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HQ Music streaming service with genuine quality audio FLAC/320 + ??

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hey guys

 

I use Youtube on a regular basis to find new and revisit my favourite tunes, as its convenient for sharing them around and vice versa.

The only problem I have with it is the quality, which I understand can be limited to the (sometimes ghetto) recordings, but the cap on quality really shows with my gear and often leaves a bitter taste in my mouth/in my wallet after I've bought the CD :D

 

So I'm really after a 320kbps minimum or even better, a FLAC/ALAC streaming service similar to youtube i.e. public. Or even a preview and buy type thing with HQ previews.

 

I listen mostly to D&B, Hip Hop, Reggae, Dancefloor, EDM, House/Deep house and rock/indie

 

I found this while googling which looks promising, but hasn't even been confirmed yet: http://www.macrumors.com/2012/02/28/apple-reportedly-developing-high-definition-audio-format-with-adaptive-streaming/

 

 

Thanks

Tim

post #2 of 19

Spotify is really awesome. The free version is q5 (~160 kbps) Ogg Vorbis, and if you pay $10 a month you can get q9 (~320 kbps) quality. I'm not trying to start "that argument" again, but the HydrogenAudio wiki says that "Most users agree -q 5 achieves transparency, if the source is the original or lossless." Anyway, Spotify is great for finding new music as well as listening to playlists, albums, random songs, etc. Sure beats listening to "that random song" on YouTube in terrible quality.

 

Edit: One of the reasons it's great for finding new music is because it has a radio feature (pretty similar to Pandora), but with UNLIMITED skips (which I think is awesome, because I could never use Pandora very much because I'm too impatient to listen to entire songs that I don't like).


Edited by andkore - 2/28/12 at 5:45pm
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by andkore View Post

Spotify is really awesome. The free version is q5 (~160 kbps) Ogg Vorbis, and if you pay $10 a month you can get q9 (~320 kbps) quality. I'm not trying to start "that argument" again, but the HydrogenAudio wiki says that "Most users agree -q 5 achieves transparency, if the source is the original or lossless." Anyway, Spotify is great for finding new music as well as listening to playlists, albums, random songs, etc. Sure beats listening to "that random song" on YouTube in terrible quality.

 

Edit: One of the reasons it's great for finding new music is because it has a radio feature (pretty similar to Pandora), but with UNLIMITED skips (which I think is awesome, because I could never use Pandora very much because I'm too impatient to listen to entire songs that I don't like).

I dipped into Spotify a while back but wasn't blown away with the content and quality. That said I don't know they had a paid service providing + sound quality, I'll have a look......nothing out there with zero charge? 
 

 

post #4 of 19

MOG supposedly streams 320kbps but I think it's $5/month for unlimited/ad-free usage. 

 

Deep Vibes Radio is supposedly 320kbps (sounds good enough to me) and FREE.  Some nice deep house mixes from time to time, although it can be hit/miss if you're picky.

 

If you look at the RADIO section of various audio players (Winamp, iTunes etc.) some of the stations advertise 320kbps and they are generally free to try.

 

As for a site which has preview/buy options I think Traxsource is one of the best for electronic music.  It's what my DJ friends use to get their tracks, along with Beatport.

 

 

post #5 of 19

Don't forget about the Seattle radio station, KEXP.  You can stream uncompressed 1.4mbps from kexp.org.  You can listen to the past 2 weeks of their archived shows.  They still have words from their sponsors and such, but its pretty cool nonetheless.

I think one of the universities donates bandwidth for them.

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtkversion View Post

MOG supposedly streams 320kbps but I think it's $5/month for unlimited/ad-free usage. 

 

Deep Vibes Radio is supposedly 320kbps (sounds good enough to me) and FREE.  Some nice deep house mixes from time to time, although it can be hit/miss if you're picky.

 

If you look at the RADIO section of various audio players (Winamp, iTunes etc.) some of the stations advertise 320kbps and they are generally free to try.

 

As for a site which has preview/buy options I think Traxsource is one of the best for electronic music.  It's what my DJ friends use to get their tracks, along with Beatport.

 

 


 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by headfinoob View Post

Don't forget about the Seattle radio station, KEXP.  You can stream uncompressed 1.4mbps from kexp.org.  You can listen to the past 2 weeks of their archived shows.  They still have words from their sponsors and such, but its pretty cool nonetheless.

I think one of the universities donates bandwidth for them.


Thanks guys! I'll give these all a go. Should keep me busy for a bit!

 

post #7 of 19

I really enjoy the free RadioSure! player and huge selection of stations http://www.radiosure.com/stations/

post #8 of 19

I see that this thread is a bit dated; but, I would contribute a few other sources...

 

I prefer classical and jazz and have found several 320 kbps stations via TuneIn radio, e.g., Linn (Classical & Jazz & Variety) from Glasgow, UK; and Audiophile (Classical & Jazz) from Athens, Greece.

 

AVRO Baroque broadcasts in 256 kbps which is also nice. 

post #9 of 19
Qobuz http://www.qobuz.com/ allows streaming FLAC, they're based in Paris, I don't know which markets are served right now.
They are about 3x as expensive as Spotify if you want all the catalog in 16bits 44kHz 29€ per month, it goes down to Spotify levels if 320kbps is enough for you.

