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Loudness war has invaded the audiophile streaming services.

ThatM1key

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While I was listening to music on tidal I noticed this one track sounded louder than usually. The track was "every rose has its thorn" by poison. I directly downloaded the songs from Qobuz and Tidal to compare. I will be using the DR Tool with Foobar2000. Yes I do own this specific song.

Original 1988 CD Release:
1988.JPG


Hard + Heavy CD Set Release:
HH.JPG


Tidal MQA (No decode):
Tidal.JPG


Qobuz 96khz 24bit:
Q.JPG


1988 CD Release:
spek1.JPG


Qobuz 96khz 24bit:
qobuz.JPG


My conclusion: I expect songs on this services to be actually high quality, free from increased volume. I was gonna thinking about getting a mqa dac for my main setup but theres no point. I shouldn't have to there download files to see if its high quality or not. Its sad how the qobuz and tidal versions is comparable to $5 walmart cds. DR of 6 to 7 is expected for pop modern songs not 80s rock music. If Spotify was like this I wouldn't care too much about it, its $10 a month after all but when you charge $5 to $10 more, I expect something better. I would rather listen to walmart cd mp3s then some walmart cd flacs. Its better to pay for old cds than to shell out your money for a service that has collection of walmart-quality flacs.
 
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tw99

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Presumably they're streaming a remastered (aka loudness war casualty) version of the album ? That's just one of the reasons why your own local content can be preferable to streaming where you have little/no control over which version you get to listen to.
 

tmtomh

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I certainly agree with the OP - but I’m a little puzzled as to why they are surprised at this. “Audiophile” streaming services are audiophile only in that they offer high-res, lossless streaming formats/tiers. They take whatever files the record labels give them, which are almost always remasters - which in turn are often Loudness War masterings.

In particular, you’re pretty much never going to get a 1980s/early ’90s CD mastering on such a service - not only because it’s old, but also because as far as I know the digital master tapes/files for most albums up until maybe the mid-90s were only 16/44.1 sources. So the labels are going to supply the “audiophile” streaming services with high-res content, which usually means masterings made from digital transfers done within the last 20-25 years, often much more recently than that.

This is one of the main reasons I’d never pay for a premium, high-res streaming subscription: no control over which masterings I can play, and often very little way to even know which exact mastering it is.
 
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ThatM1key

ThatM1key

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ThatM1key

ThatM1key

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I appreciate all the support I got on this thread. I have gotten the Dolby Atmos version of this song from Tidal. OG version was a MP4 file. I wanted to get a DR reading but foobar wasn't having it. I extracted the audio in a MKA file, still didn't do the trick. I went the old convert route and used vlc. Converting mp4 to wav. Did the trick but the file sounds very very odd. Mind you that you can play the OG with the groove app or vlc itself. DR rating said 15 on the wav but I don't know. I am gonna include pictures anyways.

OG MP4 Specs:
og.JPG


OG MP4 Spectrum:
OG2.JPG


VLC WAV Spectrum:
vlc1.JPG


WAV DR:
wav.JPG
 
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firedog

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I certainly agree with the OP - but I’m a little puzzled as to why they are surprised at this. “Audiophile” streaming services are audiophile only in that they offer high-res, lossless streaming formats/tiers. They take whatever files the record labels give them, which are almost always remasters - which in turn are often Loudness War masterings.

In particular, you’re pretty much never going to get a 1980s/early ’90s CD mastering on such a service - not only because it’s old, but also because as far as I know the digital master tapes/files for most albums up until maybe the mid-90s were only 16/44.1 sources. So the labels are going to supply the “audiophile” streaming services with high-res content, which usually means masterings made from digital transfers done within the last 20-25 years, often much more recently than that.

This is one of the main reasons I’d never pay for a premium, high-res streaming subscription: no control over which masterings I can play, and often very little way to even know which exact mastering it is.
What you said is correct, but Qobuz often has a newer version and an older - even Redbook- version in it's catalog. Of course, if all of them have undergone "upgrading" via volume compression - you're out of luck.
Just another reason to actually buy music you really like.
 
