Apple Music... Seriously?
Jun 8, 2015 at 9:55 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 359

Earbones

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No mention of Lossless at the announcement, which means barring a miracle, it won't happen.
 
Apple owns ALAC for God's sake. There is no reason on earth they couldn't have made lossless streaming available. What, so most people don't care about music quality, and don't want the data eaten up by lossless? Fine. Put a streaming quality toggle on it, like Spotify.
 
And while I get that most people would be flipping that toggle to off... It's not like audiophiles represent some tiny niche market of freaks, from which no profit can be drawn. We're not dressing up in furry outfits, or grown men who are really into My Little Pony (Google it).
 
Audiophiles represent a multi-billion dollar industry. PONO player was the third most funded kickstarter project ever. Audiophiles aren't the majority of listeners, but we're a damn big fish. If Apple Music is going to ignore that, when they could more easily implement lossless streaming than any of their competitors, then they're stupid, period.
 
I spend $30 a month on music. $20 on Tidal for my headfi rigs, and $10 on Spotify because that's what's available on Roku. Apple Music with lossless streaming would have saved me $20 a month. Damn.
 
Vent over.
 
Jun 9, 2015 at 1:20 AM Post #5 of 359

rcoleman1

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Man I'm really trying to stay an Apple fan...I love my iPad, my iPhone, iPods and especially my 2TB ALAC music collection. But I've been holding out hope for Apple to take the lead in the HQ streaming category. I guess not any time soon with this Apple Music crap...damn. Guess I'll jump on Tidal for now. 
 
Jun 9, 2015 at 1:23 AM Post #6 of 359

Earbones

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  Got all the details, some screen captures, etc. Apple's service is a lowly 256kbs. Have much more info at http://tinyurl.com/apple-music256


Gaah. At least high-rez would have been a real selling point... Even for non-audiophiles. I mean, whether or not you care or have the equipment to hear it, it's actually a tangible feature that would make it ostensibly superior to other services.
 
But literally nobody cares about some DJ helming a 24 hour channel, nor some HAL 9000 run amok attempting to learn what new album they may like. As with any subscription service, people just want to be able to search the catalog easily, download albums, and construct playlists. That's it. 256KB means Apple Music loses, Spotify wins, and Tidal remains the Audiophile's choice.
 
Apple is banking on people being too lazy to go outside their phone's built-in ecosystem for their music... But as people will soon discover, it will be far cheaper to go Spotify. With Apple Music, we're talking about a native app. That means it will be connected to your Apple User ID. Which means that the 9.99 subscription will be for the devices linked to that ID, and those devices only. Devices linked to other people's ID's? that runs $14.99 for the "family plan"... The $9.99 Spotify Premium, not being a native app, has no idea whose device it's on. Meaning you can split that single account with whoever. Before we started running Tidal on our mobile devices, I split Spotify between myself, my girlfriend, my younger brother, and my parents. Five people covered with higher quality music for 50% less than Apple Music.
 
Apple needs to hustle back to the drawing board. This is DOA. Just the unpopular Beats service with tenuous extras that nobody wants. Nothing that makes it stand out at all. 
 
Jun 9, 2015 at 2:42 AM Post #8 of 359

Steve Eddy

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Audiophiles represent a multi-billion dollar industry.


And the market that Apple is going after is a multi-HUNDREDS of billion dollar industry.


PONO player was the third most funded kickstarter project ever.


Oh, and of course that had absolutely nothing to do with Neil Young, right? How many Kickstarters have you seen pitching their campaigns on all the late night talk shows, dozens of other media events, etc.? How many multi-millionaire celebrity Kickstarter campaigns have there been?


Audiophiles aren't the majority of listeners, but we're a damn big fish.


No, you're not.

se
 
Jun 9, 2015 at 4:44 AM Post #9 of 359

Earbones

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And the market that Apple is going after is a multi-HUNDREDS of billion dollar industry.

