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QOBUZ IN AMERICA

dysonapr

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For my more esoteric musical tastes (medieval to renaissance period, current UK folk/acoustic and current European electronic) Tidal still has the better selection. Not what I expected. The Qobuz catalog may improve as they get all their licensing agreements completed, but they claimed that would have been done at the time of the US public launch.

I find the Tidal and Qobuz Squeezebox plugins work a little differently, but about equally well. All in all, the Qobuz web UI is the only thing I find significantly better than Tidal. That is not sufficient reason for me to switch.
 
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I've had a Qobuz subscription for about 3 years - initially on a monthly basis (16/44) and for the last 2 years I've subscribed to the Sublime service also 16/44. This is a small saving over the monthly cost, but paid upfront and also gives me access to about half price high res downloads. Given that, I'll still try to find a used CD first or check the price on Amazon or Discogs. Only then do I buy the high res download. Occasionally they work out at a similar price - an example is the recent JS Ondara release - Tales of America - £8.49 for the 24/192 download or £9.99 for the CD from Amazon. Given that I can always sell the CD for about £1 it makes it pretty much equal. Haven't decided which way to go on this one yet.

Regarding the Qobuz service - I wish I could say that the desktop app was bug free, but my experience is that it often has problems. Currently, I can use it only if run as administrator. Otherwise it loads and then freezes. This has happened several times in the past few years. It has also suffered from crackles recently. I have a fibre high speed internet connection and it runs flawlessley when using Bubble uPNP on an Android tablet. I like the catalogue as it suits my musical tastes, and I like the simple design of the desktop app, but it really does need to improve. Everything goes through the JRiver engine as I use some DSP.

They've just offered me a free 60 day trial of Roon now that they've done a deal, which I'm tempted to take. Anyone else using Qobuz and Roon? - I'd be interested to learn of your experiences.

BTW - I'm with @Sal1950 regardingTidal. I did trial it before I took Qobuz and didn't like the way some music was pushed at me. Not interested in MQA either.
 

Samoyed

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Using my Nuprime Evolution DAC, I tried que ball and found it lifeless, but Tidal and mqa were satisfying. I then got an Innuous mini zen, and found Roon integration nearly flawless. Is Tidal perfect? Hardly. Much of the music is trash, but what I like, I love with this gear and yes, mqa.
 

svart-hvitt

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I've had a Qobuz subscription for about 3 years - initially on a monthly basis (16/44) and for the last 2 years I've subscribed to the Sublime service also 16/44. This is a small saving over the monthly cost, but paid upfront and also gives me access to about half price high res downloads. Given that, I'll still try to find a used CD first or check the price on Amazon or Discogs. Only then do I buy the high res download. Occasionally they work out at a similar price - an example is the recent JS Ondara release - Tales of America - £8.49 for the 24/192 download or £9.99 for the CD from Amazon. Given that I can always sell the CD for about £1 it makes it pretty much equal. Haven't decided which way to go on this one yet.

Regarding the Qobuz service - I wish I could say that the desktop app was bug free, but my experience is that it often has problems. Currently, I can use it only if run as administrator. Otherwise it loads and then freezes. This has happened several times in the past few years. It has also suffered from crackles recently. I have a fibre high speed internet connection and it runs flawlessley when using Bubble uPNP on an Android tablet. I like the catalogue as it suits my musical tastes, and I like the simple design of the desktop app, but it really does need to improve. Everything goes through the JRiver engine as I use some DSP.

They've just offered me a free 60 day trial of Roon now that they've done a deal, which I'm tempted to take. Anyone else using Qobuz and Roon? - I'd be interested to learn of your experiences.

BTW - I'm with @Sal1950 regardingTidal. I did trial it before I took Qobuz and didn't like the way some music was pushed at me. Not interested in MQA either.
Roon with Qobuz works flawlessly.
 

amirm

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Didn't realize David Solomon had joined them. He used to work for Peachtree and is the best audio demo person I know.

On the other hand, I didn't realize they charged $5 more per month than Tidal for high-res streaming. They of course have higher costs due to higher bit rate of their streams.
 

GioF71

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Finally received a invite to the US beta test.
What method of retrieval are our Linux guys using?

I find the UI a bit confusing but then I'm so accustomed to Spotify anything else will take a bit of getting used to.
Also find the catalog a bit thin, a couple of the popular albums I've already looked for are missing. Maybe the situation will improve when the beta is over?
Signed up for the high definition feed and after I get my OS paths straight I'll do some direct audible SQ comparisons between Spotify's 320 mbps and 16/44 and higher streams from Qobuz. Curious to see if any differences pop out but initially looks to be difficult to closely level match the two different feeds? SQ difference will have to be pretty obvious for me to justify spending over twice as much for the monthly service, well see.
Hello, I am using Qobuz in multiple ways, including on my linux desktop.
You can easily setup your desktop to play Qobuz without having to damage your "normal" audio user experience by disabling PulseAudio. PulseAudio is good at its purposes, which do not necessarily include hi-fi. It must guarantee you to be able to hear the "new email" notification when you are playing a youtube video. So the fact it might do resampling is not only expected but, in fact, it can be mandatory.

So, assuming you have your pc internal audio AND a DAC (maybe usb), what you need to do in PulseAudio is set your DAC to "OFF". I can post screenshot if needed.
Once you do that, the audio from your pc apps is unaffected (you can play youtube videos, and hear the new mail notification).

