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Testing of Streaming Services (Tidal, Apple, Amazon)

Dennis_FL

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I am trying out the various streaming services and would like to narrow it down to one or two. I currently have Tidal HiFi - primarily for Roon integration and I also have Amazon Music as the family uses it.

Prcing for the Hi Res is about equal. Amazon and Apple are about $15/mo. for the family plan and Tidal is also $15 for HiFi if you get the annual deal at Best Buy ($30 otherwise)

Yesterday I signed up for Apple. Turns out you get 6 months free if you have air buds (which I do).

Apple is the reason for this post. I must be doing something wrong, because compared to the other services, Apple is really bad. I spent a good deal of time trying to find albums and get my preferences. When I signed up, I got a request to pick my favorite genres (click once to like, twice to love, long hold to delete). Then you can add favorite artist. None of their suggestions were good and when I went to add your own, it crashed.

I can't get back to that. And by home page in Apple music is filled with suggestions a teenager might like.

iTunes also decided to "organize" my ripped CDs and put fragments of albums here and there instead of one folder.

Doesn't seem reversible.

ARGHHHH
 

Tom C

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I am trying out the various streaming services and would like to narrow it down to one or two. I currently have Tidal HiFi - primarily for Roon integration and I also have Amazon Music as the family uses it.

Prcing for the Hi Res is about equal. Amazon and Apple are about $15/mo. for the family plan and Tidal is also $15 for HiFi if you get the annual deal at Best Buy ($30 otherwise)

Yesterday I signed up for Apple. Turns out you get 6 months free if you have air buds (which I do).

Apple is the reason for this post. I must be doing something wrong, because compared to the other services, Apple is really bad. I spent a good deal of time trying to find albums and get my preferences. When I signed up, I got a request to pick my favorite genres (click once to like, twice to love, long hold to delete). Then you can add favorite artist. None of their suggestions were good and when I went to add your own, it crashed.

I can't get back to that. And by home page in Apple music is filled with suggestions a teenager might like.

iTunes also decided to "organize" my ripped CDs and put fragments of albums here and there instead of one folder.

Doesn't seem reversible.

ARGHHHH
At least the trial was free…and it sounds like it really was a trial.
 

AdamG247

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Hi Dennis,

Did all this comparisons with 5 different Sources (Spotify, Tidal, Amazon, Qobuz and Apple). With the exception of Spotify they all offer Cd quality and/or above. Deciding on one or two of the remaining four, came down to what user interface gave me the best recommendations and ease of use. If your spending more time searching instead of listening you can eliminate that service. In short order the best services for you should become evident. I made it more difficult than it needed to be. System interface ultimately was what was most important.

Good luck in your personal journey and search. Enjoy the ride.
 
OP
D

Dennis_FL

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Hi Dennis,

Did all this comparisons with 5 different Sources (Spotify, Tidal, Amazon, Qobuz and Apple). With the exception of Spotify they all offer Cd quality and/or above. Deciding on one or two of the remaining four, came down to what user interface gave me the best recommendations and ease of use. If your spending more time searching instead of listening you can eliminate that service. In short order the best services for you should become evident. I made it more difficult than it needed to be. System interface ultimately was what was most important.

Good luck in your personal journey and search. Enjoy the ride.
Yeah. User Interface. Apple is really confusing. That is hard to believe for me. And the classical music searching is laughable although they are in the process of fixing that.

Another problem with Apple is the help files seem to be 90% on earlier versions of iTunes which don't apply.
 

acbarn

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I am trying out the various streaming services and would like to narrow it down to one or two. I currently have Tidal HiFi - primarily for Roon integration and I also have Amazon Music as the family uses it.

Prcing for the Hi Res is about equal. Amazon and Apple are about $15/mo. for the family plan and Tidal is also $15 for HiFi if you get the annual deal at Best Buy ($30 otherwise)

Yesterday I signed up for Apple. Turns out you get 6 months free if you have air buds (which I do).

Apple is the reason for this post. I must be doing something wrong, because compared to the other services, Apple is really bad. I spent a good deal of time trying to find albums and get my preferences. When I signed up, I got a request to pick my favorite genres (click once to like, twice to love, long hold to delete). Then you can add favorite artist. None of their suggestions were good and when I went to add your own, it crashed.

I can't get back to that. And by home page in Apple music is filled with suggestions a teenager might like.

iTunes also decided to "organize" my ripped CDs and put fragments of albums here and there instead of one folder.

Doesn't seem reversible.

ARGHHHH
Apple Music on iOS is pretty great. Apple Music on MacOS is only OK. Apple Music everywhere else is pretty bad. That’s from a UI/UX standpoint.

As for sound, lossless and higher quality will sound identical from one service to another assuming the same masters and identical signal paths. If you’re using iTunes on Windows (it sounds like you are), you may be listening to 256 kbps AAC files that were downloaded at some point in the past.

For better or worse, Apple Music is really a service optimized for the iPhone and iPad.
 

Seeker-Smith

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Itunes is not Apple Music. Apple Music won't sort your rips.

How are you accessing Apple Music? Web app? iPhone/iPad Windows?
 
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D

Dennis_FL

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Itunes is not Apple Music. Apple Music won't sort your rips.

How are you accessing Apple Music? Web app? iPhone/iPad Windows?
I said iTunes and meant Apple Music.

I'm using it with my iMac Apple Music app, and similar apps in my iPhone and iPads

I believe I am too familiar with Amazon Music and Tidal/Roon formats and just am not used to the Apple way. I knew the reason they bought a classical music streamer was their own library and searching methods were lacking and I can confirm it is pretty bad right now.

