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Amazon launches Music HD with lossless streaming

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by gemNeye, Apr 26, 2019.
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  1. Anaz
    I for one jumped ship from Tidal this evening.
  2. tradyblix
    I dont know why everyone is so quick to give amazon yet another revenue stream. they already control almost all online shopping in the US, they put gorgeous bookstores out of business across the country, they now control most of the internet infrastructure game, eventually you will just be 8 of 18, tertiary adjunct to unimatrix zero, Amazon Prime Borg. Support some smaller companies for a change, especially if the service is controlled by the labels anyway and more or less the same.
    Steve Wilcox and exdmd like this.
  3. Left Channel
    Thank you. Case closed.
  4. Left Channel
    I know, right? I make it a point to visit independent bookstores for the same reason. And because they each offer or do something better than Amazon, which is why they're still there. Kind of like Qobuz.
    Steve Wilcox, tradyblix and exdmd like this.
  5. Soundizer
    The deal is in USA only for QOBUZ so it is ridiculously expensive in UK and more than TIDAL HIFI. The deal ends Jan 2020, so what then - back to 24.99 a month.
    Andrew_WOT likes this.
  6. robm321
    I might actually head over to QOBUZ. They seem to be the only true hi res out there. Tidal is basically MQA which isn't true hi res and limits your DAC options if you want to decode it. And Amazon says its hi res, but you cannot actually stream it unless they add an exclusive output option.

    I still have 4-5 months of my Tidal yearly plan, so I have time to see where things will settle. But I am optimistic about QOBUZ even with their limited catalog.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
  7. 3Putter
    I had Qobuz and it did sound terrific. Limited catalog is an understatement for my tastes. If you like Euro rock, off beat stuff, classical and symphony, and art house jazz you're in luck. If you like American rock, southern rock or alt country forget it. You'll be out of albums you care about quickly. I grew tired of exploring and finding very little I cared about hearing again. I did find a gal called Caroline Spence on her album 'Mint Condition' and loved it. Sounded great. When Qobuz went off to find more artists I liked nothing clicked. But when I downloaded the same album on Tidal, listened to it, then allowed Tidal to feed me new music it brought me all kinds of new music I enjoyed.
    robm321 likes this.
  8. brianlg
    Qobuz could be the clear winner if they get their catalog updated. And it seems like they are doing this as a lot of what it was missing on my trial is currently there. Still a ways to go.
    Deezer is another service I'm actually enjoying their UI and recommendations. But again, needs more work as you are limited to favoriting 2000 albums and their HiFi service doesn't yet allow you to stream in lossless on mobile.
  9. Soundizer
    I didn’t realise TIDAL has a yearly plan? No such details on TIDAL UK website.
  10. originalsnuffy
    Before I had mentioned that I installed the JRiver WDM driver but I was limited to 48 khz. Turns out that somewhere along the line I messed up the audio card settings. I had the card set improperly; I reset the default for the card to 24 bit 192 khz. Now the app is correctly playing back at the upper limit of the tracks. Thus, a 96 khz song plays at 96 khz, and not 48khz. The system reports it can go up to 192 khz. Not many tracks come down at that 192khz resolution however. Anyway to my ear the sound is fully satisfying. Is it being resampled or bit perfect? I have no idea. But it now sounds full bodied and correct. In my case I am outputting my old Audigy 2 with an Audigy Rx driver (that is supported under Windows 10 64 bit) to a NAD 710 receiver and from there to PSB Alpha speakers. And all is sounding very good.

    I continue to enjoy the sound from the iphone app through my Shanling M2S in the car also. That also is 192 khz capable. The only downside to that is that there is a 20 second lag from when I first choose a song until something starts playing. There are no lags after that; just the initial start is delayed.

    The song catalog is generally good. Some strange omissions; I could find "It Don't Come Easy" by Ringo Starr in studio format. The Bob Seger catalog is hit or miss. But Beatles, Grateful Dead, Phish, the Who. Rolling Stones have pretty good representation. The Jazz selection was pretty good for the artists I was looking for, but not exhaustive. Classical may take more work; I can find certain pieces by most composers but good luck on finding multiple versions of the same works. If you are really into Deutsche Gramaphone vs. Philips or Szell vs. Bernstein vs. Von Karajan for a given piece well good luck. You kind of get what you get.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
    robm321 likes this.
  11. stuartmc
    Hmmm....very interesting and enjoyable thread to read - all 51 pages. I've been giving Amazon HD a spin for the past month and a half and I can now say that 'm more than satisfied with it. I had a few hiccups early on, but now it's performance is nearly 100% as advertised. I say nearly, because the only minor issue I have is my DAC/headphone amp (Gustard A20H) always shows the PCM stream at 192KHz. The HD label used to be a little buggy when I clicked on it to show: 1) Track Quality 2) Device Capability and 3)Currently playing at. Now it is spot on every time. "Track Quality" and "Currently playing at" are now always the same, despite my DAC showing 192KHz. I have tracks playing from 16 bit, 44.1khz all the way up to 24 bit, 192khz. I can detect no extra brightness, other than a little more detail and air on some of the higher resolution tracks. Perhaps there was an update to the Amazon Music HD application that I'm running on my Ipad. Sound quality is outstanding and I find the catalog is deeper than Tidal for the more obscure stuff. The price differential for the "family plan" makes it an easy decision for me....goodbye Tidal. I'm running a 2018 Ipad mini into an Uptone Audio Regen via the Apple CCK adaptor, then into a Tanly USB-DDC and finally to the Gustard A20H via I2S connection. With this setup, Amazon is very satisfying.
    loomisjohnson and robm321 like this.
  12. 3Putter
    Sorry, friend. Too much evidence here to believe that all of a sudden you, with your impressive list of gear, has 'facts' outside what others find. The price shoppers sure, I get. This, not quite.
  13. originalsnuffy
    OK, I call foul on that one. Output from an Apple idevice can in fact sound good when fed through an external DAC. The brands don't matter; the process does. And for whatever reason when Apple devices using the Amazon HD app feed data to an external DAC is shows up on the DAC at a high bit rate no matter what the underlying audio bit rate is. That's just how Apple rolls using the Camera Connecting Kit.

    Its likely not bit perfect; but that does not mean it can't sound good.
  14. a-LeXx
    I have 4 different iPads, including a pro, an iPhone and an ipod touch, all of them show exactly the same behavior: after around 90s of playback, I would notice a very substantial decrease in sound quality, and when clicking on a yellow badge, it would show that playback is done at 'standard'. I have a fast 50mbps internet connection and perfect WiFi coverage at my home, so it's not my internet.

    I wonder how you have a different experience, maybe amazon's servers serve different parts of the world differently (I'm in Germany). Downloading however works flawlessly, and at a max. data rate my internet provider is capable of. Only streaming is completely broken...
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
  15. 3Putter
    I primarily use my LG V30. Amazon sounded less than in comparison to my own downloaded music or streamed Tidal. Amazon sounded good and better than other services. But not close to Tidal or Qobuz thinking back to when I had it. If I come through my laptop and Dragonfly Dac same. Its Amazon HD. Sounds ok. It very well could be your ears hear Amazon as your preference. Just not buying some of the justifications for Amazon. Competition is good for the industry to a point. Hopeful Amazon doesnt put what most audiophiles feel is great sound out of the game.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
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