Which streaming / Download service to use

alby

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Hi

I bought a Musical Fidelity Encore 225 because of its ability to stream and download music , to date (in 5 years) I have not used this facility , I play CDs and have burnt most of my CDs to the hard disk ( 870 using less than 20% of my 2TB hard disk) , i do use its internet radio facility , and have a vinyl front end , but I think its time to dip my toe in the "pure digital"water.

I tried spotify in its early days , was not particularly impressed , so more likely to go the Qobuz/Tidal/Deezer or similar route - I would be grateful of any advice particularly pitfalls to avoid.

Thanks

Alby
 

karlsushi

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Hi @alby

In terms of sound quality, provided you go with one of the lossless tiers, I'm not convinced there's much between them.

There is however a little variety in their catalogues. If you listen to a fair amount of jazz and classical, Qobuz is the one to go for.

Spotify has a big selection of music and is very user friendly, but they still haven't entered the world of hi-res (contrary to many promises), so you are getting poor quality from them still.

I use Qobuz and also purchase downloads from them when I find a keeper.

As an aside, I also use the bandcamp website for both listening to and purchasing albums. It may not be available through your streamer (I use a laptop), but I can thoroughly recommend for purchasing downloads. They now seem to use 24bit (i.e hires) files as standard and their other advantage is that more of the proceeds of a purchase go to the artist. They're more geared at smaller alternative artists and you'll often find albums on there you can't get from the main streaming companies.

Welcome to the future!
 
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DomT

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I find that the Spotify Connect App on an iPhone connected to an Innuos streamer suffers from 'disconnection' problems. That's to say that you listen to a song, put the phone down to do something else, then pick up the phone again and try to select another track and nothing happens, or it continues to play the same song, and so I need to close Spotify and open it again. I have no problems at all using the Innuos App or the Tidal App on my Auralic.
 

StingRay

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I have tried most of them. Qobuz would be my first choice, then Tidal or Deezer. I did not get on with Amazon on my Bluesound Node, poor interface. Spotify I did not think the sound quality was very good.

If I were you I would do some free trials, they all do one month or more, a lot depends on the App on your device.

Qobuz also has a good selection of downloads you can buy, if a regular buyer you can get discounts if you do the more expensive level.
 
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Brown Bottle

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Have used Spotify for years, love the interface and the recommendations, however finally lost patience waiting for improved sound quality.

I installed a Raspberry Pi at the weekend and signed up to Qobuz, I wish I’d done it years ago. The rest of the family will continue to use Spotify so I’ll continue to use that in the car.

Cheers BB
 
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alby

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As a follow up question , assuming qobuz is the answer , is a streamed album the same as a downloaded album in terms of sound quality , or is any difference down to the quality of the internet connection.
 

Southeastern

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Spotify, don't.

Tidal or Qobuz basically. I find Q better SQ marginally, but Tidal as (for me) an easier interface and a bigger catalogue for my preferred music.

The Tidal Family Hifi plan for £14.99 is excellent value - I have six people on the plan for £14.99, each get their own Tidal accounts.


Tidal and Qobuz are normally entwined into most streamers OS, the likes of Amazon Music, Apple Music, Deezer are rare to be found like this.
 
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JANDL100

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I started out with Tidal then went to Qobuz after 6 months or so. I heard a tonal difference between them; Tidal being a bit brighter and more forward, Qobuz more neutral.
Or Qobuz more laidback and Tidal neutral. It all depends which one you listen to first.
Deezer is about the same as Qobuz.
Spotify is the most laidback, or the others are bright.

I think you need to tweak your system to match the tonality of the service you choose. Or choose the one that best suits your system or preferences.

Tidal is now permanently barred for me as quite a number of albums have the track order muddled up. For classical music that is a definite no-no.

As already suggested, you should sign up for a free trial on them and see what you think.

Spotify for me has the best catalogue, and it almost never has missing tracks. The other services do seem to suffer from blanked out tracks on a significant proportion of albums. For me those considerations get in the way of the music, which defeats the whole purpose of the thing, so I have chosen to optimise my system for Spotify. I think it sounds fine.
 
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DUVET

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Qobuz for me . I use it in conjunction with Roon Core through my Mac Air. I prefer the catalogue most of the time and it has been more stable compared to Tidal .
 

StingRay

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Differences between Qobuz and Tidal. Qobuz seems more consistent quality. Qobuz has certainly better Jazz and Classical catalogue, with many different choices on albums, this can be important on some Jazz albums, even well know albums there maybe only 1 on Tidal, whilst Qobuz may have 6. On pop/rock/r&b/rap Tidal is probably better. Tidal promotes a lot of R&B and Rap music even if you dont select it on your selection of genres, probably to do with the previous owners. Then we have the MQA issue on Tidal.
 
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antonio66

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Ok, I had the feeling streamers were computers, computers specifically designed for audio.

Duvet is even using a Mac Air!!
 
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rdale

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Hi @alby

In terms of sound quality, provided you go with one of the lossless tiers, I'm not convinced there's much between them.

There is however a little variety in their catalogues. If you listen to a fair amount of jazz and classical, Qobuz is the one to go for.

Spotify has a big selection of music and is very user friendly, but they still haven't entered the world of hi-res (contrary to many promises), so you are getting poor quality from them still.

I use Qobuz and also purchase downloads from them when I find a keeper.

As an aside, I also use the bandcamp website for both listening to and purchasing albums. It may not be available through your streamer (I use a laptop), but I can thoroughly recommend for purchasing downloads. They now seem to use 24bit (i.e hires) files as standard and their other advantage is that more of the proceeds of a purchase go to the artist. They're more geared at smaller alternative artists and you'll often find albums on there you can't get from the main streaming companies.

Welcome to the future!
There is a big difference between Qobuz conventional HiRes with discounted HiRes downloads, and Tidal with only lossy MQA and no optional discounted downloads.
 

antonio66

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What's two channels got to do with it, all the topics are for two channels except maybe Home Cinema.
Just read read up on your streamer and find out how much processing power it has, same as a computer, what's a Mac Air Duvet is using?
Anyway it doesn't bother me under which topics members refer to as long as they keep posting :)
 

thewestfield

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I’ve used Spotify, Deezer, Qobuz and trialled Tidal. Currently using Qobuz, which I like As it has most of the music I play. I think using a trial of one of the hi res providers is a good idea, as has been suggested, as you may find you prefer one control app over another, one has more of the music you like, etc. The app may not be relevant if you use Roon, as I do.

Whatever - hope you have fun experimenting!