I am going to switch from classical to pop, jazz, and vocalists and give it a second look
 
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Seeker-Smith

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I said iTunes and meant Apple Music.

I'm using it with my iMac Apple Music app, and similar apps in my iPhone and iPads

I believe I am too familiar with Amazon Music and Tidal/Roon formats and just am not used to the Apple way. I knew the reason they bought a classical music streamer was their own library and searching methods were lacking and I can confirm it is pretty bad right now.

I am going to switch from classical to pop, jazz, and vocalists and give it a second look
Ahh. You can access Apple Music via itunes but it's a dogs breakfast. I've only briefly looked at the web app. I use iPhone and iPad (iPad is best). I've generally found that Tidal music referrals to be best but Apple is a close second. Amazon I've not spent enough time with but it doesn't seem to have the depth of either Apple or Tidal.
 
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Dennis_FL

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I'm still fiddling with Apple Music and I think I have the hang of it. It's OK.

I also have active Tidal + Roon and Amazon Music subscriptions and Apple is missing a lot of classical music the other two have. And I miss the short artist write-ups in Roon. The location of the search box wasn't intuitive and I had to keep an eye on whether I was in my own library or Apples. Tidal and Roon merge them.

Assuming Apple upgrades classical next year, I'll probably dump Amazon.
 

JanesJr1

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I am trying out the various streaming services and would like to narrow it down to one or two. I currently have Tidal HiFi - primarily for Roon integration and I also have Amazon Music as the family uses it.

Prcing for the Hi Res is about equal. Amazon and Apple are about $15/mo. for the family plan and Tidal is also $15 for HiFi if you get the annual deal at Best Buy ($30 otherwise)

Yesterday I signed up for Apple. Turns out you get 6 months free if you have air buds (which I do).

Apple is the reason for this post. I must be doing something wrong, because compared to the other services, Apple is really bad. I spent a good deal of time trying to find albums and get my preferences. When I signed up, I got a request to pick my favorite genres (click once to like, twice to love, long hold to delete). Then you can add favorite artist. None of their suggestions were good and when I went to add your own, it crashed.

I can't get back to that. And by home page in Apple music is filled with suggestions a teenager might like.

iTunes also decided to "organize" my ripped CDs and put fragments of albums here and there instead of one folder.

Doesn't seem reversible.

ARGHHHH
I gather you are not including Idagio in your search. If you are listen to a lot of classical, you may want to take a look at it as an additional source. I tried it because of reviews that praised its search capabilities, along with a large catalog of lossless recordings. I can confirm that, though I am not familiar with the same capabilities on Qobuz and Tidal. I have Amazon for general-interest and pay another $10 a month just for the excellent and detailed catalog at Idagio, along with great search, new-recording reviews, live performances, and playlists.

They are also one of a very few services that pay performers based on length of play instead of by the selection. (Since classical tends to include longer performances, this offsets the payment bias in favor of non-classical genres by the typical royalty formulas.) So when I can, I use Idagio first for classical playback, ahead of Amazon. I don't know how the average classical musician can make ends meet, based on how things are now vs. how they were back in the heyday of LP's and CD's.
 
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Dennis_FL

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I gather you are not including Idagio in your search. If you are listen to a lot of classical, you may want to take a look at it as an additional source. I tried it because of reviews that praised its search capabilities, along with a large catalog of lossless recordings. I can confirm that, though I am not familiar with the same capabilities on Qobuz and Tidal. I have Amazon for general-interest and pay another $10 a month just for the excellent and detailed catalog at Idagio, along with great search, new-recording reviews, live performances, and playlists.

They are also one of a very few services that pay performers based on length of play instead of by the selection. (Since classical tends to include longer performances, this offsets the payment bias in favor of non-classical genres by the typical royalty formulas.) So when I can, I use Idagio first for classical playback, ahead of Amazon. I don't know how the average classical musician can make ends meet, based on how things are now vs. how they were back in the heyday of LP's and CD's.
I peeked at Indigo but it isn't merged with Roon as Tidal and Qobuz are. I'll probably stay with Tidal and my 6 month free Apple subscription for now.
 

Head_Unit

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Apple Music is really a service optimized for the iPhone and iPad.
You'd think, and that's what I thought, I blamed all kinds of problems on my phone. Updating to a 2020 iPhone SE when they came out did nothing to fix the same problems I've had for YEARS:
- Type in a search, hit go, nothing comes up at all (1-2 times a week)
- Pick an album, nothing loads, or maybe album art, then nothing (2-3 times a week)
- Fake mini spectrum analyzer shows music is playing, but actually NADA, nyet, nein, zero. On the phone, on iPad, and most especially via CarPlay (on 5 vehicles to date). (3-5 times a week)
- Press PLAY, icon goes to pause, no playback, play icon reappears. (maybe 1 time per week)
- Signal strength or wifi network don't matter.
I thought it was just me, then my buddy who has worked at Apple Store since the beginning said (I am rephrasing) "oh yeah their app is sh!t I guess" :facepalm:
[vomit emoji]
BUT you can upload your own files, and it would work on CarPlay before there was any Spotify, and my brother and wife and mom and kid are all on it.
Sometimes I lie awake nights wondering if Spotify is better.
OK, no I actually do not. Maybe I should?!? o_O
P.S. Yes I've reinstalled and updated, the phone has space, same [email protected] even if Music is the ONLY app open.
 
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