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Stereophile's Jim Austin Says Streaming Atmos Sucks

Axo1989

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Why not? Is there a non-Atmos ban at Apple that I missed?
I just checked in Apple Music. In Classical there are 55 albums listed under new releases, 36 of those have no Atmos version.

Yes, while Apple is presumably encouraging Atmos mixes, I don't see any sign that it's mandatory. The new releases that appear for me (generally non-classical) appear to be various wrt Atmos or not, hi-res or not, and so on.
 

Newman

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Why not? Is there a non-Atmos ban at Apple that I missed?
I just checked in Apple Music. In Classical there are 55 albums listed under new releases, 36 of those have no Atmos version.
Since Jan 2024 Apple pay 10% more royalties per play to artists for music available in Atmos.

They say it is not only in order to promote higher quality sound for their customers to enjoy, but also in consideration of the costs of making an Atmos mix.

That’s “why not”. There is no ban, so Tunecore will still work for Apple, but spatial will be rewarded and that will have an impact. @Axo1989 to note.

It won’t take long for artists to respond accordingly. You can expect to see widespread adoption. Artists are nothing if not desperate for revenue.

Apple also say that more than 80% of songs to have charted on the platform’s Global Daily Top 100 in the past year are available in Spatial Audio. So I think we can safely say it’s on the rise…big time.

cheers
 
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Justdafactsmaam

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Since Jan 2024 Apple pay 10% more royalties per play to artists for music available in Atmos.

They say it is not only in order to promote higher quality sound for their customers to enjoy, but also in consideration of the costs of making an Atmos mix.

That’s “why not”. @Axo1989 to note.

It won’t take long for artists to respond accordingly. You can expect to see widespread adoption. Artists are nothing if not desperate for revenue.

Apple also say that more than 80% of songs to have charted on the platform’s Global Daily Top 100 in the past year are available in Spatial Audio. So I think we can safely say it’s on the rise.

cheers
It is a rough time to be a recording artist if you are not one of the elite. Ironically one of the best means of making money is vinyl.
 

Newman

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Agreed. Vinyl rips the customer off with insane per-song prices. Great way to make money.
 

MattHooper

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Agreed. Vinyl rips the customer off with insane per-song prices. Great way to make money.
(Vs ripping off the artists, in the digital streaming model?)

Seeing it as "per-song prices" is of course completely missing the point.

It's like evaluating the dining value of a meal at Michelin starred restaurant based only on the market price of each ingredient.

Vinyl is expensive and time consuming to make, and only exacerbated by supply chain issues. There is plenty of information on this for anyone actually seriously interested in understanding vinyl prices. (My brother spent a heck of a long time and expense on his vinyl release).

The reason people pay more for vinyl is because the very attributes they don't get from digital streaming, the physical vinyl format, is hard and expensive to make.
So of course it costs more. But people pay for it because they get value from elements that are absent in streaming. (Not to mention, many appreciate more money goes to the artist).
 

Axo1989

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Since Jan 2024 Apple pay 10% more royalties per play to artists for music available in Atmos.

They say it is not only in order to promote higher quality sound for their customers to enjoy, but also in consideration of the costs of making an Atmos mix.

That’s “why not”. There is no ban, so Tunecore will still work for Apple, but spatial will be rewarded and that will have an impact. @Axo1989 to note.

I think that comes under the category of "encouraging". I'd be at least mildly encouraged. Do you disagree?

It won’t take long for artists to respond accordingly. You can expect to see widespread adoption. Artists are nothing if not desperate for revenue.

Apple also say that more than 80% of songs to have charted on the platform’s Global Daily Top 100 in the past year are available in Spatial Audio. So I think we can safely say it’s on the rise…big time.

Checking the (algorithmically personalised) new releases section in my Apple Music just now—a somewhat eclectic collection of artists that even I haven't always heard of that may or may not overlap with anyone's top 100—I count 30 lossless, 12 Atmos, 4 high-res and 2 Atmos and hi-res (meaning both formats, not lossless Atmos). That's out of 48, to save anyone unnecessary counting. So in the more obscure corners of music production, you can say Atmos has already been encouraged.

The selection includes household names like o0o and @ as well as an inexplicable appearance by Ariana Grande. One format maximalist (Atmos and hi-res) was Chelsea Wolfe (more fun than Phoebe Bridgers, I reckon after listening) I forgot the other one but I'm not clicking through them all again (Wolfe and Grande both appear as Apple Digital Masters another variable, which I didn't tally overall). Apple could be more encouraging by adding an indication of formats via the album cover overview, I reckon ...