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ThatM1key

ThatM1key

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What you said is correct, but Qobuz often has a newer version and an older - even Redbook- version in it's catalog. Of course, if all of them have undergone "upgrading" via volume compression - you're out of luck.
Just another reason to actually buy music you really like.

There is 3 other versions of the album on Qobuz, I'll test those
 
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Mnyb

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I say this again (for the n'th time on all forums) a true audiophile streaming service would curate the good masters for us to enjoy .
But that entails manual work and research which costs money .
Do any streaming actually covering their costs these days ? at all ?
 
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ThatM1key

ThatM1key

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The Other 3 Albums on Qobuz. "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" tested only on each album. Also did the tidal ones. There 2 mqa albums on tidal but I forgot which album I first tested, gonna test them again anyways.

https://play.qobuz.com/album/0094634572057:
2003.JPG


https://play.qobuz.com/album/z0h82qfhikuua
q1.JPG


https://play.qobuz.com/album/ken83ymqk3oab
q2.JPG


https://tidal.com/browse/album/127187
20th.JPG


https://tidal.com/browse/album/87355340
*MQA
m1.JPG


https://tidal.com/browse/album/87355378
*MQA
m2.JPG


https://tidal.com/browse/album/87355414
n1.JPG


https://www.deezer.com/us/album/61417752
*Highest Quality
deezer.JPG



For Giggles:
*Direct OPUS Stream
yt.JPG


Quick Conclusion: Waste of Time and money by putting up multiple shit copies. It is sad how a free version of the song on Youtube is comparable to versions on "Audiophile" services. Here in America, people have data caps on there internet for some reason. It is a waste of data to stream these versions, I would rather stream the Spotify version or even the YouTube version at this point.
 
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Mnyb

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.. and that's why i have not moved beyond Spotify premium , why should I ?

In cases where i could be reasonably sure that the online and CD version are the same (small artist small label live album no budget to crank out seven versions) I have done some informal limited tests .
Using the spotty plugin in LMS (based on libre spot) with volume eq turned of and a 320kbps stream it's basically the same i would have to resort to a true ABX style test to make sure , what i did was cuing up my CD copy and sportify version of some track multiple times in a playlist and scrambled them , not rigorous conditions but i could not tell.

Sometimes you can tell some odd track on sportify can sound bad , which is down to non existing QC and selection of tracks which is whatever gets uploaded from the labels so no surprise there .

But there is no reason to select streaming service based on codecs . there is no controls at all in place to streams decent versions of any track I'll take the good version on cassette any day . 320kB to 24/96 or MQA are basically the same compared to mastering and version differences , so it's all elaborate turd polishing :D
 

Phorize

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But there is no reason to select streaming service based on codecs.

You are likely to be right in most many cases from an audible SQ point of view, but there’s abit more to codecs than SQ. Obnoxious codec licensing is a reason to avoid certain technologies.
 

Mnyb

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You are likely to be right in most many cases from an audible SQ point of view, but there’s abit more to codecs than SQ. Obnoxious codec licensing is a reason to avoid certain technologies.

I agree on that, we need more formats as much as hole in the head :) the whole content delivery situation online is like records before riaa standardardisation wax cylinder vs 78 disc vhs vs beta etc. How many streaming services to watch TV ? Netflix HBO and Disney ?
The whole situation is like we would for some reason need different CD players for different record companies . You cant find full coverage in any music streaming service ?
It's getting better actually remember when iTunes where a monolithic blob with proprietary solutions hampering online music and Apples refusal to add flac codec to iTunes ?
I think much of computer audio immediately went wrong with proprietary formats from both apple and Microsoft who needed that ?
Well home computing has a messy history and computing in general we live with many compromises and odd decisions from the past.
 

mhardy6647

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You know... :rolleyes:

Skimming this thread ;) just reinforces my notion that the physical purchase and "ownership" (yeah, I know -- one owns the medium, not the content encoded thereuon!) of content on "hard" media (be those media fabricated of polycarbonate, polyvinyl chloride, or polyester) still has some advantage even in 2020 2021 AD (or CE, if one prefers).

DSC_0045 by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
DSC_2465 by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
Otari MX5050 010215 1 by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
1610546238508.png
 
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