Amazon launches Music HD with lossless streaming
Apr 26, 2020 at 10:45 PM Post #1,231 of 1,539

PlantsmanTX

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To get the most out of current unfortunate auto resampling situation you need to match material with sound settings in Windows. Manually.
Mixer resampling degradation on modern Win10 is blown out of proportion mostly based on some old tests, recent studies suggest it's not actually THAT bad.
So you can just keep it at 24/96 and forget about flipping bitrate back and forth.

Still not an excuse for Amazon for not having bit-perfect implemented yet. Shame really.
Ok. I figured you meant setting the Windows bitrate manually, but I wasn't sure. Good idea. The upside of that is if you're using EQ, your settings aren't deactivated.
 
Apr 27, 2020 at 2:06 AM Post #1,232 of 1,539

a-LeXx

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I doubt Amazon will ever implement bit perfect mode.
I think they see upsampling as a feature, not a bug.
Even on iOS, which perfectly supports native bit rates and doesn‘t upconvert everything to a single data rate as Android does, they upconvert everything to a highest bit rate of an attached DAC. Their previous app, before the HD introduction, didn‘t do that, 44.1 was still 44.1.
This changed with an introduction of the app version 9.x
 
Apr 27, 2020 at 5:17 AM Post #1,233 of 1,539

rkw

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I doubt Amazon will ever implement bit perfect mode.
The thought may be disheartening to audiophiles, but this is a very real possibility. If Amazon Music were to survey their users, they would find interest in bit perfect to be extremely low, probably less than one half of one percent of the overall 55 million users. Contrast with exclusive mode, which is an actual benefit for many users (who don't want their music disturbed by other sounds on the system).
 
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Apr 27, 2020 at 8:51 AM Post #1,234 of 1,539

a-LeXx

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The thought may be disheartening to audiophiles, but this is a very real possibility. If Amazon Music were to survey their users, they would find interest in bit perfect to be extremely low, probably less than one half of one percent of the overall 55 million users. Contrast with exclusive mode, which is an actual benefit for many users (who don't want their music disturbed by other sounds on the system).

Agree. Anyway, I opened a support ticket explaining why bit perfect on iOS would be beneficial, alone from the power consumption point of view, as both upsampling and sending more data to DAC consumes much more power, also SQ would be better... People from support replied to me, confirming that a CR has been filed and sent to the SW development team... One problem of Amazon Music is that it's still a power hog. A fully loaded iPhone 7 with 100% battery health (battery had less than 50 full cycles) is good to play 7 to 9 hrs with Amazon, from stored library. With online streaming, it's even less... And upsampling is one of the things causing this behaviour, it used to be much better with old non-upsampling app prior to Music HD introduction.

And better battery life is always on a wish list of everyone. Let's see whether anything happens...
 
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Apr 27, 2020 at 9:03 PM Post #1,235 of 1,539

james__bean

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So from reading Windows documentation, it seems like Amazon Music isn't properly querying the endpoint device for supported frequencies. I don't have access to their code or anything, but just based on what I was seeing the application do, I think it is just pulling whatever frequency Windows is set to and using that.
The PKEY_AudioEngine_DeviceFormat property specifies the device format, which is the format that the user has selected for the stream that flows between the audio engine and the audio endpoint device when the device operates in shared mode. This format might not be the best default format for an exclusive-mode application to use. Typically, an exclusive-mode application finds a suitable device format by making some number of calls to the IAudioClient::IsFormatSupported method. For more information, see Device Formats.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/coreaudio/pkey-audioengine-deviceformat

Tidal does this part properly so I'll be sticking with Tidal for now.
 
Apr 28, 2020 at 4:19 PM Post #1,236 of 1,539

Monahans67

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So from reading Windows documentation, it seems like Amazon Music isn't properly querying the endpoint device for supported frequencies. I don't have access to their code or anything, but just based on what I was seeing the application do, I think it is just pulling whatever frequency Windows is set to and using that.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/coreaudio/pkey-audioengine-deviceformat

Tidal does this part properly so I'll be sticking with Tidal for now.
As much as I wanted to stay with Amazon I have changed back to Tidal. Being Military Retired I get it for 11.99 a month so can't complain. If Amazon ever gets the Exclusive Mode to match what I am hearing from Tidal then we will see. I honestly think even my old ears can hear a difference between UHD and Tidals' Master.
 