You need to install 3 apps and will likely need to open a terminal.

mpd
This is available on your distro repositories
On ubuntu and derivatives this is as simple as typing:
sudo apt install mpd

upmpdcli
Here is the download instruction page:
https://www.lesbonscomptes.com/upmpdcli/downloads.html

On ubuntu:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jean-francois-dockes/upnpp1
sudo apt update
sudo apt install upmpdcli

upplay
https://www.lesbonscomptes.com/upplay/downloads.html

On ubuntu:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jean-francois-dockes/upnp
sudo apt update
sudo apt install upplay

About the configuration.
Type:

cat /proc/asound/cards

Its output should be similar to this one:

Code:
0 [Intel          ]: HDA-Intel - HDA Intel
                      HDA Intel at 0xe0320000 irq 32
1 [DAC            ]: USB-Audio - X1S USB DAC
                      aune X1S USB DAC at usb-0000:00:1a.7-3, high speed
This is what comes out on my pc at work. The Aune X1S has a device name which is "DAC".
Now edit mpd.conf and instruct mpd to play on that device. On ubuntu use one of the following. "nano" is easier to use.

sudo nano /etc/mpd.conf
sudo vi /etc/mpd.conf

Scroll to find the "audio output" section for type "alsa"
Make sure it looks like the following snippet:

Code:
audio_output {
        type            "alsa"
        name            "DAC"
        device          "hw:DAC,0"
}
Of course in this snippet I use the string "DAC" because the name of my DAC is "DAC". You will need to adjust according to the output of the "cat /proc/asound/cards" command.
Save the file.

Restart mpd. On ubuntu:
sudo systemctl restart mpd

Now configure upmpdcli to use qobuz. On ubuntu:
sudo nano /etc/upmpdcli.conf
Scroll to find "qobuz"

Enter you username and password.
As qobuzformatid, I use 27 as mentioned in the qobuz API. The author was suggesting "7" for flac/hires, then I notified him of what I found. I don't know if he has updated the documentation. Anyway "27" does not hurt, 7 might work as well. I use 27 and can stream up to 24bit/192kHz.

Save the file.

Restart upmpd. On ubuntu:
sudo systemctl restart upmpdcli

Now you are ready! Just open Upplay, select your renderer (should be named upmpd) and the qobuz library (it should be named upmpdcli-mediaserver-qobuz or so).
Browse the library, populate the playlist, hit play.

Let me know if this works for you. There might be (hopefully small) mistakes.

Also keep in mind that you can use your phone/tablet with BubbleUpnp which has a great user interface. Upplay is quite useful on a "desktop only" environment. A different interface becomes almost mandatory when you create a dedicated device for say the living room and your main hi-fi set.
About the necessary hardware to build a dedicated qobuz-enable linux audio player, I use a Asus Tinkerboard as my "mpd/upmpdcli" boxes (3 of them!) and I am fully satisfied. The installation and configuration process is basically the same with minimal variation, mostly due to the use of debian respository for arm instead of the ubuntu ppa.

I hope this helps.
 
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Didn't realize David Solomon had joined them. He used to work for Peachtree and is the best audio demo person I know.

On the other hand, I didn't realize they charged $5 more per month than Tidal for high-res streaming. They of course have higher costs due to higher bit rate of their streams.
I scared David visibly when I met him at t.h.e. Show in 2016. I made him play Rockin Chair by The Band. About 10 seconds in he smiled at me. When I introduced myself after the demo I told him I wanted to ask a few questions. And said if I embarrassed you you wouldn't answer my questions about Tidal. I consider him a friend today even though he doesn't understand my dislike for MQA.
 

GioF71

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1560890417313.png

Screenshot of PulseAudio volume control (pauvcontrol).
In this case on my home desktop, the last unit is a USB-to-Spdif adapter with an XMOS chip. I use it with upmpdcli so, as far as PulseAudio is concerned, it is disabled. As you can see, on the last tab "Configuration" you need to set the device you want to dedicate to mpd/upmpdcli as "Off".
 

GioF71

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An easier option on the linux desktop is through Kodi.
In the standard repositories you can find Qobuz under "Music add-ons".
To avoid any resampling it is better to start kodi and kindly ask to use alsa as the audio backend. Just run kodi with this command line:

AE_SINK=ALSA kodi

Of course you can modify your menu entry replacing the command line from "kodi" to "AE_SINK=ALSA kodi" to make kodi run that way every time.
After that, just configure Audio like shown on the second screenshot.
The "Keep audio device" and and "Send low volume noise" were set by default. I removed those and everything is still ok, of course YMMV.
I think it's better to also disable "Maintain original volume on downmix" to avoid volume changes and keep the signal path as clean as possible.

No terminal needed if you change the menu entry!
Of course the same considerations about PulseAudio vs Alsa apply to this scenario, at least IMO.
Happy listening.

Reference:
https://kodi.wiki/view/PulseAudio#When_would_I_want_PulseAudio.3F


1560892438697.png


1560892604905.png
 
Last edited:

mi-fu

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Maybe you can start to your Tidal trip. Tidal vs Qobuz, which one to choose, you can depend on the detailed comparison to get the final decision. But if you finally choose Tidal music, the good news is that you can use Tidal Downloader to download Tidal files as FLAC format for offline without Tidal account anymore. Besides, both of them come with Hi-Fi audio quality. Nice!
Is it legal? :rolleyes:
 
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