AUDIO FORUMS >> Digital >> Streaming

Message started by Donnie on 11/14/17 at 12:47:10

Title: Streaming
Post by Donnie on 11/14/17 at 12:47:10

Now that I have a terabyte or two of music saved on my computer they tell me that streaming is what I should be doing.
So what streaming services are all of the cool kids using?
How much should I expect to pay a month?
What services have the music that I listen to? My tastes are a bit, ah, different.
I just want to be one of the cool kids.

Title: Re: Streaming
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 11/14/17 at 15:12:25

Sounds like you are a great candidate for Roon and Tidal.

Title: Re: Streaming
Post by HockessinKid on 11/14/17 at 15:41:57

Roon and Tidal are the way I'm going.  $125/ yr. for Roon OS and $19.99/month for the Tidal HiFi offering.  Tidal HiFi can utilize the file formats FLAC and ALAC with a bitrate of 1411Kbps.  If you want high resolution, this is the way to go.

Tidal and Spotify also offer Premium stream in 320Kbps using the file format AAC, both for $9.99/month. So if you want higher resolution, Tidal  HiFi is the way to go.  Lower resolution is a toss up SQ wise, IMHO Spotify learns your streaming musical preferences better when you want to discover new music.  

Be sure to use the Settings>Music Quality to insure your streaming the highest resolution possible for your computer, web player, or iPhone/Adroid phone.  


Title: Re: Streaming
Post by DirtDawg on 11/23/17 at 08:53:56

I am a fan of Tidal.
It is the only streaming subscription that I have found that approaches the quality of my modest CD rig.

Title: Re: Streaming
Post by beowulf on 11/28/17 at 21:49:23

Not that I've heard every service out there, but Tidal is pretty great and their selection is pretty awesome as well.  Keep in mind that there is no need to spring $$$ for Roon if you don't want to ~ as the Tidal desktop app has bit perfect playback already built into it and I think it is really easy to navigate.

"The desktop app, Lending (Tidal's chief technology officer) says, offers "bit perfect playback". As he explains: "The native [dekstop] app means we're much closer to the OS on Windows and Mac, and much closer to the audio card."

I use JRiver for cataloging my own music library and it's a one time only purchase of around $50 ~ though they release new version once a year, but I'm one or two versions behind at this point.  And to be honest I use the Tidal desktop app more now than I do in comparison to my own library + JRiver now that there is a really good catalog of Master (hi-res) recordings available through Tidal.

Mostly I use JRiver for movies more than anything else at this point ... that said I do use JRiver for DSD recording playback as I have a fairly large selection of DSD recordings that sound pretty awesome on JRiver, but other than that I use Tidal and its corresponding desktop app for most of my digital listening.

Title: Re: Streaming
Post by Donnie on 11/28/17 at 22:42:05

Thanks everyone, Tidal looks the way to go.
beowulf, I've been using JRiver for years, both Windows and Linux in whatever computer that I'm using. Always been happy with it.

Title: Re: Streaming
Post by beowulf on 11/29/17 at 00:25:44

I think you'll be happy with Tidal.  Not knocking Roon as I think it's cool, but the Tidal desktop app is robust and I feel there's no need (nor the need for the extra expense) for Roon (or any other playback software for that matter).  You can integrate the Tidal desktop app to playback through JRiver but I thought it was wonky at best and not worth the trouble, plus to be honest I think it sounded better directly through the Tidal desktop app rather than going through JRiver so that was a plus for simplicity.

So basically just subscribe to Tidal (get the hi-fi subscription so you can take advantage of the Master hi-res recordings), download and install the Tidal desktop app on your PC that is connected to a good DAC, make sure to set the playback settings to "hi-fi" in the Tidal desktop app and voilà you're set.

Title: Re: Streaming
Post by Donnie on 12/15/17 at 18:51:02

I just signed up for Tidal(merry Christmas to me).
I popped for the super dooper option.
So far so good. Sounds alright ish so far. I'm trying to figure out what I have to click to make it work its best.
But $16.99 a month because I sprang for the 6 month option isn't too doggone bad.

Title: Re: Streaming
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 12/15/17 at 22:45:20

Make sure you go into the Tidal settings and switch the stream quality to "HiFi/Master."  It defaults to standard quality and unless you go in and change it, you won't get the highest stream resolution.  If you haven't done this already, it is a quantum leap difference in sound quality.  

Title: Re: Streaming
Post by Donnie on 12/16/17 at 01:17:03

Thanks Jeff, I had found that after poking around.
So far I've listened to a couple of hours of stuff.
Is there a way I can pick out what artists I like to listen to and randomly play from the list? I really don't like playlists of songs. It would be real cool for the ability to look at what I have stored in my computer and run with that as a start and recommend from there. I guess that is what roon is for.

Title: Re: Streaming
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 12/16/17 at 05:24:32

You can create custom play lists by adding various albums/tracks from your favorite artists to that playlist.  But there are no heuristics built into the software like with roon to auto-select music it has "learned" you prefer.    

Title: Re: Streaming
Post by lazb on 12/16/17 at 16:26:33

Jeff, does the Master setting only affect sound quality if Tidal is being streamed through your computer? Tidal to my primary sound system is accessed through my Oppo BDP-203 and sent to my Direct Stream DAC.

On a different matter; what is the latest on the solvency of Tidal? There is some talk of solvency problems maybe 6 months down the line.