They have a smallish catalog of about 12M titles. They seem to put their emphasis in quality, you can download (buy) "studio master" 24bits@192kHz quality files to put your hears to the test.

I tried it for a week. Discoverability is quite not there yet, and that's what I like about Spotify. Also the catalog is small in experimentalish stuff.

They have apps for iOS and android. Tried the iOS one and it's fine.
On desktop, you can choose which sound api to use.
post #10 of 19

In the US there is Google Music that now includes an All Access feature to stream a catalog of over 18 million songs at up to 320 kbps mp3.  There is a free 30-day trial and the service is only $7.99/month for a limited time as a promotion.

 

I like this service because I can keep a personal library of up to 20K songs, and I am able to upload my own songs that I rip to mp3 using Exact Audio Copy with the LAME encoder. (VBR 0 quality)  This is ideal as my own songs are integrated seamlessly in the app with the songs I have added from the All Access feature.  The quality is suitable for nearly everyone except for critical listening from audiophiles with exceptional hearing abilities.

 

It is nice to have all the music I own mixed in with a streaming music service that can be accessed on any computer or Android phone.  There is even an iOS app that can be used, although it can be a bit buggy at the moment.  Google does have a "lab" tool to make the site HTML 5 compliant to run without Flash.  Works in Chrome, Safari 3.1+, and IE 9+. I've used Rhapsody in the past for over 8 years before switching to MOG.  I'm currently subscribing to both MOG and Spotify, as I signed up for both services as soon as they were made available to me.  Overall, Google Music is my favorite and I will probably have to decide which service(s) needs to go before too long.

 

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonitus mirus View Post

In the US there is Google Music that now includes an All Access feature to stream a catalog of over 18 million songs at up to 320 kbps mp3.  There is a free 30-day trial and the service is only $7.99/month for a limited time as a promotion.

 

I like this service because I can keep a personal library of up to 20K songs, and I am able to upload my own songs that I rip to mp3 using Exact Audio Copy with the LAME encoder. (VBR 0 quality)  This is ideal as my own songs are integrated seamlessly in the app with the songs I have added from the All Access feature.  The quality is suitable for nearly everyone except for critical listening from audiophiles with exceptional hearing abilities.

 

It is nice to have all the music I own mixed in with a streaming music service that can be accessed on any computer or Android phone.  There is even an iOS app that can be used, although it can be a bit buggy at the moment.  Google does have a "lab" tool to make the site HTML 5 compliant to run without Flash.  Works in Chrome, Safari 3.1+, and IE 9+. I've used Rhapsody in the past for over 8 years before switching to MOG.  I'm currently subscribing to both MOG and Spotify, as I signed up for both services as soon as they were made available to me.  Overall, Google Music is my favorite and I will probably have to decide which service(s) needs to go before too long.

 

I'm from Portugal and Google Music is available here for some months, too. I don't have as much experience with subscribed services as you.

 

I've been using Google Music since 0-day, and they improved it a lot since then. I already loved the service, and today I tried the 30-day trial to all-access... and all I can say is WOW

 

It's just like you say, everything is so well integrated! I noticed that, if an album is already available in all-access, it's not really needed in our libraries... it just gets duplicated, don't you agree? And that way we get even space before hitting the 20.000 song limit. This way I guess that I'll never reach it anyway :)

 

I've changed to HTML5 too, and I can tell that the interface gets much faster that way.

 

I'm seriously thinking about maintaining the subscription, just for the peace of mind of knowing that (for the most of the music) I don't have to go around ripping / converting my files and uploading to Google!

post #12 of 19

another portugese guy!! woohoo we need to organise a meet ;) theres about 8 of us now haha

post #13 of 19

With Google Music Play All Access (they need a better name), only uploaded songs count toward your 20K limit.  If you check your 'Music settings', it shows the number of uploaded songs.  I'm showing 697 with a max available of 20,000, but I have over 6000 songs saved to my library.  

 

  

 

 

At first I was setting the player on shuffle, picking a song from my library, and letting the app randomly play through my list of favorites.  As my library has grown and my music styles are quite vast, I'm finding it easier to just pick a song I want to listen to and then select the radio option for that one song.  When I come across a nice song during the radio playback, I will add it to my library.  A really nice feature with Google Music is that if I have already added an album or song to my library, it won't allow me to add it again as a duplicate.  The option to add to my library is not available if I have already added it before.

 

I'm very happy with this service, and I jumped aboard when the pricing was at $7.99 (US) per month.  

 

Using a Samsung Chromebook as my source now.  I've spent so much time listening to music since using this Google service.  It's such a bargain and a wonderful way to explore new music and just to listen to some old favorites.  I did finally drop both Spotify and MOG services. 

 

post #14 of 19

Why nobody mentioned sky.fm and di.fm Premium access?

post #15 of 19

Hey, I think this is only available in a very few countries, but there is a service called Wimp. It's from Norway and very similar to Spotify, the music library is about the same size. The difference is that you can listen to music in lossless CD quality. I think it only works in the Nordic countries, but maybe if you really want to use it you can tweak your modem so that the service thinks you are in one of those countries...

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