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Spotify claims to be 320k, but I doubt it is. Any **real** high quality streaming music services?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I hear too many songs on Spotify that are clearly lower quality than the exact same song from a CD player so I think they're lying about being 320kpbs.

 

Thanks

post #2 of 13

why would they do that?

post #3 of 13

I am not so sure what is the problem but their music definitely does comes along as lower quality than iTunes purchased music, I have bought a few songs of iTunes to make comparisons and they definitely seem to lack in both presentation and range. It almost feels that the sound is compressed the and lacking in dynamics, almost a bit lifeless compared to iTunes music. 

 

BTW my gear is rather modest so I cannot say what they would / could sound if I had better gear what they would be like but I doubt they would be better. I need to listen to some lossless iTunes files to do more comparisons. 

post #4 of 13

i have no idea about spotify...

but if you can get some samples,

 

open vlc media player > ctrl + i 

in the media information you shoud see various bit rates like instantaneuos , average etc.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrapan View Post
 

I am not so sure what is the problem but their music definitely does comes along as lower quality than iTunes purchased music, I have bought a few songs of iTunes to make comparisons and they definitely seem to lack in both presentation and range. It almost feels that the sound is compressed the and lacking in dynamics, almost a bit lifeless compared to iTunes music. 

 

BTW my gear is rather modest so I cannot say what they would / could sound if I had better gear what they would be like but I doubt they would be better. I need to listen to some lossless iTunes files to do more comparisons. 


Yes exactly. I'm comparing the exact same song, from the same album, between CD and spotify.

post #6 of 13

I was just about to suggest MOG (they stream in 320),


     https://mog.com/

 

But I just read that they had been bought out by Beats and aren't going to be around much longer.


     http://techland.time.com/2014/01/21/so-long-mog/

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

hmmm. I think MOG does sound better. I'll have to do more comparisons though.

 

Edit: MOG doesn't sound 320kp either, but it sounds a little better than spotify on some songs. a tiny bit. Someone with good ears and an HD800 should investigate.


Edited by ag8908 - 1/28/14 at 12:39pm
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by nebnacnud View Post
 

I was just about to suggest MOG (they stream in 320),


     https://mog.com/

 

But I just read that they had been bought out by Beats and aren't going to be around much longer.


     http://techland.time.com/2014/01/21/so-long-mog/

Yes MOG was bought by Beats a while ago and it is now the basis for Beats music which is available only in the USA. If them or iTunes Radio ever make it across the Atlantic I will make sure to try them both. Rdio btw sounds just as bad as Spotify if not worse and they also do refuse to publish bit rates.

post #9 of 13

Qobuz has just partnered with SONUS, and I have signed up for a free trial, they offer Lossless streaming for a large part of their library, seems pretty bloody good so far!

 

http://www.qobuz.com/gb-en/offers/music-streaming-subscription

post #10 of 13

You do realise CD is 1411kbps right?

post #11 of 13

Interestingly enough, the "Mastered for iTunes" label has been argued by engineers as sounding better than the lossless CDs. To achieve the "Mastered for iTunes" label, the original track engineers receive software from Apple to reexamine a file during the process of converting it to lossy AAC files and then they can adjust the distortions away that had previously been hard to predict during conversions and are still a part of CD development. According to many engineers, this has actually worked incredibly and usually on tests, engineers prefer the adjusted files to the CD files.

 

Previously, iTunes only used CD files in compressed process formats. With "Mastered for iTunes", they require the lossless version of the software-adjusted track, and then they compress it themselves and have it checked by engineers one last time before uploading and applying the label. They retain lossless versions of all "Mastered for iTunes" tracks. They supposedly have included this requirement because it means that when space and bandwidth become less of issues, iTunes can upgrade and/or issue those "Mastered for iTunes" tracks in a higher quality format.

 

"Mastered for iTunes" is a very safe bet for quality digital music in the convenient market. It isn't the same as lossless, but it arguably is a better sound than CD. Standard iTunes tracks are generally not noticeably processed for the average ear themselves though, making iTunes in general a solid pick. Correct me on anything here if I'm wrong.

 

That said, the most exciting thing here is that Apple may indeed be preparing themselves now for when lossless audio is a reality for the average consumer.

post #12 of 13

When you actually get 320 content with Spotify is... vague at best. Obviously, first criterion is that you must be a Premium member. Second, I believe 320 only comes through the desktop client app - the web app, and any devices are served up 160, to the best of my knowledge. Third, connection strength has to be strong, or it will fall back to 160. Fourth, I'm not sure that the entire catalog is 320, or that there's any way to determine what's what. The quality of the encoder matters as well, and we have no idea how they're encoding these things to Vorbis. 

 

The 'CD is 1411kbps' argument is meaningless. Of course it is, it's uncompressed, which makes it simple math (44,100hz * 16 bits * 2 channels). That doesn't make it >4 times better than 320kbps Vorbis. Using these bit rates with lossily compressed data shows, relative to the same track, how much compression has been achieved, and again relatively speaking, how much information has been lost. It doesn't line up cross-codec (a 320 Vorbis is not a 320 MP3 is not a 320 AAC), it doesn't line up with lossless (which obviously has no loss of information, and thus is indicative of compression efficiency only), and it sure doesn't line up with uncompressed audio (where it only shows the ability to multiply three numbers).

post #13 of 13
I'm willing to bet the issue with spotify is primarily network performance. The bit rate is most likely reduced to prevent dropouts if congestion is detected.
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