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Streaming (Read 12736 times)
Donnie
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Streaming
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.
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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: Streaming
Reply #1 - 11/14/17 at 15:12:25
 
Sounds like you are a great candidate for Roon and Tidal.
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HockessinKid
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Re: Streaming
Reply #2 - 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.  

NB
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DirtDawg
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Re: Streaming
Reply #3 - 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.
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beowulf
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Re: Streaming
Reply #4 - 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.
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Donnie
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Re: Streaming
Reply #5 - 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.
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beowulf
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Re: Streaming
Reply #6 - 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.
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Donnie
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Re: Streaming
Reply #7 - 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.
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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: Streaming
Reply #8 - 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.
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Donnie
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Re: Streaming
Reply #9 - 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.
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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: Streaming
Reply #10 - 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.
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lazb
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Re: Streaming
Reply #11 - 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.
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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: Streaming
Reply #12 - 12/17/17 at 20:34:43
 
lazb,
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.
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lazb
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Re: Streaming
Reply #13 - 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.
Joe
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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: Streaming
Reply #14 - 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."
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busterfree
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Re: Streaming
Reply #15 - 12/17/17 at 21:35:04
 
I don’t have tidal, but there sites out there to help with setup.

Quote:
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.


https://www.whathifi.com/advice/25-tidal-tips-tricks-and-features
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lazb
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Re: Streaming
Reply #16 - 12/17/17 at 23:44:18
 
thanks!
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Donnie
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Re: Streaming
Reply #17 - 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.
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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: Streaming
Reply #18 - 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.  

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Tripwr1964
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Re: Streaming
Reply #19 - 12/20/17 at 12:56:55
 
donnie,
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.
cheers
tim
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Donnie
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Re: Streaming
Reply #20 - 12/20/17 at 22:39:06
 
Trip,
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.
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Tripwr1964
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Re: Streaming
Reply #21 - 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..
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Morecowbell
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Re: Streaming
Reply #22 - 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 Sad
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beowulf
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Re: Streaming
Reply #23 - 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.
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Re: Streaming
Reply #24 - 02/28/18 at 19:06:42
 
Thx Beowulf - Sorry I got Apple confused with Prime. Too many choices these days anyways - ha!
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beowulf
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Re: Streaming
Reply #25 - 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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Re: Streaming
Reply #26 - 10/10/19 at 18:28:37
 
Has anyone tried the Auralic or Lumin streamers? They're probably not quite as good as the PSA DSD but they have less expensive models than 5 to 6K! The technology seems to be on the fast track these days.
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beowulf
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Re: Streaming
Reply #27 - 10/11/19 at 01:08:24
 
@bikehappy1 ... sorry, no I haven't heard either of those streamers.  I prefer my HTPC that I built as it's much cheaper and I think it sounds really good as is.
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beowulf
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Re: Streaming
Reply #28 - 10/11/19 at 01:16:04
 
Some news for anybody who may be interested.  

Amazon is now offering HD Music Service, I've been reading at the Hoffman forums that there are still some kinks to work out, but it is cheaper per month than both Tidal and Qobuz.  Unfortunately there is no way (at this time) to set bit perfect playback through the Amazon app as it doesn't have exclusive modes ... which is a real oversight for a company promoting HD playback IMO.

I've been using Qobuz for about 4 months and I really like the service. The Quboz app works OK, but leaves a lot to be desired ... that said ~ at least it can be set to exclusive mode for bit perfect playback.  I think it sounds pretty good ... perhaps I'm splitting hairs, but better sounding than Tidal and Amazon IMO. The downsides are that Qobuz is more expensive than both Tidal and Amazon per month and their music catalog is not as robust.
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Dominick
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Re: Streaming
Reply #29 - 10/17/19 at 18:15:01
 
Quote:
I've been using Qobuz for about 4 months and I really like the service. The Quboz app works OK, but leaves a lot to be desired ... that said ~ at least it can be set to exclusive mode for bit perfect playback.  I think it sounds pretty good ... perhaps I'm splitting hairs, but better sounding than Tidal and Amazon IMO. The downsides are that Qobuz is more expensive than both Tidal and Amazon per month and their music catalog is not as robust.


I have been very happy with Qobuz as well.  One cool feature I do like is that I have the Qobuz App on my Apple Watch.  I can stop, play, Fast forward, rewind, and even adjust the volume level straight from the watch.  

The app. tells me the resolution of the song currently playing.  Also I can view the current playlist/album playing, and select any song from the current selection.  Album art also comes through in the background.  Not  sure if Tidal does this... but it’s a nice feature.  It’s especially great while driving… I can keep one hand on the steering wheel and fast forward or rewind a song just by tapping the appropriate button the watch.

The only thing I do not know is if I can link up my Apple Watch Qobuz App and interface my Qobuz desktop application.  Something is telling me the Watch App is only meant for mobile applications.  I will definitely have to try when I get a chance.
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Re: Streaming
Reply #30 - 10/31/19 at 19:46:51
 
I couldn’t resist Amazon’s 90 day free trial.  Works great at work with headphones plugged into my phone.  I think Amzon sounds better than Spotify and so far has all the artists that typically listen to.  Additionally the prime family plan has the same cost per month as the Spotify Family plan so when the trial runs out I’ll switch.

I tried Tidal previously and it was a hassle using DLNA to get MQA output to my stereo.  BubbleUPNP only supported 16bit audio from my phone so using Foobar and Virtual Audio Cable I was able to stream HiRes from the PC.  The biggest problem was that Tidal broadcast some songs 88Khrz and some at 96Khrz and I would have to manually change the resolution for the Virtual Audio Cable.  I also found that like Donnie I was just listening to music I already had so what’s the point?

I haven’t tried Qobuz because it doesn’t seem to have some of the music I regularly listen to.

Amazon Music for the home system provides a different set of issues and if anyone has a better solution I’m all ears.  Since trying Tidal I purchased a DAC with a TosLink interface.  I could just plug my laptop into it using USB but I have to get up and go the stereo to select songs, a pain in the… (a lot like the same problem I have with vinyl) but if I use my phone as the music selector I’m able to cast to a Chromecast Audio (now discontinued). Connecting the stereo directly to it doesn’t sound that great when using the audio out jack but it also has a miniToslink output that allows me to utilize my new DAC.  To my ears it sounds as good as my Raspberry PI with the Allo digital output board.  What drives me crazy though is that the PC App doesn’t have the option to cast to the Chromecast Audio only the phone.
What I like about the Amazon and Spotify streaming service is that it allows me to explore a lot of new music I don’t own.  I’m sure eventually there will be a better way to connect it.  

Note: There is the Amazon echo Link that has a digital out but you have to also buy an echo dot and then yell at it to play the music you want.  

Nothing is ever easy.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Streaming
Reply #31 - 11/08/19 at 00:12:55
 
This should be easy though...

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