ripped from some tracks from Amazon music.
I used two different devices to confirm. A miniDSP miniStreamer (USB board with SPDIF output and input) with a input and output connected with a cable. The other device being free VB-Audio Virtual Cable which provides bit perfect virtual input and output devices joined together.
I also used some free tools from yamamoto2002 - WasapiBitmatchChecker 1.0.8.0, PlayPCMWin 5.0.84.0 and RecPCMWin 1.0.35.3(included with PlayPCMWin program folder)

First step is to test if your Output and Input (Virtual Cable or miniStreamer) are bitperfect. Use WasapiBitmatchChecker to send 1 million PCM frames between your input and output devices, setting the dwChannelMask if you get a "recording setup error"

If the test is sucessful then you should get bit perfect from Amazon Music HD

Configure the Input and Output devices as in the guide above.
If using the Virtual Cable then set the internal sampling rate to 44100 with the VBCABLE_ControlPanel(Not sure if this is needed)
Start RecPCM Win and select the Input device, setting dwChannelMask if it complains with an error.
Hit Record then play the track in Amazon Music.
Compare the known Wav file to the ripped one with a hex editor - Frhed (FRee Hex EDitor). I used Frhed to mark a few hundred bytes in the middle of the track, CTRL + F, copy the marked bytes. Then open the ripped file in Frhed and press CTRL + F, paste in the bytes and click search.

If Frhed finds a match then the track Amazon played is an exact copy of your original ripped one and the complete path from Amazon to your Audio Input device is bit perfect.
You can convert existing FLACs to Wav with Foobar2000 with a right click(Check option Dither=Never)

Note that I had to try three different tracks to get a match. Compilation CDs, EPs and Albums and the multiple release versions of tracks make it diffcult to find the right one to compare to.
I did not test any ULTRA HD (24 96+) tracks.


I hope this helps somebody. It was a PITA checking and re checking every tool and questioning every step of the way.
This makes sense for 16/44.1 files but I fear when the source file is anything other than this (which a lot of my and any AHD music is) , there is still going to be downsampling through the Windows audio stack (or maybe at the amazon server end). Amazon really need to enable dynamic sample rate switching in their exclusive mode but I might play around and listen to what happens when I set sample rate for HD to 16/44. Almost certainly wont be able to tell the difference!
 

Music1969

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Set Allow Exlucisve Mode to ON
This does nothing unfortunately. One of the most useless app settings ever in this HiFi hobby.

There is no way (still) to have automatic sample rate switching with any Amazon Desktop apps.

You can get bit perfect playback by manually setting sample rates like you have (even on macOS with Audio MIDI) but that's not what we want really.
 

Jimbob54

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This does nothing unfortunately. One of the most useless app settings ever in this HiFi hobby.

There is no way (still) to have automatic sample rate switching with any Amazon Desktop apps.

You can get bit perfect playback by manually setting sample rates like you have (even on macOS with Audio MIDI) but that's not what we want really.
It does actually, it stops other audio services using the DAC. So, for eg it will disable EAPO and stop any system sounds coming through (assuming you havent already disabled / muted them)- but yes, we all want (and exclsuive mode now seems to be synonymous with) sample rate switching &bit perfect transfer)
 

Music1969

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It does actually, it stops other audio services using the DAC. So, for eg it will disable EAPO and stop any system sounds coming through (assuming you havent already disabled / muted them)- but yes, we all want (and exclsuive mode now seems to be synonymous with) sample rate switching &bit perfect transfer)
Sorry, you're right, it does stop system sounds.

I meant to say it doesn't do what all other apps also do when they run in 'Exclusive Mode' - auto sample rate switching .

C'mon Bezos !
 

Dlomb11

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I've sent Amazon my feedback on this several times, including supporting ASIO drivers as well, pointing out that it's pretty useless to have UltraHD if I can't play it bit-perfect. I also reported that the playback devices that can be selected from the menu where there is also the volume often appear twice, probably because it is possible to choose between different drivers for the same device. Too bad there is no way to tell them apart because the same name is always shown.
Evidently the app development team isn't that active or smart.
In fact, the app as a whole is not that great ... it is a winner for the price, the catalog and the streaming quality. But like navigation, music discovery, suggestions, music preferences management, play queue, devices, etc, it is quite poor.
Not that the competitor is better anyway...
 

Music1969

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In fact, the app as a whole is not that great ... it is a winner for the price, the catalog and the streaming quality. But like navigation, music discovery, suggestions, music preferences management, play queue, devices, etc, it is quite poor.
Not that the competitor is better anyway...
Apple Music Loss is so far ahead.

If there comes a way to Airplay up to 24/192kHz to supported streamer (doesn't exist yet obviously), it's game over for everyone else to me.

Not perfect but just much better than Amazon.

I'm also referring to Apple Music on an iPad. On my mac it is still shockingly bad, like I'm still using 2003 iTunes.
 

Timstunes

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Please forgive my ignorance. Newbie in every sense here. Looking to play AMHD from my Samsung Galaxy into a AiyimaT9 via usb. What resolution could I expect? Would adding an external dac be better? Thanks for your assistance.
 

Grooved

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This makes sense for 16/44.1 files but I fear when the source file is anything other than this (which a lot of my and any AHD music is) , there is still going to be downsampling through the Windows audio stack (or maybe at the amazon server end). Amazon really need to enable dynamic sample rate switching in their exclusive mode but I might play around and listen to what happens when I set sample rate for HD to 16/44. Almost certainly wont be able to tell the difference!
Hi, the last time I checked, I thought they had several versions on their servers, and for all UHD tracks, they had a 16/44.1 version
Actually, the simple thing allowing to use 16/44.1 only would be Amazon adding in app the possibility to select it, with separated HD and UHD options, instead of a combo HD/UHD like it is now
 

NiagaraPete

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I'm also referring to Apple Music on an iPad. On my mac it is still shockingly bad, like I'm still using 2003 iTunes.
Agreed. Apple Music on iPad is wonderful. MacBook bad to horrible.
 

Jimbob54

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Hi, the last time I checked, I thought they had several versions on their servers, and for all UHD tracks, they had a 16/44.1 version
Actually, the simple thing allowing to use 16/44.1 only would be Amazon adding in app the possibility to select it, with separated HD and UHD options, instead of a combo HD/UHD like it is now
Agreed totally. Something that let's me set windows to 16 /44 and forget it.
 
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