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Is it valid to AB test different streaming services (Tidal, Spotify) by recording system audio?

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#1
Hey!
I want to AB test different streaming services in foobar using ABX comparator or in a DJ software just switching between A and B.
For this purpose will it be correct to just record the system audio in wav while a streaming service is playing and use these files for the test?
Will those recordings reflect a quality of a streaming service the same as if I just play it from its app?
 

majingotan

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#2
The easiest way is to do a blind test. Or you can get this by using Audacity WASAPI loopback then use FoobarABX comparator that way
 

Mnyb

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#3
If possible turn off all kind of replay gain functionality ie if the functions that makes the playback level the same between tracks .

It can be hard to be really sure that a track is from the same master ? So you don’t compare apples with oranges .

One service may very well have a better version off some music and the other service better versions of something else .i think no one can know , not even the so called hifi tier offered by some do any QC of the music it’s still the labels uploading what they please .

For example if wanted to stream “ hifi quality “ I would want the optimal master of an album the format is secondary .
( we all heard hd tracks 24/192 music that’s the terrible loudnes war modernised version of the album , then I prefer the cassette version :facepalm: )

But it can be done make some obscure music choice with very good recordings for your test and no one would have bothered with a remaster :)
 

Soniclife

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#4
Hey!
I want to AB test different streaming services in foobar using ABX comparator or in a DJ software just switching between A and B.
For this purpose will it be correct to just record the system audio in wav while a streaming service is playing and use these files for the test?
Will those recordings reflect a quality of a streaming service the same as if I just play it from its app?
Yes it's valid. You can test your setup and approach by recording a CD rip, and comparing to the original rip of the CD, if the two files match you're good. Delta wave is great for this comparison.
 
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