Screenshot 2024-03-24 at 10.45.58 am.png
 
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Justdafactsmaam

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Agreed. Vinyl rips the customer off with insane per-song prices. Great way to make money.
No one is getting ripped off. The customer knows exactly what they are getting. If you don’t believe in supporting the artists who make the music you listen to that’s on you. When it comes to the artists I care about, I go to their concerts, buy their physical media, directly from the artists when possible. And I often buy other merch. They enrich my life with their music. They deserve to make a living
 

Newman

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It's like evaluating the dining value of a meal at Michelin starred restaurant based only on the market price of each ingredient.
Another bad analogy...your specialty.

What if you can get better tasting food at a higher-starred restaurant for ¼ the price?

Even if the chef at the rip-off restaurant is getting paid more, the customer is still ripped off.
 

Axo1989

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Another bad analogy...your specialty.

What if you can get better tasting food at a higher-starred restaurant for ¼ the price?

Even if the chef at the rip-off restaurant is getting paid more, the customer is still ripped off.

Or the restaurant offers value via intangibles, like location. I'm likely to pay more at the Bennelong than at Nomad but neither are a rip-off (or both are depending how you look at things). Ignoring Michelin stars for now, which also rate intangibles like presentation. Even food-wise, what I enjoy may or may not correlate: "better tasting food" is astonishingly subjective. Not unlike "better sounding music".
 

Newman

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No one is getting ripped off. The customer knows exactly what they are getting. If you don’t believe in supporting the artists who make the music you listen to that’s on you. When it comes to the artists I care about, I go to their concerts, buy their physical media, directly from the artists when possible. And I often buy other merch. They enrich my life with their music. They deserve to make a living
I am perfectly sympathetic to the needs of the artist. Your snide, cynical personal attack on me is par for your course. How ignorant and presumptive!

How many CDs have you bought, and songs you streamed, but then you haven't made a direct payment to the artist? Why not?? Don't you care about them?? They deserve to make a living, you know!

Honestly, some people need to lift their game. Hypocrisy rules. As if the amount of royalty paid for an LP sold is the 'right' amount. Right for whom? Musicians have generally struggled to make a living from their music, at any time in history.

Why is it the vinyl defenders league that behaves the worst in forum discussions here, and don't respect boundaries?

I repeat: in terms of what music you get and what you pay, vinyl is the worst possible value. That's just da facts, maam.
 

Axo1989

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I repeat: in terms of what music you get and what you pay, vinyl is the worst possible value. That's just da facts, maam.

But only if you circumscribe "value" to exclude various tangible/intangible aspects of the vinyl LP playback experience. Which some people clearly "value". Not me so much—I don't actually do it—but I have no trouble comprehending it in this discussion, etc.

Now I'm distracted by a hankering for some $825 caviar and buckwheat pikelets at the Bennelong (ok that does include some pricey MV Krug) so I'd better go make breakfast instead ... :)

Edit: thankfully there was an untouched round of nicely ripe goat cheese in the fridge, some rye sourdough and a just-opened bottle of Domaine Mosse, so I've come through the other side, and saved ~$750. A bargain, just like digital streaming.
 
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Justdafactsmaam

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I am perfectly sympathetic to the needs of the artist.
Baloney. Anyone who accuses artists of ripping people off by selling vinyl clearly is not sympathetic but down right antagonistic towards artists.

Your snide, cynical personal attack on me is par for your course. How ignorant and presumptive!

I stated facts about artists and how many of them pay the rent. If you took it as a personal attack then maybe you should reflect a bit on your attitude towards any of them selling vinyl. Their need to make a living is not trivial. Your vendetta against vinyl is.

How many CDs have you bought, and songs you streamed, but then you haven't made a direct payment to the artist? Why not?? Don't you care about them?? They deserve to make a living, you know!

I have bought somewhere in the neighborhood of over a thousand CDs. A couple hundred directly from the artists. Often in person and autographed.

I don’t stream.

Yes *I* do care about the artists. And *I* act upon it. I don’t give a flying **** whether you do or not. That’s on you. But again, accusing them of ripping people off by selling vinyl is boarder-line sociopathic and the opposite of sympathetic towards their needs

Honestly, some people need to lift their game. Hypocrisy rules.

Clean your own home before pointing fingers
Just a suggestion

As if the amount of royalty paid for an LP sold is the 'right' amount. Right for whom? Musicians have generally struggled to make a living from their music, at any time in history.

When musicians produce their own physical media and sell it themselves and thank us for supporting them by buying it I am assuming they have done the math and are making money.

I get the impression you’ve never actually experienced that

Why is it the vinyl defenders league that behaves the worst in forum discussions here, and don't respect boundaries?

My comment had NOTHING to do with defending vinyl. It was about artists making money off of their work. OTOH your response was quite telling.
To hell with the artists, your vendetta against vinyl is far far more important

I repeat: in terms of what music you get and what you pay, vinyl is the worst possible value. That's just da facts, maam.
Value is subjective. Among other things I value the artists themselves
 

MattHooper

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Another bad analogy...your specialty.

