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Introducing Tonal – A Minimalist Music App for Collectors and Audiophiles

baoshan

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Hello, members of ASR!

We’re looking for some pilot users for a new service. If you’re a music collector or audiophile with a Mac computer, I believe our new solution Tonal will bring you a better music experience.

Tonal is a minimalist music app for collectors and audiophiles. With Tonal, your complete digital collection is organized in one place and is ready to be streamed anytime, anywhere. That may sound unfancy, but there’re three foundational innovations which clearly differentiate the Tonal experience from the competition.
  1. A managed cloud-based music locker service with audio quality verification built-in.
  2. An innovative metadata solution which focuses on standard, quality, and community collaboration.
  3. A well-crafted playback engine which ensures highly predictable audiophile performance.
Anyone interested can read more and download the initial version from below link (more screenshots included):

https://medium.com/tonal-app/introducing-tonal-74c748f200b9

This thread will be monitored. Feel free to ask me any question.

Some screenshots of the Tonal app:

ss_1.png ss_2.png ss_3.jpg Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 1.21.31 PM.png ss_4c.png ss_5.png
 

Kal Rubinson

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Will there will be support for DSD and/or multichannel?
 
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baoshan

baoshan

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Will there will be support for DSD and/or multichannel?

Tonal takes control of every single detail from audio verification to streaming. The playback engine is highly original and rather low-level.

So, Yes! DSD (DoP) and multichannel support are possible. But do you mind waiting until the core concept of Tonal is accepted by our community? Plus, we have a special automated output device optimization process, I wish I could gather some feedbacks from pilot users on the audiophile performance.
 

DonH56

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Tonal takes control of every single detail from audio verification to streaming. The playback engine is highly original and rather low-level.

So, Yes! DSD (DoP) and multichannel support are possible. But do you mind waiting until the core concept of Tonal is accepted by our community? Plus, we have a special automated output device optimization process, I wish I could gather some feedbacks from pilot users on the audiophile performance.

Google Kal Rubinson and Stereophile; I think you'll find his insights could be interesting.

Any plans for Windows? I do not own a Mac.
 

RayDunzl

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The Apple fell from the tree and was lost here around 1998.

I haven't missed it.
 
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baoshan

baoshan

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Google Kal Rubinson and Stereophile; I think you'll find his insights could be interesting.

Any plans for Windows? I do not own a Mac.

Wow, glad to know Kal is a famous columnist! His suggestion is indeed pertinent: DSD support is on the to-do list.

For a Windows version: it takes time. When a reference Mac release is accepted by the community, we’ll start working on a Windows counterpart.
 
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baoshan

baoshan

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system requirements?

Hi! Any Mac computer running macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) with a decent internet connection is enough for Tonal. Since music is secured in the cloud, you don’t need a large SSD/HDD to manage your collection.
 

Wombat

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I am always concerned about long-term cloud-storage access and security.
 
Last edited:
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baoshan

baoshan

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I am always concerned about long-term cloud storage security.

Great question!

The disc registration process is performed in your personal iCloud drive, even the operation team (developer) has no read/write permission. Plus, there’s no username/password to maintain, and actually, we know nothing about our users.
 

Wombat

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Security also means security of retrieval or loss of content.

An example is a web-based photo sharing service that offered free file storage. The company changed its terms and conditions and only provided retrieval to paid subscribers. Those who didn't subsequently subscribe basically lost their photos.
 

Sal1950

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Randem Tox

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Great question!

The disc registration process is performed in your personal iCloud drive, even the operation team (developer) has no read/write permission. Plus, there’s no username/password to maintain, and actually, we know nothing about our users.

Is the actual uploaded music stored in, and streamed from, our personal iCloud drives?
 

Frank Dernie

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I may be non-typical but despite being a Mac user for over 30 years I don't like the idea of the cloud storage that they introduced a while ago downgrading the functionality of much of the software I had been using for ages from my point of view.
I will not be using any cloud based music system now or in the future.
 
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baoshan

baoshan

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I may be non-typical but despite being a Mac user for over 30 years I don't like the idea of the cloud storage that they introduced a while ago downgrading the functionality of much of the software I had been using for ages from my point of view.
I will not be using any cloud based music system now or in the future.

Hello, Frank! Thank you for sharing your valuable thoughts. I believe I understand your concern. Local storage gives me more confidence as well.

Sometimes I’m afraid of losing my digital collection (hard drive failure, etc.) or lack of accessibility (leaving home without external drive or NAS). I’m not preaching the cloud-based concept, Tonal is just an experiment.

As a collector, I would like to give it a try and see if it works for me. If you give it a try, you may find other features such as the managed metadata engine very interesting.

Have a nice day!
 
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baoshan

baoshan

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Is the actual uploaded music stored in, and streamed from, our personal iCloud drives?

Hello, Randem! What a wonderful question!
  1. The audio (in a proprietary format, without any metadata or personal information) is secured in a content-addressable cloud storage.
  2. The key to access above audio and link above audio to according metadata is registered in your private iCloud storage. Only you have the read/write access.
  3. Since we only store the key in your iCloud storage, the extra storage required for iCloud drive is quite small (usually in kilo-bytes).
  4. We don’t know our users’ name, email, iCloud account, etc.
Please let me know if you have further questions. Nice day!
 

Frank Dernie

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Hello, Frank! Thank you for sharing your valuable thoughts. I believe I understand your concern. Local storage gives me more confidence as well.

Sometimes I’m afraid of losing my digital collection (hard drive failure, etc.) or lack of accessibility (leaving home without external drive or NAS). I’m not preaching the cloud-based concept, Tonal is just an experiment.

As a collector, I would like to give it a try and see if it works for me. If you give it a try, you may find other features such as the managed metadata engine very interesting.

Have a nice day!
Thanks for the reply. My solution for music whilst travelling, I was travelling for my work for 35 years before I retired, evolved at the technology changed. In 1976, my first year racing, I just had to put up with no music whilst away from home. The original Walkman came out in 1979 iirc, and was pretty expensive, but our driver, Alan Jones, bought one and I was sufficiently impressed to save up. I had been making my own recordings for 10 years already and this meant transcribing them from reel to reel tape to cassette and recording my favourite LPs to cassette. Little by little I ended up carrying larger and larger briefcases with more and more cassettes...
I upgraded walkman from time to time then tried MD and portable CD players but the biggest step came with the announcement of the iPod which I preordered and I ended up, for the first time in many years, with a briefcase of sensible size and weight.
The only problem, for me, with my iPod, was that Steve Jobs was uninterested in classical music and had chosen a file structure of artist and album name, and called the tracks "songs" (FFS). This meant ripping my mainly classical CDs gave a scrambled iTunes library hopelessly disorganised, since each track of a classical work may well have a list of different artists. I resolved this by simply making each classical work a playlist with a title chosen to make sure it listed in a logical order. This still is the way I use ripped music. Normal metadata still results in a scrambled mess of a music library for classical music.
I still don't have the problems you mention. The risk of loss of data is mitigated by backups (I have been using computers since 1970 and with early hard drives the size of as washing machine data loss was a much bigger risk than today). I don't need to leave home with a hard drive or NAS since my music library is all on my phone (or A&K portable player).
Not trying to be argumentative here, just pointing out that not all music lovers will benefit from your interesting experiment.
Cheers!
 
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