Apr 28, 2020 at 10:18 PM Post #1,238 of 1,539

rkw

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And Tidal MQA is bit perfect?
Output from the Tidal app is bit perfect when exclusive mode is turned on. Bit perfect means that the operating system does not alter (resample or mix) the output stream from the player app.

For MQA, the Tidal app creates a lossy decoded upsample that will be sent bit perfect to the DAC. Or if you have an MQA enabled DAC and turn on the Passthrough MQA option, the original undecoded FLAC will be sent bit perfect.
 
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Apr 29, 2020 at 4:21 AM Post #1,239 of 1,539

a-LeXx

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As much as I wanted to stay with Amazon I have changed back to Tidal. Being Military Retired I get it for 11.99 a month so can't complain. If Amazon ever gets the Exclusive Mode to match what I am hearing from Tidal then we will see. I honestly think even my old ears can hear a difference between UHD and Tidals' Master.

You will always hear a difference between Tidal's Master and anything else. It's there per definition: Tidal Master is MQA and MQA per definition uses their own masters, created specially for MQA. So it's always a different master, no matter whether the other platform is HD or not, the masters used for MQA will be always different from the rest of the world.
 
Apr 29, 2020 at 1:24 PM Post #1,240 of 1,539

Andrew_WOT

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Transfer from app to device is bit perfect but MQA is lossy compression that lost its bitperfectness at the time of encoding.
If anything Qobuz should provide the best of both worlds as does both, lossless FLAC and bit perfect output to audio device.
Amazon for now is half way there, we have lossless material (FLAC), exclusive access to audio stream, and technically bit perfect output IF Sound settings in Control panel match source material.
The last part is nuisance, I know, hope that's just a temporary workaround.
 
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Apr 29, 2020 at 1:33 PM Post #1,242 of 1,539

SilverEars

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Transfer from app to device is bit perfect but MQA is lossy compression so it lost its bitperfectness at the time of encoding.
If anything Qobuz should provide the best of both worlds as does both, lossless FLAC and bit perfect output to audio device.
Amazon for now is half way there, we have lossless material (FLAC), exclusive access to audio stream, and technically bit perfect output IF Sound settings in Control panel match source material.
The last part is nuisance, I know, hope that's just a temporary workaround.
For some reason, I don't like the sound of Qobuz even if it's bit-perfect (or is it or is it exclusive mode only as well?). I compared an album between Tidal and Qobuz, and Tidal sounded better. This maybe due to Tidal having the better music masterings in their server. I am able to hear differences between certain streaming services, and likely from the help of my system setup. I can tell difference from DAC getting digital feeds from a Mac vs Windows PC even. If one cannot tell the difference, that's good, you are better off. No point of pulling hairs, but go with the cheapest option.

Personally, I don't believe the format being 24bit or excessively high sampling rate has anything to do with what sounds better. I prefer CD quality of 16/44, and I'm sure it's because majority was originally digitized to that bit-depth and sampling rate.

I tried the Chord M-scalar and hated what it does to the sound when excessively over-sampled.
 
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Apr 29, 2020 at 4:18 PM Post #1,243 of 1,539

PlantsmanTX

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For some reason, I don't like the sound of Qobuz even if it's bit-perfect (or is it or is it exclusive mode only as well?). I compared an album between Tidal and Qobuz, and Tidal sounded better. This maybe due to Tidal having the better music masterings in their server. I am able to hear differences between certain streaming services, and likely from the help of my system setup. I can tell difference from DAC getting digital feeds from a Mac vs Windows PC even. If one cannot tell the difference, that's good, you are better off. No point of pulling hairs, but go with the cheapest option.

Personally, I don't believe the format being 24bit or excessively high sampling rate has anything to do with what sounds better. I prefer CD quality of 16/44, and I'm sure it's because majority was originally digitized to that bit-depth and sampling rate.

I tried the Chord M-scalar and hated what it does to the sound when excessively over-sampled.
Qobuz is bit-perfect in exclusive mode. I did the trial, and the sampling rate displayed in the DAC's control panel matched that of the track being played.
 
Apr 29, 2020 at 6:36 PM Post #1,244 of 1,539

jambaj0e

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Is anyone using Amazon Music HD on Node 2i or any BluOS streaming devices? Are they bit-perfect? I'm interested to see how it is when you go Node to a DAC, then out to the amp and headphone, to see if it's as good or better than computer USB to DAC, etc.
 

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