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Streaming platforms: Tidal vs Qobuz etc.

Blodger

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May 26, 2011
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Roger
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  1. No
I got into streaming quite a few years ago, initially using Audirvana and then Pure Music piggy-backing on iTunes, subsequently Spotify, then Tidal and now I've been trying QoBuz.  I ran the first three from various Apple Macs, then moved to Auralic streamers (Aries Mini then G1) for the last two.  Overall I have switched to streaming now for about 75% of my listening, about 20% digital radio (either through a streamer or DAB/FM tuner) and about 5% CD.  I think the quality of my streaming experience has improved immeasurably in terms of both access to available content, and the quality of my equipment combined with increasing higher resolution availability from streaming platforms.  I would say that I am a happy - if not proselytising (each to their own) - streaming convert.

I moved to Tidal from Spotify about three or four years ago - and found it quite an improvement.  However I've been trialling QoBuz and definitely - at least to my ears - it seems to be a marked improvement - as well as being cheaper for the equivalent package.  I am unconvinced by Tidal's MQA albums, especially as my dac and streamer set-up is not MQA compatible, and most of the albums I've played from Tidal seem to be at 16 or at most 24 bit resolution, whereas on QoBuz everything in Hi-Res is at 24 or 32 bit, and seems much sharper, detailed and overall better quality. 

I guess the downside of streaming is the lack of tangible manifestations of music - vinyl then CD jewel cases.  I felt I missed the materiality and sound of vinyl a lot initially, and still have quite a few albums which never get played now, and have a CD collection which takes up the a large corner of a room which I may dispose of at some stage - but in a way being a bit philosophical, I suppose the transitory nature of music - only being alive when performed and experienced - is in keeping with the digital nature of things - in the clouds except when being played? 🧐

Incidentally I discovered a great free software solution to moving all my favourites/playlists from Tidal - www.tunemymusic.com - which does it in minutes, a big initial concern when I wondered how I would make the move.  I did notice that QoBuz did not have a very few of my Tidal albums - mainly fairly recent and more popular stuff - but there may be material available on QoBuz not on Tidal.  In any case the sound quality more than compensates for the loss of a few minor favourites.

I'd be interested to hear of other Wammers' experiences with streaming platforms - there's quite a bit of debate on the Auralic forum as to the relative merits of Tidal and QoBuz in particular. 

 

MartinC

Wammer
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Tidal has the major downside of its use of MQA for me, so QoBuz is the streaming service that seems the logical choice for audiophiles unless the music library doesn't cover what is wanted.

I've used Amazon music, Tidal and QoBuz but currently use QoBuz and have no plans to change any time soon.

 
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manicatel

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matt
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  1. No
I have no tech idea about the pluses & negatives around MQA.

But it just seems to be a solution to a problem that doesn’t really exist.

The notion that hi res data files need to be made easier to transmit & receive, by compressing, or folding or whatever. 
A lot of people now have sufficiently good broadband to receive Netflix, YouTube, Amazon prime etc, so surely a hi res audio file should be no problem?

I used Tidal for a couple of years, but got thoroughly fed up of the recommendations & promotion of music which I can’t stand.

QoBuz sounds great, the library is massive & it’s well priced. 
It’ll  be great if/ when we get hi res Spotify & others joining in but I can’t see me giving up on QoBuz any time soon.

 
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rabski

Everything in moderation
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I seem to have posted this in about 450 threads so far. I used to use Tidal, because I ran it from a PC and the desktop app handled the MQA. Against QoBuz at the time, there didn't seem much difference, I preferred the UI on Tidal and it also seemed to have a better choice, in that Qobiz was missing quite a lot of music I wanted.

Since then it's all changed. With the arrival of the Node and the new DAC, QoBuz definitely has the edge in sound quality. The UI seems to have improved, as has the music availability. Add the fact that it's cheaper, and it was a no-brainer for me to drop Tidal. The one negative remains that the QoBuz app won't recognise the Node as an output device so you need to use the Bluesound app to load and run QoBuz. This is slightly pants, as there is no way to put your albums in any sort of order. Apart from that niggle, it's good.

 

ClassikFan

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  1. No
I too have switched from Tidal to QoBuz and I think music sounds better via my pimped Node and DAC. I have started to wonder whether I’m approaching he point where I ditch CD & vinyl.  :shock:

 

oldius

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I have begun a free trial with Qoboz and have previously trialled Tidal. For me, there is no comparison with either service to the interface, catalogue and sheer usability of Spotify. Qoboz has the best sound quality, definitely, but is well behind the latter for the music lover who wants to discover new music. Trawling the most popular streams on Qoboz is like going back in time, and though there is nothing wrong with nostalgia whatsoever, it is the joy of new music that is what I want a streaming platform to give me.