Title: Re: Streaming
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 12/17/17 at 20:34:43

The settings, particularly those effecting stream quality in Tidal, will impact the quality of sound output regardless of which Tidal platform you use.  Whether its the Android/iOS app, the desktop application, or some third party Tidal integration like the ConversDigital mConnect we can use with the Bridge II on our DS DACs.  But, you have to make the settings changes on every installation of the app since it is not a global setting linked to your Tidal account.  It is a local setting tied to the individual device.

Yeah, I read about that article the other day.  If true, and not rumor or speculation, Tidal has only enough working capital to stay solvent for 6 more months.  It would be a real bummer if they go belly up.  I have gotten used to their streaming service and they are the only one streaming MQA right now.  

Title: Re: Streaming
Post by lazb on 12/17/17 at 21:25:17

Jeff, I have no way to use the computer to stream Tidal. Tidal through the Oppo is controlled with an app on my Android phone and if there is a way to implement the Master option on the phone I do not know how to do it.
Thanks for your input.

Title: Re: Streaming
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 12/17/17 at 21:34:30

Unfortunately, Tidal has not implemented the Master (MQA) setting in the mobile app.  It is only available on the Desktop app and the mConnect app.  If you have the DirectStream DAC, I would use the mConnect mobile app so you can play the MQA versions of tracks on Tidal.  

Regardless, you still need to change the stream quality in your Android app from "Normal" to "HiFi" if you have not already done that.  In the Tidal app, tap the "My Collection" (with heart icon) in the lower right hand corner (if using the latest Tidal app release).  In the upper right corner  you will see a gear icon.  Tap that.  Scroll down and you will see the "Quality" heading with "Streaming" underneath.  Click on "Streaming."  From there you can select "HiFi."

Title: Re: Streaming
Post by busterfree on 12/17/17 at 21:35:04

I don’t have tidal, but there sites out there to help with setup.

If you have signed-up to the hi-fi quality subscription then make sure that you get the benefit of that better sound quality. On the desktop app, select ‘settings’ then ‘streaming’ and choose 'HiFi/Master'. On mobile it’s ‘settings’ and then ‘quality’ to adjust the sound.

Title: Re: Streaming
Post by lazb on 12/17/17 at 23:44:18


Title: Re: Streaming
Post by Donnie on 12/18/17 at 22:46:30

Believe it or not I've decided to cancel Tidal. It really does nothing for me. They just stream the same stuff that I have already paid for and have on my computer's memory.
I was really hoping that it would steer me to new stuff, but so far nothing new.
I have zero interest in making playlists.
With JRiver I just put in one song and the software takes over and plays me what I want to hear.
I don't see any value in paying $16 a month to hear what I already have.

Title: Re: Streaming
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 12/19/17 at 04:49:19

I believe it Donnie.  If that was the hope with Tidal, the mission was doomed before it began.  Unfortunately, Tidal's value is in sound quality, period!  Its interface is mediocre at best.  You can't even filter for just MQA other than the global filter which is a debacle.  There is nothing intelligent or predictive about it.  In short, it sucks in a lot of ways.  

But it plays MQA.  So, despite what she looks like on the outside, when those sweet tunes touch my ears, it is all over for me...........   I've done enough A/B comparison of streamed files (flac, MQA, etc.) and regardless of what political/ethical beliefs one has about the business model, there is something to this technology.  It's convincing enough for my ears that I contend with the shitty interface and sub-par features.  But that's just me.  

Title: Re: Streaming
Post by Tripwr1964 on 12/20/17 at 12:56:55

it sounds like you want to play the music you've already ripped.
there are several ways to do this "free" or with little capital investment.

first for software i like Volumio (on my Raspberry pi) and Daphile for my mini pcs (like what LR builds, or intel nuc, or build one with mini itx board with no harddrive/fans/or internal psu (pico psu recommended).

these both can be controlled from anything phone/pc/tablet to access and play your flac files stored on your network.

i taught myself all this shit ~4yrs ago because i wasn't going to pay $3000 for a player that i could build for $200.  raspberry pi and nuc even cheaper.

food for thought.  and if you need any help let me know.

Title: Re: Streaming
Post by Donnie on 12/20/17 at 22:39:06

I've been computer based for years now. I just checked how much music I have and I am sitting at 1.28 TB. I've been using JRiver for years now, pretty happy with it.
The streaming thing just didn't seem like I was gaining much for my money, it more or less was offering me the same songs that I already own.

Title: Re: Streaming
Post by Tripwr1964 on 12/21/17 at 02:11:25

yeah, totally agree.  that is holding me back from paying any $$$ for any of the services i've tried.

they are all a bit mainstream and not enlightening.

i get better ideas, for new music, from this forum than anywhere else... then i just go buy it cd, lp, download..

Title: Re: Streaming
Post by Morecowbell on 02/28/18 at 03:42:13

Doesn't apple have a streaming service too? I think it's part of the Prime membership as well. Man too many streaming bla bla! I miss Napster :(

Title: Re: Streaming
Post by beowulf on 02/28/18 at 06:59:47

Not sure about Apple, but if you're an Amazon Prime member that does come with a free streaming and movie service.

Title: Re: Streaming
Post by Morecowbell on 02/28/18 at 19:06:42

Thx Beowulf - Sorry I got Apple confused with Prime. Too many choices these days anyways - ha!

Title: Re: Streaming
Post by beowulf on 03/01/18 at 07:23:53

@ Morecowbell - yeah, I kinda thought that's what you meant and totally agree ~ there's so many they're hard to keep up with!

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