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Spotify Premium - is it good enough? - Page 2

post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by browncow View Post
 

I think you have to "take what you can get" depending on where and when you are consuming music. For me when i am on the go or exploring new music Spotify is good enough. When I am doing critical listening such as at home or in the office I will use only FLAC. You just can't beat the convenience of having hundreds of thousand's of songs at your disposal, curated playlists, and recommendation engine to discover new bands and albums. It's a means to an end for me. 

^Summed up perfectly.  I try to get everything I possibly can in FLAC for my desktop rig and critical listening.  When I put all my music on my phone I convert it to 320kbps lame (I'll probably update my phone's library and replace it with all 256kbps aac) 

 

If I'm playing games or doing work I'll use pandora and other services because they are "good enough" if you're distracted by something else.  

post #17 of 23

can you guys really hear a difference between FLAC & 320mp3s though? I definitely can't hear the difference at all, but at the same time some music files on spotify seem to have the tiniest of audio quality degradation that I wonder if it is something present in the actual original recording or whatever.

 

kinda sad that really detailed headphones pick up on the bad stuff along with the good lol

post #18 of 23
I for one don't really notice much of difference between 128 & 320, but I still love Spotify Premium for the exact reason BrownCow stated, opens you up to a whole wide world of new music. Hopefully in the future there will be a streaming service with FLAC quality streams available, probably still a long way off til that ever happens though, oh well, one can dream....
post #19 of 23

there have been quite a few ABX tests done to test this theory. Most people cannot tell the difference between FLAC and 320 MP3's

Some will say that get "fatiguing" or some nonsense listening to compressed audio. You will be fine with high res Spotify until you can get home to your FLAC collection :)

post #20 of 23
Most people that don't know diddly squat about music reproduction you mean. If you can't hear the difference between 320kpbs files and FLAC files you're a fool! (Or deaf)
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by browncow View Post
 

there have been quite a few ABX tests done to test this theory. Most people cannot tell the difference between FLAC and 320 MP3's

Some will say that get "fatiguing" or some nonsense listening to compressed audio. You will be fine with high res Spotify until you can get home to your FLAC collection :)

mmm there is a lot of very subtle distortion that you can pick up on spotify premium using a nice high-end set-up. however, i do kinda wonder sometimes if those kinds of problems will be present on a FLAC collection. Since I've never heard the difference between FLAC vs 320kbps mp3/orb vorbis in a direct test, I would imagine that those distortions are present with the original cd/mastering source. kinda sad i guess. lol

post #22 of 23

Yeah, I've tried ABX tests before, and I can't tell the difference between 320 and FLAC. I can tell a 128 from 192 in some real world situations, though. For instance, 128 on my decent home system can sound really flawed, but at work (with cheap work laptop and low-mid headphones), I can't really tell. Also, not all rips/encodings are equal. A bad rip of a bad mix at 128 can make me want to cry, but a good mix/rip/encoding can sound quite good.

 

And that's why I'm an audio scientist ; P

 

The most important differentiators (for me) include:

 

How good is the original mix? (Is it clean, compressed, etc.?)

What encoder was used? (Or rather, was it a good rip or a s*** rip?)

What is my source?

What headphones am I using?

 

I have Spotify Premium, and I pay for it for it to avoid ads and enjoy better bit rates. When I'm at work during the day, there is too much background noise and my equipment is too cheap to appreciate the difference from the ad-supported version. But when I'm home at night, running it through a good sound card and good headphones, I can tell the difference on some tracks. 

 

Last night, I A/Bed some purchased FLAC tracks from a few well mixed rock and metal albums last night beside the Spotify Premium versions, and I couldn't discern any difference. I notice more differences in SQ when switching between my 80's component stereo, my computer with Xonar DSX sound card, and my computer with a Xonar STX. Same headphones, same tracks ... the equipment makes more difference than the bitrates.

 

Anyway, digression. Overall, I adore having an option like SP because it sounds good and is incredibly convenient. For most people, in most situations, it's an incredibly good and versatile service.

post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
 

mmm there is a lot of very subtle distortion that you can pick up on spotify premium using a nice high-end set-up. however, i do kinda wonder sometimes if those kinds of problems will be present on a FLAC collection. Since I've never heard the difference between FLAC vs 320kbps mp3/orb vorbis in a direct test, I would imagine that those distortions are present with the original cd/mastering source. kinda sad i guess. lol

That could be the audio watermarks present on some (or maybe all) of the music. It's incredibly irritating on certain songs, especially because once you hear it, it's very easy to focus on it. If that's what you're hearing, it isn't a problem with 320kbps lossy compression - it's much worse, especially because there's no way around it (aside from not using Spotify).

 

http://www.mattmontag.com/music/universals-audible-watermark

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