 

MotherSky

Introspective onanist
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Gosh - this thread seems to have come dangerously close to consensus already... I currently use QoBuz, which definitely has the edge over Tidal for SQ - both services have significant gaps in their catalogues, which is one excellent reason for maintaining one's own CD/vinyl/HDD collection (the other being any interruption of internet services for whatever reason) - I would also agree that no other service has such well developed algorithms as Spotify - if they do finally introduce a 'hifi' service, then I will be signing up straight away. Overall I have found streaming to be an extremely cost effective way of broadening my musical horizons, alongside lots of back issues of Uncut, constant Radio 6 at the workshop and keeping a weather eye on the 'what are you listening to right now' thread on this forum - whatever else may be going on in the world, it's an excellent time to be an audiophile  :) - MH

 
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Fourlegs

WAVE Digital Cables
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Nick
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
Gosh - this thread seems to have come dangerously close to consensus already... I currently use QoBuz, which definitely has the edge over Tidal for SQ - both services have significant gaps in their catalogues, which is one excellent reason for maintaining one's own CD/vinyl/HDD collection (the other being any interruption of internet services for whatever reason) - I would also agree that no other service has such well developed algorithms as Spotify - if they do finally introduce a 'hifi' service, then I will be signing up straight away. Overall I have found streaming to be an extremely cost effective way of broadening my musical horizons, alongside lots of back issues of Uncut, constant Radio 6 at the workshop and keeping a weather eye on the 'what are you listening to right now' thread on this forum - whatever else may be going on in the world, it's an excellent time to be an audiophile  :) - MH
Radio Paradise is an easy way for me to hear new music and we often have that on in the kitchen when Radio 3 fails to provide tuneful tunes.

I then just take the track details off Paradise and download the track or album to my main system if I like it enough.

 

Pedro2

Pedro2
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Sep 9, 2018
654
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Peter
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
I got into streaming quite a few years ago, initially using Audirvana and then Pure Music piggy-backing on iTunes, subsequently Spotify, then Tidal and now I've been trying QoBuz.  I ran the first three from various Apple Macs, then moved to Auralic streamers (Aries Mini then G1) for the last two.  Overall I have switched to streaming now for about 75% of my listening, about 20% digital radio (either through a streamer or DAB/FM tuner) and about 5% CD.  I think the quality of my streaming experience has improved immeasurably in terms of both access to available content, and the quality of my equipment combined with increasing higher resolution availability from streaming platforms.  I would say that I am a happy - if not proselytising (each to their own) - streaming convert.

I moved to Tidal from Spotify about three or four years ago - and found it quite an improvement.  However I've been trialling QoBuz and definitely - at least to my ears - it seems to be a marked improvement - as well as being cheaper for the equivalent package.  I am unconvinced by Tidal's MQA albums, especially as my dac and streamer set-up is not MQA compatible, and most of the albums I've played from Tidal seem to be at 16 or at most 24 bit resolution, whereas on QoBuz everything in Hi-Res is at 24 or 32 bit, and seems much sharper, detailed and overall better quality. 

I guess the downside of streaming is the lack of tangible manifestations of music - vinyl then CD jewel cases.  I felt I missed the materiality and sound of vinyl a lot initially, and still have quite a few albums which never get played now, and have a CD collection which takes up the a large corner of a room which I may dispose of at some stage - but in a way being a bit philosophical, I suppose the transitory nature of music - only being alive when performed and experienced - is in keeping with the digital nature of things - in the clouds except when being played? 🧐

Incidentally I discovered a great free software solution to moving all my favourites/playlists from Tidal - www.tunemymusic.com - which does it in minutes, a big initial concern when I wondered how I would make the move.  I did notice that QoBuz did not have a very few of my Tidal albums - mainly fairly recent and more popular stuff - but there may be material available on QoBuz not on Tidal.  In any case the sound quality more than compensates for the loss of a few minor favourites.

I'd be interested to hear of other Wammers' experiences with streaming platforms - there's quite a bit of debate on the Auralic forum as to the relative merits of Tidal and QoBuz in particular. 
Hi Blodger,

Did Tunemymusic simply copy your playlists and leave the originals intact, or were they removed? I’ve currently taken up (yet another) ‘free for a month’ Tidal subscription and want a copy of our many Spotify playlists (but without deleting them!).

Tidal HiFi is now £9.99 a month which matches Spotify (only 320bps). Still waiting for Spotify CD quality, as its user interface is tremendous.

 

MotherSky

Introspective onanist
Wammer
Jun 5, 2010
1,320
913
158
Shropshire
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Radio Paradise is an easy way for me to hear new music and we often have that on in the kitchen when Radio 3 fails to provide tuneful tunes.