Oh, and of course that had absolutely nothing to do with Neil Young, right? How many Kickstarters have you seen pitching their campaigns on all the late night talk shows, dozens of other media events, etc.? How many multi-millionaire celebrity Kickstarter campaigns have there been?

No, you're not.


se

"And the market Apple is going after..." 

Yes, as I pointed out, they are going after a much bigger market. But why not capture the audiophile market as well? They own the ALAC standard. It's written into every agreement with every artist on iTunes. What does it cost them to offer ALAC streaming? And again, a toggle to switch between lossless and 256kb for civilians who don't want to pay for the data consumption.

"Oh, and of course that had absolutely nothing to do with Neil Young..."

Sure it did. But why is that relevant? I don't care if you're Jesus Christ risen, if you're selling something people don't want, they won't buy it, plain and simple. Anybody who believes otherwise is hallucinating. The guy pitched high-rez music, and it became the third most backed project of all time. Anyone that disregards that as simply due to an aging rocker most millennials couldn't pick out of a lineup is as high as... Well, as high as Neil Young. And forgetting PONO, can you guess what Kickstarter category was the most backed in 2014? Specialty audio or music devices.

"No, you're not."

Yes, we are. No offense, but for a guy who makes his living selling headphone cables that start at $200 a pop, I'd have thought you'd be a little more clued-in to how much money the audiophile community generates. Here's a hint: it's a lot. In the grand scheme of things, of course, it's small potatoes. But is it enough to pique the interest of someone selling streaming music subscriptions? Well, Spotify has traded on the higher resolution of their music for years... They may not truly deliver the goods, but they see sales from people who appreciate higher resolution as significant enough to justify talking about it. A lot. And Tidal, despite being a relatively insane $20 a month, is succeeding. Of course they would have been fried had Apple gotten in the game, but I'd buy stock in them now...
 
Jun 9, 2015 at 7:00 AM Post #10 of 359

RonaldDumsfeld

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Perhaps the labels will not allow Apple to distribute lossless.
 
Lots of people in he business still think it's possible to actually hear a difference between lossless and 256 VBR lossy so they are holding out for a greater premium.
 
Jun 9, 2015 at 8:14 AM Post #11 of 359

rasmushorn

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Beats music states all their tracks are 320 kbps. (From their FAQ: On the web, we stream in 320kbps MP3 quality audio - industry standard high quality audio for streaming services.  A small minority of tracks may not be available for 320, in which case we'll stream in 256kbps.)
 
I am guessing Apple Music will be 320 kbps too - which would be acceptable only...  I still wonder wow can Apple start from so far behind Tidal and only offer 256/320 kbps? I was hoping Apple would learn from Sony and start focussing on HighRez products both in their sources and headphones. 
 
Jun 9, 2015 at 9:57 AM Post #12 of 359

visanj

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  Beats music states all their tracks are 320 kbps. (From their FAQ: On the web, we stream in 320kbps MP3 quality audio - industry standard high quality audio for streaming services.  A small minority of tracks may not be available for 320, in which case we'll stream in 256kbps.)
 
I am guessing Apple Music will be 320 kbps too - which would be acceptable only...  I still wonder wow can Apple start from so far behind Tidal and only offer 256/320 kbps? I was hoping Apple would learn from Sony and start focussing on HighRez products both in their sources and headphones. 

 
My gut feel is that Apple will standardize entire beats library to their default 256 kbps aac format to match their own itunes library
 
in other words, I believe they just let their own itunes library for subscription as there is not much difference in terms of content between beats and itunes library
 
Jun 9, 2015 at 1:20 PM Post #15 of 359

sonitus mirus

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  Chances are they're using AAC rather than MP3 for streaming, and 256kbps AAC is indistinguishable from lossless in the great majority of circumstances, while using less than half the bandwidth. I really don't see the problem.

 
 I agree from my own testing and what little evidence I could find online.  What purpose would there be to provide bigger files when no audible improvements would be gained?  
 

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