Unmatched by your specialty at misunderstanding analogies ;-)

You tried to evaluate the value of digital to vinyl merely on a song-by-song price basis.

Which misses all the elements of vinyl that some people find valuable, and which they feel enhances their experience. Just like a "foodie" may find value in fine dining that
you may not. Merely speaking to the price differences of the ingredients, for instance "I could just buy these ingredients and make it at home" doesn't get at that added value to the fine dining experience. There is the pleasure of being served your dinner: not having to go through the process of putting together a complicated meal yourself, and simply relax and enjoy the food. There is the pleasure in the atmosphere and aesthetics of a nice restaurant. The interaction with good staff. Perhaps some nice live music going on. The beautiful presentation of the food. The act of getting out of the house, socializing, dressing up somewhat for the occasion. The fact the chef will inevitably put his own spin on the taste of the food than you may not have, etc.

People (like me) see all this as value-added elements to dining in a fine restaurant vs just trying to make it ourselves at home. Just going on "what it would cost just to buy the same ingredients to make that meal" totally misses these elements.

Just like vinyl has all the many attributes...which have been explained to you ad nauseam...that people find add value, and which digital streaming does not provide.

And as you have, predictably, missed the point of the analogy, you have missed the point in your own analogy:

What if you can get better tasting food at a higher-starred restaurant for ¼ the price?

No.

In your analogy you get EVERYTHING you get in the more expensive option, for less money.

Whereas with digital you are NOT getting EVERYTHING you get in vinyl! That's the whole point.

Vinyl offers a lot of DIFFERENT elements for the record buyer that digital streaming does not offer, listed tons of times in this thread as well as my earlier post.
 

MattHooper

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Baloney. Anyone who accuses artists of ripping people off by selling vinyl clearly is not sympathetic but down right antagonistic towards artists.



I stated facts about artists and how many of them pay the rent. If you took it as a personal attack then maybe you should reflect a bit on your attitude towards any of them selling vinyl. Their need to make a living is not trivial. Your vendetta against vinyl is.



I have bought somewhere in the neighborhood of over a thousand CDs. A couple hundred directly from the artists. Often in person and autographed.

I don’t stream.

Yes *I* do care about the artists. And *I* act upon it. I don’t give a flying **** whether you do or not. That’s on you. But again, accusing them of ripping people off by selling vinyl is boarder-line sociopathic and the opposite of sympathetic towards their needs



Clean your own home before pointing fingers
Just a suggestion



When musicians produce their own physical media and sell it themselves and thank us for supporting them by buying it I am assuming they have done the math and are making money.

I get the impression you’ve never actually experienced that



My comment had NOTHING to do with defending vinyl. It was about artists making money off of their work. OTOH your response was quite telling.
To hell with the artists, your vendetta against vinyl is far far more important


Value is subjective. Among other things I value the artists themselves

Ouch! :cool:
 

Sal1950

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Just like vinyl has all the many attributes...which have been explained to you ad nauseam...that people find add value, and which digital streaming does not provide.
"Attributes", don't you mean drawbacks, disadvantages, incompetence?
 

Brian Hall

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I wonder if Atmos music being pushed by the streaming services in an attempt to get people to abandon vinyl records?

Amazon Music has a lot more Atmos than the last time I checked. More than Tidal. I never had Apple Music to compare what they have.

I've been listening to Atmos music on Amazon tonight. Some was well done and others, not so much. The best was Come Together by the Beatles. I Won't Back Down by Tom Petty was also done well. Those two stood out. Others mainly seemed to have a much wider soundstage than normal stereo.

The Fire TV Cube outputting HDMI to my AVR is the way I'm streaming Atmos. I really have to crank up the volume to get to a normal listening level when playing Atmos tracks.
 

Newman

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I wonder if Atmos music being pushed by the streaming services in an attempt to get people to abandon vinyl records?
That’s a bit of a conspiracy theory IMHO.

It’s just standard practice to offer more features in order to compete for market share.
 

chelgrian

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I wonder if Atmos music being pushed by the streaming services in an attempt to get people to abandon vinyl records?

Amazon Music has a lot more Atmos than the last time I checked. More than Tidal. I never had Apple Music to compare what they have.

I've been listening to Atmos music on Amazon tonight. Some was well done and others, not so much. The best was Come Together by the Beatles. I Won't Back Down by Tom Petty was also done well. Those two stood out. Others mainly seemed to have a much wider soundstage than normal stereo.

The Fire TV Cube outputting HDMI to my AVR is the way I'm streaming Atmos. I really have to crank up the volume to get to a normal listening level when playing Atmos tracks.
Atmos mastering requires an integrated LUFS not exceeding -18db that means that all the 'loudness war' tricks used over the past few decades are instantly unusable.

It does mean that by standard an Atmos track will seem quieter than traditionally mastered content but in reality it has more dynamic range.
 
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