I then just take the track details off Paradise and download the track or album to my main system if I like it enough.
Radio Paradise looks interesting - if it's possible to get it through Lightning (Auralic) - I'll give it a whirl - thanks - MH

 

ziggy

Wammer
Wammer
Mar 11, 2017
534
459
68
Cardiff
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I am another who ditched Tidal for QoBuz.  This was some years ago after initially starting witjh Spotify.  I found QoBuz sounded better and was put off by the smoke and mirrors surrounding MQA.  The constant tecommendations of crap on Tidal were also off putting.  The QoBuz catalogue has improved and gaps are filled by ripped CDs.  All my listening is streamed and I have discovered many bands to my liking which I was not aware of, restoring my faith in modern music.

 
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MartinC

Wammer
Wammer
Jul 29, 2005
8,812
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158
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I have begun a free trial with Qoboz and have previously trialled Tidal. For me, there is no comparison with either service to the interface, catalogue and sheer usability of Spotify. Qoboz has the best sound quality, definitely, but is well behind the latter for the music lover who wants to discover new music. Trawling the most popular streams on Qoboz is like going back in time, and though there is nothing wrong with nostalgia whatsoever, it is the joy of new music that is what I want a streaming platform to give me.
I mostly find new music via radio paradise and the 'What are you listening to right now' thread here. I don't specifically rely on QoBuz to to this for me although I do keep an eye on the new releases and often find things I enjoy. Which is not at all to say that there isn't plenty of scope to improve the QoBuz UI!

QoBuz is my primary music source, with the quality being good enough to have completely replaced CD, whereas Spotify was not. 

 

Blodger

Wammer
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May 26, 2011
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Liverpool
AKA
Roger
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Hi Blodger,

Did Tunemymusic simply copy your playlists and leave the originals intact, or were they removed? I’ve currently taken up (yet another) ‘free for a month’ Tidal subscription and want a copy of our many Spotify playlists (but without deleting them!).

Tidal HiFi is now £9.99 a month which matches Spotify (only 320bps). Still waiting for Spotify CD quality, as its user interface is tremendous.
Hi Pedro

Yes - left original Tidal favourites/playlists intact as well as copying over to QoBuz. 🙂

 

oldius

Moderator
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Dec 30, 2008
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Geoff
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
I mostly find new music via radio paradise and the 'What are you listening to right now' thread here. I don't specifically rely on QoBuz to to this for me although I do keep an eye on the new releases and often find things I enjoy. Which is not at all to say that there isn't plenty of scope to improve the QoBuz UI!

QoBuz is my primary music source, with the quality being good enough to have completely replaced CD, whereas Spotify was not. 
You pays your money and takes your choice!

 

MGTOW

MGTOW
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Feb 4, 2019
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Dave Wiley
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Good morning all.

Practical advice needed here, I am bored of waiting for Spotify HiFi so want to try QoBuz.

I stream from a Node 2i, using my MacBook as controller, I like Blueos and am happy just to stream online with just a little bit of internet radio thrown in.

Since this thread is here, I thought I would ask, how does QoBuz differ in practical/operational terms from Spotify/Tidal connect?

I have used both of these platforms and they work well enough on an operational level and before I have a go with QoBuz I was wondering if there are any obvious or not so obvious differences I need to be aware of. This will be for streaming only, I do not have my own library and no real intention of building one, any assistance would be much appreciated.

 

Bazzer

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Since this thread is here, I thought I would ask, how does QoBuz differ in practical/operational terms from Spotify/Tidal connect?
In my case , i use an iMAC to control my Cambridge 851n , because QoBuz doesn't have Connect I have to stream using AirPlay , setting this up in System Preferences , I don't get Album art displayed also AirPlay is restricted to CD quality . QoBuz are working on adding Connect btw .

 

MGTOW

MGTOW
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Feb 4, 2019
817
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AKA
Dave Wiley
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
In my case , i use an iMAC to control my Cambridge 851n , because QoBuz doesn't have Connect I have to stream using AirPlay , setting this up in System Preferences , I don't get Album art displayed also AirPlay is restricted to CD quality . QoBuz are working on adding Connect btw .
That would be horrible. Mine is a family friendly setup, we would need to be able to run QoBuz directly from the Node.

 

Bazzer

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Barry
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
That would be horrible. Mine is a family friendly setup, we would need to be able to run QoBuz directly from the Node.
Connect for me is a deal breaker , I am only trialling QoBuz and Tidal at the moment . Using my iphone to stream I get album data , Android and ios apps are configured better than PC/MAC , Connect changes that , as I say a spokesperson for QoBuz has stated they are working on it .

 

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