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Streaming Service Summary

Richard10250

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After a few months of poking at streaming solutions for my 2 channel system, I have come to the following observations:

Spotify Connect
Pros: Great user interface – great for discovery – Spotify Connect is widely supported
Cons: Music is relatively low resolution – all the forum members will mock you for using this service – the promised high-resolution service will be available “sometime soon”
Tidal Connect
Pros: High resolution music – large catalog – MQA magic – polished user interface - Roon is a great add on that adds a richer visual experience
Cons: MQA is snake oil – pushed to reduce bandwidth burden – cost with Roon is high – pushes music genres outside my musical tastes
Amazon HD
Pros: Low cost – high resolution without MQA – strong catalog
Cons: No Amazon connect service – Bluesound Node offers some integration but has limited capability due to simple Amazon API – Amazon desktop app required for high resolution, but app always stops on second track of a session – support instructs me to use web app which cannot support high resolution
Local Music Library
Pros: No cost once purchased – lots of free solutions for solid user interface – Roon available if you want a rich user interface
Cons: High cost to build a library – discovery is expensive – laborious to rip CDs for the library – not readily portable

Are my observations consistent with your experience?




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Jimbob54

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After a few months of poking at streaming solutions for my 2 channel system, I have come to the following observations:

Spotify Connect
Pros: Great user interface – great for discovery – Spotify Connect is widely supported
Cons: Music is relatively low resolution – all the forum members will mock you for using this service – the promised high-resolution service will be available “sometime soon”
Tidal Connect
Pros: High resolution music – large catalog – MQA magic – polished user interface - Roon is a great add on that adds a richer visual experience
Cons: MQA is snake oil – pushed to reduce bandwidth burden – cost with Roon is high – pushes music genres outside my musical tastes
Amazon HD
Pros: Low cost – high resolution without MQA – strong catalog
Cons: No Amazon connect service – Bluesound Node offers some integration but has limited capability due to simple Amazon API – Amazon desktop app required for high resolution, but app always stops on second track of a session – support instructs me to use web app which cannot support high resolution
Local Music Library
Pros: No cost once purchased – lots of free solutions for solid user interface – Roon available if you want a rich user interface
Cons: High cost to build a library – discovery is expensive – laborious to rip CDs for the library – not readily portable

Are my observations consistent with your experience?




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Yes, apart from I don't have your track 2 issue with amazon Windows app. But it does have random fraction of a second gaps mid track more often than I consider acceptable.
 

acbarn

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After a few months of poking at streaming solutions for my 2 channel system, I have come to the following observations:

Spotify Connect
Pros: Great user interface – great for discovery – Spotify Connect is widely supported
Cons: Music is relatively low resolution – all the forum members will mock you for using this service – the promised high-resolution service will be available “sometime soon”
Tidal Connect
Pros: High resolution music – large catalog – MQA magic – polished user interface - Roon is a great add on that adds a richer visual experience
Cons: MQA is snake oil – pushed to reduce bandwidth burden – cost with Roon is high – pushes music genres outside my musical tastes
Amazon HD
Pros: Low cost – high resolution without MQA – strong catalog
Cons: No Amazon connect service – Bluesound Node offers some integration but has limited capability due to simple Amazon API – Amazon desktop app required for high resolution, but app always stops on second track of a session – support instructs me to use web app which cannot support high resolution
Local Music Library
Pros: No cost once purchased – lots of free solutions for solid user interface – Roon available if you want a rich user interface
Cons: High cost to build a library – discovery is expensive – laborious to rip CDs for the library – not readily portable

Are my observations consistent with your experience?




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That sums it up pretty well. Being someone who is deeply invested in the Apple ecosystem I’d add Apple Music to the list. It’s arguably the best choice for Apple users (particularly heavy iOS users), but may require jumping through too many hoops for those who aren’t.
 
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Seeker-Smith

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You are missing one major player being Apple Music.
 
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Richard10250

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You are missing one major player being Apple Music.
Is there a high resolution path to getting Apple music into an amp? Streaming via Airplay does not seem like a high resolution path, but maybe I don't understand.
 

acbarn

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Is there a high resolution path to getting Apple music into an amp? Streaming via Airplay does not seem like a high resolution path, but maybe I don't understand.
Apple Music on iOS via the Camera Connection Kit to USB gives bit perfect high res. I’ve tested it on my RME ADI-2 DAC fs using their bit perfect test files. The bottom photo shows 24/192 playing from Apple Music.

FCB5F347-317C-4B76-A7BA-F6DFCB68AD5B.jpeg
16F6C1D2-8E27-4918-89F0-A6F701962CA7.jpeg
 

sarumbear

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Is there a high resolution path to getting Apple music into an amp? Streaming via Airplay does not seem like a high resolution path, but maybe I don't understand.
In my book a lossy format like MQA is infinitely better than what Apple Music is offering now. Streaming via AirPlay is limited to CD quality but still uncompressed, unlike MQA. Tidal is no longer a quality leader.
 

sarumbear

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sarumbear

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Except Apple Music on MacOS doesn’t do auto sample rate switching, which is crazy. I‘m not a Windows user, but I suspect it’s the same on Windows?
Does Apple Hi-Res streams in different sample rates?
 

Chrispy

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Spotify may be lower resolution (but still relatively unimportant) but makes up for it in other usefulness and the variety of devices that incorporate it. I'll take lossless if they get it out there, tho. If I were an apple user maybe that would be okay, but the pc version of iTunes sucked and I gave up on it, but never really used them just for streaming in any case.

Ripping a large collection all at one time can be laborious (or a welcome alternative if injured), but a coupla cds at a time is easy enough. Doubt our local library has much to offer, tho I should check it out. Will leave them my collection of various optical disc types in any case.

I have no use for Tidal, tho and Roon is not worth the money (to me in my use, I do understand how some might like it)
 

Seeker-Smith

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Except Apple Music on MacOS doesn’t do auto sample rate switching, which is crazy. I‘m not a Windows user, but I suspect it’s the same on Windows?
It should. I only use iPhone and iPad and both of those do.
 

Chrispy

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Does Room offer streaming music?
Roon is more a supplement to a service you use, not a streaming service in itself. Can offer background information/pictures to pop up while playing, offer eq, some other integration services, like integrating your own library with a service's. Both the yearly subscription and lifetime license just aren't worth the money to me. Some find it wonderful. YMMV.
 

PeteL

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In my book a lossy format like MQA is infinitely better than what Apple Music is offering now. Streaming via AirPlay is limited to CD quality but still uncompressed, unlike MQA. Tidal is no longer a quality leader.
But Tidal hifi streams lossless for non MQA content. You don't have to listen to MQA.
 

Chrispy

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I thought Apple now offered some lossless music as well? If it can handle DD+ with Atmos bitrate, I'd think so....
 
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